This is Romain Klein, Vice President - Powertrain Hardware Design at CEVT. During one year he was an ISE at Geely in China, overseeing the Start of Production of the 7 Dual Clutch Transmission - 7DCT- which we have developed for Geely Group. Find out what he learnt along the way and why he says that the most important thing is to always question yourself, your values, and your own mindset and what that special feeling is about Geely Group.
Why where you an ISE in China?
An ISE opportunity came up along the planning of the start of production of the 7DCT program in Chunxiao, in Oct 2017. There was a need to help the team in China to take ownership of the product going into mass production. ISE assignments also help build the relationship between teams, which we have experienced in a very positive way each time we have received Chinese colleagues in Gothenburg. From a personal point of view, I'm always keen on getting to know different cultures and discovering other countries. That has also been a driving force to go to China.
What did you do there?
I was the technical leader of the transmission hardware team. It has been a lot of work on structuring the way of working, improving team capabilities and leading technical subjects that were showing up along the ramp up of the 7DCT program.
What did you learn?
Of course there are a lot of learnings on the way of working in China and about the Geely mindset. It was a bit of a culture shock on a daily bases to be honest and an inner journey to adapt myself to the environment. All the time you face different behaviors and different ways of thinking. It is always necessary to question yourself, your values, and your own mindset to understand and cope with it. I have been through so many questions about myself, but I think the most important lesson for me is to always strengthen the value of people.
What was the most unexpected thing you learnt about Chinese culture?
I am impressed by the strength to go forward without answering a lot of questions. I mean, in western countries, we are used to question the purpose, the targets and how it all fits into the bigger picture. This is a way to take ownership of the assignment we receive, to make it right from the beginning and to be as effective as possible. But at the same time, it is a strength in an innovative process not to answer all these questions and be more open for uncertainties on the outcome. This could be seen as aspect of the CEVT value “find a way"…
What would you like for your colleagues at CEVT to know and understand about Geely?
When working at Geely and visiting facilities and meeting people from the automotive branch in China, you get a strong feeling that something special is happening in the Geely Group. It is a transformation of products, structure and people to become the worldwide player we want to be. Some changes are very obvious, others take more time to take place.
This change is driven by the entrepreneurship culture which is part of the DNA of Geely. It enables Geely Group to move quickly and to adapt to situations very fast. Jumping on opportunities and taking new challenges all the time. It also gives some deeper insights into how we, at CEVT, by our company values and our knowledge have a major role in this transformation of the Geely Group. But also that we have to be ready, all the time, for quick and big changes in order to be able to jump on new opportunities.
Just looking back at all what has happened during these five years for Geely and CEVT… the next five years in front of us will be as exciting, I'm sure.