#GTNT: The Network is growing!

Over 700 participants: 3 continents, 2 target groups, 1 goal: the Leadership 2020 Network shall grow further.

#GTNT2018? This reminds me of a Thursday night, German TV channel Pro7. It’s about long-legged wannabe models, Heidi’s so-called „Määädels“ (young aspiring models) and above all, about Heidi Klum (a famous German model and TV personality) herself. I asked myself why should it be me of all people who goes there? Is there a 40+ version of Germany’s Next Topmodel (GNTM) coming up soon? Most of all, why am I invited through my Daimler account?

Okay, being able to read clearly gives you an advantage – some slightly transposed letters. I don’t participate in the casting of GNTM, but I do participate in the GTNT, the Grow The Network Tour. To make it short: I’ve got some pictures for you!

What is the Grow the Network Tour 2018 all about?

Back to the starting point again. What is the purpose of the Grow the Network Tour and why am I taking part in it? Daimler is changing – as one or the other of you may have heard already. In order to quit the hearsay, we need you to do one thing: participate! Become part of the change! Briefly: Everyone can initiate, live, promote and foster the cultural change of his or her immediate environment.

In this context, the Grow the Network Tour offers help to help oneself. At the four stops in Heilbronn, Portland, Beijing and Bangkok, over 700 attendees consisting of Leadership 2020 ambassadors and HR business partners got a chance to connect, to discuss and to learn more about the Leadership 2020 initiative.

Who participates – and why?

For me, as Leadership 2020 Ambassador ‚driving change‘ means to re-think, to test, to try an be a role model. Whenever possbile I share my passion for the new mind-set with others. I am no expert in change processes – but I live Leadership 2020 out of conviction. Sometimes, however, I need ‘professional’ support: What exactly is MyFeedback? How can the new Impulse System support my development? Which tool is being rolled-out when – and for whom? Questions that I will naturally ask my trusted HR colleagues.

Two remarkable days at the #GTNT in Heilbronn!

Just as Leadership 2020 touches executives and ambassadors, it affects the work of HR. In this context, the HR department plays a dual role: on the one hand it shapes and develops the initiative, on the other hand it acts as a business partner for other departments. Besides the Leadership 2020 ambassadors, local colleagues of HR are increasingly addressed with questions regarding Leadership 2020, especially when it comes to changes taking place in the personnel systems.

The idea of the Grow the Network Tour: pairing up ambassadors with their respective HR business partners to further increase the efficiency of teams. I think, that’s great! While exchanging views on different roles and expectations, Steffi, my HR tandem partner, and I had quite a few „Aha!“experiences. Thank you Steffi for your precious insights, your inspiration and your honesty. This kind of exchange is essential, since there’s nothing better than learning together and from each other.

Good idea to develop the agenda in collaboration with one’s tandem partner. Stefanie Knecht (left), human resources manager at Daimler Gastronomie GmbH, and I spent an exciting first day together.

Train the Trainer

Speaking of learnig… During those two days of the Network Tour, we got to experience selected leadership principles. The combination of well-prepared content with practical assignments that we completed with the tandem partner (e.g. design thinking concept) or in a larger group (e.g. agile working methods) were ideal to link fun and learning.

My absolute favorite – the Train the Trainer sessions. Okay, I admit that when I was a child I always wanted to become a teacher, but somehow something must changed my mind. ;) What has stayed is the desire or the passion to communicate new ideas and to inspire. The Train the Trainer format offers a simple and perfect opportunity, without any difficult procedures or high costs – which makes the transfer easy.

We’ve all experienced this… We should definitely take some time with our team to talk about the leadership principles, to think about them and to identify aspects that lead us to a common understanding, etc. … How do we start, how do we get there, how can we develop a good discussion, how can we get our colleagues engaged in Leadership 2020?

It’s simple… just do it!

For example we experienced the leadership principle ‚Driven to win‘ in a short challenge. Afterwards we thought about our motivation and what we should alter to become better. This way even coffee cups got a second usefull meaning.

What did I take with me from the Grow the Network Tour?

The spirit was awesome. I had a lot of inspirational conversations and now it’s time to implement the three goals of the tour: #enable, #multiply, #network!

Each and every one of us has his or her personal view of Leadership 2020 and has to face individual challenges. There is one thing all the ambassadors and HR business partners have in common and that is the shared goal: pushing Leadership 2020!

With gamification and challenging exercises the workshops about the Leadership 2020 principles empowered us to share the ideas and goals in our organization.

In my opinion, the detailed discussion about pioneering spirit was very important to make change and innovation possible: we need to break through the ‘cognitive jail’, because sometimes we accept borders that don’t even exist. In his final speech Tobias Ködel, leader of the Leadership 2020 Basecamp, encouraged us to break the patterns more often, to change the perspective and to choose new approaches. I think that the participants from Heilbronn are already on their way.

The message is clear: we can all become – or already be – a pioneer of change. Because Leadership 2020 is for each and everyone of us!


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Katrin Lehmann works in the internal communications department and is responsible for HR issues. In the beginning she dealt with Leadership 2020 in a primarily functional manner. Meanwhile, she’s one of the 4.500 ambassadors in our organization and wants to actively support the change. In the COM division she created the Leadership2020@COM Team. Her motto: be a part of the change rather than let yourself be changed.

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