Anja Foerster

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ANJA FOERSTER is an entrepreneur, bestselling author and founder of Rebels at Work

Anja Foerster
The German-born economist is an influential voice on the European speaking circuit, who inspires her audience with thought-provoking perspectives and insights on what it takes to succeed in today’s rapidly changing business world.

The acclaimed corporate advisor is the author of eight books. Her bestseller Anything But Ordinary won the Business Book of the Year Award.

Her academic background includes a Masters Degree in Economics along with an MBA. After completing her studies in the U.S. she joined Accenture, where she served as a manager and headed consulting projects in the field of human performance and change management for several years. In 2002, she founded her own company in Heidelberg, Germany.

 

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My cause ...

Rebelliousness and a healthy disregard for the status quo are widely accepted qualities of entrepreneurs and founders. But what about people on the inside of established organizations? There seems to be an unwritten rule to not rock the boat, shake things up, or challenge authority. The larger the organization is, the more entrenched this ideology seems to be. But here’s the thing: the concept of the “good soldier” is bankrupt! In a nonlinear world, only nonlinear ideas will create new wealth. Worshipful observation of corporate convention, fretting about what top management wants to hear, always coloring inside the lines that someone else created … please stop this nonsense! This behavior is not only long outdated; it also creates losers on both sides: you are going to rob yourself and your company of a future that is worth having!

Let’s make a difference …

Smart leaders are aware that they need rebels who challenge the organization to reinvent itself. They disregard retrogressive people and the ones who never left the past in the first place. They ignore the yes-buts. They throw the yes-men out. And they create a playground for Rebels at Work who challenge the organization to reinvent itself on a regular basis. They understand that in order to create the future, they need to challenge conventional wisdom, to dismiss all dogma, and to allow ideas that seem odd at first glance. They give rebels a seat at the table.

My enemies …

People whose first question is “What’s in it for me?” Naysayers. Not-invented-here proponents. Organizational cultures that resemble emotional dead zones. Bureaucracies that choke passion, imagination, and initiative. Corporate bozos who excel at deflecting blame, defending turf, hoarding resources, and trading favors. Non-stop talkers. People who try to take credit for other people’s ideas. Worrywarts who will rush to tell you why something won’t work.

My personal likes …

People with a growth mindset. Films with quirky characters and black humor. Watching the sunset over the lake at our vacation home in France with a glass of Merlot. Travelling in India, a country that is stunning, magical, awesomely confusing, and jaw-dropping. People who are able to think unconventionally and independently and have the strength to turn their ideas into reality. Design that touches the heart and mind. Pippi Longstocking and Aretha Franklin.