MobiliseSME Exchange Series: News Ways in Communication between Germany and Spain
Monday, July 17th, 2017
A MobiliseSME exchange can provide companies with many benefits at the same time: new techniques and skills for the staff, a larger business network, an entry point to new markets. The German communication agency Rittweger und Team saw the chance to receive all these concrete perks from the program when it decide to do an exchange with the Spanish counterpart Otzarreta Comunicaciòn. Both companies decided to do bilateral exchanges: both sent out, at separate times, two employees to work at the offices of the other company, for a total of four exchanges taking place between May and June 2017.
We have interviews Heiko Rittweger, director and founder of Rittweger und Team , to ask him why he thought this opportunity was so valuable.
Hello Heiko, thank you for joining us. How did you come to know about MobiliseSME?
We had the idea for an exchange with another agency for quite some time. We were then approached by our partner agency Otzaretta in Spain, who asked us whether we wanted to get involved in a joint exchange. And while we were swapping ideas about this, we learned about the MobiliseSME pilot scheme and were naturally delighted to be able to support and implement this very exchange within the project.
How did you find your partner for an exchange?
We had already found our partner Otzaretta beforehand and developed the joint idea for an exchange. Otzaretta had a look at various agencies in Germany that were involved in design thinking and researched them as partner agencies. In the process, they found three agencies. We were one of them and they came directly to us. We then reacted relatively quickly and signalled our readiness for an exchange.
What was your objective for the exchange?
Our goal was to get feedback about our operating principles and also see where our strengths and weaknesses are on the level of an exchange between colleagues. Where can we improve? On one hand, what everyday issues should be considered from a different angle? But also on the other hand, what is the feeling, what are the operating principles, and what is the culture of another agency that has a similar focus?
How do you fell your company has benefited from the experience of sending an employee abroad as part of the MobiliseSME program?
We found it very interesting to learn about other backgrounds. That therefore means seeing differences in the markets. We clearly noticed that central themes like design thinking have quite a different dimension in Spain than they do with us. We saw quite clearly how companies in Germany handle new approaches and topics like Industry 4.0 or digitalisation. How Germany’s relationship with Spain is. And naturally also what the operating principles of a Spanish agency are in relation to a German agency.
Any final remarks? Any suggestion or wishes for the project?
We want the project to continue, because from our standpoint it has nailed the zeitgeist exactly in terms of how further development, emergence of cooperation but also just how interdisciplinary working processes can be shaped in the future. The programme has been very helpful to us since we have accumulated a great many everyday experiences. How can these be integrated? How can cooperation – including across borders – be shaped? And of course, how can we also learn to think European beyond national borders?