Putting your feet up. Wellness and relaxation. Sitting around, doing nothing and not being overly precise. That’s what taking time out is all about. Or so they say …
So yes, I took time out after I left the senior management team of the Chinese electromobility company NIO – but my time out was a bit different from the usual notion of what that term means.
And today I would like to tell you just how different it was– and what happens next now that my time out has come to an end.
What has happened so far
Anyone who knows me will know that lazing around is not really part of my vocabulary. Which is why quite a lot actually happened during my time out, in both my private life and in terms of the ideas I have on where the dice will fall for our future in terms of mobility, for our relationship with China and in terms of the innovative power of European companies.
But first let’s talk about my private life …
As I write these lines I am sitting at my new desk, looking out of the window from our apartment over Vienna. One sentence – three pieces of news. The desk is new, because we have moved from London to Vienna. And that is the second piece of news, because the beautiful capital of Austria is our new homebase. And can there be any better news than what I am about to tell you as I look back on my time out? My partner and I got married on 28 December.
And there was one other idea that I could finally put into concrete terms during my time out …
My time out and the transition spirit
For years I have been wanting to write a book about the exciting experiences I have had the privilege to make with and for Chinese companies. Working on my own book was certainly on the bucket list for my time out. So I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath and started to write … a fantastic experience – and very important for everything else. Because the writing process helped me understand more about a special spirit: a spirit the Chinese call “active waiting” – and which for me is an important component of what I have termed sinogility.
This concept, well more of a philosophy really, a life plan, has become much more concrete during my time out. I was able to experience just how much sinogility has become part of my own life and was thus able to create the things required to make this philosophy known to the whole world.
My time out was thus filled with a spirit of transition – and I would like to invite you to take a look at the result of this transition.
I’m grateful – and I’m back
I am very grateful that my time out made it possible for me to work through the experiences I have had with Chinese companies.
Today it is much clearer to me than it was even a few short months ago why it is not too late to learn from China – and how you can learn from China.
Now I can pass on what I see to be my valuable experiences with the Chinese start-up sector, corporate management and organisation development to European companies, which is why I’ve just launched my new website.
As you can see, I am not planning to return to the corporate world any time soon, nor to take up a new permanent position in the automotive industry after NIO. And as you can also see … Well, you will soon see what I achieved during my time out. I’m looking forward to that.