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Leaders@SAP: Clas Neuman

/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/clas_1027313.pngThe Leaders@SAP campaign is a series of personal stories that give you a look at our inspiring leadership at SAP.

This story comes from Clas Neuman, Senior Vice President, SAP Labs Network, Shanghai.

One of the defining moments influencing my leadership style occurred shortly after I became Managing Director for SAP Labs India. In a 360 feedback, my team in India told me that they were a bit irritated about my problem solving approach – mostly starting with comparing how things work at the headquarters in Walldorf. The feedback I received was “That’s fine Clas, but now you are in India – and things do work a little differently here!”

This early feedback helped me tremendously to look deeper into different solutions to the same problem and to stop providing my (experienced-based) advice upfront. Also – I understood, that cultural diversity is one of the richest sources of innovation that SAP has today and that we kill this innovation if we would push a “one size fits all” agenda across all matters in all countries.

Our steadily expanding SAP Labs Network now comprises 18 labs in 15 countries, and over time we have developed a fine balance between global excellence and local innovation – which relies heavily on mutual trust and openness. I learned a ton of things during my years in India – and keep learning today from my colleagues in China, and elsewhere.

Stay tuned for our next installment of Leaders@SAP!


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