The location of the Deloitte LeadIn Event was an inspiration in itself. BRLO Browhouse is made of four used shipping containers and stylishly designed. As delicious beer and food was passed around Thomas Sattelberger got ready to hold a passionate speech.
The newly elected politician to the Bundestag is member of the FDP (Free Democratic Party), a party known for pushing the digital economy agenda in their election campaign. It’s in the party’s DNA, the digital economy means freedom and progress to them. Thomas Sattelberger is 68 years old and spoke with self-reflection about his journey as a leader in various positions and as a board member in DAX companies.
He also gave an overview of why leadership in german companies is so glaringly homogenous: two-thirds of top managers in Germany studied law or economics. Only 4% of german top managers ever created their own business.
Diversity is one of Thomas Sattelberger’s big topics. But when he talks about diversity it’s not just the male - female divide inleadership positions, it’s also about the diversity in thought and ideas. If the majority of your leaders come from the same background, as in Germany, you’ll find it hard to foster innovation.
And Sattelberger was not only taking on old-school leadership, he also said: “Old companies have a right to die.” According to him, there are four dimensions necessary for the German digital economy to thrive and shed the load of too big too fail coporations:
Participation, Sovereignty, Diversity and Direction
Thomas Sattelberger’s strong views led straight into a passionate discussion with Niki Kolev from Partner Deloitte Digital, before the crowd turned its attention on some more BRLO IPA Beer.