WEF 2019: Future world of work on the global agenda
The new digital force from East Asia
China: a new hotspot for innovations
Whether Scrum, Design Thinking, Lean Start-up or Job Crafting – countless approaches and methods promise more agile project management, more creativity and more efficient development of products. Keeping track of them all is not that easy. When it comes to introducing new agile working methods, it’s crucial to take the special features of the various departments within a company into account and not to neglect anyone.
The world’s leading politicians, entrepreneurs and scientists have recognized the huge social significance of the future world of work.
This recently became clear again at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which centered on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As the future world of work and the associated changes have long been a topic of my own special interest, this year’s WEF was particularly exciting for me. (more…)
Shortly after the CES in Las Vegas, it was time for BAU 2019 in Munich, Germany. The contrast between these leading exhibitions for the electronics and building industries couldn’t be greater, yet the Performance Materials team and I feel totally at home in both sectors. After all, our technologies are used not only in computer chips or smartphone displays. Architects also rely on our products in different applications.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is meanwhile THE mecca for all tech fans. Whether networked cars, 8K televisions or smart voice assistants – no other exhibition offers a better picture of what our daily lives will look like in the near future. We were also present, showcasing our innovative specialty chemicals products that are needed for high-performance computer chips and high-resolution displays, among other things.
When it comes to the digital world, Silicon Valley is defining the present. But the future of the digital world is being created in China. Over the past several years, China has developed at lightning speed into one of the world’s leading hot spots for innovation – particularly in the digital economy. (more…)
China is a major innovation hotspot and one of our most important growth markets. Therefore, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will continue to invest in China and strengthen its collaboration with local companies, startups, and research institutes. Only recently, we have announced to establish a new innovation hub in Guangzhou with which we will provide a strong platform for us and our partners to drive innovation in China.
China is making great efforts to open up its economy. An important milestone along China’s path of trade liberalization is the China International Import Expo (CIIE) I attended last week. The expo in Shanghai was the first-ever import-themed expo in China and aimed to actively open the Chinese market to the world.
Innovation and China – these two words match perfectly since China is continuously developing its economy at a very fast pace. Over the recent years, we have seen a rapid transformation from a labor-intensive to an innovation-driven economy. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has strengthened its activities in China to be embedded into the local innovation ecosystem to shape the future industry development with our partners. (more…)
Digitalization is reputed to cost jobs. Many people see robots and artificial intelligence as a threat to their jobs. Unfortunately, public debate does not focus nearly enough on the employment opportunities that new digital technologies can offer older people or people with physical disabilities. Nor do we hear about how it can make the day-to-day work of many employees easier. Here’s my argument in favor of embracing technology. (more…)
Whether Skype, cloud solutions or collaborative intranets – the digital office is here to stay. At the same time, the digital transformation is also forging ahead into industrial production. (more…)
Managing global teams – spread all over the world in different time zones; new and much closer collaboration with external and internal partners; new ways of communication and collaboration enabled by new technological possibilities. The changes in our working environment have many and very different faces.
From smartphone to Smart Home: Technological progress will change not only the way we communicate, but also how we live and furnish our homes. In the Performance Materials business sector at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, we are intensively exploring innovations that could someday be part of the standard furnishings within our own four walls.
Digital change is already impacting daily life in a variety of ways. People are using increasingly sophisticated smartphones and taking them everywhere they go. As a manufacturer of liquid crystals, which made the flat displays and brilliant images of smartphones possible in the first place, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has played a defining role in this trend.
As a result of digital transformation, we’re increasingly working across national borders and department boundaries. Globalization is making intercultural collaboration more and more important: This is the only way for companies to make the best use of their employees’ expertise, whether functional or local.
Companies that want to thrive in the digital age must prepare their employees for the new challenges that lie ahead. That’s because the skills required in the new working world are changing dramatically.
In the new world of work, shaped by the opportunities provided by digitalization, life-long learning becomes more and more important. Future innovations will not be driven by technology alone, but particularly by the people using the technology, and the way they work with each other.
Digital transformation and its impact on the new world of work are slowly but surely changing existing hierarchical structures in companies. This is because greater flexibility and agility are often at odds with classic organizational models and traditional leadership behavior.
Regardless of when the next German federal government is formed, one of its most important tasks will be setting the course for digital Transformation. The need for a high-capacity infrastructure with a well-developed broadband network is just as great as that to clarify legal issues regarding data protection, IT security, and contract and liability law.