Turning Rocks into Cathedrals
The field of strategy nowadays presents tremendous challenges and opportunities to shape one’s reality, independently of initial circumstances. It is about using inventiveness to transform a raw idea into a set of precise goals. And it is about outlining a plan to achieve them using adequate decision-making instruments. The quote “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery highlights the creative potential that emerges from a strategic mindset. For family businesses, this perspective offers a framework for a critical assessment of the edifice that the family wants to build, as a living legacy creating economic and public value.
My key aim is therefore to inspire students to embrace strategic thinking and empower them with the framework and mindset for success. Our students shall become critical thinkers and doers with a solid understanding of strategy tools and the underlying theories.
In 2013, I became Chairholder of the Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Chair of Strategic Management and Family Business at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. Ever since my early academic education I had strong ties to HHL. I graduated from HHL in 2000. After my doctoral studies at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg I returned to Leipzig and joined HHL as Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Organization and Academic Director of the Entrepreneurship Program in 2007. Since then, I have also been teaching at top national and international universities such as WU Vienna, ENPC Paris, and IMD Lausanne. I am an active member of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), the Academy of Management (AOM) and the Strategic Management Society (SMS).
Before my academic career, I gained extensive experience in consulting when working for The Boston Consulting Group. I co-founded two online companies and supported many other start-ups as a mentor, coach and investor.
In July 2017, I took up office as Dean HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.