Leadership from a different perspective


WORLDWEBFORUM Interview with new board member Monika Jaenicke

Monika Jaenicke is Head of Country Pharma Organization Novartis France and has recently joined our board of directors. Like WORLDWEBFORUM Founder and CEO Fabian Hediger she enjoys gardening, hiking in the mountains, and – unlike -him – when the weather is rough, reading and classical concerts at KKL Luzern.

We wanted to find out, why she cares about WORLDWEBFORUM:

What does the mission of WORLDWEBFORUM mean to you?

I feel aligned to the mission of WORLDWEBFORUM: to take society to the next level, and be part of setting up the best future possible for our children. If everyone picks one thing that he will change and we then accumulate all those things, we will realize that in fact we can have a big impact.


Why did you want to join the board of WORLDWEBFORUM?

I really like the diversity of speakers from a breadth of industries, nations, experiences.

Bringing such a group together gives people a platform to learn from each other’s differences. Different perspectives challenge what we already know, and invite people to reflect. I want to be part of something that inspires people to build on ideas and try a different approach.

What do you hope to be your impact on the board?

I’m very much people-oriented and would like to see leaders develop from the conference. The associates make all the difference between mediocre company and a successful one. We as leaders need to create an environment, in which everyone can bring up his ideas, prosper, learn and be at their very best. My objective is to shape the discussions of the board to become even more people centric.

Furthermore, I am involved in the Digital Health track, which is a rapidly growing area. In a study about the Internet of Things industry, McKinsey projects over 20 billion connected devices by 2020. People will increasingly be able take their health into their own hands, and be in control of their data. At Novartis, we are exploring how to work with innovation to enable preventative medicine to fulfil our mission to improve and extend people’s lives. But obviously, the digitalisation affects all industries, so I am looking forward to the exchange with the other board members and contribute to shape this topic together with them.


Why is change and transformation vital for individuals?

The future will be shaped by the evolution of tech and people. The technologic advances will shape our lives in a way that we cannot even imagine today. But in the end, technology is nothing without people – it’s the people who are at the core of any progress.


Why is transformation important for companies?

Switzerland is always top-ranked in everything: education, transport, healthcare. However, in digital transformation we are slow. We have to catch up.

In general, corporate transformation is always a big topic. Change is sometimes uncomfortable – everyone likes to know what lays ahead, but during a period of change, that is not always the case. To navigate our companies through change successfully, we need to be able to absolutely rely on our teams. To unleash the power of our people, we as leaders have to serve them, support them and remove obstacles for them We need to empower our people to be their best – and we will soon see the benefit for our companies.

This year’s topic is Masters and Servants. Who do you see as the current day Masters or Servants?

I like the topic. To me the topic points to changing leadership styles – we are starting to see traditional habits shifting, from very autocratic and top-down, towards a more trusting, flat leadership structure that makes it safe for people to experiment and solve problems together, in different ways.

In new leadership, trust is such an important value. We have to empower our people and inspire them with a purpose, not just money.

What discussions or outcomes do you hope to see at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019?

I would like to see people start thinking differently about leadership. Starting with reinventing themselves. Leaders need to embrace all learnings themselves before they pass it on. Take one step back, change yourself, then make a difference.