Living a culture of innovation
At Siemens Energy, our people shape our business with their dedication and creativity. We sat down with three leaders to talk about how they bring innovation to work and how we empower everyone who joins Siemens Energy to bring their own ideas and energy forward.
Innovation is at the heart of our business. It drives our continual improvement and characterizes us as leaders in the market. “I believe that our culture is driven by the whole topic of energy, and this is reflected in the people we hire,” says Miriam Schmid, Head of Talent Acquisition Global Operations, who is based in Munich, Germany.
We don’t take this positive energy for granted. As a global energy technology company, we know it is vitally important to nurture creativity, and the opportunity to bring in your own ideas and have your voice listened to is a great source of pride and motivation for our people.
“There’s very much an ‘It’s okay to fail’ culture today,” says David Meadows, Engineering Operations Manager in our Transmission division, based in Manchester in the UK. “The positivity, the feeling that people are empowered, is very important. It’s core to everything we do.”
“We are energized by what we do.”Miriam Schmid, Head of Talent Acquisition Global Operations
Good innovation requires a hands-on approach
While there are tangible outputs of innovation, such as measurable efficiency gains, a culture of innovation is an intangible good that’s not easily pinned down. Nor does it develop automatically just by getting a lot of smart people in the same room. At Siemens Energy, we foster a trusting environment in which people can speak openly and honestly.
“It’s about the feeling that this is an innovative team that welcomes new ideas, welcomes feedback, and welcomes a challenge,” says Rob Houghton, who is Head of High Performance and also based in Manchester. “We discuss things openly, and I never go in with a pre-planned solution” Rob adds.
“Some of the best ideas we’ve implemented have come from that collaborative approach, and from being honest with each other.”Rob Houghton, Head of High Performance
From nice idea to best practice
We not only have the awareness of how crucial new thinking is – equally important is the ability to act on new ideas promptly and develop them into something useful. That’s why we offer multiple channels for nurturing and managing innovation. Take Kickbox, for example, our companywide innovation forum where employees can act as CEOs of their ideas and pitch them to senior managers acting as investors, who may then decide to fund them for further development.
“Going through Kickbox has been the most transformative experience of my career,” says Abbas Naqvi, a Technical Team Lead based in Erlangen, Germany. “I have learned a lot and expanded my boundaries by networking with diverse talents from across Siemens Energy.”
“Lots of people have great ideas but don’t necessarily want to develop those ideas into a business plan or case,” says David. “Helping them through that stage typically gets ideas up and running much quicker.”
Often, what's needed most is time – the chance to step back from daily routines. “Time is the finite thing that we have,” says Rob. “We really encourage people to spend time on the business – and not just in it.”
Whether they are graduates, doctoral students, or apprentices, all new employees come to Siemens Energy with a willingness to try new things and add new ideas to the business. For us, it’s vitally important that they have the freedom to express themselves.