“It is certain that nothing is certain - how companies stay successful” was the topic of OeKB's “Alm Talk” at the European Forum Alpbach and could not be surpassed in terms of topicality with regard to Covid-19.

Inspiration and exchange of thoughts

The Panel – left to right: Petra Hauser, Patricia Neumann, Andreas Klauser, Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger, Michael Hödlmoser

At the beginning, the inspiring keynote by Petra Hauser spanned the range from the challenges of our exponential and global world to the psychological fundamentals that have to be taken into account in order to adapt to change. She highlighted how companies can secure their success in the “new & next normal”.

In the subsequent discussion of the diverse and multidisciplinary CEO panel, an exciting exchange took place. It focused on the disruptive turning points the executives see for their industries and how “two-handed leadership” can work, i.e. securing the core business and - in parallel - opening up new markets or “arenas” through innovation. In addition, the concept of the “secure basis” presented in the keynote was taken up. The leaders explained how they implement the two dimensions of the secure basis, namely “protection” and “inspiration”, in their companies.

The Alm Talk was recorded. The video will be available from October 2020 via a link on this page.


Here are some central statements of the Alm Talk:

“For me personally, networking with people from a wide variety of areas who think differently is extremely important in order to receive impulses for my work. At a company level we also rely heavily on networking with partners and ecosystems. In addition, research and development, “inventing” something completely new, are central success parameters at IBM.
Patricia Neumann
Country General Manager IBM Austria
“We are working on the topic of innovation on several fronts at the same time. Innovation is a clear top priority. I see it as my job that inconvenient or radical approaches are also heard and not immediately destroyed by the company's immune system. A good example of how we developed a new business model through an external impulse are our solutions for inspecting the material properties of bridges that were developed after the accident in Genoa. "
Andreas Klauser
Chief Executive Officer Palfinger AG
“Leading out of the the middle is not a catchphrase in the OeKB Group, but a reality. We break down hierarchies, conduct dialogues on an equal footing and rely on trust. As OeKB, through supporting the Austrian economy and thus also securing the business location, we have a clear purpose in our work, which the employees perceive and which is particularly noticeable now in times of Corona. "
Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger
Member of the Executive Board Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
“As a startup, we are not immune to disruption either. As we are in the field of autonomous driving and thus in a business that is only just developing, we have to continuously verify whether we are moving in the right direction with our solutions or whether new trends are emerging in the market to which we should react. The topic cooperation is certainly easier for us than “the big ones”. A feeling of security in the team and mutual motivation are fundamentally important in order to create strong cohesion. Flexible working conditions, transparency and the freedom to be able to contribute ideas anytime and anywhere are the cornerstones of our culture. This is of course easier to implement with a team of only 20 people. "
Michael Hödlmoser
Chief Technical Officer emotion3D
“For decades, scaling up efficiency has been the mantra of business. At a time when the unexpected has become the new norm, companies that manage to scale learning will survive. For many, this requires an immense change in the entire corporate system, especially in the culture. And this change will only be successful if each and every individual not only understands the why but also feels it. "
Petra Hauser
CEO Exponential Business Hub und Country Manager Austria Talent Garden

Photocredit: EFA / Philipp Huber