People & Culture Brunch Series: Designing Culture for a New World of Work

We were delighted to host a select group of senior HR professionals from the Romanian business community at our most recent People & Culture Brunch Series. This event series aims to spotlight innovative and inspiring HR topics; providing insightful thinking around the latest trends, and also room for discussion & best-practice sharing amongst the local community.

The topic of this event was ‘Intentionally Designing Culture for a New World of Work’. According to a recent survey of job seekers, 9/10 people look at Company Culture whilst looking for a job, 73% would not apply at an organisation that did not share the same values as their own, and 60% say that a healthy company culture is paramount.

Participants came from across the country to learn and share experiences around intentionally designing and embedding company culture. The event was facilitated by Rike Stein, Signium-Stein & Partner’s Head of Leadership Consulting. Rike brought her passion, expertise and belief in shaping organizational culture to share with participants, highlighting the importance of authenticity in designing cultures and living the true values that are crucial to organisational success.

Meeting in Maison 13 in Bucharest, this casual modern location in the centre of town was a great setting for generating ideas, innovation and connecting with other like-minded professionals. We explored questions around how do you intentionally design healthy & engaging cultures in the face of a changing world of work? How do you create the kind of cultures that not only engage, motivate and inspire employees but also those that lead to business success in an unstable operating environment?

There was an extremely vivid, open discussion with lots of involvement, energy and enthusiasm! Key takeaways included:

  • There is opportunity to intentionally design culture; culture can be shaped and designed. Culture should support both your purpose as a company, and also your business strategy.
  • It is key to make sure your culture is authentic and resonates with employees in the business. It needs to be lived; people need to know about it, believe in it and then also behave accordingly.
  • Culture is the responsibility of everyone in the business, but we in HR can play a powerful role in co-designing and creating a meaningful human-centred people experience.

If you would like to know more about this topic, or be a part of future events, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Business2Society Event: Circular Economy Leads to New Business Culture

Signium – Stein & Partner were delighted to recently welcome CEOs, Heads of Institutions & Universities to discuss how the concept of a circular economy can lead to new business culture and opportunities. This was part of the Business2Society Event Series; whereby members of the business community are invited to discuss and engage on pertinent issues around leading into the world of tomorrow.

The event, held at Casa Vlasia, was opened by Werner E. Stein (founder of Stein & Partner) who articulated the growing need for change and driving purpose-led cultures. We were then thrilled to have Prof. Dr. Peter Heck (Founder and CEO of the IfaS Institute in Trier, Germany)  lead the group through what actually is the Circular Economy and how to drive individual organisations towards a circular business model. After ample time for networking and connecting, Ms. Friederike Stein (Partner at Signium – Stein & Partner in Vienna, Austria) presented on how to transform towards purpose-led & progressive company culture. Detailing how to intentionally design company culture in order to drive employee happiness & performance, as well as business results.

There were a number of key takeaways from the event, highlights included:

  • Understanding that the Circular economy is a global economic model that decouples economic growth and development from the consumption of finite resources
  • Looking at managing materials more intelligently and through systems based thinking; breaking away from a linear model to ideally a closed-loop economy.
  • Authenticity is key when it comes to designing culture. Your culture needs to be lived by each member of the organisation: employees need to know about it, believe in it and behave accordingly.
  • Culture is the responsibility of everyone in the business; HR can support by creating a meaningful people experience, and facilitate this process.
  • Your culture needs to fit your individual company, and support your purpose & business strategy.

We thank all our speakers and participants for the extremely fruitful and open discussions.

If you would like to know more, or attend future events, please do not hesitate to contact one of the Signium-Stein & Partner team. 


Signium – Stein & Partner welcomes new Leadership Consulting Partner

We recently welcomed Rike Stein to the Signium- Stein & Partner team. She will be the Partner responsible for Leadership Consulting across Central & Eastern Europe. We spoke to her to understand more about her background, external trends, and her aspirations for Leadership Consulting at Signium-Stein& Partner.

Welcome Rike! Please tell us a bit about yourself. 

I have spent nearly 20 years in Human Resources in various international leadership roles across different industries. I have always enjoyed helping leaders at all levels to shape culture and develop self-awareness in order to elevate their leadership to the next level. I am passionate about developing talent and rewarding company cultures, which I believe fundamentally drives business success.

What attracted you to Leadership Consulting & Culture Development?

My personal purpose is to create better workplaces for generations to come. I get lots of energy from helping clients to create amazing workplaces through inspiring leadership and purpose-led cultures built on a strong foundation of values. That’s why I have co- founded my own business in Germany which is a boutique consultancy helping early-stage organisations to build progressive company culture from day 1. In this role at Signium, I am fortunate enough to be able to play a part in creating great workplaces for many organisations across the Central European Region where I partly grew up and feel closely connected to.

What are the leading trends you see in the market?

Although perhaps obvious, the dominant discussion is still around the ‘Great Resignation’ or ‘Great Renegotiation.’ I clearly observe that people want more than just a job and that this notion will not go away. With this in mind, I strongly believe that we need to focus more on developing leaders and shaping company culture.

Alongside this trend, the role of Human Resources has also evolved and developed. HR is now seen much more strategically in terms of developing Culture, Purpose, Principles and Values; with some people viewing them as ‘Culture Evangelists’ & ‘Purpose Guardians’. HR Leaders play a much bigger role in crafting meaningful Employee Value Propositions, focusing on Sustainability agendas, and now more than ever, they have a much bigger responsibility to actively do good and give back to society and the environment.

What qualities will successful leaders need in the future?

I believe that there are certain core leadership qualities that are timeless and will be needed now and in the future. Caring for your people, appreciating them, challenging them, and helping them to grow are central to success. Similarly, learning to set your ego aside and being able to listen and see the viewpoints of others are crucial in creating environments that allow people to grow from mistakes, contribute fully, and feel engaged at work.

Self-awareness is key in all of this: knowing your intentions but also being constantly aware of your impact on others and how you come across.

If I look ahead, I believe leaders will have to navigate a future which is only more VUCA and uncertain. We will not have all the answers, and therefore it is so important to be able to trust your people and empower them to be able to make decisions as they see best. An emerging, but powerful, school of thought around New Work advocates for leaders to lead through Purpose, Principles & Values. This enables your team members to be able to work within a framework, gives freedom & responsibility, but also to co-create and create cultures of inclusion & belonging. Get out of the Ivory Tower fast!

What is one thing organisations can do today to develop leaders /shape culture in the future?

Be intentional about ‘Culture’ and how leaders shape culture. Culture is not “soft stuff” to leave aside or a nice-to-have. Culture is key for your business to survive and to flourish.

Without the right culture you will not have the right people, and without the right people you will have very little chance to achieve your strategy. Spend time looking at your culture and be clear about what kind of culture you need to grow and develop.

What can Signium-Stein & Partner do? What kind of team do you have behind you?

We at Signium- Stein & Partner are all passionate about building culture and finding the right leaders to drive culture in your business. We have an experienced team of search and leadership consultants who have worked across several industries and countries. We have been operating in Central Eastern Europe for nearly 30 years with offices in Vienna & Bucharest.

We can measure your current culture with our unique internally developed Culture Due Diligence tool and then can also help you define the culture you aspire towards. Through workshops and co-creation, we help you get to where you see your culture needs to be, in order to move towards your vision and outperform your objectives.