Working passionately towards smart technology culture
The resilience of Kristin Lange has turned out to be a crucial asset as she has been managing complex projects and co-leading the digital transformation at Wärtsilä.
Kristin joined Wärtsilä Germany in 2009 and took soon after that a step forward in her career as she became a Project Manager for Wärtsilä’s turnkey customer delivery projects. “In this role, I spent several years managing projects with a high degree of complexity for Wärtsilä SAM Electronics and Wärtsilä Entertainment Systems. I loved the job for the close customer contact – understanding and solving these people’s needs – as well as the great project teams I got to lead,” Kristin describes her first positions in the company.
The years as a Project Manager helped Kristin to grow professionally and she learned quickly how important good communication and leadership skills are in her job. She has always paid attention to carefully building the team spirit – and consequently, has got to work with teams that are ready to go the extra mile to meet their joint ambitions. “In this role, I also realised that strong communication or leadership skills alone won't make you successful, since the success has a lot to do with the mindset you approach your daily challenges with. Having the right mindset is essential for building strong and trustful relationships with your team and with the customer.”
As Kristin started to investigate the power of mindset, she got interested in the company culture. “Companies are often very target-driven, and I realised that the overall mindset of the people plays an important role in achieving the joint targets. So, I wanted to do my part in this respect and ensure we have the smart technology culture mindset planted in our people’s heads. That’s how I became a driver of culture transformation and I’m very happy about my new Transformation Manager role where I started earlier in 2019.”
Driving transformation sounds like a trivial job but Kristin feels that a generally positive attitude towards change within Wärtsilä paves the way. This positive attitude Kristin got to witness for example when she initiated a digital transformation and culture change event in Hamburg. “The panel discussion triggered a long-lasting and inspirational discussion within the company. It turned out to be a kick-off event for accelerating the digital culture transformation here in our Hamburg office. That made me very happy and a little proud,” Kristin tells about some of the success steps so far.
In addition to colleagues’ support, Kristin’s personal strengths are helping her when working. “Co-workers and friends have told me that I’m empathetic, good at staying calm and solution-oriented in critical situations. They’ve also given me feedback that I’m good at considering multiple perspectives. I’ve found all these attributes useful when managing the customer deliveries as well as now when planting the smart technology culture seeds in the organisation. But as we know, understanding and listening is not enough but they need to be complemented with communication skills that I’ve developed throughout the years,” Kristin tells.
The work with smart technology culture only intensifies in the upcoming years, and Kristin is very much looking forward to seeing future solutions – following the company’s purpose of enabling sustainable societies. “Personally, I identify strongly with our purpose and with the collaborative and empowering culture. I find it important that our strategy has had, for years, its base in increasing customer value. We have so many smart and focused colleagues who work on great ideas, solutions and projects – which makes it highly possible for Wärtsilä to come up with some disruptive business models in the next few years. That’s the excitement spicing up my daily working environment,” Kristin says, enjoying the fact that she can personally contribute in taking the company, and the people within it, forward in this transformation journey.
“I have experienced how transformation processes actually help you grow and that there is no need to be afraid of change. I’m enjoying that now I get to take this learning to others; working closely with our people, I get to help them grow,” Kristin tells and continues: “There is plenty of potential in all Wärtsilians and that is needed to reach our strategic targets. Driving forward the smart technology culture makes me feel that I have a valuable role in this journey, and I can live up to our purpose with my daily actions”.