Changing Landscapes: Rethink Digitalisation and New Work


Last week an exclusive women network organised by Linklaters came together to discuss the most pressing themes and to get inspired by great innovative ideas. The following two key themes were discussed:


New Work: Needs of employees and the demand of  a modern working environment


Changing Landscapes: Digitalisation and personalisation throughout different industries

Building up Employee Experience

Dr Jan Wehinger, Associated Partner of MHP – A Porsche Company, talked in his impulse session about the topic new work. The MHPLab in Berlin is working on practical approaches for a successful implementation of digitalisation and new business models using the Scrum method. So, how are people working together? In Jan’s opinion the trend towards individualisation and self-realisation contributes to new concepts in the work environment. Therefore, it is important to focus on employee experience.

Linklaters 2018

Jan pointed out four areas where new work concepts can be developed:

  1. Office Space: Create a working place in which employees feel happy and comfortable
  2. Tools & Technologies: Which technologies and tools should my employees be working with?
  3. Process & Structure: Which targets do my employees have?
  4. Culture: With new concepts the culture of the company will further develop and indirectly be influenced

New Work: Practical Example

A practical example of the MHPLab was discussed  as well – an internal navigation app for employees. This app is focusing on the allocation of a workplace within Porsche for an employee who is not in the office.

“But how is that going to work if you have employees that are against such a concept?”

The app will be first tested with a selected group of employees who will act later as a multiplier. New concepts will always bring general skepticism and therefore it is important to roll out the app with employees who are supporting these digital concepts.

Changing Landscapes: Big Data and Individualisation

Today, it is all about collecting and processing data. Many people do not like what is happening with their data. Nonetheless, most share large parts of their very personal life on social media. Most data is, however, collected on an abstract basis to better profile customer needs. Younger generations consider it absolutely normal that their data is collected and analysed. Why is it all about the data?

“Data has become the new currency.”

Linklaters 2018

Dr Julia Schönbohm, Partner at Linklaters provided examples from different industries, how data is collected and used for various businesses. Modern products and services are increasingly customised. Offers are tailored to their customers who are therefore no longer exposed to information that do not match the profile. This increases the gaps between social groups and creates parallel universes. What are the consequences?

  1. A real innovation boom. The data that got collected gets analysed. Conclusions are drawn that could not be drawn in the past. This can be seen, in particular, in the pharma sector with numerous new blockbuster drugs and personalised treatments.
  2. Isolated “hubs” in society because everything gets filtered and tailored.

Brexit: Is the European society falling apart?

Kirstin Schwedt, Partner at Linklaters raised the political aspects of the general individualisation trend. Countries that had decided to become part of something bigger now want to be on their own again. Brexit is a dramatic example of the consequences such a trend can have once spotted and used by politicians. Increasing gaps between social groups (e. g. people living in the city or in the countryside, rich and poor) are one possible explanation to this phenomenon, together with the increasing complexity and speed of information flow and life in general. Tailored and filtered newsfeeds can create parallel realities and hinder communication between the different members of society.

“Bystander or Change-maker?”

The guests were invited to discuss what their respective organisations and each of them personally can do to positively influence the development, and how to welcome new neighbours from the UK in Germany and implement Brexit without creating new gaps in society.

Besides meeting numerous successful women, the exclusive women network event ended with open fruitful discussions about these themes.

We would like to thank our partner Linklaters that organised this must-attend female event. We are eager to hear your thoughts and suggestions and to also welcome you as part of the GFL network.

Reflections on Diversity, Parity and Equality

In the exclusive interview with Martina Macpherson, speaker at the Global Female Leaders 2018, we are celebrating women's achievements but also discussing past developments and key equality issues. How do you achieve constant positive performance with gender diverse teams? And most importantly, how will the female workforce change in future?

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