Since April 2019, Tanja and Frank Ninnemann are equal shareholders and managing directors of the training- and consulting company, Machwürth Team International (MTI). The freelance journalist, Andrej Winter, spoke with them about their plans and intentions.
Tanja and Frank, since several weeks you belong, alongside the company founders, Sabine and Hans-Peter Machwürth, to the executive board of MTI. What are your primary tasks in this team?
Frank Ninnemann: I see one of my key functions in expanding MTI‘s market position on the basis of digital transformation – for example through the development and implementation of new consulting approaches and sustainable tools, both in the area of training and in the accompaniment of change projects.
And you, Tanja?
Tanja Ninnemann: Due to my twenty years of experience in marketing and sales, I will see to it that MTI‘s national and international sales are set up in such a way that we can meet the demands of this digital age. Furthermore, I will assume management of shared services at MTI’s headquarters, because of the immense role that high quality and the appropriate standards play in project implementation for our customers.
Rethinking the company
It sounds as if the topic of digitalisation or digital transformation plays a central role in your work.
Frank Ninnemann: Yes, of course! It would be fatal to assume that digital transformation stops at personnel- and organisation development. It will change it all permanently, as we have witnessed it in the past in recruiting. This development already started twenty years ago, when I was still the director of the management development department at Phillips Academy. Back then already, the larger enterprises increasingly laid emphasis on Blended Learning concepts and on setting up a large part of their specialist training on electronic platforms. In the past five, six years this movement gained massive momentum – also because service providers in companies are often digital natives.
Tanja Ninnemann: This similarly relates to the topic of agility and working in the VUCA world. It also calls for radical rethinking in a company. Not only does the responsibility for personnel development increasingly shift to the operational level; companies must also ensure that learning becomes a natural part of everyday life. Thus the experts in the field of personnel development must in turn provide the necessarily modern tools and methods – for example in the form of learning nuggets or any digital, further educational titbits, to which staff members have access everywhere and anytime.
MTI is equipped for the paradigm shift
Do you consider MTI as well equipped for this paradigm shift in personnel- and organisation development?
Frank Ninnemann (laughing): Yes, else we would not have been on board with MTI.
Tanja and Frank Ninnemann in front of the MTI headquarter in Visselhövede
In what way?
Frank Ninnemann: Well, MTI was, in my perception, one of the first, larger training- and consulting companies in the German-speaking countries, who intensively tackled the topic of digitalising further education and has been supporting electronic learning platform developers. In early days, they already integrated it into their training concepts largely, with webinars for example. Hence, today the expertise in this area is accordingly large and expandable.
Tanja Ninnemann: This also against the background that today it would not be possible any longer, to roll out large change- or transformation projects, often in numerous countries, without an appropriate digital infrastructure – for financial reasons, also due to the time duration. For this, the pressure on innovation or rather change is too large in most companies.
Digital competence is indispensable today
Must the over four hundred consultants, working for MTI worldwide, fear that they become redundant in the mid-term, because of replacement by online programmes or KI systems?
Frank Ninnemann (lachend): No, this is not a reasonable fear. Even if they may have to change their profiles partly or require higher digital competence. Nevertheless, especially when seeking to change mind-sets, meaning the attitudes and approaches of staff members, which is mostly the case in larger change- and transformation projects, face-to-face communication in presence-, -training and coaching workshops, for example, will remain indispensable – even if, for instance, several online video conferences take place for coordination.
An outlook on the next months
What may your clients expect in concrete measures and projects from the expanded MTI management board?
Frank Ninnemann: Together with our partner, Teambizz, we are working full steam, for example, on the further development of our tools for digital moderation, to be able to implement them even better customised to the specific needs, thus meeting the needs of the market more precisely.
Already in May we are taking the next step with one of our internationally positioned clients; we are cooperating with a French digital learning provider to design a complete new concept for a training programme, using several available digital possibilities, then to prepare it for the international rollout.
In addition, in May I will start drafting a project on the transformation 4.0, in which the holistic issues of personnel- and organisation development in the VUCA world will be targeted selectively.
Group picture of the MTI management board: Hans-Peter Machwürth, Sabine Machwürth, Tanja Ninnemann, Frank Ninnemann
What do you plan there exactly?
Frank Ninnemann: Here I have a very dynamic vision. We compile an interdisciplinary project team, consisting of internal staff members, as well as external consultants, who very agilely proceed to deal with the development and implementation of new consulting approaches and tools, for the area of training as well as for accompanying change projects. Our goal will be to, using digital tools or methods like Design Thinking, Scrum, Kanban, Review Canvas and others, depict the future of the working world in personnel- and organisation development and in a second step to gradually start implementing this, under consideration of concrete customer projects. Through the course of time we will keep reflecting, therefore keep further developing these approaches. I believe this would bring an enormous leap in competence, which our customers would directly benefit from. In addition, an intensive dialogue with those responsible for increasing the speed we need for digital transformation.
Exciting, I wish you all the best in this! Thank you for the conversation, Tanja and Frank!
Download the Interview with Tanja und Frank Ninnemann as PDF
Download the official press release about the expansion of the management board as PDF
Are you interested in more information about the Machwürth Team International and the new management board? Contact us, we appreciate your interest.