Germany: Executives doubt the adaptability of their companies

German executives apparently have little confidence in the adaptability of their companies. This was the result of a qualitative survey of 126 companies, which the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and Organization carried out on behalf of the personnel consultancy Rochus Mummert and which is available to SPIEGEL.

According to this, almost 70 percent of the managing directors, divisional managers and shareholders surveyed are partially or completely dissatisfied with the digital transformation of their company. The authors of the study write that there is a lack of openness, speed, participation, willingness to experiment and a willingness to take risks.

This has an impact on current challenges in the corona crisis. Competencies that are currently particularly central – such as collaboration and communication over a distance or the handling of data – were classified by the respondents in terms of importance rather “in the lower ranks”.

Backlog in corporate culture

Only a quarter of managers believe that their company can quickly develop a new business model if the old one is threatened or new opportunities arise. The managers also see a need to catch up in corporate culture. Less than 30 percent believe that their company can attract and retain creative employees. 44 percent stated that transformation efforts often fail because the company structure is too static. Almost as many see an opportunity for serious change only when “certain people have left the company”.

In the years of economic growth, many companies have become sluggish, believes personnel consultant Peter Horndasch from Rochus Mummert, “but in the past it was often crises that ultimately triggered the necessary transformation processes”.

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