Thyssenkrupp Academy’s Global Head of Learning & Transformation on our Acquisition

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Janin Schwartau, Global Head of Learning and Transformation at thyssenkrupp Academy, shares her excitement for WDHB’s acquisition of Experience to Lead. With diverse focuses, our newest acquisition strengthens the face of leadership. As our organizations combine, we address two sides of transformative leadership that are necessary for the challenges that many leaders face today while finding their role in an uncertain environment. Having worked with both organizations, she discusses her thoughts on what our combined forces will accomplish as leaders in experiential learning.


I’m excited about seeing these two companies that we’ve both worked with come together and actually pull all their experiences and develop a new way, maybe even of experiential learning or an augmented way. To me, experiential learning is pretty much the only really effective type of learning. I’ve had the experience in the learning explanations that we’ve done that everybody sort of takes different things from it, and that’s typical because people learn from where they’re coming from, and they don’t learn what you want them to learn. 

Challenges that leaders are experiencing today of are, of course, in dealing with the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) World, the uncertainty, the complexity that they will no longer be in control of their business as they have been recently. So it’s, I guess, the major challenge for leaders is to accept that and to find their role in being the leader in an uncertain environment where they cannot control everything anymore. That has to do with resilience, it has to do with a culture of trust, it also has to do with cultural performance, and establishing this form of this culture of performance. 

To me, it seems like what we know from WDHB is, you know, a lot of fast business contacts and input, a lot of variety going to places, seeing businesses. What we know from experience to lead is it’s all about leadership, it’s about addressing emotions, and that to me seems to be sort of two sides of the same coin. You can give the topic of leadership a lot more depth and put it in focus a lot more, I think, if you combine that with the typical experience to lead formats. I’m really excited to see what will happen out of this, I think it’s a great opportunity.

Top 3 Points Made

Based on the video transcript, the top three points made are:

  1. Value of Experiential Learning and its Personalized Impact: The speaker expresses enthusiasm about the collaboration of two companies, pulling their experiences to develop or augment experiential learning methods. They emphasize that experiential learning is the most effective form of learning because it allows individuals to derive unique insights based on their backgrounds and perspectives. This personalization means that people don’t necessarily learn what you expect them to but instead learn from their own experiences and viewpoints.
  1. Leadership Challenges in a VUCA World and the Need for Adaptability: The speaker discusses the challenges leaders face in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) World. They highlight that leaders can no longer expect to have the same level of control as before. The major challenge for leaders is to accept this reality and find their role in leading effectively in uncertain environments. This involves cultivating resilience, establishing a culture of trust, and fostering a performance culture.
  1. Synergizing Diverse Approaches for Deeper Leadership Insights: The merger of the two companies is seen as a way to bring together different strengths: WDHB’s expertise in fast business contacts, varied experiences, and global exposure, and Experience to Lead’s focus on leadership, emotional engagement, and depth. The speaker anticipates that this combination will offer a more comprehensive, deeper focus on leadership, enhancing the overall learning experience and outcomes.

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