Introducing our Kiwi Chiefs: Dr. Frank Schlichting (CEO)

Our Kiwis are the focus of our daily work. But who is behind them? Who holds the reins, motivates and challenges them every day? 

Dr. Frank Schlichting, CEO of Kiwigrid GmbH, is one of two managing directors and has been at the helm of Kiwigrid for over 3 years. 

What distinguishes Frank and what skills does he bring to Kiwigrid? 

Frank is a doctor of physics: he has had close contact with the subject of energy since his studies. He also believes that energy is one of the three basic pillars of life on our planet - alongside health and nutrition.
Thanks to his previous experience as a senior manager and CEO, he brings a wealth of technical expertise to the table, enabling him to build and shape Kiwigrid. Other perspectives from what he has already experienced and lived through show him challenges and possible solutions at an early stage. 

His focus as CEO is on the one hand on technical issues and their feasibility: What technical, content-related and time-related effort and investment can be used to achieve solutions? This is rarely done alone, but in collaboration with the team, partners or customers. The community and a functioning team structure are a basic prerequisite for remaining in business in the long term. It is not just a matter of securing and strengthening what has already been achieved, but also of being able to innovate new investments, new markets and products.

"We must lead the way. We must have the courage to create and further develop products and services in order to meet the challenges and be a motivator for progress. Without question, the balance between courage and overconfidence is crucial - the consideration of risk and opportunity. Above all, it is my great curiosity about new things that drives me."  Dr. Frank Schlichting

For Kiwigrid, boldly moving forward in 2024 means, for example, the integration of dynamic tariffs and energy market integration in Germany. Digitalization makes it possible to develop such solutions in the first place: Evaluations of large amounts of data and their derivations are a great asset of our time. On the other hand, Frank attaches great importance to emphasizing interpersonal cooperation in addition to his professional experience.

"We are all people with liabilities, characteristics, strengths and weaknesses."

In his day-to-day work, he deliberately does not focus on hierarchical structures, but rather on the exchange of project teams and jointly developed solutions. Instead, he sees his role as motivating colleagues through his actions, pointing out adjustments and discussing solutions together. Working as a CEO quickly takes you away from the operational business. The implementation itself is mostly up to the colleagues.

"I take things to heart. It affects me personally when something doesn't work or works badly. Although I am ultimately responsible for everything, I only have limited opportunities to actively intervene in operations. Our success stands and falls with the well-coordinated and experienced team that implements the tasks in day-to-day business."

In order to achieve his goals without operational action, Frank believes that a unifying and transformational leadership style is important. He rejects polarizing behaviour. He sees explaining tasks and their meaningfulness as key. 

"We work together as people. Eight or more hours a day should be a rewarding, engaging and positive time for all employees. I can only work well in such an environment," says Frank.

In his opinion, working together should always take place in a social environment in which we feel comfortable. His constant goal is for employees to enjoy working at Kiwigrid. This in turn leads to less fluctuation, reliable teams and ultimately to responsible collaboration and a high quality of work: "If employees know each other well, we are better at catching sources of error because we know what makes the other person tick."

Hand on heart: How does Frank live privately?

With two children, he is working all the harder towards a diverse and healthy future. He wants to pass on his knowledge and insights to the next generations and would like to see a transfer of knowledge for all areas. 
Sustainability is one of the important pillars at Kiwigrid - Frank also lives this in his everyday life and tries to be a role model with small things, whether it's using the thermal energy of the water from the boiled egg, a balcony power plant or the active use of e-mobility.

"The relevance of a sustainable lifestyle is one of the reasons why I'm here. Through my work, I want to help ensure that my children and all future generations can lead a good, safe and sustainable life - characterized by mutual consideration."


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