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Working Out Loud at Bosch

Five questions for Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH

Mr. Kübel, what persuaded you to become sponsor of the initiative "Working Out Loud @ Bosch"?

As working in networks and using digital opportunities are key skills for all of us in the digital age, Working Out Loud (WOL) is something that is important to me. And these skills are also very important for Bosch. WOL Circles are a hands-on method to acquire these skills. I am impressed by the speed with which the topic has spread within Bosch and by how positive the worldwide feedback is. I am told again and again that the method enthuses and surprises associates with completely different backgrounds because it is so versatile and yet simple. And finally I have been asked to take over the sponsorship in such a charming way, that I was very willing to accept.

What does Working Out Loud mean for you personally?

Personally, for me Working Out Loud means to collaborate virtually in a network and to be open for sharing my knowledge and learning from others.

Therefore, Working Out Loud stands for a mindset that we urgently need in a connected world. And here I don’t think only about associates like developers, IT guys and marketeers, but also about direct employees that work together in manufacturing networks across countries and divisions.

What is the significance of Working Out Loud and of the Working Out Loud Circle method for Bosch and its associates worldwide?

Bosch is in the middle of a fundamental transformation process. Digital change does not only affect our markets but also our working environment. In order to shape the connected world successfully, we need to collaborate across all borders, to support and to learn from each other. And it is not only a question of technology but much more of mindset. It is important for us that associates from all levels, functions and cultures contribute with their ideas and their expertise. Only together can we exploit the opportunities of the connected world.

Working Out Loud supports us in this development. The Working Out Loud Circle method offers associates an opportunity to experience network-based collaboration and to further develop this skill, independent from their hierarchical level. Thereby, the method supports a learning culture that we need for our change at Bosch.

Finally, I like about WOL that it fits perfectly to our new leadership principles. Giving and seeking feedback is a crucial pillar of WOL. Within the board of management, I took over responsibility for the We Lead Bosch principle „We seek and give feedback, and lead with trust, respect, and empathy.” I think it is essential for us that each and everybody develops this further.

In addition to WOL, you also patronize many different networking projects within Bosch. Why do you consider networks to be so important in this day and age?

I am strongly convinced that we can only develop connected products if we have associates that are well-connected and work naturally within networks.

Bosch’s biggest asset are our associates with their knowledge, their experiences and their competencies. To benefit from this asset, we need a close collaboration in networks and the willingness and active contribution of everybody to share their knowledge and to support others.

What are your concrete plans on supporting the initiative “Working Out Loud @ Bosch“?

First and foremost, I want to show with my sponsorship that we do support bottom-up initiatives at Bosch if they add value for our associates and our company. Working Out Loud fits perfectly to my own tasks and topics around the future of work, also known as New Work, so that I can play a part here. I am convinced that there is huge potential in WOL for our company that we can exploit.

For further information on Working Out Loud at Bosch click here .

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 402,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2017). The company generated sales of 78.1 billion euros in 2017. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology.

As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 64,500 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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