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News-Details

2019

 

A warm Welcome and a big Thank you

First the welcome: I am happy to announce that Dr. Godehard Nentwig has joined ENGENCE as a co-owner. We both worked together for quite some time in the past designing engineering leadership trainings. Godehard has extensive experience in building and rebuilding engineering and research organizations in different industries. His last assignment was as a head of development center for BSH home appliances. He is an excellent analytical thinker, a very good teacher and strategist. In short it’s fun to work with him.

The “Thank you” is for all our clients and their employees. We enjoyed working with you. The hard work and the trustful collaboration you put into it made all the difference.

Looking back we can see a shift in the topics we worked on last year. Systems Engineering became a more important part of our work. 10 years of economic expansion and continuous expansion of capacities have come to stop. In some areas competence silos have developed. They tend to optimize subsystems and components instead of optimizing the overall system.

The integration of products into net based eco-systems increases the complexity of products and services. To enable a total system optimization in this environment means to start by building up competences in function orientation, establishing a common language, system hierarchy as well as roles and organizing the collaboration. Longterm focus is on implementing robust architectures, establishing a hierarchical complexity management and maintaining the architecture.

In our second focus field which includes competence build up of engineering leaders and specialists we have seen new trends. Product conformity with laws and regulations gained more importance due to the ever increasing regulation density. More and more companies establish “Design for X” methodologies to cope with this trend.

A lot of work ahead and we are looking forward to it.

 

Making wise decisions

Every day we make thousands of decisions, most of them completely unconscious and fortunately of little consequence. Leaders report that they also have to make "big" decisions in ever shorter time and under high pressure. There is no time for rational thinking through and weighing up all the advantages and disadvantages, because otherwise, for example, competitors will overtake them. Findings from neuroscience help to make decisions with maximum awareness.

Simplified decision-making processes follow the pattern of "perceiving a complex situation - evaluating - acting/deciding". Perception and evaluation take place largely unconsciously, often within a few milliseconds. The sticking point here is that we often do not evaluate the current situation itself, but a similar situation from the past. This earlier information has been memorized as a so-called somatic marker, i.e. body reactions such as sweating hands, shivers, hereditary pallor, etc.. Antonio Damasio, a Portuguese neuroscientist who introduced the concept, separates the terms "emotion" (caused by the current situation) and "feeling" (caused by learned somatic markers).

For a wise decision, feelings and reason (i.e. the evaluation of the real situation) should fit together. To do this, we need to learn how to read our own somatic markers. It takes a little time, but it is a sustainable investment. Sleep has also been shown to help link both. Another neuroscientist, Gerhard Roth, has investigated this. His recommendation: "Sleep on it for at least one night, then decide".