Today’s guest entry is by Viktor Bisovetskyi, who is sharing his CEP experience at the company headquarter of Schindler.
As my train departs from Lucerne’s main station to bring me back to Lausanne, I find myself collecting thoughts and reflecting on another MBA experience: 5 weeks ago, I started my Company Engagement Project (CEP) within Product Management at Schindler, a leading vertical mobility provider, renowned for its elevators and escalators.
Since my background is in steel production and supplies to construction and energy projects in the Middle East, I was very much looking forward to using the CEP as an opportunity to broaden my range and explore other manufacturing industries. IMD’s privileged access to a multitude of industrial companies was, therefore, one of the reasons why I selected the school for my MBA.
My assignment at Schindler turned out to be as interesting as it was challenging, for I was tasked with delivering a concept for a new tool that would facilitate product benchmarking within the vertical transportation market. Coming up with new ways to analyze and compare offerings required out-of-the box thinking. After a while, I quite naturally gravitated towards the implementation part of the project rather than the generation of high-level ideas. As I discovered, the approach of quickly moving down to concrete matters is also engrained in Schindler’s approach to business: do something actionable, even on a smaller scale, and deliver value.
My swift transition into the company was facilitated by a team-building event for the New Installation Management unit during the first week of the CEP. It was a unique opportunity to talk about future technologies, launch drones, and, what’s most important, meet and engage with all Zone Directors of the NI business, one of Schindler’s key pillars. The valuable connections I set up allowed me to reach out to most of the Schindler Zone offices during the CEP, discuss the project I was working on, receive valuable insights and learn a lot about the company.
As I progressed into my CEP, I started to leverage more and more the knowledge I had acquired through our marketing lessons at IMD, but also made more and more use of the learnings gained during the innovation course, especially regarding ideation and prototyping since they greatly facilitate the act of bringing new ideas to the table. Meanwhile, I was collecting a tremendous amount of behavioral data that would have gone unnoticed before.
How do people interact with each other? In what way are they discussing their personal and professional issues? Are they happy being here at that time with the team?
The more I worked with various talented individuals from different locations around the globe, the more I got an understanding of what Schindler’s corporate culture is like. The people are extremely friendly and approachable, while the entire organization relentlessly focuses on delivering value to customers in the field. The Head Office is relatively small for a company of around 58’000 employees, hinting at the company’s values being truly lived. One aspect that particularly caught my attention was the fact that a large majority of my colleagues in the HQ had worked on-site with clients around the world. One Zone Director I met told me he had lived and worked in over 60 countries during the course of his career; I personally never met someone with such a broad international experience. While that is an extreme case, I do believe it says a lot about the kind of people working here: individuals with a global mindset, open to the world.
And now that my CEP has come to an end, a trip from Lucerne to Lausanne is all it takes to propel me back from the corporate world into the second half of the MBA program.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to the new challenges and surprises to come!