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November 1, 2016

Entrepreneurial spirit: More than a company badge – It's something that fosters agility!

When I started my career at Roland Berger more than 4 years ago, my intention was clear: I wanted to join one of the leading consultancies with smart people to challenge my analytical mindset, to gain as many insights as possible into different industries, to broaden my horizons every day, and to learn methodologies for solving any situation no matter how complex it might be.

I have always believed that the qualities attributed to Roland Berger would help me to pursue my own career. From the outset, I was quite sure about this path, even though I had to give up my other idea, which was to start my own business. Becoming an entrepreneur, striving for your own ideas, being innovative and, sometimes, even taking a risky path have always been part of my vision. When I joined Roland Berger, I thought I'd have to put this idea on hold. It was way beyond my comprehension that my dream was actually getting closer because one of the core values of Roland Berger, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship (along with excellence and empathy), is lived by its people every day.

For some time now, digitization has been forcing established companies to become more innovative again. Several industries are finding it hard to cope with the challenge of becoming innovative. Many organizations have forgotten how to build products and services that will remain relevant for their customers. As we all know, the internet and new technologies (such as mobile phones) have changed consumption patterns. They are transforming the way people gather information, interact and, in effect, run their daily lives. The result is that products, standards and whole business models have become outdated. So, more than ever before, corporates are under pressure to be innovative and rediscover their entrepreneurial roots.

Consultants in our Digital Competence Center deal with these questions every day. We discuss with top executives in the automotive industry how profit pools will shift when people start driving autonomous cars. We explain to financial institutions how startups are unbundling their value chain by offering more convenient services concurrently. We play out disruptive scenarios and formulate the right strategies. We are the mediators between disruptive players, characterized by dynamic, agile and brave startups or tech giants, and the traditional corporate world.

Digitization is so much more: In January we launched the Spielfeld Digital Hub, an innovation space and platform located in the German capital, Berlin, which, along with London and Tel Aviv, is the most innovative hot spot in Europe. We have taken consulting to a new level by going beyond just developing strategies to actively launching distinct digital initiatives with our clients. We are joining forces with innovators, startups, developers and experts to build products and services that are state-of-the art. Moreover, and equally importantly, we act as an interface between both worlds. We educate employees in creative methodologies, create awareness of the dynamics of the digital world, and give them a toolkit to build digital products as quickly and as innovatively as startups. At the same time we host startups, offering them access to our consulting expertise and, of course, to our clients.

I've been working on the Spielfeld Digital Hub concept since Day One and am now its managing director, responsible for growing this new business venture in Berlin. It has given me the freedom to act as an entrepreneur myself, and enabled me to achieve my own vision. I am grateful that Roland Berger gave me the opportunity and the support to make this dream come true. Today I know that company values, especially at Roland Berger, go beyond mere words and are adhered to in practice every single day!

Best, Tobias

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  • Photos Tom Merton/iStock; Takashi Kitajima/Getty images