Inke Kruse, MD STOCKMAR, on the NELA next economy talk podcast
On next economy talk, Inke Kruse, Managing Director of Hans Stockmar GmbH & Co. KG, answers questions on the topic ‘Doing business differently: What does successful collaboration mean?’ The conversation explores the ways in which successful collaboration is different from a standard contractual partnership, and the ways in which it goes further. It also looks at the issue of where and how a company can and must take on responsibility, the role responsible ownership plays in this, and the advantages that come from having a black belt in karate. It talks about respect in our dealings with each other and interaction issues, and looks at how we handle relationships in management and partnership. To summarise, as they say in karate, ‘The water gets cold if you don’t constantly heat it.’
Summary of podcast for English translation
On next economy talk, Inke Kruse, Managing Director of Hans Stockmar GmbH & Co. KG, answers questions on the topic ‘Doing business differently: What does successful collaboration mean?’ The following is a summary of the topics discussed.
According to Inke Kruse, successful collaboration is ultimately characterised by bringing multiple perspectives together in a developmental and creative space. At the end of the consultation process, all those involved have the impression that a future-proof solution has been found. It is about finding out you have a voice. After all, how else can I truly be human if I can’t experience my own creative power? However, it is not just the democratic process, but also the change of perspective that is key here. It means having a fair share, including in the profits, as is the case with our workshops where our products are packed. In principle, you can probably say that mutual appreciation is necessary.
To answer the question of whether shared values are the basis of a successful collaboration, Inke Kruse says you can probably best approach this by looking at the difference between a contractual partnership and a collaboration. A collaboration is not necessarily governed by a contract. The focus is on the question ‘What do we stand to gain from one another?’ Conversely, shared ideals are not necessarily beneficial for a collaboration. There must be enough overlap for a successful coexistence. STOCKMAR and Mercurius, for example, have created a specific added value in their collaboration by having a complementary range. We should look at collaboration through the lens of the question ‘Where is value creation taking place?’
On the question of how companies can assume responsibility, Inke Kruse cites the example of the Neuguss model. The mission of a company is social impact rather than personal enrichment. For instance, Anselm Stockmar brought his parents’ company to Neuguss to prevent it from being sold. Instead of looking at the question of ownership, you should rather consider who will be running the company and in which form. I don’t own any part of this company, and yet I am responsible. So the question is how I can connect with a company or an organisation to the extent that I put my (working) life into the service and continuation of a business organisation without receiving any monetary benefit from it. This ideal collaboration balance exists at Neuguss – but there are dependencies. STOCKMAR joined Neuguss because we are stronger together than we are individually. One plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals at least three. And it is the commitment to business assuming responsibility – not just economically, but also ecologically and socially.
What does a black belt in karate have to do with all that? Inke Kruse still benefits from this achievement today: karate is all about respect, interaction issues and a keen eye for the respective situation and beyond. It’s about coexistence – and that is also relevant in leadership, partnerships and managing resources. It is a question of attitude. To summarise, as they say in karate, ‘The water gets cold if you don’t constantly heat it.’