At the initiative of Bianca Halweg, who is a member of both associations, the first cooperation event of IMA and bsb took place in Stralsund from August 24, until August 26, 2018. 11 members of one or both associations from the Hamburg, Berlin, Potsdam and Frankfurt regions– some of them with their partners – made their way to the Hanseatic League City on the Strelasund. Nicole Stigler and Rosemarie Rehbein, the chairladies of both associations, had to cancel at the last minute and sent the participants warm regards.
working@office, the long-standing partner of both associations was also represented. Department head Johanna Schlamp-Ogawa took the opportunity to discuss current assistance topics with the attendees and to draw their attention to the upcoming career@office trade show in Cologne. A big thank you goes to the working@office-team which supplied a lot of flyers and goodies for the event.
Following a welcome by Bianca Halweg, the participants got to know one another during a light meal at the Ozeaneum Friday night. The subsequent private tour of the Ozeaneum which was already closed for the day was only one of many highlights of the weekend. In an animated and informative way the engaging guide explained the various habitats of the cold oceans to the visitors.
The next morning Bianca welcomed those participants who had just joined the group to a workshop with Diana Brandl, trainer and head of the IMA-regional chapter Berlin, at the Arcona Hotel Baltic.
At the start of her presentation Diana illustrated how digitization has changed travel in recent years. Cabs, flights and hotels are booked and processed via various apps. During the trip there is less and less personal interaction; one can even use a computer to check into a hotel. Two videos showed that digitization does not stop short of one’s home and that assistants such as Siri and Alexa may have their pitfalls. During the course of the workshop the trainer demonstrated how she uses Siri for her day-to-day activities. It became evident that despite all their programmed skills Siri & Co. are not able to act proactively and emotionally intelligent like a flesh-and-blood assistant can. A World Economic Forum overview of the Top 10 skills for the work place indicated that there will still be a demand for assistants in the future.
Digitization also has a great impact on the workplace – be it home office or office – and often results in hidden pressure on employees and the blurring of work and private life. Whilst one participant who was supplied a cell phone by her employer and among other things also looks after expats, views it as second nature to support the colleagues in case of emergencies after hours or on weekends, most of the other participants preferred a separation between work and free time.
Many of the apps and programs that are used at the office and at home originate in the US and according to GDPR are not or only to a limited extent suitable to exchange business information. Diana showed the participants safe providers for various tasks.
Not just technology, but workplace demographics are changing. Based on her experience as assistant to the management board at Mister Spex, Diana explained that being open to new technology and active networking is helpful when working with Millenials. Despite the occasional tendency to micro manage they are relaxed managers who view their assistants as equals from the start and support their continued development.
The question “Do you google yourself regularly?” made matters interesting. While some participants do not use social media at all, most are active on one or more platforms. Diana pointed out the danger that criminals might use one’s pictures and information even on professional platforms such as LinkedIn or XING for so-called fake profiles and thus greatly damage the user’s reputation. She recommended googling oneself regularly and having false entries deleted immediately.
At the end of her captivating presentation Diana addressed the topic „brand“ and suggested that all participants particularly focus on their personal brand – the things they excel at and that they stand for – to set themselves apart from others both at work and away from work.
Following a group photo and a delicious lunch during which the participants eagerly discussed the new insights and networked, Karl-Heinz Halweg, retired naval captain and father of the organizer, welcomed the participants and their partners to a three-hour walk around Stralsund. At various stops along the way, he brought the long and eventful history alive with many anecdotes. Wealthy member of the Hanseatic League, Reformation, besieged by Wallenstein, rescue and takeover by the Swedes, occupation by the French and the subsequent Prussian rule along with the continued ties to the nearby Baltic Sea were only some of the facets that are reflected in the lovingly restored old town.
The tour ended at the port where the group boarded a ship of the „White Fleet“ which was formerly steered by Mr. Halweg and embarked on a tour of the Strelasund which separates the city of Stralsund from the island of Rügen. Even the occasional rain drop could not dampen the good mood on board.
After the cruise a scrumptious meal awaited the group at the restaurant Fürst Witzlaw I directly by the Strelasund.
The weekend was fully dedicated to networking. The participants promptly formed a WhatsApp-group and two bsb-members from Berlin are now on the mailing list for IMA Berlin. This makes networking fun and it is important to build on that.
Following this successful premiere the participants are certain: „Next year there will be another cooperation event of both associations in Stralsund.“ Initial ideas were already exchanged. Information on the event will be posted on http://www.de.ima-network.org and http://www.bsboffice.de.
IMA Berlin organized together with BARMER health insurance a "healthy" get-together on March 27 at the premises of BARMER in Berlin. The group was greeted by Regional Managing Director of BARMER Berlin. During the evening, we learnt how to cook healthy meals and how to include various exercises in our daily office routines. Occupational health management becomes more and more important and should be a major project also for management assistants. IMA Berlin is now prepared to address this topic in our companies and to make a difference when it comes to organizational wellbeing.
IMA Berlin kicked off the year 2018 with a visit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Berlin, a new Business Partner of IMA. The hotel offered not only a hotel tour to interested attendees, the major focus was the presentation of the services of their own catering: First Catering. We enjoyed good talks, the wonderful food and had time to network and exchange common ideas for the year ahead. The hotel surprised us with a cake as we also celebrated one year of IMA. Hard to believe that the name and brand change is already a year old. IMA Berlin would like to thank everyone involved in this event. Please check this website to see your upcoming event in Berlin on March 27.
IMA Berlin celebrated their year end event on December 12 at the beautiful hotel Am Steinplatz in the heart of the city. Nearly 15 participants came to take a tour of the hotel and to attend the workshop with Joris Eyck, Managing Director with IMA partner HelmsBriscoe, about the topic Smart Meeting Planning. We welcomed a new individual member and two business members that night. IMA Berlin gained the most new members in 2017 compared to all other regions in Germany which makes us very proud.
We truly enjoyed the fact of coming together although we all have busy agendas around this time of the year. Thanks again to Joris for coming all the way from The Netherlands.
IMA Berlin will be back in 2018 with lots of great events. Please have a look at our event page.