Kristina has started her journey at SinnerSchrader in the Strategy Team where she was mainly responsible for the topics around innovation, strategic research and New Business. Since September 2020, she is part of the Managing Board and is, next to her Strategy focus, also responsible for leading the Product Engineering discipline.
How did it come about that you now represent the Product Engineering area together with Holger in the Managing Board?
Cross-functional work has been part of our DNA at SinnerSchrader for years, but has not yet been explicitly expressed in the functions of our management. During the new appointment of our management team, we have been thinking about how we want to design and lead our disciplines in the future and how we can develop them in an even more interdisciplinary and diverse way. That is why we have adopted a two-in-a-box-model where two people MDs share the responsibility for one discipline in order to broaden its perspective and expand the exchange between Engineering, Design & Strategy. I have the great pleasure of sharing that role for Engineering with Holger.
How would you have reacted if you had been told at the start of your career that you were standing where you are now?
I probably would have laughed really loud - which is the exact response I also gave when I received the offer now. I’ve never built a career in the traditional sense, but pushed to work on topics that I love, that challenge me and that I find meaningful. That this work resulted in this position now not only is very humbling, but also makes me very proud. I think my younger me would have felt the same way about it, definitely with less experience and knowledge, but with the same values and principles.
Who or what inspires you?
Many different things. I’m one of those people who like to start their day with browsing their favorite blogs (but please no videos!) Text is definitely my medium and I love to read. Beyond that my biggest inspiration are people and their weird habits. I love patterns of all sorts.
What do you see as your chance for Managing Directors in engineering who have no tech background?
I think that engineering is not simply about tech anymore but about designing and building the world we live in. I want this world to be a colourful, meaningful and empowering place and I think bringing an outside view, a human perspective and a strategic mindset to the tech world not only leads to interesting discussions but can also make an impact in pursuing the right outcomes.
Strategy & Tech is a super exciting match - but is not as commonly explored as e.g. Tech and Design. Building this bridge, travelling between both disciplines and finding the magic overlap - no idea where we will end up, but it will be great!
What excites you about being responsible for engineering?
I’m excited because I’m learning something new every single day. Talking about comfort zones sounds super lame, I know, but leaving the office every single day with something that I didn’t know before is very rewarding. It challenges me and my assumptions. But to be honest: I also love to nag our engineers with uncomfortable questions and thoughts all the same ;)
What would you develop if you could code (or can you code?)
During my studies I had to take 4 semesters of business IT where I learned to code “6 out of 49”. Not sure if I can still pull it off, though. I would code a service that aligns my calendar with my energy levels and mood.
What do you see as the challenges the engineering discipline at SinnerSchrader will have to master next year?
I think the biggest challenges are none that are only relevant to engineers but to everyone, having a clear understanding and opinion of the right things to build. For this to work,
we need to increase and foster the exchange and sharing among our studios and teams to keep the bigger picture in mind instead of getting stuck in siloed teams. Beyond that, we need to find the right talents and experts to complement our amazing colleagues to take on those big challenges.