heine – Transforming a Business

On Oct. 28, 2010, we had an special session in our module “Change & Innovation” with two practitioners from industry. Here is a brief summary of the class delivered by Nicole Weimer who studies “Management of Meetings, Expositions, Events and Conventions”. The Module Change & Innovation belongs to the General Management Modules being incorporated in all undergraduate programs at Karlshochschule. Here is Nicole’s report:

Kristina Jansen is head of the human resources division of Heinrich Heine GmbH (heine) a major German fashion mail order company belonging the otto Group.

Kristina Jansen is in charge for a groundbreaking change process which is called “Heine-Online-Transformation” (HOT). This process was initialized to transform the company from a classical mail order business with a strong focus on printed catalogs to a more internet driven business. The change process had to be initialized few years ago after a period declining growth.

Reorientation through Project Office and Consulting Company

The change process started with the development of an entire new strategy together with a major consulting company. After that a newly established project office planned and organised the reorientation of the company. The main task of Kristina Jansen was communication with all parties involved throughout the whole project with a bunch of different methods. This taught us that communication is a crucial part in change processes.

HOT Event for Employees

In her lecture Kristina Jansen presented an event to motivate and to anchor the goals of HOT. The event should involve the employees by informing them about the current state and the further steps of the change process. But mostly the event should help to create a culture with delight on development, a positive culture of mistakes, trust and spirit and finally with willingness to tackle and not to stumble. The event was built up of three pillars of experience.

There was a conclusion sculpture at the end of the event. This sculpture, a tree with messages written by management and employees was used to ask each employee what they are willing to do in order to reach a successful change. This taught me that the integration and involvement of all parties concerned is very important. You have to give employees the feeling that they are involved and that they have the possibility to effect something of the process. The sculpture at the end had showed them that they are a part of the big picture and that their contribution counts.

HOT Targets

This current project deals with the transformation of the strategy into daily business. The strategy should be anchored in all business areas. In order to reach a higher acceptance of the goals, they should be developed together and also well visualized to make sure, that everyone knows them. Heine’s 18 company goals have got 4 different perspectives n the style of the balanced scorecard model by Kaplan and Norton. This helps to make sure that all of them are in balance and prevent that one loses for the benefit of another. Here I have learned that it is crucial to stabilize after the change. Otherwise the organization will revert to the situation before the change.

Leave a Reply