Susanne Nickel: Women are the born band leaders

22. September 2020 – Katharina Schlangenotto

What Susanne Nickel, the successful expert for change management and innovative leadership really wants to say is:

“The companies of the future need an emotional upgrade – and more women in management positions!”

In her guest article in last year’s Handelsblatt, the speaker made it clear that numbers, data, and facts are still key for German entrepreneurs. But if they want to succeed in the future, their management style must change.

Her own life is a perfect example: it stands for change and lots of movements. Since Susanne Nickel has experienced a lot of changes, she knows exactly what it feels like and can support people and companies in doing so. As a BASF child from Ludwigshafen, she wanted to become a dancer and studied dance with Pina Bausch. Further stations followed: Lawyer, press spokeswoman, management consulting. Followed by even more studies, more changes. Among others, she worked as Head of Management Development at Kienbaum and as Head of HR at the Haufe Akademie in consulting. She became one of the top 100 speakers in Germany and likes to point out that the women’s quota among the top 100 speakers still has room for improvement. As a speaker, Susanne Nickel also won the prize for the best keynote at the GSA in 2016. Oh yes – and she has been in and out of almost all Dax 30 companies for many years.

Susanne Nickel – Expert for Change Management – Keynote Speaker

In 2019 she published her third book “Gestatten: Chefin”. In an interview at the frühcafé TV show of Hamburg 1 she made it clear that everyone can only change him/herself. And since 70 percent of all change projects fail, her further message makes of course sense. Namely: the old change is outdated.

Artificial intelligence instead of empathy and automation instead of creativity – in her Handelsblatt article she clearly writes “No innovation without emotion”. In the corporate context, emotions are nowadays at least as crucial for success as hard facts and expertise. And that brings us back to the band leaders – according to Susanne Nickel:

“If the right mix of ratio and emotion is the rhythm’n’beat of companies, then women are the born band leaders. Because they often (still) have better access to their emotions and less inhibitions to use them in their jobs”.

Together with Marcus Disselkamp, Susanne Nickel published the book “Die Krise kann uns mal” this summer. In a digital transformation, companies usually go through four phases of a crisis curve, as it‘s the case with traditional economic crises. This also fits to 2020 and the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19.

The phase of denial is followed by the phase of insight. It is important to find ways to a new competitiveness and this leads to the phase of awakening. The company, the management and its employees say “yes” to digitalization and digital transformation. One begins to deal with the situation constructively, and in this process a curiosity for the new and the actions associated with it develops, which ultimately leads to the fourth phase – that of success.

And this is also where some of Susanne Nickel’s core competences are: As a change expert, she works with innovative methods such as Lego® Serious Play®, Design Thinking, Canvas.

Would you like to book Susanne Nickel as speaker for your event? Please send your request to:

Susanne Nickel

Speaker, Author, Management Consultant