Salon M: Managing Change - Communication as a management tool for change

Salon M: Managing Change

Communication as the central management instrument for making change a success. This was the topic of the seventh Salon M. More than 60 guests accepted the invitation to a discussion with Dr. Michael Preuss (Head of Communications, Bayer), Florian Martens (Chief Communications Officer, Infineon) and Markus Schindler (Founder & CEO, PANTARHEI Advisors). The evening was moderated by Lea Waskowiak (30u30, Specialist Communication Strategy O2 Telefónica, PhD student at Leipzig University). 


Munich, June 17, 2024 - The world is in a constant state of transformation and so are the companies that have to tell their story, assert their interests and make their own change a success in a fundamentally changed environment. Against the backdrop of crises, wars, disasters and rapid technological change, communication plays an important role in securing the 'license to operate' for key industries in Europe. 


Florian Martens, Chief Communications Officer at Infineon, spoke about how exactly communication can achieve this: "The essential components of successful stakeholder communication remain constant, especially in times of great change: credibility and transparency in communication play a decisive role in building trust. This requires powerful, globally integrated communication that is constantly evolving and can follow the dynamic requirements of the environment. In line with the company's strategic goals, communication should support the overall direction of management - always with the aim of helping to shape decision-making processes and acting proactively as a trusted advisor." 


Communication also plays a key role in internal change. Dr. Michael Preuss, Head of Communications, Bayer, described how communication can create real added value: "Radical changes in the company also require fundamental changes in communication: always keeping the organization's mission in mind, a clear focus on outcomes and significantly less "top-down" communication. Personal responsibility and an extra dose of creativity are replacing the traditional communication toolbox. Where the organizational chart has had its day, the time has come for those who can create real added value with communication."  


In order to master the changing technological and cultural requirements, communication must be used in a targeted manner. This was also emphasized by host Markus Schindler, CEO Pantarhei Corporate Advisors: "Communication is the central management tool in change. The world is constantly changing. Only those who can tell their story under these changing conditions have a chance of being heard, asserting their interests and making change a success."  


Companies need the right framework conditions to be able to tell these stories. Markus Kirchschlager, Managing Director of Pantarhei Munich, knows what is important: "The professional use of communication as a management tool determines whether a crisis and transformation can be successfully overcome and whether trust can be (re)established. To do this, companies need the right structures, processes and skills in their teams." 


About the Salon M  

Salon M is the leading platform for change, communication and public affairs managers and takes place once a quarter at the DesignWerkschau in the Alter Fruchthof in Munich. It is hosted by the communications consultancy PANTARHEI Advisors with offices in Munich, Vienna and Brussels. Under the motto "Communication as a management tool in times of global change and artificial intelligence", a top-class panel discusses a current topic. Previous guests have included Prof. Dr. Christof Ehrhart (Executive Vice President Corporate Communications & Governmental Affairs at Bosch), Byung-Hun Park (Vice President Corporate Communications & Communicator of the Year 2023, Viessmann), Birgit Dengel (Director Communications, Telefónica Germany), Andreas Bartels (Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Communications, Lufthansa Group), Alexander Bilgeri (Vice President Communications, BMW Group) and Ines Schurin (Group Director Corporate Communications, REWE Group). Around 80 executives, professionals and high-potentials from the communications and marketing industry always accept the invitation to Salon M.