How product design can yield ‘triple wins’: Growth, margin, and sustainability

Some consumer companies have simultaneously increased sales, cut costs, and reduced carbon emissions. Their secret? Paying closer attention to the design of their products and packaging.

As consumers become more demanding and less predictable, consumer companies “have to be super focused—almost surgical—in the decisions they make about the product portfolio and individual product attributes.” In other words, says McKinsey partner Dave Fedewa, companies need to think harder about product design. In doing so, they can make greater progress toward not only their sales and profit goals but also their sustainability targets.

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Source: McKinsey

6 ways to land your dream job – even if you are an introvert

Introverts often hide their light under a bushel. But a powerful personal brand can help you create a positive impact and attract the right opportunities.

There are introverts in all spheres of life. Lady Gaga and Beyoncé in the world of entertainment, Barack Obama in politics, and so many in business that a much-cited Myers-Briggs Foundation study in the early 1990s went as far as to suggest that up to 98% of chief executives fell into this category.

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Source: IMD Lausanne

Meet all the work stakeholders you can imagine on 5 an 6 Juni in Antwerp Expo.

Nominations for the Engineer Woman Award

Every year, Deutsche Messe honors an expert female professional from the STEM sector. This person is selected for having implemented innovative trends in the technical environment of a company through her commitment, ideas or work performance. Besides this, nominations are also invited for the Young Engineer Woman Award, which will be presented for the second time.

This will go to a female natural scientist from the STEM field who is no more than 30 years old, and who has made exceptional contributions in the technical sphere, or has otherwise performed above and beyond the call of duty.

Both invitations for nominations are aimed at all companies and institutions from Germany and abroad. Only one nomination per award is allowed for each company/institution. The deadline for entries is 15 February 2024.

The awards will be presented on 25 and 26 April during the FEMWORX Career Congress at HANNOVER MESSE in a ceremony that is sure to attract considerable media attention. Nominations are free of charge. The winners of the Engineer Woman 2024 Award and the Young Engineer Woman Award 2024 will be selected by an independent jury consisting of members of the Congress Advisory Board. This jury will initially determine three nominees for each of these awards. The two award winners will be announced at the FEMWORX Congress.

The nomination documents can be downloaded from the Internet at .

The Engineer Powerwoman Award 2023 went to Dr. Christina Franke. She has been with Bosch Rexroth in Stuttgart since June 2022, working there as head of development in the Assembly Technology business unit. She started her professional career in June 2004 in the Bosch Group as a trainee, quickly progressing to take on managerial tasks.

The Young Engineering Award 2023 went to Lisa Ihde from the Hasso Plattner Institute. She is an author and software engineer.

Do you manage too many people? 

The more direct reports you get from your people, the harder it is to give each of them individualized support and attention. Here’s how to create systems and processes to help you manage more effectively and make sure everyone feels supported.

First, delegate decision-making responsibilities. Trying to handle everything on your own can slow things down and cause bottlenecks. Instead, empower your team to have agency and autonomy over lower-stakes decisions while you focus on the big-picture, high-level strategy.

Then, leverage the power of groups. Individual autonomy is critical, but it’s not enough on its own. Teams need a culture that encourages everyone to hold each other accountable, give feedback, and learn from each other.

Next, get out of the way. Effective delegation comes down to trust. Once you establish your team’s autonomy, resist the urge to meddle or micromanage.

Finally, be proactive about connecting one-on-one. If you come across as too busy for your employees, you risk making them feel as if they don’t matter. Small check-ins can go a long way.
Source: Harvard Business Review. This tip is adapted from “Do You Manage Too Many People?,” by Rebecca Knight

What are the best strategies to promote occupant well-being in WELL buildings?

WELL buildings are designed to enhance the health and happiness of the people who live, work, or visit them. They are based on a holistic framework that addresses 10 concepts of well-being: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, and community. But how can you apply these concepts in practice and create spaces that promote occupant well-being? Here are some best strategies to consider.

Air quality

Poor indoor air quality can cause or worsen respiratory problems, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. To improve air quality, WELL buildings use high-efficiency filters, ventilation systems, low-emitting materials, and plants that purify the air. They also monitor and control the levels of pollutants, humidity, and carbon dioxide in the indoor environment.

Water access

Water is essential for hydration, digestion, circulation, and skin health. WELL buildings ensure that occupants have easy access to clean and safe drinking water through filtration systems, dispensers, and refill stations. They also encourage water conservation and reuse through efficient fixtures, rainwater harvesting, and greywater recycling.

Nourishment options

Nutrition plays a key role in physical and mental well-being. WELL buildings provide nourishment options that support healthy eating habits, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-sugar beverages. They also limit the availability of processed, fried, or high-sodium foods and promote mindful eating through signage, education, and portion control.

Light exposure

Light exposure affects our circadian rhythms, mood, alertness, and productivity. WELL buildings optimize natural and artificial lighting to create comfortable and stimulating spaces. They use daylighting strategies, such as windows, skylights, and light shelves, to bring in natural light and reduce glare. They also use LED, dimmable, and tunable lighting to adjust the color temperature and intensity of artificial light according to the time of day and the activity.

Movement opportunities

Physical activity is vital for cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and mental health. WELL buildings create movement opportunities that motivate and facilitate occupants to be more active throughout the day. They provide amenities, such as stairs, bike racks, fitness centers, and outdoor spaces, that encourage walking, cycling, exercising, and playing. They also design ergonomic and flexible workstations that allow occupants to change postures, stretch, and stand.

Thermal comfort

Thermal comfort is the degree of satisfaction that occupants feel with the temperature and humidity of their indoor environment. WELL buildings achieve thermal comfort by providing individual control, adaptive clothing, and radiant heating and cooling systems. They also use insulation, shading, and natural ventilation to reduce heat gain and loss and maintain a comfortable indoor climate.

What True Flexibility at Work Looks Like

Radically flexible work is about making work fit people, not the other way around. To achieve true flexibility on your team, you first need to recognize that it can’t be a temporary fix or a privilege reserved for a select few. Instead, you need to engrain the principles of flexibility into your team’s culture. This requires two types of alignment.

Aligning what people do with their strengths. When people do what they’re best at, they’re more creative and innovative. An analysis of multiple studies indicates that job satisfaction, engagement, well-being, and performance are all correlated to working with one’s strengths. As a leader, it’s your job to provide people with equal access to tools and opportunities that match their unique abilities.

Aligning how people work (including where and at what hours) with their needs. Data from around the world indicates that flexible work benefits work-life balance, productivity, and organizational outcomes—a true “win-win.” To achieve this “how” alignment, create a culture of psychological safety and open communication. This will allow you and your employees to work together in ways that complement team members’ diverse needs and preferences.
This tip is adapted from “The Radical Promise of Truly Flexible Work,” by Ludmila N. Praslova
Source: Harvard Business Review

IaaS growth in 2022 was stronger than expected

Press release Gartner

The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 29.7% in 2022, to total $120.3 billion, up from $92.8 billion in 2021, according to Gartner, Inc. Amazon retained the No. 1 position in the IaaS market in 2022, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Huawei.

Cloud has been elevated from a technology disruptor to a business disruptor,” said Sid Nag, VP Analyst at Gartner. “IaaS is driving software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) growth as buyers to continue to add more applications to the cloud and modernise existing ones.”

“IaaS growth in 2022 was stronger than expected, despite a slight softening in the fourth quarter as customers focused on using their previously committed capacity to its fullest potential,” added Nag. “This is expected to continue until mid-2023 and is a natural outcome of the market’s maturity. We expect an acceleration in 2024, as there is still room for plenty of additional future growth.”

In 2022, the top five IaaS providers accounted for over 80% of the market. Amazon continued to lead the worldwide IaaS market with revenue of $48.1 billion and 40% market share (see Table 1).

Table 1. Worldwide IaaS Public Cloud Services Market Share, 2021-2022 (Millions of US Dollars)

2022Revenue2022 MarketShare (%)2021Revenue2021 MarketShare (%)2021-2022 Growth (%)
Alibaba Group9,2817.79,0609.82.4

Source: Gartner (July 2023)

Microsoft followed in the No. 2 position with 21.5% share, reaching over $25 billion in IaaS public cloud revenue in 2022. Microsoft’s software-first strategy continued to support its IaaS growth as customers required more cloud capacity to support automation, advanced analytics and digital workplace capabilities.

Alibaba Group again held the No. 3 position with 7.7% market share, although with modest 2.4% year over year growth. While Alibaba continued to lead the IaaS market in China, its limited potential for expansion across global markets has slowed growth, driving its recent decision to spin off its Alibaba Cloud business into a separate entity.

Google saw the highest growth rate of the top five IaaS vendors, growing 41% in 2022 to reach over $9 billion in revenue. Google’s increased investment in sovereign cloud and expanded sales and marketing partner programs helped to broaden its customer base and drive additional IaaS revenue.

Huawei rounded out the top five IaaS vendors with 4.4% market share and $5.2 billion in revenue for 2022. Since its 2020 pivot to an increased focus on cloud, Huawei has been steadily growing its IaaS revenue in China and emerging markets.

Generative AI will continue to drive the cloud market forward, particularly as hyperscalers look to support offerings beyond the existing, democratised generative AI solutions,” said Nag. “As enterprises integrate generative AI into their technology portfolio, new markets and opportunities for cloud hyperscalers will emerge related to sovereignty, ethics, privacy and sustainability.”

Managers: Don’t Neglect Your Own Career Development

As a manager, it can be easy to overlook your own growth when there are so many demands on your time and attention. But it’s important to make time for your own development as you juggle the daily responsibilities of managing a team. Here’s how to ensure you’re not prioritizing your team’s future at the expense of your own. First, share your personal goals openly with your team. Not only will being transparent about your development plan allow you to lead by example, but it will also establish some accountability for you as you move forward. Next, consider setting up development sessions with peers in your industry. These workshops will allow you and your fellow leaders to step outside your bubbles, swap valuable knowledge, create new connections, and learn together. Finally, find ways to grow in the daily flow of work. You don’t necessarily need to take a course or attend a conference to develop new skills and knowledge. Regularly ask your team for feedback and set aside some time each week to reflect on your performance, identifying small ways you can improve on the job.
This tip is adapted from “How Managers Can Make Time for Their Own Development,” by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis

Wat met het ’welbevinden’ in het bedrijf ?

De wereld, de arbeidsmarkt, onze huidige samenleving is post-Covid in volle evolutie. Klimaatverandering kan zowel directe als indirecte gevolgen hebben voor het welzijn van de werknemers bij de uitvoering van hun werk.

In verschillende sectoren en op diverse beleidsniveaus tekenen zich nieuwe productiepatronen af. Aangezien er dan nieuwe risico’s ontstaan, is het nodig preventieve maatregelen aan te passen aan die nieuwe realiteit. Daarnaast ontstaan meer atypische arbeidsvormen, waarbij het bv. niet meer duidelijk is of personen nog een werknemersstatuut hebben of waarbij werknemers steeds meer werken buiten de invloedsfeer van de werkgever.

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