Lone Roervig: In what kind of change process(es) have you been involved?
Christine Schönfelder: I have been involved in several change processes. The formation of the joint venture Styrolution, which was founded in October 2011, as certainly the biggest, the most challenging and most exciting.
Lone Roervig: What was your role during the change process?
Christine Schönfelder: I joined the company March 2011, so half a year before the JV was founded. I was brought on board in order to build up communications from scratch, including investor relations, public relations, marketing communications, advocacy, online, crisis, internal and change ommunications – a function that as such was non-existent at that point. As part of the extended management board my role was to bring the communication erspective to the table, to demonstrate the need for communication, position Styrolution externally and build one team internally.
Lone Roervig: Was there a common understanding and acceptance of the communication perspective?
Christine Schönfelder: There was a general excellent agreement about the strategies and scope of the work. I designed and presented the strategies for the different fields of communications, discussed them in the board and/or with respective stakeholders and then implemented them.
Lone Roervig: What would you say, was the most challenging part throughout a change process?
Christine Schönfelder: I would not say one specific part was more challenging than the other – it was rather the multitude of things at once and the speed with which we went about with a lean team. In the beginning you could compare it with “Building a plane while it is taking off” – the whole process was challenging and great experience.
Lone Roervig: How did you cope with it?
Christine Schönfelder: The process in itself was motivating for me, and this is needed in such a process – a lot of determination and passion for change. Styrolution has a great and energetic team - it’s the people that are great to work with no matter the task.
Lone Roervig: Retaining talent could be one of the most important missions during such a change process – what did your company do, to retain the talent?
Christine Schönfelder: From the perspective of communications we strongly focussed on employer branding and transparent communication from day one in order to mitigate insecurity that is naturally inherent in all change processes. That involved enabling a clear understanding on our company’s vision, objectives, values, strategy and constant information on individual implementation measures. Integral communication and consistent messages internally and externally throughout all channels is key, not only from the communication department, but from top management and middle management. Saying what you do and doing what you say.
Lone Roervig: With your today’s experience and looking back at the change process, would you do anything different?
Christine Schönfelder: There is certainly no “one right way”, but I don’t think we could have done anything different within the same level of resources. We have built up a strong, reliable brand in the market and one team internally. I think we can be very happy with the result, how we drove the change. Our business results certainly prove that.
Lone Roervig: Is there anything you took away from the changing process?
Christine Schönfelder: In general, a successful process is so dependent on people and their ability and willingness to embrace change. It’s about giving the people a sense of purpose. Building up communications from scratch and driving the company’s identity and positioning with all stakeholder groups was an opportunity and privilege.
For more information please contact
Regional Practice Group Leader, MEA – Life Sciences
Regional Service Group Leader, MEA - Human Capital Solutions
SpenglerFox are pleased to announce a strategic alliance with Cowley Brown Recruitment which will see both companies look to grow and expand their retained executive search business in Ireland. Cowley Brown is based in Dublin with a mix of retained and contingency search business mainly in the Irish healthcare sector and as a consequence, also in the UK and Middle East. SpenglerFox is a leading retained global Search & HR services firm, with Irish heritage, across multiple territories serving both the mature and emerging markets. This new alliance will target the retained executive search business in the Irish market with an initial focus on C-suite roles in Life Sciences and related sectors, but will also create an opportunity for Cowley Brown to engage with SpenglerFox jointly on assignments in other countries around the globe. Through this strategic alliance both companies will bring considerable added value to their respective domestic and international clients, Cowley Brown having successfully built up a considerable local footprint in Ireland and SpenglerFox having a strong international brand as a retained executive search expert, with a wide international reach for sourcing the best talent for their clients. Jens Friedrich, CEO of SpenglerFox, added ‘’Following our Management Buy Out in 2017 we have been focussing on increasing our specialised expert industry knowledge as well as expanding our geographical reach and Ireland has been a priority market on our radar. We are delighted to form this new alliance with Ken and his Team at Cowley Brown. Such an alliance will give SpenglerFox the executive search exposure in the ever improving Irish market, while also continuing to strengthen our Life Sciences practice and serving our international clients who are expanding into the Irish economy.‘’ Ken Cowley, Director of Cowley Brown, is very excited about this new alliance for his firm, and says; ‘’We feel this was the perfect time for us to strike this arrangement with the team at SpenglerFox due to the continuing growth in the Irish economy and our own growth over the last 12-18 months. We have seen an ever increasing demand from our clients for assistance in helping to fill key C-Suite roles, so we are very much looking forward to the prospect of tapping in to the resourcing strength, market-specific expertise, and the global reach that our new business colleagues at SpenglerFox will provide. Also, we feel that the values of our two organisations are highly aligned, with a massive level of enthusiasm for finding top talent and for putting our clients at the centre of everything we do.’’ Both companies feel that there continues to be significant opportunities in the Irish market, as both FDI and indigenous Irish companies continue to expand. The combined set of strengths of both teams, as well as the level and quality of existing contacts and candidate-reach, means that ambitious targets are being set by the new strategic alliance, and both companies are very much looking forward to an exciting future, collaborating on multiple assignments together, both in Ireland and internationally in the best interest of our respective clients.
The Budapest Business Journal – Book of Lists 2018/2019 is an industry guide unique to Hungary and provides company data of 2,500 of the largest companies in more than 70 fields. We are pleased to share that SpenglerFox ranked 3rd amongst Executive Search firms in Hungary. I am delighted once again by this recognition of our services to the Hungarian market. Since our Budapest office first opened in 2005 we have been continuously identifying the very best senior executive talent for our clients businesses. As we now enter the second year of our MBO in 2017 our team in Budapest is continuing to grow and our Research team strengthened to further support our client and candidates as they evolve. Jens Friedrich, CEO
Delighted to gather our entire company in Frankfurt one year post our MBO for two packed days of relationship building, learning and fun. Since our MBO in July 2017 this was the first All Staff event, there was an incredible atmosphere and energy, we certainly needed the energy to help us through the networking, workshops and of course the party! No event is ever complete without an award ceremony, so we presented our staff with more than 10 years tenure travel vouchers, we’re really proud that 50% of our Foxes have been with SpenglerFox between 5 and 14 years! Damien Stork, Chris Beedle and Dan Godsall from Chamonix Hard Cross joined us on day two to take us through their Personal Eco System program. Showing and reminding us why our environment, sleep, exercise and nutrition can help our mental performance, and find more time for that work/life balance. It was great to get the family together once again, so many friendships strengthened, already looking forward to the next. Jens Friedrich, CEO.