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Mrs. Paperless on waltz

Mrs. Paperless on waltz

Posted by Andrea Kaden in Mrs. Paperless on waltz 30 Nov 2013

Mrs. Paperless on waltz

My first waltz station is over – time for a review

You can imagine how curious I’ve been about my first day at InterNations. How would the colleagues and the reception be? Typic Bavarian or international reserved? So I was waiting in the teamlodge on Monday morning and different colleagues greeted me very friendly. At InterNations there is a team breakfast on every Monday. A very good idea to start together into the week!

Beside me there have been three new others who had to be introduced. And it’s conceivable that they were half of my age. ;-).


After the team breakfast I had a conversation with general manager Malte Zeeck. We talked about the following week. Then I’ve been shown around and I recognized that Malte likes to have a feel-good factor in his company: a kitchen on every floor, free coffee and tea, fresh fruits twice a week. If your colleagues are fine, their work will be fine!


My first mission started directly at the account department. Peter from Ireland was awaiting me eagerly. My first impression: My host was well-prepared for my getting started.

During this first day I found confirmed what I know already from other start-ups: the strong growth overwhelms the optimization and modernizing of the internal organisation. Falls by the wayside. Certainly, customer acquisition has priority, but I indicate repeatedly that you should not lose sight of the internal.

It is still the backbone of your company (i.a. accounting and Human Resources) and has to be strong. You also have to support the employees of those departments in order not to crack under the external pressure.


Back to Peter from Ireland. Being a new employee he became acquainted quickly with his job, but understandably could not change processes before knowing the company well enough. First of all we analyzed the course of action. Although the accounting is elaborate they still work with too much paper. They print and copy the old way. Peter’s willingness for change was perceptibly. Together we managed to prepare for an almost paperless accounting system within 3 days. From the beginning I involved third parties, such as the tax adviser. I wanted to integrate statutory requirements.She was very glad that another of her clients wanted to change to a modern accounting system (and I asked myself why she didn’t suggest this herself? Should be normal for her business, shouldn’t it?).


Scan of vouchers, to put them online, to eliminate copies of invoices, omission of toing and froing of bulky file folders – even if Peter has to learn the new procedures, he looks forward to daily time saving. Not forgetting the earlier refund of sales tax. All that I call a milestone in the accounting at InterNations!


I like to note something more: I am still astonished at the uncertainty on the subject of „duty to preserve records“. Why aren’t the experts asked in time? Instead companies store way too much papers and folders.


My second station was Human Resources. The person responsible, Christa Fellner, was well-prepared and had accumulated several questions. She also faced me curiously and open-minded. Her acute problem was „filing and archiving“. We defined processes and rules in order to reduce the unneeded production of paper in future. My request not only concerns paper itself but time and money which are come along with usage and processing. We could optimize numerous small processes at once or change. New synoptic tables were compiled, filing organized in shorter time. All in all, as a Professional Organizer I could perform „better time management“ successfully.


Having worked our way as a team, I could help Mrs. Fellner being the HR-Manager with coincident inter-divisional functions. She likes to have a sympathetic ear for every employee, but with 60 of them she hits the wall. To leave her door open means continuous disturbance and loss of time for own jobs. Even with a good self-management big jobs suffer compulsory. Mrs. Fellner exemplifies to create a new personnel development plan.


We developed the following solution to give her more undisturbed working hours:

  • Mrs. Fellner will implement a fixed speaking time for employees.
  • For her conceptual work there will be time blocked from 8 to 10 a.m.
  • From noon on she applies to her daily work.

Of course she has to settle this course of the day with the management but they will

understand that she needs more time to work on success-related subjects. And finally Mrs. Fellner will feel more satisfied because she can do her job instead of being rushed by external influences over the day. And I am pleased that she got another idea to organize her everyday work better.


In the middle of the week the start-up habitus has shown through delightfully again: the millionth member was celebrated uncomplicated with pizza and certainly there was a speech of thanks by the boss 😉


And that was about it: my week in Munich was over and therewith my first waltz station. I won high praises and thank-you by Malte Zeeck and Christa Fellner. We agreed that this week has been worthwhile for all involved.


My conclusion

I experienced a new enterprise with a very young team, which is – despite its big hit – without any reservations to new things and improvement. I got required information and further conversations uncomplicated and promptly, in spite of packed schedules.


In future I will bring to mind how much I appreciate the employees’ expertise as an outsider, instead of getting in on the ground floor with criticism and optimization. I can improve this balancing act and become more diplomatically indeed!


  • karl 25. August 2014 at 20:51 / Antworten

    ……..well done Andrea and you are doing great with your foreign language ambitions !!
    One of your admirers !

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