During a Marketing traineeship at the adidas Group, a post-graduate program for MA students, I got the chance to go through six different departments and work with a lot of interesting colleagues. This one-and-a-half-year experience helped me establish a great network with some awesome people who I try to keep up with in my new role in the Brand Marketing team of adidas Originals Market Central. I have always been open-minded, although maybe not the best networker, but at adidas people through all levels are incredibly open and down-to-earth which makes it relatively easy to approach coworkers and start your networking. This is not only due to our corporate culture, but also due to our office architecture that supports the idea of openness. adidas employees are diverse and multi-cultural which makes it even more interesting to exchanges views on different topics – not only work-related but also outside work. These relationships can be very enriching. In a nutshell, there is a great platform to connect with exciting people from around the world to learn and support each other.
So how to get started?
It’s been quite a while since I finished university and, to be honest, I had almost forgotten what it feels like to sit in an auditorium with fellow students and listen to a lecture. Therefore, I was really excited to accompany Jan Brecht, CIO of the adidas Group, to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg only a few days ago. Together with two of his senior managers, Ingo Winterhoff and Christian Martin, Jan held an exceptional lecture, providing insights into “New Retail Technologies”.
Normally, when creating a shoe, product creation teams take inspiration and general guidance from previous collections, while meeting specific current season needs. This time, we did it differently.
With the running design team, we started from the ground up and asked ourselves what exactly must be included in a shoe to make it functional and meet the athlete’s performance needs. Our approach was clear: think minimal. Include only those elements that are essential.
This is how this season’s Element Soul running shoe came to life.
In the course of this series I am meeting various successful women at the adidas Group who have successfully tackled hurdles and advanced their careers. This time I spoke to Beate Stoll, Director End User Computing at the adidas Group. I can tell you: Beate impressed me! She didn’t only impress me because she is in her current role instrumental in the creation of the Vision for the IT Workplace of the future and strategy for the adidas Group. She didn’t only do so because she has a team of 28 people located in three regions, overseeing the IT Workplace for 30,000+ employees worldwide. What impressed me even more is that Beate seems to be always open to change and brave enough to embrace it. Her motto is “change the things that you are able to change and accept the things that you can’t change but try to make the best out of it”. I find this approach very inspiring and interviewed her on various facets of change to understand what this mindset is all about.
Everyone would agree with me that good communication is key to a satisfactory work environment; with effective communication, many problems can be identified and solved before they escalate.
I have spent a total of 15 years working in the compliance area, 8 of which with the adidas Group. Based on my personal experience, and after hundreds of factory visits and assessments, I can say that one of the biggest challenges for our suppliers is to be able to ensure effective communication with all their workers.