Unlock the power of human connection with Julia von Winterfeldt from SOULWORX

Unlock the power of human connection with Julia von Winterfeldt from SOULWORX

#046 Let’s focus on the human-centric aspect (again)!

In this episode, it’s all about getting human-centric. I’m talking to Julia von Winterfeldt about the power of human connection and the principles and methods she uses to unlock it. We also discuss how to discover and live one’s purpose to increase satisfaction and self-efficacy.

Of course, we combine her experiences and recommendations with the human-centric BPM approach. I learned a lot from her program, and I’m sure you’ll have some “aha” moments in this episode as well.

Today’s Guest:

Julia von Winterfeldt

Julia is CEO of SOULWORX. She founded SOULWORX in 2015 to unlock the power of human connection. Before founding SOULWORX, she worked in senior management positions for various global consulting companies for nearly 20 years.

Julia is passionate about purpose. She is continuing to create and co-elevate Future of Work and a new era of Leadership for a meaningful and more connected future.

She is also the co-host of the podcast “beziehungsweise” — a German podcast that focuses on human connection.

You’ll learn:

  • What the power of human connection really is
  • What principles and methods Julia applies to unlock the power of human connection
  • How you can discover your individual purpose and – even more important – how to live your purpose to increase contentment and self-efficacy
  • What a team purpose is and how to develop – and benefit from – this
  • Julia also shares her recommendations on how to get to a more human-centric BPM approach. — Really interesting!
  • And, we are also taking about my experiences in discovering my purpose and bringing this to life with New Process — as a result of participating in Julia’s self-leadership program.


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Please note that the transcript was generated automatically and only slightly adjusted. It does not claim to be a perfect transcription.


Yeah, welcome to episode 46 of the New Process Podcast. Today, we’ll learn how to unlock the power of human connection. Therefore, I’m talking to Julia von Winterfeldt. Julia is CEO of SOULWORX. She founded SOULWORX in 2015 to unlock the power of human connection. Before founding SOULWORX, she worked in senior management positions for various global consulting companies for nearly 20 years.


Julia is passionate about purpose. She’s continuing to create and co-elvate future of work in a new era of leadership for a meaningful and more connected future. She is also the co- of the podcast Beziehungsweise, a German podcast that focuses on human connection. That’s super insightful. I’ll put the link into the show notes so, if you don’t know it by now, you have to listen to that as well.


This interview is very special because Julia has had a significant impact on my personal journey, and you can find out why in this interview. So in this episode, you’ll learn what the power of human connection really is, what principles and methods Julia applies to unlock the power of human connection, how you can discover your individual purpose and, even more important, how to live your purpose to increase contentment and self-efficacy. You learn what team purpose is and how to develop and benefit from this. Julia also shares her recommendations on how to get to a more human-centric BPM approach. That’s also really interesting. Finally, we’re talking a lot about my own experiences in discovering my purpose and bringing this to life with new process as a result of participating in Julia’s leadership program. So enjoy the interview with Julia von Winterfeldt. And now let’s start the reading process.


Yeah, welcome to the new process podcast Julia.


I’m really happy to be here today, yeah, but… Thank you for inviting me.


Thanks for inviting me, because this episode is really special today because I am your  here in your office, your podcast studio, and it’s actually my first in-person podcast recording, so it’s super special. And it’s even more special because you, as a person, had a significant influence on my personal journey, on where we are with new process, with new process podcast and so on today. So that’s why I’m really curious where this flight will lead us today too, so welcome.


Yeah, thank you thank you.


Then let’s start with a check-in. What do you prefer in an aircraft? I’ll a window seat.


You know I am a window person. I always, always make sure I get that seat at the window, and there are reasons for that as well.


Yeah, okay, why? What are the reasons?


Well, actually it’s because I kind of get my own space. I can bring my bag in, put it next to my legs and window, so I don’t have to put it in the upper seat and no one tells me I have to put it under the seat.


I can really just have it next to me so I have everything in near me. I can lean more or less. I mean in the earlier days you were able to really lean against the window. These days you can’t. But I kind of feel like I can lean against something and I’m kind of sort of in my own little private space. That’s why I like a window.


Yeah, that sounds really good and I know you traveled a lot in the past, so what is your favorite airport?


Yeah, good question. I did and really I did travel a lot and I remember when you got the analysis of how many kilometers you then traveled over the year. I’m not so proud anymore today. But yeah, what is my most favorite? I actually have to say I’m looking towards Germany again and yeah, although now suddenly others are popping up from international places, but actually I do really enjoy the Munich airport. It just has a sense of it’s big enough, it has a good amount of shops, if you have the time, and it also has a good business lounge. I have to admit, yeah, so that’s why I like it there.


That’s very good. I also like flying by Munich. It’s always easy to get from one flight to the other. It’s not so far to walk compared to Frankfurt, for example.


Exactly exactly, and it feels more modern than in Frankfurt, for sure.


Yeah, absolutely Cool. So final checking question what was the best process you have ever experienced?


Yeah, the best process I would say is, I think, what I learned when I was in the agency world. You know I was 20 years in the digital space in agencies and the process there was very much how do I get creative? And learning how to think creatively, how to yeah, lots of post-its on the walls, we had various processes around creativity, but these are brainstorming, yeah, kind of.


I liked. Yeah. I liked. Okay, that’s good. And now, before we really fly into the content, I have another question, and actually I think this question is based on what I learned from you. So the question is how would you describe your relationship to processes?


Talking about relationships, emotions and so on. I’m quite the process person, so I have a very good relationship to process. In fact, it gives me sort of this stability and the knowing okay, this is where the journey’s going. So I enjoy and I have, I would say, a good relationship. I actually prefer the process than the end goal itself. So that’s why, yeah, I’m a process person and things evolve throughout that process, but it’s better to be in process than to just think about the end goal.


Yeah, I love that. I also love being in the process, working on the things, working together with the people. That’s super interesting, cool. So then you are the founder and CEO of SOULWORX and your mission is or maybe it’s also your purpose, I’m not sure about that to unlock the power of human connections. So what is it all about?


Well, you know also, that was a process, getting to that and it is a mission actually and maybe we’ll get into that a little bit later but it is the mission to really unlock the power of connection because or human connection because, in my, as I already said, 20 years of being digital and thinking a lot around digital processes, digitalization, I had the privilege, I would say, of really sitting in boardrooms and working through digital transformation processes. However, these board meetings never really took the human aspect into consideration. So I kind of felt a little depressed in a way, walking out of these meetings, that everyone was full on strategy, full on, you know, digital processes, but no one took that into consideration and I felt if we really want to transform, then we have to transform the human side as well.


And therefore this unlocking the power of human connection. And ultimately, you know, every organization has human beings. I mean, we soon have more AI as well, but you know, we still have ourselves as human beings. And if we cultivate a great connection amongst people, I really do believe that full potential is realized. And we’re not doing that sufficiently. These, even today, even though we’ve been yeah, even though we really are bringing more human aspects into the world of work, we still don’t understand what human connection truly is.


So yeah, okay, wow, that’s super fascinating. What are the core principles or methods you are using?


Yeah. So I would say that, from a core principle perspective, how SOULWORX approaches work is first of all, we’re definitely, you know, always trying to be as human as possible, so we take the context into consideration, we don’t try and force feed something that is taken from a different context and then said this is what’s going to be working for you.


Hence, looking at the human system, what’s happening in that context? The second is a core principle is going deep, because the work we do you could see it as a very superficial kind of piece of an element that an organization needs being you know, finding your purpose as an organization, understanding where your vision is.


That could all be done very superficially and you can check market and put it out there there is a slogan or some kind of campaign, but our core principle is to go deep and that means to really bring out the authenticity of the humans within that organization so that it is real and it is something that people believe in. So that’s the second core principle. Third is being very iterative in the process. So, as I said, I enjoy very much being in the process. Of course, there is an intention and end goal to get to. However, we don’t know what that path really is.


So we continuously iterate, working through that, and the last I would say is very inclusive. So maybe I should be a little bit more precise. Our work is always there to transform an element, if not the whole organization, and therefore on these transformation journeys we try and be as inclusive of everyone within the organization, and often I get the question well, if we’re a 5,000 people organization, how’s that going to work?


And I still believe it can work. The reason why we don’t bring in 5,000 people is twofold. One is sometimes just budget, but the second is time as well. People believe they don’t have the time. I wish we did believe we had the time, because that is time well invested for things that then won’t arise later on. So, yeah, those are core principles, but the methods that we use, I think, are quite plain. We do workshops, we do within workshops, we have breakouts to be more efficient, to get people to have more dialogue amongst themselves, but we also open space. So of course, we could say we have open space methodologies, but we try and open space very much for what we call dialoguing and reflection. So holding space for conversation to really happen is also core to our work. Okay, that’s cool.


And what was your favorite project so far?


I’ve had so many different kinds of you know. Funnily enough, when you say that question, I actually have to go back to prior my work with SOULWORX, or founding SOULWORX. One of my amazing moments in therefore also projects was actually working for the Shure Foundation from Steven Spielberg, and we were tasked to create a CD-ROM that I’m that old Exactly. But yeah, we were tasked to bring all of that information of individuals who had lived through the times, and there were videos from the Shure Foundation that came together and create some sort of historical CD-ROM that was documenting the journeys of people who what?


they went through and that was just, yeah, that was really a very touching but also my little fan moment. My meeting Steven Spielberg was also Wow. So you met him, I met him personally. Yeah, I was even invited, with the finishing product that we were invited then to his studio in Hollywood and this gentleman really does have an aura around him. It didn’t surprise me at that moment why he, in a way, was so involved in the project, In a way was so successful, but also where his ideas and thoughts and creativity came to create his films.


Yeah, yeah, that’s really inspiring. Cool, yeah, perfect, so besides working with organizations and teams, you’re also helping individuals to get more contentment and self-efficacy. I was one of the early participants of what is today called Solution right, that’s the name of the program today. Can you give a brief overview of what this program is all about?


Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, you were, I think, the first group of people.


Yeah, it was in the second. Yeah, in the second.


So, yeah, it definitely evolves, thankfully, through your participating. So, yeah, the program is really there for individuals who are sensing they’re in transition into something that could be within the world of work that they’re already in, or whether they want to transition out of something into something new, and it’s really giving, or it’s how it wants to have individuals really follow their bliss, ie really being who they truly are with what they can bring to the world. Now that may be a little bit fuzzy for listeners. Ultimately it is to just have this sense of efficacy, that you are doing something that makes sense, that has meaning, that is really bringing everything out of you that you have within you, so all of your potential, all of your competencies and, yeah, and invigorating this sense of bliss is the best word.


I can say, because ultimately, you then start to ride on a wave that is precisely the one you want to ride and that you want to do. So that’s what it’s about ultimately. Of course, it’s very individual, because everyone is coming with a certain intent to this program, and what that is is then hopefully realized after the program.


Yeah, okay, so the program consists of several phases. Yeah, exactly, it has four phases, four phases Okay, and how long does it take to complete the program?


Yeah, so when you went through it was a 12-week program. Today it’s a 16-week program yeah.


So it does ask a lot because in today’s world we all want instant gratification and get it done, but I like to sort of force the opposite and to recognize, and maybe, coming back to processes, you can’t switch or transition in a quick way. It has to evolve itself through a bit of time and therefore this process is 16 weeks or four months or four phases, and it has, I think, learned from when you participated that even 12 weeks was too little to really digest everything.


Yeah, that’s true, and I’m still working on implementing the results Exactly?


Where are you Tell me, have you gotten to the place where you wanted to get?


to? Actually I’m not sure. So I remember sitting next door and writing down where I want to be in the future. So at the last workshop we had together here in your rooms, and I remembered that, I made a plan, for example, to talk to my wife and to tell her what I learned, and for sure we talked about what we did before, but at the end I had at least a little plan on what to do, and one specific action was to apply what I learned to the topic of processes. So to use my process management experience and to combine that with creating inspiring experiences, which is more or less the purpose I discovered for myself to create inspiring experiences.


And now I try to inspire people for processes. And even if I’m already two years in this journey full-time and journey started way before that I think I have no real idea of where the journey is going to. But it’s a lot of fun, a lot of cool people I’m meeting, I’m working with and I really enjoy what I’m doing. So maybe it’s time to sit down and rethink what I learned. Maybe that could be part of part two of your program. So I’m not sure.


Yeah, but you at least have just raised that point, that you’re following my words. Now, your bliss. You are in a joyful place, you’re having fun with what you’re doing, you’re creating as it comes. You don’t necessarily have to have this at the end of three weeks and that is what’s got in it. You’re going through the process itself and I would believe at least that you have a few coordinates, maybe from our journey together or from the program that can give you, once in a while, this sort of am I in the right course still, or do I still need to shift a little bit to the right, to stay on course, but ultimately, I’m happy to hear that you’re having a lot of fun, absolutely.


So my journey together with you started about four years ago, 2020. And then, after two years, I left Lufthansa. Now I’m full time working on what I really enjoy, and that’s just super exciting.


Yeah, I’m so happy to be here today, but before we talk more about what I learned, let’s talk about the program in more detail. So in phase one, it’s all about self awareness to understand your strengths, your fears, your desires. I still remember when I was sitting at the computer writing down my ideas on these questions and I really learned a lot about myself in these first four weeks of the program. But how do you guide your mentees to do this today? So how does phase one look like?


Yeah, so exactly, phase one still is around self awareness, self inquiry in a way, and ultimately, guidance in this phase is to ask yourself a lot of questions. And that happens by asking yourself literally the question, or through dialogue with someone opposite you, or with many opposite you one to many and simply by verbalizing your answers. It becomes more conscious, like, ah, interesting, this is what I’m saying right now.


This is what it is, and usually we don’t give ourselves that time to reflect, to have someone opposite us who’s witnessing your thinking or your answers to the questions. But you also mentioned the fears and beliefs that you’re having Basically. This is also there in the first phase, because often, when we want to take our journey towards something that we really, really want to do, that is really true to ourselves, we have these voices in us that then will very nicely take us to the other side and not to what we actually really want to do, or what gives us passion and joy, and therefore, in this first phase, it’s really important to have a look at that, not to do anything with it, but just to be conscious of it like


ah, there’s my inner critic, ah, there’s my. There’s that voice in me that wants to always, you know, show off and be really brilliant. Or there’s that voice in me that is fearful and doubtful and putting me down and and again, just to become conscious of it, so that we know that this is in us and it’s in all of us, and to to allow it to be there. There is an opportunity to start to work with that, to start to see, for example, the inner voice or even belief systems, and can I shift that into something that will help me transform or to transition to something new? But, again, the most important thing is just to make it conscious and that helps us to then shift into that second phase.


The first phase, again, is more about what we know, may have to bring it out, about subconscious, but it’s things that we’ve experienced, that we know about ourselves. The second phase and I’m curious to see how you react to this, knowing some of your reactions when we went through the journey but the second phase is really there to then move into what I call our soul calling and allowing really the deeper self to talk so I refer to it as our soul voice and then starting to listen to maybe our intuitive mind, to something that is, yeah, that could even be externalized, like some of us kind of can’t understand what is our internal voice, I have no idea. But if we externalize it, like say, we start to talk to a person we really love that has passed away, or we start to talk to an individual that is just a persona, but we relate to that persona.


For example, I know Jesus. For example, it helps us to hear what our inner voice is really saying, and sometimes even you could. I mean, this is very cool these days to say, well, the universe will provide right. But yeah, having that connection maybe to the universal, the all knowing, whatever that may be, sometimes that helps individuals to connect to something that really is coming out of their inner voice that they need to externalize it.


So, yeah, that’s the soul calling and I really believe that in this phase, actually, we all know what we’re really, what we’re really here for in this journey called life, and that we just need to, I like to say, also sort of become still and still be in motion because we’re processing, but we become still to really hear what that voice wants to say yeah, I don’t know it’s in. English it’s become. You know it’s easier for you than when I spoke about it in German.


I just can share some insights of what happened on my side in this phase and for me I’ve been working in an engineering environment for nearly 20 years, so very digital. We never talked about emotions and then starting to try to talk to your soul, more or less to yourself, and try to find out what is really going on inside you, was spooky for sure, but I tried it and somehow it worked. So I got something on paper and wrote down the results of this conversation somehow. But I still remember two things. One was we did this meditation in between and tried to connect with our soul, and I did that in our bedroom, was lying on the bed.


And while listening to the meditation, my wife came into the room and said look who you are sleeping. What is going on here? No, no, I’m trying to talk to my soul. But then we talked about that in a session and I told you how hard it is for me to speak to my soul.


We talked about other ways to find answers to these questions, and for me it’s taking a shower. I could take a shower for hours, quite expensive and quite cold. In the end we’re running out of hot water, but this really works for me. So my brain is processing so many ideas while I’m taking a shower and often their interesting answers come to questions which I have, which I’m not asking specifically while taking a shower, but suddenly an idea and answer is there and that helps me. Even when we’re now planning the new process conference which takes place in April, there are a lot of questions how are we going to do this and that? And sometimes good ideas are just popping up while taking a shower. So for me it was another way to get answers to my questions this way, absolutely.


And do you know why that happens in the shower. I mean it’s not a non-typical situation, because you’re combining in your brain two different things.


You’re maybe thinking about something, but at the same time your brain is processing, there’s water coming down, I’m getting wet, and this is then I think neurons are being newly put together or things are happening differently in your brain and therefore these sparks, moments come up which you couldn’t repeat if you were just sitting in front of your computer, because you’re doing one thing, but these two completely non-lateral things happening at the same time allow spurts of otherness to appear.


Yeah, yeah, so wow, ah, that’s so fascinating. And so in phase two, you’re defining the individual purpose, or the participants are defining or finding their purpose. How does this look like and what is purpose all about? I’m talking a lot about this, but I’m sure a lot of our listeners are not really aware of what purpose really is about.


Yeah, Well, I think I have to put it up front. My assumption is that we all have a very unique reason to be in this life. Yeah, in this world.


So that’s an assumption. I mean, if that assumption doesn’t resonate with you, then probably this program won’t resonate with you and I also. The second assumption is that I do believe that we’re born into this world with a certain I know you could say characteristic, I like to say with a certain essence there’s something within you, and maybe those of us that have held a baby in our hands, or even our own child in our hands, we kind of get a certain feeling that there’s a characteristic that is really unique to this human being.


So, yeah, finding purpose for me has three elements. The first is to really uncover that essence within you. Who are you at the, if you scrape away everything that you know, your competencies, your body, what is? That core within you and usually that you know you could say there’s some kind of noun that would come up that would describe that.


Like for me. I uncovered like, yeah, if I really ripped everything away and went to the essence of the core of my being, then I understand that I am this pure expansive love, and that doesn’t sound very marketing relevant. You wouldn’t go out there on LinkedIn and say, yeah, I’m pure expansive love. Here you go. However, for me, just personally, when I am not in that essence of pure expansive love, like I know what it feels for me, I know how I can sense it, undescribable to others, but if I’m not in that element, then I know I’m not really bringing my full potential to the table.


So, that’s the first coordinate you could say. The second is I’m also believing that when we’re born, we have something that we have to, we can give to the world, Like there’s some action, there’s something that we provide that is really unique to us. And it doesn’t have to be something really big, Like it could just be. My uniqueness is how I bring people together. That’s just. I could continuously do this and it’s so natural to me. I don’t even have to think about it, I just do it. So, trying to uncover that element and say, well, what is it that I’m always doing? And I love this part because we journey them back into when we were children and how we were in our own bedroom, what games did we play, how did we create things in our minds. And usually there’s magic in that because we start to put as Steve dropped so nicely says, connect the dots. Like, oh, I did that.


I did that. I’m doing that there now as well. So that’s the second element of really figuring out what is it that comes so naturally to me, so clearly to me, and that it’s so easy that I don’t even think about it. So that’s the second element, and the third element then goes towards your mission. If I know who I am in my core and what it is that I so naturally do and can provide, where would I want to bring these elements in what kind of context? So, for me, I know that this action that I bring to the table every time is actually bringing people together and holding space.


I mean, I can think of many moments where I did this with my cousins and my brother and a lot of this. However, I could take this pure, expensive love and this bringing people together and holding space. I could bring that into the health industry. I could have been some kind of medicine woman or something like this. But my context where I really want to have impact is in the world of work, where I really feel that’s where I’m best at. That’s where I kind of did my training, because I was 20 years in the digital space.


So this is where I want to provide because, I do believe that we should be shifting the world of work and with everything that I offer today with SOULWORX is trying to help impact this new world of work. Ie, the mission of SOULWORX is to unlock the power of human connection in the world of work, because that will shift work.


And that’s our purpose in how to shift work. So yeah, so that’s how purpose comes together these three elements and then the ego self, ie our mind, starts to put sentences together and we come up with a purpose statement which feels a little bit tactical but is, for our ego mind, really important that we get a statement that we can latch onto, because it’s just externalizing that, what is already in you, and you’re just giving it words so that you can connect with it better. That’s all that there is. There’s a big thing about purpose statements where there was and we kind of have moved into another wave of purpose, but when purpose for organizations came out, it was like, okay, I’m going to build my purpose statement and put it out there and I would say many, many, many organizations or people within the organization didn’t do the real work, didn’t do that inner work.


If you really want to live by your purpose, then find out what that essence is find out what you naturally do, find out which context you want to provide in and piece that together to make a purpose statement true to yourself or to the organization.


Yeah, just remember how I wrote down all my insights of the program. That’s super fascinating. Maybe we can talk about that in a few minutes, but before, after finding this individual purpose in your program, what happens in phase three and four?


Yeah, it’s basically taking responsibility for that, and I love the word in German as well as in English, the responsibility having the word response in it. What is?


your response to that. Now that you’ve figured that out, how are you going to respond? So phase three is more about, I would say, sort of making sure you’ve landed properly, you’ve integrated it, you’ve got tools or resources within you that will help this little seed that you’ve now found and start to grow in a contained way, as in a healthy and nourishing way. And then phase four becomes more actually process driven again, because then it goes out into the world. Okay, how can I now make this real? What do?


I need to do? What are my goals? What relationship should I build so that I can really follow my individual purpose and become more tangible and more real in this daily life and not be up in soul life?


Yeah, oh, fascinating. I just wrote down what happened when I finished the program so.


I think that was one of the last activities here, writing down a specific action plan or what to do next. And this is what I did. And I went to an Italian restaurant, was my wife and I introduced this plan to her. Luckily, she said yeah, just go for it, try it out, even if you have to reduce your work time for Lufthansa to go more into that direction. And then I thought it was during the COVID time, so there was already the chance to reduce my working time a bit and use more time to start my future journey, and that’s how I founded newprosletlabcom. Finally, and after two years, I left the company and now I’m more or less working full time on my purpose. That’s super cool.


And the second thing I wrote down is that I think at the end of phase three so, which was the last phase in our program you asked us to create a picture, for example, as a reminder to visualize your purpose. So maybe that was the task and that’s the picture which is still hanging in my office, always behind my back and a lot of people know that from from the podcast, because it’s always in the background and there is a sun and a bird. Maybe that’s part of the logo and it’s also part of the logo of what I’m using, and so what I discovered when developing my purpose was I think as part of the essence was in German to say Besonnenheit, so always be relaxed and take it easy, and there’s always a way forward. So I don’t know what Besonnenheit is in English.


Trying to think as well. In a way, it’s bliss as well. So, remain in your bliss.


But that’s why I have the sun in the logo and the bird comes from Beflügel in German, to inspire people. That’s what I would say in English, but in German I often say mentioned to Beflügel. So that’s why I have these both elements on this picture in my logo and it always reminds me of what we did together. So thank you so much for this.


And finally, in the end, I think you encouraged me to go this next step and without this structured plan and thinking about what I really did in the past, what my strengths are, and thinking about my fears and really addressing these emotional aspects, in the end, that to where I am today In your room doing this interview for the New Proscast that’s super cool.


Yeah, it’s really nice and I also really. It’s a good reminder for all of us or at least how I can say for myself to understand that we’re continuously on this journey.


I mean of course, as you said, like four years ago was when it started. And have you gotten there? Is it like complete? And I believe it never is complete and you’re always, constantly again iterating what now? How should I move now, at least in this last section of bringing it to life, If you really have done the work, as in you’re staying connected to yourself, then you’ll always recognize when am I on track and when am I not on track, Because these elements, as I said, you’ll recognize I’m not in my essence at the moment when I’m doing this.


I’m not really providing what I so naturally do. So, yeah, it’s good reminder to know it never ends.


Yeah, absolutely. And it’s also for me a good reminder to think about my purpose again because, looking back all these steps, so four years ago we had this program together. After two years I left Lufthansa. I just founded GmbH or LSE company. So now it’s clear into what direction I’m going to. There is no way back and I don’t want to go back. I still miss the people, that’s for sure, but I love the creative, independent work which I’m doing right now.


And so maybe there’s an opportunity to create another vision, as in what would I, what an intention is a nicer word than just the vision Like what’s the intention of at the end of the year? Who? What do I have around me? And maybe in that picture there’s then people, not necessarily that you’re continuously working with, but you have more connection with others throughout your work as well.


So human connection right? Oh, that’s cool. Well, thank you for all these inspirations, but there are still some questions on my list.


We have to talk about. So when I started talking about new process so bringing together new work aspects and business process management one topic I discovered as more or less a secret weapon was to develop process purpose yeah, bringing people together and being part of a community of this process and try to find out why do we have this process, what is the purpose of this specific process? But you are also working with organizations and teams and help them to develop their team purpose or organizational purpose. Can you give just one or two examples of how an organizational or even a team purpose can look like?


Yeah, absolutely so. I’ll just take a project or a program that we’re working on, and here it’s basically just working with the marketing organization that is newly formed, because there’s a new head of marketing and this lady wants to make sure that the team is really moving in the same direction and the beginnings was the team is kind of all over the place and there was some not so good relationships. They were anyway working from different places, so she really wanted to bring everyone together to focus then on the goals that they had set themselves or that the company was.


also, the leaders were asking of marketing, and in order to get there, she recognized it was important to bring a different kind of esteem and motivation into the team, because it was kind of all over the place. The relationships weren’t good, and so she set out and asked could we support her in creating this understanding of?


what they stand for, why they’re so important as a part of the organization and what also their principles or their values are on top. So we journeyed with them to find out their purposes and as an example it is to I’m trying to think at the same time how to translate it, but really it seems so obvious, but it seems it is so motivating that they are the engine for reach and impact what the organization brings. And it’s not necessarily the statement that they then found for themselves as a team, but more so the process that happened within that, because of, as I said earlier, the dialoguing that was happening, the reflection that was happening, the creation of a statement IE co-creation of a statement brought this team more together and they started to feel motivated by not only the statement but by how they were interacting with one another. So I would say the team purpose was more the reasoning for them to come together, but ultimately it was a byproduct and the real product was how they then formed themselves as a team. And as.


I said there were also values that we then crafted together so that they had behavioral principles of how they wanted to interact with, to interact with one another. And then I always like to say that only because you have that purpose statement that you’ve co-created and you’ve brought to life, or rather you’ve put into a sentence, and you have your values, that’s really when the journey truly begins and where the real work happens. But they had that commitment. At the end of this part of the journey, they said okay, we’re committing to this, we’re doing this. Now let’s collaborate and get to work and bring what we’ve said being this engine into our marketing processes and into the ways that we interact as a team.


Yeah, okay, yeah, that’s fascinating and I know how powerful the purpose can be to provide guidance, for example, when you’re executing the process and you don’t know, do I have to go left or right? And you can look at the purpose and think about, okay, what should I do now, what is in line with the purpose, and so on. Exactly, exactly.


And it has this it can be very, very center for decision making, and it should be. However, as I said earlier, you can go through this process at a very superficial level and when you do so, I’m seeing how organizations are then, or rather parts of the organization. The team itself starts to go back to old habits and old ways of working or behaviors that they already had in them, because, ultimately, yeah, they found their statement, checked, we’ve got it brilliant, but no one was really attaching to it.


There was no emotional connection with it. So it’s really really important to do that deep work and to take the time ultimately to get there.


Yeah, cool, that’s great. And final question which I’m asking all my s here before we are landing this episode so, applying your overall experience to rethinking processes, what are your top three recommendations to get to a more human-centric business process management approach?


Yeah, good question. So my first insight would be to rethink yourself. Ok, like again, who are you really and why are you doing this job, and how are you providing yourself to go into that reflection mode and understand to you as a human, first of all, and how you’re participating in your part of the work.


That’s number one. Two I really do believe that we need to have more time in connecting with one another. If we want to say we’re human-centric, then let’s not be transactional, let’s not just work through what we have to do. Let’s take the time to understand well, how are you today, or what’s happening with you today, or do we need that check-in to really understand each other without having to go into the story? But at least we know the story of one another, and I do see that we just don’t give ourselves that time.


But if we want to be more human-centric, also in business processes, then that’s part of it as well. And then I would say the third would be around human-centric. I would even go further. This isn’t a term that is coined by myself, but it is a term that’s being used more and more. It’s called life-centric, which means let’s make sure every impact that we have with that process that we’re doing is being of benefit to all stakeholders, so not just the human beings themselves, but also to nature, to other species, as in animals, that we’re always taking that into consideration. Wow, love it.


Cool, perfect. So, to wrap it up, what is your key message to our listeners?


I think for me it’s continuing. We kind of stepped on it. We say to understand that we’re continuously in a process. We’re continuously in a process. Everything is process. I mean our body is a continuous process and I wouldn’t fuss so much about coming to an end of a process. I would simply enjoy the process and really be in that process, whatever process it is, whether it’s something to do with your life or whether it’s a work process, to really embrace the journey that you’re in as in meaning that process. Yeah, know that also exactly that the process. There will always be a process.


So either you own that process or that process will own you, and that ties together with becoming conscious of what that process is. So I think the second message would be let’s become more and more conscious of the processes that we can at least see and not necessarily control in that sense, but we have a certain view on to and can embrace it and not take over us.


Wow, that’s super inspiring. Thank you so much. Where can our listeners learn more about your activities?


Yeah, simple SOULWORX.de, yeah, ok.


And is there another solution series coming up?


There is. There is actually, and funny, I was thinking maybe I should embark on an English speaking one, because I have friends in Amsterdam, Funny enough. I don’t know why only there, but I have friends elsewhere.


But, these are the ones that are asking yeah, when is this going to happen in English so that we can participate? So, yeah, there is no English version yet. Maybe I should, now that you’re giving me the impulse, to think about an English version. But yeah, if you are German speaking, then actually the next will be in November, because the March starting now, mid-march or 19th March, is more or less full. I mean, there’s any one space, ok?


so go for it. No, ok. And just one thing that pops up in my mind is is it still online?


Or still online.


Can you just say a few more words on how the setup looks like? Yeah, so when I’m now living in Amsterdam and I’m speaking German and I want to have this last seat how could I?


participate, I should really get you as my sales. No, yeah, exactly. So it’s, as I said, 16 weeks and you have every Monday evening is the online gathering or what.


I say a mastermind, and we talk about the homework of that week and we also delve into some of the topics a little bit more deeper. So that’s the time that happens online. It’s basically every Tuesday you unlock this is a normal process, at least for online programs. You unlock the week following in that week you get an audio there’s no video of me, it’s just an audio and you have a workbook and then you have in that workbook the homework and then you come to the Monday of that week and on the Monday we close the week off in that mastermind?


Yeah, and you should invest four hours a week is what I suggest. Of course, you can invest less. You can invest lots and lots of more if you have the time, but I would say the expectation is four hours, including the one and a half hour Monday evening. Yeah, so it’s two and a half hours on top, yeah.


Yeah, Well, that’s cool. I love that format and it was a good time which I had.


And I think, maybe exactly because I also love that format and I also I think I enjoy the human connection piece and being with the group, and I think that’s important to say it’s always a small group, so we’re always between 10 or maximum 15. And that’s what makes it special as well. And I really also like to say, of course, I am the flight attendant in this journey and I’ve crafted a journey. However, the magic also happens through the people that are together and you learn from one another. It’s not just me providing, it’s everyone providing which is great, fun, absolutely.


So these human connections on that journey were just super cool, interesting and, yeah, great. Which topic method expert tool would you recommend to me to have a closer look on to get new ideas on how to rethink processes?


Yeah, I hope maybe it does provide you some insight. But when I was thinking of this question I kind of came to the answer, the hero’s journey, which is it’s not really the same business process.


Yeah, it doesn’t have to be.


But since I came up with, what project did I really enjoy or would I come up with now and spoke about Steven Spielberg? The hero’s journey is. I think it was Joseph Campbell who decoded all these films of heroes and understood what the process is and came up with. There’s always a hero’s journey.


It’s always the same story how you enter your life, how you then get troubles and fears come up and then you’re sent off somewhere and then you have your battles and everything goes off and then, you’re completely down and then at some point you arise from that and turn into who you really are, and then you have to tell others of that hero moment so that the journey and the story continues.


So, yeah, he decoded various actually not film, sorry he decoded various figures, people who stood there as heroes and then came up with this pattern. And the reason why I’m thinking of it is I think there may be some truth. I mean, there definitely is truth to it. There may be some truth that we can provide, also in how we organize processes in the business world, and that it is sometimes a struggle at first and it isn’t very easy, in that we’re all going to have our battles and then at some point we think we’re going to just throw it out of the window but, actually, that’s when the moment is where we then learn from it and the process becomes ingrained in us.


Yeah, that’s fascinating. I just talked to Yasmin Curtis this morning and she will be as one of the facilitators at the new process conference in April and she’ll provide a session on gamification in games you often also have a hero and we’ll also have a session on storytelling, so telling the story of the hero, for example. That perfectly fits together. And, yeah, thank you for that recommendation.


I’ll definitely have a closer look onto that. I’ll also provide you with a link that can go in the show notes as to how this decoding of the hero’s journey happened. Yeah, it would be great.


Cool. Thank you, Julia. So we already landed this aircraft. Is there anything else we have missed you would like to share with our listeners before we leave the aircraft?


No, I can only comment on the view. Now that I’m sitting at the window, literally no, and meaning to say, yeah, what a wonderful journey and wonderful landing. Again, I have nothing really to add. There’s nothing that comes to mind, at least only that I found it very, very, yeah, just very lively and very grateful for this conversation.


Okay. So how would you describe this journey with just three words?


I would say lively for sure, and also very easy going, and yet with depth.


Yeah, wow, definitely. I fully agree to that. For me, it was super inspiring again to be back at this location to talk to you, and I’m really looking forward to what is coming up next. So thank you for these inspirations today and looking forward to whatever is coming up in the future.


Exactly, thank you, thank you.


Wow. That was a lot of food for thought During this interview in person at Julia’s podcast studio was super special for me. The studio has a beautiful view on Hamburg’s Speicherstadt and it was the location of the final workshop of the program, where my new process journey started. So, two years after starting the program, I left Lufthansa to go all in with new process. That was exactly two years ago when I left Lufthansa and of February 2022. And now, two more years later, we recorded this interview and, as I mentioned, I just founded a company to push new process even further.


So Julia has had a major impact on my life and I’m so grateful for all her inspiring impulses. If you are in the same situation as I was back, then, you simply have to reach out to Julia to discover your purpose and bring it to life. But also, regarding processes, developing a purpose is so powerful. So I really liked the examples Julia gave, and I can tell you that you can unlock the power of human connection by developing a process purpose for your process community too, and there is already an entire episode on process purpose. It is episode five of the new process podcast quite old one, but a good one. So to listen to it. Just go to newproslapcom slash episode five. I’ll put the link into the show notes, just like all the others as well. So, as an outlook, there are some really cool episodes in the pipeline with experts from other disciplines, with a real process architect, and also some more tool interviews are coming up.


But for now, thank you very much for listening. Have a great day. Bye, bye and auf Wiedersehen. Before you leave, I know how hard this BPM journey is, and is even harder if you are doing this all on your own. To change this, I’d like to invite you to join forces with other BPM enthusiasts at new process pro. New process pro is my online community for people like you and me. Beyond networking with other process guys, you will find tools, methods and best practices at new process pro To join for free. Just go to new process lab dot com slash pro. Thank you very much, bye, bye.



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