News Overview 2013

New Executive Director

Mr. Rogall, today you came to the Foundation as its executive director for the first time. Does it feel any different to the way it has felt for the last 17 years?

Joachim Rogall: Yes and no. I have been with the Foundation for 17 years now, but it is a very different feeling now as its executive director. I really had to pinch myself again.

Joining the ranks of the management is always an opportunity for a fresh start. Which new directions do you hope to take the Foundation in?

Joachim Rogall: We want to be the best foundation with an impressive program. This entails becoming more efficient both internally and externally as well as clearing some of the obstacles that prevent us from achieving this. In other words, we do not plan to do everything differently in the future, but we will do many things better.

Ingrid Hamm: We want to act in accordance with three guiding ideas: being a foundation, having one source for leadership, and being a foundation for one world. This involves everyone at the managerial level working together systematically and on an equal footing as well as fostering cooperation. "One source of leadership" means we make and stand by all of our decisions together, jointly attend to the Foundation’s management and its programs, and coordinate our activities on the basis of trust. Being a "foundation for one world" means we will focus on specific tasks even more so in the future. To strengthen our message in this respect, we have commissioned our Berlin office with the task of systematically establishing peacekeeping and conflict prevention as an issue that spans many areas. We believe this is an issue that is becoming more and more topical.

What is your understanding of good leadership within a foundation?

Ingrid Hamm: We focus on dialog, intensive cooperation among all the divisions, and the reduction of bureaucracy.

Joachim Rogall: While participating a training seminar, I learned this maxim: "Don’t be a hero – be a hero maker." It is our job as the management team to put the best possible parameters in place for our employees so that they can fully develop their potential. This includes establishing an HR division that reports directly to the management.

What does this mean in terms of your work with external partners and recipients of funding?

Ingrid Hamm: We are the foundation in Germany that nurtures its partnerships more than any other foundation. In the future, we will intensify this even more. One of our trademarks is that we offer a platform for dialog while allowing our partners and funding recipients to remain in the foreground.

Joachim Rogall: Just as with internal leadership, our external relationships have to be founded on respect to ensure our collaborations are successful.

Assuming you manage to implement all of your plans, what would you like observers to say about the Robert Bosch Stiftung in five or ten years’ time?

Joachim Rogall: In short, within five years, people should be saying: "Wow, what a great foundation! ‘Like’!"

Ingrid Hamm: They should be saying exactly what they already say today: "The Robert Bosch Stiftung is the best foundation in Germany."