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The human element: never overlook the power of people in driving growth

The focus of grow platform is innovative, scalable business models. But the heart of grow platform is people – both intrapreneurs and platform employees.

Daniela Schiffer

As a member of grow platform’s Human Resources department since 2021, Daniela Schiffer is leading the action and supporting start-ups in diverse ways. Going far beyond the stereotypical role of HR, Daniela dives deep into recruiting talent, onboarding and developing teams, building connections with regional HR teams, scaling projects and even offboarding talent. Daniela is everywhere along the start-up journey.

In addition to HR, Daniela is now taking on a role to help start-ups develop even further. As of July 2023, she is a key member of the global Team & Culture Development department at grow platform, where she supports start-ups in team development to enable them reaching high performance.

A fortunate coincidence

Daniela first entered university with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher, but she soon jumped to another path and applied to Bosch’s apprenticeship program. Over two years, she learned the ins and outs of a leading global technology company, working in several different Bosch divisions and even abroad.

Then, by fortunate coincidence, Daniela applied for a position within one of Bosch’s Human Resources department. She hired for the role and discovered that HR was where she wanted to be. Ready for more, she returned to university to focus on international business and intercultural studies while simultaneously staying at Bosch as a working student.

It is so much fun to engage with people and to exchange ideas with them.

Daniela Schiffer, HR Business Partner & Team Developer

The leap to grow platform

Before joining grow platform, Daniela gained deep expertise working for multiple Bosch divisions and entities. Two experiences stand out.

During five years at Bosch’s headquarter in Gerlingen, Schillerhöhe Germany, Daniela built up valuable skills in HR management and development. This was especially evident in the case of the Bosch Solar Energy unit, which Daniela helped to close. Although the goal is to always help businesses take flight, one side of HR involves the opposite. “When you work in HR, you mostly see the nice aspects, like hiring and nurturing talent,” says Daniela. “Sometimes a business does not develop as planned and difficult decisions must be made.” Such experiences are not ideal, but they are part of life – and they gave Daniela more perspective on innovative business models.

Daniela Schiffer

Daniela then moved to Bosch Sensortec, where she contributed strongly to organizational development and helped the business grow tremendously – making it as big and successful as it is today. Considerably smaller than any area she has worked before, around 120 employees, Sensortec and its culture formed the perfect steppingstone to grow platform. “I discovered that you have more freedom, even in HR, as a Bosch subsidiary. You have the Bosch infrastructure and HR processes in the background, but you can try out new things and work more closely with people.” At Sensortec and in assisting Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions, Daniela’s growing experience in workshop moderation and team development led to her next stop: grow platform.

Joining an entity that’s all about creating new businesses and innovation – that's exciting.

Daniela Schiffer, HR Business Partner & Team Developer

An infectious place

While Bosch Sensortec introduced Daniela to more freedom, grow platform took openness and flexibility to new levels. She says, “grow platform is an environment where you can always try new things. It is very inspiring because the people are motivated and excited about what they do. It is absolutely contagious.”

“It's a more personal environment and I have the feeling I can contribute so much more.”
– Daniela Schiffer, HR Business Partner & Team Developer

The positivity and impact go both ways. While Daniela supports start-ups, the start-ups can accelerate their innovation faster and more effectively. In turn, grow platform and even the Bosch Group as a sponsor can reap the benefits. “I have the feeling that in our environment, the team members and managers can profit much more from the experience that I bring,” she explains.

“Passion is not only important if you work in a start-up. It is also important that everyone at grow platform shares the passion to deliver the best possible support and services to our start-ups, as we enjoy watching them thrive.”

When asked what the best part of the grow platform is, Daniela is quick to answer. “The best part, but also the most demanding, is the variability of tasks. It is a huge range, but I would not want to focus on just one single aspect. That is what I love.” On top of the many tasks, one other aspect makes it all worthwhile and rewarding for Daniela: the people.

Tailored start-up support

At grow platform, both teams, HR as well as Team & Culture Development, make a difference and drive innovation. More than just finding talent, Daniela delivers hands-on support in developing individuals, teams, and their skills. From recruiting and onboarding all the way to leading workshops, Daniela is there to guide intrapreneurs on their journeys.

Daniela has provided tailored support to numerous start-ups within grow platform, including Bosch Industrial Additive Manufacturing, Digital Twin – IAPM (Integrated Asset Performance Management), Bosch CyberCompare, spexor and Bosch Advanced Ceramics – helping them find the right talent and scale their projects.

Daniela Schiffer

For Bosch Advanced Ceramics, Daniela designed and led several workshops focused on team development. For example, she introduced the Insights model to foster communication and collaboration in the team. “Everyone learns to see its benefits on an individual level and from a team development perspective, and even more so, they have a lot of fun working with it,” she explains.

In assisting with spexor, Daniela supported the team throughout their journey at grow platform, including the start-ups grow exit process. “In a joint effort, we brought spexor intrapreneurs into Bosch Smart Home, finding new positions for everyone who wanted to further build on their careers within Bosch.”

A culture like no other

For some people, the fixed working styles at Bosch central departments can be a good thing. For Daniela and many intrapreneurs, the faster and more dynamic structure of grow platform is a game-changer.

Flexibility is a prerequisite for working at grow platform, where the only constant is change. “We do not stick to things as they are, instead we are trying to improve concepts and apply the Build-Measure-Learn principle. And you must accept that changes are normal.” Although change is all around, the person-oriented culture allows everyone to keep pace and make decisions with readiness, attention-to-detail, and full transparency.

Daniela expands on the culture by listing a few key topics. Every day, she gets the chance to work closely with colleagues and start-ups on innovative business models. “You're close to the people, markets and products, no matter which role you have.” There is also the ever-important entrepreneurial mindset. Everyone at grow platform – start-ups and platform employees – need to be innovative, proactive, and resilient.

For Daniela, close collaboration and entrepreneurial mindset build up responsibility. She can own her tasks and support start-ups in the best ways possible. “You have so much more responsibility as well as a much bigger impact on the business and how it develops.”

“If you're ready for that responsibility, there's no limit.”
– Daniela Schiffer, HR Business Partner & Team Developer

While Daniela helps create an open, flexible, and risk-taking culture, she also ensures that the work environment promotes comfort and wellbeing. That is why psychological safety is a top priority at grow platform, resulting in mutual trust and the ability to share bold visions and critical feedback. Technical innovation can often get caught up in facts and logical discussions, but it is important to remember that people are always at the core.

You can speak up and address things without fear of repercussions. If you feel safe and secure, then and only then can growth and innovation happen.

Daniela Schiffer, HR Business Partner & Team Developer
Daniela Schiffer

The perfect place

For both intrapreneurs and employees, grow platform is designed to transform potential and success. That is what makes this culture so special. In her own journey, Daniela gained valuable knowledge and experience – but as she says, “I always have the chance to take my skills to the next level.”

The next level indeed. Now with a dual role in HR and as part of the global Team & Culture Development department at grow platform, she will further nurture the potential of people and their breakthrough projects.