That new cupboard over there. It's been repaired, sanded, and painted by Anna. She loves creating things with her hands. In her spare time, she paints pictures, papers the walls in her home or even builds her own furniture. “I love seeing results,” she says. Not just in her spare time, but also in her job: Anna is a Senior Manager in the Strategy department at ZEISS.
Launching products in new markets, evaluating new business models or devising Group-wide strategic initiatives – Anna works with her colleagues on ZEISS' strategic focus. Analyzing the market and ZEISS' competitors is just as much a part of her job as preparing strategy workshops with the Executive Board. In all these tasks, she needs to apply her skills in giving structure to abstract issues and solving logical problems. “My job isn't just a matter of strategic projects – it's the people involved in the decisions who really count. What are their opinions and goals? Who's impacted and how can we include their considerations? How can we inspire and include every single person? In my job I am also a facilitator.”
Anna and her team deal with ZEISS-specific questions as well as geopolitical developments and their consequences for ZEISS. Anna works in an international and interdisciplinary team that responds to these kinds of issues. This is precisely what she likes so much about her job: “Within each project, I work with new colleagues from different departments and international sites. They all bring their unique expertise to the table. So I'm always getting to know ZEISS from new perspectives.” But one thing above all else is important to her here: “At the end of the day, all the strategic work is about the products and solutions ZEISS develops for its customers – sometimes indirectly so, but often very directly.” This is why the team can often be found in the places where the products are used – operating rooms, for example. Anna reckons this change of perspective – from the desk to the product's natural environment – creates the necessary link to reality.
At the end of the day, all the strategic work is about the products and solutions ZEISS develops for its customers – sometimes indirectly so, but often very directly.
The team in the Strategy department at ZEISS is also pretty diverse: “Business management, mechanical engineering or biochemistry – almost everyone here has a different professional background. Some have been doing this for a long time, some have come from a consultancy background, and others straight from university.” After her Master's in Finance and Management, Anna spent several years working in consultancy.
Then it was time for something new: “I wanted to put the skills I was able to gain in various projects as an external consultant to use at a company that could benefit from these skills in the long run. I also wanted to develop these skills in ZEISS´ specific business segments,” she stresses.
But not just for any company. “I want to offer my full support to the projects and products I'm involved in. At ZEISS, there's a vast range of products and solutions with real added value – from semiconductor manufacturing technology to microscopes right through to ophthalmic optics.”