Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
The second OPEN TALK at the Kvasiny plant focused on the VW Group’s Third Principle
nother of the seven planned OPEN TALK meetings took place in Kvasiny on 13 February. In an intimate setting, employees met with Bernhard Maier, Chairman of the Board of Directors, as well as Bohdan Wojnar, Board Member for Human Resources Management. Together, they discussed the Group’s Third Principle, namely, “we have courage for new things”. The meeting was also attended by the Kvasiny Plant Manager, Miloš Halbich, and the Head of the Communication department, Jens Katemann, who made the opening speech. He mentioned the success of the first January discussion around one of our principles, which was “we accept responsibility for our environment and society”. In connection with the current topic, he summed up the events of recent months by referring to our courage for new things, such as the carmaker’s transition to electric car production.
Courage means not being afraid to take a risk and often overcoming ourselves when we leave safety and embark on a risky solution.
Bernhard Maier drew attention to a survey that he participated in. Its respondents answered questions about whether they bring new ideas and prioritise innovations and whether they have the courage to try new things, even if it means they might fail. He gave those present an incentive to realise their situation as it relates to the new topics. He said that even the founders of the Laurin and Klement Company had to have the courage to do something previously unknown. Despite not knowing whether they would succeed, they stepped out of their comfort zone and set up a joint venture. They had to repeat this step when switching from their two-wheeled to multi-wheel cars. The Chairman of the Board emphasised that in 2020, ŠKODA AUTO had no other choice but to meet certain challenges like eMobility. To emphasise the need to abandon our comfortable paths and dare to take new steps, he mentioned a German proverb: Whoever does only what he knows will just remain what he already is.
Bohdan Wojnar stated that the Group’s Third Principle is the most important prerequisite for the carmaker to continue its success story. He expressed his thoughts about how to motivate and support our employees when they are hindered by their fear of potentially making mistakes during innovations. He pointed out that people had to accept that they could lose money and time with innovations. But if they do not wish to innovate, they will lose more: their ability to set trends.
In addition to questions about the VW Group Principles, some of the discussion questions included: What mix of cars will the carmaker offer in 10 years? How is electromobility supported by the state? Will ŠKODA AUTO change its strategy because of Elon Musk’s plans? And many others. Eva Jarošová