Sehr interessantes Interview mit Johann Jungwirth von Volkswagen über Digital Leadership und notwendige Firmenkultur.
Our survey data ‚Growth Mindset: Automotive Leadership in Disruptive Times‘ show the automotive industry is rapidly evolving from hardware-led to software-led. Yet, half of the respondents say that leadership and culture do not align with this future model. What is your perspective here?
Jungwirth: Clearly, the automotive and mobility industry needs to and will develop from hardware-companies to vertically deeply integrated hardware, software and services groups. Software and services organizations require a different digital leadership and culture, fostering an agile, open, innovative and data-driven work environment. I expect these functions to be also represented on Board of Management level, as we know it from tech companies.
In exploring the best ways of achieving convergence, the majority of OEM and Tier 1 respondents think that hardware and software teams working together (outside their comfort zones) is the best approach. What is your view?
Jungwirth: Cross-functional projects and project houses working in agile teams are keys to success. In addition user-centricity and an iterative approach in the development process with a strong focus on design thinking and customer centricity are equally important.
Adopting and cultivating a digital culture starts at the top. What are you/is Volkswagen doing to accelerate digital understanding to manage cultural and competitive challenges?
Jungwirth: First of all, we lead by example with our digital units, digital labs and Future Centers. My leadership team and I have, just as one example, no offices, we just have a desk in the open space with all employees. We encourage and demonstrate eye-level cooperation and accessibility and remove hierarchy barriers. In addition we have also built up great digital organizations in all brands and organizations, and have established a great communication and quick decision-making process. Our CDO community across the organization is driving the digital transformation.
Do you think it is business critical for a leader to have a so-called ‚Silicon Valley mindset‘ – i.e. Risk taking, learning from failure, iterative innovation, customer engagement and fast-paced decision-making. What is your view?
Jungwirth: Absolutely. It is critical to be competitive and achieve the business results, but it is also important in order to attract the right talent and become a successful digital leader. In addition, it is crucial to have the right vision with a higher purpose and to think big and exponentially.
For almost 10 years you had been working in Silicon Valley. In your view: How can the major competitive advantages of a tech company like Apple i.e. a) processes, b) culture, c) agility, d) communication style, be replicated in a new-era automotive company?
Jungwirth: We need a similar structure and culture as tech companies, with a strong focus on software and services, in addition to the hardware, based on new exponential enabling technologies, as well as on agile and cross-functional collaboration. Design thinking, obsessing over the customer experience and making data-based decisions are key ingredients for the future success of automotive and mobility companies.
Many automotive companies are on a global transformation journey to create a digital workforce. In your view, how can digital awareness be leveraged to create a common mindset and drive momentum?
Jungwirth: We have two approaches for this with the dual transformation. Transformation of the core business with a focus on digital training and awareness, focusing on data, analytics, using digital and AI to improve business processes. On the other hand the disruptive innovation organized in new digital units which are actually born digital with the right mindset, leadership and approach.