Connecting Humans Katharina Krentz
Connecting Humans Katharina Krentz. Building and expanding networks, becoming visible, working together in a network.
Hey! I’m Katha.
I still find it difficult to be in the spotlight. Or, in other words:
It looks easy, but it drains my energy. Can you relate? What gives me energy is the joy and satisfaction of knowing that I am really changing something for the better through my work.
And interestingly, this is particularly the case when I address topics that have helped me personally, that have enriched and simplified my life. Examples include building and expanding networks, becoming visible, working collaboratively in a network, and learning from and with others. My crowning achievement is to have led networks and co-creation teams, without any disciplinary power, but instead purely with enthusiasm and passion for the topics at hand and the participants.
I have personally tried and tested everything that I teach, and I am constantly developing my experience and teachings. I believe that it only makes sense to pass on to others what actually works in practice.
A “what for”!
Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” book has also had a strong influence on me. However, I would replace his “Why” with “What for?”: what am I doing all this for? What do I get up in the morning for? So, what is it that drives, inspires and motivates me? Put simply: I want people to see and take the same opportunities for themselves that I have done. I believe that it only makes sense to pass on to others what actually works in practice.
Perhaps people who are in the same place that I once was: in the second row, invisible, not being listened to and thus not effective. Because people like me don’t usually become visible. Yet they can do with the help of a strong, diverse network that empowers and protects in equal measure.
Interconnected work, leadership and learning is only possible if we are visible in our daily work. Visible with our potential and our talents. Visibility does not mean being loud or active on social media every day. No: visibility means being ourselves and being effective.
We should be proud of our individuality, our personal story and our abilities: these are what make us unique. And only with this uniqueness can we work, lead and learn effectively in a network.
10 facts about me
A well-known WOL exercise is to share ten facts about yourself.
My full name is Katharina Anne Sophie Krentz (born Perschke).
Franconian, but without an accent as I have been living in Lower Saxony for over 10 years.
Travelling cosmopolitan, having lived in Africa, the USA, China, India and Germany.
Actively live in the here and now – I never postpone dreams (my father only lived to be 50).
Overcome boundaries and break down barriers, there’s no such thing as impossible > Growth Mindset.
Epicurean, wine, gin and chocolate lover. I love eating, but not cooking.
Stare into the forest or at bodies of water for rest and stress relief.
Dancing and fitness / sport to recharge my batteries.
Will drop everything for Kaiserschmarrn (a sweet pancake-based dessert, originally from Austria)!
My Story 1/7
What many people don’t know: I have three forenames. Katharina, Anne and Sophie. Katharina is the Jeanne d’Arc and boldly forges ahead, Anne is my logic and strategy and constantly reminds me to “Look at things again from a different perspective”, and Sophie stands for my intuition and dreams. Her favourite saying: “Come on, let’s try this out!”
These three facets are the reason why I continually surprise people: where there is a Katha, there is a way. Where there is an Anne, there is a serious consideration. And where there is a Sophie, there is another, perhaps purple idea.
My Story 2/7
My tomorrow: strengthening our strengths is the future
My greatest personal success so far: the WOL programme #FrauenStärken (StrengtheningWomen). Here – for the first time in my life – I can apply all my skills: courage, creativity, flexibility, tolerance, empathy, competence, resilience and my ability to create and lead a great team. The participants resemble who I was just a short time ago: primarily seeking opportunities, change, visibility and strength. So, how do we want to shape the future in this way? The future needs resilient, strong, self-confident people – who are connected to their selves – and a network instead of a hierarchical system.
My Story 3/7
What I recently experienced
Before #FrauenStärken, I had reached a point where I was striving for truthfulness. I asked myself: who am I really? What are my talents? I discovered the answers to these questions by networking and connecting with others, and thereby growing internally. Growing on the outside, becoming visible – that was and still is my driving force. Because I know what it’s like to stand in the second row and not be seen or heard. Above all, I am courageous when I am together with others – and successful. To this day.
My Story 4/7
Appearance and reality
Many people assume that it has been a piece of cake for me to overcome all the obstacles in my life. But that’s not true. My path has been rocky, difficult and long – but nevertheless worthwhile, because it has led me to myself. And this is in no small part thanks to my companions and their many talents and skills that enrich my life and work. Networking with people, applying their knowledge, skills and ideas equally and for the benefit of all: for me, that’s modern leadership. Working together towards a common goal. Growing together. Or better: BECOMING together and not BEING a lone fighter. To this day.
My Story 5/7
Everyone please step out of line
What can you learn from me? To step out of line. Because that’s what I did as a humble assistant in the corporate world. I established and popularised the then still unknown programme “Working Out Loud” (WOL) to such an extent that it is now recognised throughout Germany, and even further afield! At the time, I made a conscious decision to follow a new path, one that I hadn’t planned. A first for me. And I would like to encourage you to do the same. I would love to support you on your journey.
My Story 6/7
It’s an exciting path to one’s self
For a long time, I protected my inner self and distracted myself from my own insecurities by always aiming higher, faster, farther – despite the recognition, the applause, the oh-so-many compliments and project enquiries, I always wanted to go one step further. But in the end, these steps ended up taking me further and further away from myself. I also tended to keep other people at a distance and I always had an exit strategy. After all, I could get hurt, or be disappointed or abandoned.
My Story 7/7
I know insecurity like the back of my hand
Networking means connecting with others – but also with yourself. If I had known earlier how important this is, I would have saved myself a lot of distraction strategies. What do you do when you feel insecure? I defined myself through a supposedly perfect performance and my own achievements. I was a frantic conformist. I wanted everything, but I didn’t want to stand out – and I certainly didn’t want to step out of line. I simply wanted to be liked! Now I know how important it is to do just that.
What’s your story?
Top 10 – Influencer HR 2022
She is the face of Working Out Loud (WOL) in companies and has received several awards for her activities. She built up the topic of WOL at Bosch, made the German WOL community big, and recently started her own business on the side with Connecting Humans.
The goal is to unleash personal strengths and expand one’s own skill set and mindset.
10outof10 female Influencers
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Strive Magazine, for this #10outof10 Influencer award for #NewWork!
Katharina Krentz is the founder of Connecting Humans, part of the Transformation Team at Bosch, and a corporate trainer and speaker. In the area of New Work, she focusses on modern technologies and digital networking.
Forty over forty 2021
Strong women are the backbone of society. FemaleOneZero’s “Forty over Forty” list honours female role models in their respective fields: powerful businesswomen, pioneering scientists, our society’s culture-shapers and political leaders.
In 2021, the jury was tasked with nominating role models who actively shape opportunities for other women.
Digital Female Leader Award 2019, “New Work” category
The Digital Female Leader Award recognises “female founders and shapers in companies, politics and society who are driving digitalisation forward and leaving a lasting mark on it. With the #DFLA – an initiative of Global Digital Women – we want to highlight and share the stories and career paths of women.”
In 2019, I won the award in the New Work category – what an honour!
XING New Work Award 2019,
“New Work” category
The Xing New Work Award is presented to individuals and teams, courageous people and companies “who have been grappling with new concepts of work for years, and those who have radically repositioned themselves in a very short time. Each of these stories is worth telling, because we can all learn from their experiences.”
My team and I received this award in 2019 in the New Work category!
HR Excellence Award 2017
The HR Excellence Awards celebrate innovative lighthouse projects in human resources management. The awards honour creative ideas that bring a breath of fresh air to HR work.
As a network, Audi, BMW, Bosch, Continental, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Telekom and Siemens won the HR Excellence Award 2017 for their self-organised, cross-company “Working Out Loud” collaboration.
Make the topics that are closest to my heart your own?
Or would you like to hear and experience more? Then please get in touch!