Freedom, trial and error, and innovation
Serak reports on his activities in the Corporate Development department and reveals what he particularly likes about his work.
1. Describe your work in the Corporate Development department.
My work revolves around the topic of innovation, which we would like to anchor structurally and culturally in the K+S Group in order to facilitate long-term growth. We are currently collaborating with various specialist colleagues, external companies and partners in order to gain initial experience in the development of digital business models with the aid of agile innovation methods and processes. In addition, we will shortly be starting to develop an innovation strategy that will set out the significance, ambitions, and options for action for the K+S Group. The focus here is on improving customer experience, reducing complexity for our employees and developing new growth options that are made possible and supported by the use of digital technologies.
3. You have a very exciting and international career. Can you tell us more about it?
My career began with computer science studies. I have always been interested in the interface between IT and business. Even during my studies, I supported freelance companies as a developer and consultant. Then I developed a social network, which I licensed, implemented, and tested at K+S as part of my diploma thesis.
Even then, I particularly liked the fact that K+S gave me the freedom to try out new things, develop innovative approaches and implement ideas in projects.”
I have already worked in several areas of IT at K+S, so I was able to develop a broad spectrum of corporate and process knowledge. My experience is rounded off by my work abroad as IT Manager at Morton Salt in Chicago, where I worked for a total of five years.
4. You worked for five years at Morton Salt in Chicago. What similarities and differences did you notice with K+S here in Germany?
The foundations of the two organizations are very similar. They are both traditional companies with a history, so the cultural values are similar. However, the working structure and methods used are slightly different, although this cannot really be generalized. In Germany, people often rely on precision and planning reliability, so projects need more time. Morton Salt, on the other hand, relies on pragmatism and speed. As soon as a solution has been developed, it is put into practice according to the motto: "Roll up your sleeves and get to it". The advantage of this is that decisions can be made quickly, flexibility in projects is increased and work becomes very dynamic. However, precision and planning reliability can also suffer. That's why we should all learn from each other, and we have to promote international exchange even more.
5. How would you describe the corporate climate?
In any case, collegiality is the main focus. There is a lot of potential in K+S, which is now unfolding more and more. The acquisitions of K+S Chile and Morton Salt gave K+S a very international profile, which is also reflected in the corporate culture. Rigid structures are being broken down and the potential for innovation is being exploited. In recent years, K+S has become more courageous for new changes, which of course makes my field of activity all the more interesting.
6. What do you wish for your future career at K+S?
My career to date has been strongly marked by new challenges, working with internal and external partners and exciting topics that often have an international character. I hope that I can continue to live out all these aspects and at the same time help to drive forward the transformation of the company, so that a "win-win situation" can continue, so to speak.
Thank you for the interview.