XING New Work Sessions recap: » We need a mindset shift «

Our wrap up, learnings and insights from the fourth edition of the XING New Work Sessions.
On May 31, we had the pleasure of again partnering with XING for their New Work Sessions, this time taking place in Stuttgart. It was the fourth edition of the innovative event series, which provides a platform to effectively exchange ideas and gain inspiration from like-minded new work pioneers; including experts and practitioners from business, science, politics, administration, society and creative industries.

We need a mindset shift towards the prototyping of processes within companies that involve all employees, in order to avoid a ‘not invented here’ problem.

Verena Augustin

To kick things off, and to get an early dose of inspiration, we hosted an IXDS NEW WORK Meetup on the night before the official event. We invited three inspiring speakers to spend the evening with us and our guests in the newly built Design Offices Stuttgart Tower. In line with the event’s overall theme “How New Work Makes Businesses Successful,” they gave us a deeper insight into their approaches to building the workplace of the future.

Dr. Christopher Jahns, CEO & Founder of XU Exponential Education GmbH, talked about today’s fast changing knowledge in a digital world and how to transfer this into successful learning environments. He was followed by Christine Kirbach, Founder & Partner at the red lab, who focused on “agile leadership” and the challenges leaders face today. Our last speaker, Florian Weigmann, Managing Director at AXOOM GmbH, introduced us to AXOOM’s approach to creating new innovations for old industries.

The evening wrapped up with further conversation over tasty street food and drinks, and a lot of positive feedback from those who came along. “I found the discussion at the meetup and the content really enriching,” one participant said. Another commented on the “fun atmosphere, engaging speakers and a lot of new insights.”

The communication around good role models increases the appreciation of new work in the company.

Heidi Stock, Vice President Development & Diversity, Bosch Gruppe
XING New Work Session

On the following day, the XING New Work Session started over coffee and networking in the Design Offices Stuttgart Mitte. The welcome address was followed by a keynote by Ali Mahlodji, Founder and Chief Storyteller at He inspired the audience with his life story, career and values. He said that at some point he realized that at the end of his life he didn’t want to look back on his career and only see money; instead he wanted to know that he managed to positively change lives by giving people direction in their career choice.

The second part of the day was broken up into four streams hosted by XING, Commerzbank, Initiative für Beschäftigung and us, IXDS. In total, 16 sessions with keynote speakers from all kinds of sectors and professions took place. Each provided a different look at the implementation of new work formats, the transformation of the physical and cultural work environment, as well as the various challenges and success stories.

We learned about today’s changing career paths and “mosaic careers”, as Sophia von Rundstedt, Managing Partner and CEO at Rundstedt & Partner GmbH, calls it – because today’s careers are not as linear as they used to be. Rather, she stated, “they’re a collection of pieces in a big puzzle of professional experiences.”

Benjamin Büscher, Chief Operations and Digital Officer at Schachinger Logistik, focused on the need for a digital culture over a digital strategy, giving the suggestion: “Don’t think outside the box, act outside the box. That way you’ll get ‘do-ers’ instead of smart-arses.”

We heard about new work appreciation from Bosch’s Heidi Stock. “Managers need a cloak to have the courage to work flexibly,” she said. “The communication around good role models increases the appreciation of new work in the company.”

Our Senior Service Designer Johanna Auferkamp took part in a session alongside Dorothee Heuwerth, Director Business Development CCO Group Office at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE.

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE took on IXDS’ service design approach to enable its employees to play an active role in the company’s reorganization, collaboration, work environments and careers. Dorothee said she was convinced this approach was effective due to its emphasis on allowing all team members to influence the future of the workplace.

The afternoon wrapped up with a panel talk about the working environment of the future and how new work can make organizations more successful. Our own Verena Augustin was invited to join Sophia and Walter Ganz, Director of Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft and Organisation IAO for the discussion.

Verena highlighted that “in industry 4.0, it’s not about cutting people out, but rather that roles are shifting.” Adding that the crucial question is the additional value that each employee can create and therefore add meaningful potential to an organization.

“We need a mindset shift towards the prototyping of processes within companies that involve all employees, in order to avoid a ‘not invented here’ problem,” she said.

We took home many valuable learnings of our own, met great new contacts and were inspired to continue on our path to prototype the future of work. Stay tuned for announcements of where the next event will take place, as we’ll continue to partner and participate in many more XING New Work Sessions.