Our new partner, Michael Kubiena, has over 20 years of experience across Central & South-eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. He has held expert, managerial and consulting roles, primarily in the ICT & service industries. Michael is well-versed in topics such as Organization Design (link), leadership and culture (link) as well as people practices (link).
After attending university in his native Vienna and after having worked in Central and Eastern Europe for a number of years, he has lived, studied and worked in Istanbul and has just recently returned to Vienna.
In his consulting practice, he focuses primarily on organization design, Leadership & Culture, and HR practices. In addition, he works on strategy development and sustainability. He is also engaged in civil society, his main interest being sustainable urban food systems.
KKonsultori is a rapidly growing boutique consultancy. What made you decide to join as a partner?
First of all, I have known Petra for many years and respect and regard her highly, both from a personal as well as from a professional point of view. The idea to cooperate evolved from a series of conversations we had.
What I admire most about Konsultori is its clear-cut, precise positioning: what do we stand for, who do we work with, what are we good at and what can we deliver?
That way clients immediately understand what they can expect and what service they receive. I am convinced that Konsultori’s impressive development and its success over the past 10 years are a direct consequence of such transparent and very smart positioning.
Being self-employed is great, but it can be a bit lonely at times. That is why I am very much looking forward to having a team of amazing colleagues around me with whom I can reflect, exchange ideas or simply chat. To have that is really important for me.
Entrepreneurs are facing turbulent times. How can we support them in such challenging circumstances?
Key is to identify and understand what drives our clients’ organization, which obstacles and challenges they are facing. That requires careful listening and asking the right questions. Having a holistic perspective helps with that and so does contributing a complimentary external perspective that is grounded in extensive and diverse experiences, something which Konsultori has in abundance.
The next cornerstone is to develop – together with our clients – images and objectives of what their future should look like and, subsequently, to come up with purposeful interventions and solutions. In order to do that one needs not only a solid toolbox but also the creativity to combine tools and methods in a way that resonates with our client’s organizations and their challenges.
Another of Konsultori’s contribution is the efficient hands-on support when planning and implementing solutions, again, together with our clients.
One of my strong beliefs, sort of a principle, is that complex problems require a systemic viewpoint and corresponding solutions. Taking shortcuts, in the shape of simplistic answers, hollow phrases and concepts, cannot lead to sustainable solutions.
What do you expect personally this year, do you have specific goals?
Not really, I rather set movable targets; what I do have though is a bunch of ideas of what will matter to me the most in the upcoming months.
Since I spent the last 15 years abroad, both, my wife and I want to properly arrive in Vienna and to start to feel at home here. In that regard, I am pretty optimistic that this will go well and fairly smoothly. As compared to Istanbul, which had been our shared home and which I will certainly miss, Vienna feels relatively stress- and tension-free, a lot more manageable and laid-back.
I also want to properly arrive at Konsultori – by working on some interesting client projects and to gradually establish ‘Organization Design’ as an integral part of the brand and of Konsultori’s service portfolio.
Furthermore, I want to immerse myself more in the field of sustainable-regenerative-transformative practices and to bring that into my work at Konsultori as well as into my civil-society engagement with regards to sustainable urban food systems and food sovereignty.
We at Konsultori are mindful of recharging our batteries after periods of intense work. How do you stay motivated at work?
I find that really important, also from my very own experience.
On the one hand, I do derive motivation from work itself, be it an exciting job content, a novel context or rewarding interactions with peers and clients.
On the other hand, off-work that is, I need the right mix of mental, physical and emotional-social experiences:
I do read a lot, mainly contemporary literature. Plus, I am a big fan of what is called ‘long-form’ journalism of, for example, The New Yorker.
I do sports, probably not enough and not regularly enough, but still. I like to ride my bike through the city, something which is definitely easier and less scary in Vienna than it is in Istanbul.
I am a passionate cook. For me that goes together with visiting markets, discovering producers and, of course, eating and drinking together with friends.
Plus, I am also a big fan of just doing nothing occasionally. That’s a skill, too. Which not everybody has.