New year, new partner: Fabian Göbel on his goals for 2020

Nunatak is kicking off 2020 with an additional partner: Our long-time Principal Dr. Fabian Göbel is now part of our management team, alongside Robert Jacobi and Rupert Schäfer. Welcome! In this interview, Fabian talks about his new role and his goals for 2020.

Dr. Göbel, Gerhard Schröder, the former chancellor of Germany, once coined the term “Agenda 2020.” Although you are not the next chancellor, you are now the third partner at Nunatak. What is your “Agenda 2020”?

FABIAN GÖBEL: For 2020 I intend to grow in my new role. As a partner, I will increasingly focus on how we can further develop existing client relationships and tap into new customer groups. In addition, I will continue to deal with the topic of company buildingalongside our new COO Ralf Hunecketo support the continuous strengthening of Nunatak’s position from the inside out. From my perspective it is key that Nunatak is even more strongly represented as a brand and as an employer for 2020.

“Further develop existing client relationships” – what does that mean, in concrete terms?

By this I mean that we continue to work together with our existing clients on challenges regarding innovation that are crucial to their success. In my work I primarily focus on growth strategies especially in the field of sales and marketing – here, for example, it is about transferring organizations from the old- to the new world. This transfer could take the form of anything from modern governance models – i.e., the management of an entire marketing unit – to the newly required employee profiles and their responsibilities. It is also becoming increasingly important to select an appropriate technology setup in order to enable organizations through the appropriate tools and utilize data optimally.

“Digital disruption makes major change inevitable.”

Can you give an example of this?

For example, we are currently in the process of restructuring the marketing management of a global advertiser and reorganizing various units. Another important factor: This company has a global headquarters as well as individual country subsidiaries. This interplay gives rise to all kinds of questions: What does the new setup look like? What technology will be used? What role do different agencies play? Digital disruption makes major change inevitable here in order to be able to work efficiently and economically successful in the future. 

And where do you see particular potential in tapping new client groups?

Many of our colleagues come from the media industry, which was affected by digital disruption at a very early stage. We have extended the lessons and insights we have gained to other industries – such as finance, insurance and automotive – in view of new business models, changes in internal processes, etc. This is where we can create added value, and we intend to do so more intensively.

As a company, Nunatak’s value proposition is to “make the most of the opportunities of digitalization”: What are the biggest opportunities in 2020 – and what are the biggest challenges?

Digitalization is a very broad field after all, and first and foremost, one always has to be specific about the goals that are being pursued. On the one hand, there are the growth opportunities, such as expanding the business and establishing innovative business models. On the other hand, the issue of cost savings can also become relevant. The economic situation is certainly less rosy at present than it was two years ago, and the outlook is vague. That is why many companies are trying to save money in the area of digitalization as well. However, postponing promising topics for cost reasons is, in our view, the biggest mistake businesses can make. In an area as fast-moving as digitalization, every pause can cause major setbacks. Instead, companies should have the courage to invest in the right projects, right now, in order to remain competitive in the long term.

Holacracy and OKRs: How innovative is Nunatak itself?

“Innovation management” was the guiding theme of many external Nunatak projects in 2019. How innovative is Nunatak itself? 

In the past, we have always been very successful in establishing innovation processes in companies on a long-term basis. But if you ask us how innovative we ourselves are, we have to look inward, of course. In 2019, we completely restructured our organizational setup. We have partly oriented ourselves to a very agile operating model – holacracy – and set ourselves up in various operative “Circles.” Since 2019, all internal processes have also been aligned with OKRs – meaning, overarching objectives, and corresponding  measurable key results derived from them. 

You can already see the success from both approaches – after just six months. Therefore, I would definitely describe us as innovative – with regard not only to our clients, but also to ourselves. In 2020, we aim to continuously reflect on our agile approaches to remain innovative, and increase work-life balance in consulting – this will make us even more attractive as an employer. 

What does it mean to you to become a partner after years as one of the leading employees? 

The two managing partners and I have already worked a lot in partnership together – after all, this is one of Nunatak’s core values. So for me, this is more of a change on paper than it is a change in our day-to-day operations. At the same time, it is of course a nice confirmation of my work to be on the same level with two people I look up to professionally. 

Where do you see Nunatak in two years? And in 10 years? 

My goal is for Nunatak to continue to establish itself in the market, and for us – with our focus on digitalization – to be even more present in German-speaking and international markets than we are today. That certainly includes opening additional locations over the next 10 years. We will continue to grow and then possibly adjust our positioning. In any case, I look forward to the next decade with confidence, and I believe that we can establish ourselves as one of the most relevant players in all aspects of digitalization.