Denkwerkstatt für Manager

Geschwill & Nieswandt

7th Symposium: measure & evaluate

On May 13, 2017, 20 innovative managers from business and administration met for the 7th symposium of the "Denkwerkstatt for Managers" in Mannheim. The managing directors Dr. Martina Nieswandt and Dr. Roland Geschwill had invited again. And, as in previous years, there were again intensive discussions - this year the topic was "measure & evaluate".

The event kicked off with a presentation by Roland Geschwill. He took on Peter Drucker and his quote "You can't manage what you can't measure" - not an easy moment for the Drucker fan community. "Working with numbers always has something to do with emotions. But that doesn't mean you can't act with numbers. The decisive factor is how you work with them," said Roland Geschwill afterwards, stimulating the intensive discussion.

Jens Thomas, performance artist and jazz pianist, got participants thinking a lot with his talk on "What is a goal, anyway?" 

Accordingly, the following discussion revolved around the flexibility of (proper) goals.

The psychologist Andreas Pfeiffer, consultant of the "Denkwerkstatt for managers", dedicated himself to "Measuring in a complex world, trends in companies". 

He explored the questions of whether measurement is unnecessary and how to evaluate measurement. The participants then discussed whether and what speaks against assessment.

"Predicting human performance - a myth?" was the question explored by business psychologist Claudio Thunsdorff, also a consultant from "Denkwerkstatt for Managers". He spoke about diagnostics and human resources work in times of digitalization. For this, he showed the historical changes and approaches since the advent of diagnostics and also presented various tests used by international companies. In the discussion, the participants noted that there is an urgent need for a discus on assessment in companies.

Dr. Martina Nieswandt showed what performance measurements look like at Google and Co. and which target systems are used. In doing so, she questioned some basic assumptions about performance and its distribution, on which virtually all performance evaluation systems are based today. The discussion then turned to whether Google's approach is also suitable for German companies, which tend to be skeptical and error-oriented.

The event was concluded with a presentation by systemic family therapist Katrin Thomas, who looked at the topic of "valuing" from a completely different perspective by exploring the question of what effects valuations have on the child and the later adult. For although "evaluation" also includes "value," many often associate it with devaluation. An appropriate corporate culture, on the other hand, can increase self-worth. And so the circle from the beginning of the event was closed. The participants were again treated to culinary delights from the Palatinate cuisine by Andreas Stolze, owner of Party Planners.

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