Dossier: Different Thinking

New challenges promote new approaches: what is true for normal times is even more true for crises. The cards are currently being reshuffled because of the Corona pandemic. Find out what this means for the future of work, logistics and supply chains and more.

Whoever was raving about resilience, talking up the possibilities of video tools, or grumbling about the inefficiency of some business trips at the beginning of this year was likely to have met with a well-meaning smile at best. In January 2020, much of the world was watching the escalating conflict between the United States and Iran, the bushfires in Australia and Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Economic consultants were analyzing the opportunities presented by climate change and the IMF predicted global economic growth of 3.3 percent.

Six months later, all of those analyses and forecasts have been thrown out the window. A virus has reshuffled the deck. Curve graphs, virus apps and potential analyses for digital customer services have been steering the debate for months. What recently seemed certain suddenly no longer matters.

In normal times, these sorts of processes are known as disruptions. For companies such disruptions can be laborious, but they also open up opportunities. Laborious because old habits must be challenged to create space for new ideas, innovations and greater efficiency. Opportunities because they allow companies to reinvent themselves and better position themselves for the future. Yet the need to think outside of the typical fixed pathways applied even in the pre-corona era.

Disruptions, Innovations, Inspirations

The corona crisis is now acting as an independent disruptor while accelerating existing disruptions at the same time. It’s putting terrible strains on previously flourishing industries and is opening up even more space for ongoing change processes. It’s exposing the weaknesses of shaky business models and is subjecting new ideas to tests.

These dynamics are essential for all companies, including SGL Carbon. They tug on the certainties and jolt the entire company. But they also lay the groundwork for innovation and provide the crucial impetus for the necessary changes that have long been underway.

In this dossier, we’re taking a look at some of the most important change processes. We explore the new circumstances in the area of logistics and procurement. We venture a look at the future of work. We consider the pandemic’s effects on important megatrends. And we give the floor to selected employees who, in their areas of responsibility, are viewing the crisis for what it is in addition to all its disruptions: an opportunity.

Why These Megatrends Will Become Even More Prevalent After Corona

New challenges promote new approaches: what is true for normal times is even more true for crises. Find out why the cards are currently being reshuffled—and what this means for the future of work, logistics and supply chains, not to mention strategic considerations.

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“Our integrated approach was extremely helpful”

Smooth logistics processes and supply chains are essential for globally operating companies. Both areas were faced with completely new challenges due to the corona pandemic. In an interview, three of the specialists responsible at SGL Carbon talk about how they dealt with the challenges and why the situation has prompted them to rethink their approach in some areas.

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Six New Work Trends

The term “New Work” has been shaping the discussion about the future of work for some time. Now the corona pandemic has subjected many ideas to unplanned tests. We present six trends that are here to stay.

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A lot has been learned

Virtual training sessions, digital work environments, safe management of the pandemic: employees at SGL Carbon have had to improvise during the corona crisis and come up with new approaches. Five of them tell us what they have learned and explore the long-term effects of the crisis.

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Bilder: iStock/AzFree, GettyImages/Westend61, GettyImages/EyeEm/Ben Moore, SGL Carbon
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