Using the momentum and embracing the future together

How AdNovum leverages change thanks to its agile DNA

Karin Bühler, Chief People Officer at AdNovum since March 1, joined the company at a time of major change. No surprise therefore that she looks back on an eventful 100+ days and has a clear vision for the next 100 days and beyond.

What challenges at AdNovum attracted you to take on the role of Chief People Officer (CPO)?

In particular, I was attracted by the mix of people, tasks and company. My conversations with partners showed that we share many values and views. Therefore, I got «hooked» quickly. I felt that this company is undergoing major change in a positive sense: AdNovum wants to shape the future, reposition itself and grow on a global level. That’s why fresh ideas are wanted. The creative component was one of the main drivers for my decision. However, ultimately the people at AdNovum were the decisive factor. It is always the people who make the difference. 


What have you made happen in your first 100+ days as a CPO at AdNovum?

In the first phase, I wanted to find out about how people think, what is on their minds, and to get to know them personally. This gave me an impression of where the company stands. In the second phase, I focused on what lies ahead: How can we – as the People Unit – use the momentum of the current rebranding for our appeal as an employer, how should we interact with employees and leadership, how should strategy and vision be sharpened? In addition, strengthening the topic of Learning and Development is important to me. There is also potential in the system landscape. We want to digitalize our processes to a greater extent so that we gain the freedom to create added value as a business partner.

These topics have all been initiated. Simultaneously, we addressed some «quick wins» such as leadership training for career coaches, a straightforward approach to social media or the future setup for our apprentices.


Computer scientists are in great demand. Why should I as a software engineer choose AdNovum?

AdNovum is a melting pot of very different personalities from diverse cultural backgrounds. If you want to make a difference and learn something and feel comfortable in a demanding environment, in which a lot is also given, then you are in the right place with us. Since we are growing, there are constantly development opportunities opening up. Likewise, «sidesteps» are possible to gain new experience. The solid foundation of the new joiners coupled with AdNovum's expertise in e.g. banking, insurance and security topics contributes significantly to our success story. Personally, I already burn for AdNovum although I have been mostly working from home during the first 100+ days. It clicked immediately. This will also happen to you as software engineer – since we are a really cool company with amazing people and an inspiring corporate culture. 


How has the daily routine of employees changed over the past twelve months?

New working forms have emerged that fit ideally into the agile organization we are striving for. One example are global virtual collaborations and workshops. The global mindset has grown stronger, as borders have disappeared in virtual space and locations have moved closer together. For me, it was therefore an advantage to join as CPO in such a situation. 

For virtual collaboration to succeed globally and locally, trust was and is necessary that every person working from home does their best. At the same time, we are looking forward to moving into our new offices in the fall where all Zurich-based employees will be reunited in one building. We can feel that people are longing to meet their colleagues in person again. The crisis has brought some positive sides to light. Going forward, we will use both traditional and new collaboration methods as well as combinations thereof.


Which AdNovum-wide topics will you focus on in the near future?

We want to increasingly make use of the potential arising from global cooperation, because together we have more power and achieve synergy effects. We will address topics across locations, develop tools and processes for all and harmonize them where appropriate. This will eliminate the need for subsequent adaptation, freeing up time for us to support employees on site. The locations will be closely involved and still have their freedom.


The pandemic seems to come to an end. How have you already taken advantage of the new opportunities?

I am happy that real encounters are possible again, and I enjoy the amount of freedom I have regained. This includes e.g. seeing friends or working at the office and meeting teammates in person for the first time. It was also awesome to have lunch with colleagues from work – a real highlight after 100+ days.