Kulturwandel 4.0

Digitalisation now permeates every aspect of our lives. We now take breakthrough innovations such as the Internet and the smartphone for granted; these have not only changed how we communicate and exchange information but also how we live, work and shop.


For companies to remain relevant in the digital world they need to rethink their existing business processes, and question established concepts and behaviour. To achieve this, the Otto Group launched Kulturwandel 4.0 in December 2015.

The objective of Kulturwandel 4.0

Kulturwandel 4.0 both demands and promotes a fundamental rethink of our existing working and behavioural approach, in order to make the Otto Group even more efficient and more customer-orientated. To do this we need a rich diversity of fearless, unconventional talents with the courage to develop new ideas, test new approaches and take responsibility. Besides increased openness, courage and results orientation, greater latitude for action, more genuine responsibility for the individual employee, a rethinking of our error culture, shorter decision-making paths, the elimination of knowledge barriers, and accepting a ‘controlled loss of control’ are just as vital. Kulturwandel 4.0 requires, encourages and enables every single employee to contribute their own ideas. Supervisors work with them as peers, supporting them in the implementation of tasks and actively delegating responsibility to them.

Since January 2017 a seven-strong Kulturwandel 4.0 team has stood by Otto Group employees as a process co-pilot and networking agent. The team is driving culture change within the Otto Group forward continually, and supports the Group companies in their related activities.

Tobias Krüger, Division Manager Kulturwandel 4.0 Otto Group
Kulturwandel 4.0 is not about taking a slightly less critical view of existing issues. We need to act faster, more efficiently and more flexibly, and take our customers’ wishes even better into account. To do this successfully we need to change our perspectives. Only this way will we be able to develop the ideas that we need to set standards in the competitive environment of tomorrow.
– Tobias Krüger, Division Manager Kulturwandel 4.0 Otto Group

Value-orientated action in a time of digital transformation

However, goal-setting in the change process is also promoted by spreading new values throughout the Group – without necessarily throwing existing values overboard.

The Otto Group is a value-orientated company. It strives to ensure mutual respect governs the working relationship between its employees, and demonstrates respect for the environment and nature. We also intend to maintain social achievements such as codetermination, trade union participation and pay-scale agreements, and to build on these through establishing new values that characterise the digital transformation.