Start with why

My Way to transformational inner growth

Spring 2003, 5th year of my career as Media Manager and Marketing Consultant: I had succeeded as competent consultant, as productive project-manager and as an assertive negotiator for efficient advertising placements in quite challenging environments. Challenges and responsibilities were continously growing in a more and more complex and international environment. In my private life, I was well settled, with all joy, compassion for family and friends, but as well with fears, loss and desease and doubts someone can face in any stadium of his life and in his social environment. I identified a special need to keep me capable to embrace stressful and complex challenges in all life-stages. I started my inner transformation journey with a walk by feet of approx. 1500 km across Southern France and North of Spain, split in 8 sequences – Exactly 10 years after my start in Arles, France, I arrived 2013 in Santiago de Compostella, Spain on July 25th, at the most important destination for Christian pilgrimage beside Jerusalem and The Vatikan.

I met a huge number of other walkers aiming for the same destination. All of us have multiple trigger for walking this way: Spiritual reflection, strengthening physical and mental endurance, enjoying beautiful nature, visiting amazing spots of medieval European architecture, encountering multicultural social life with people from all the World, feeling the sense of simple life – and seeking for inner growth.

This infinite walk describes, what is my biggest driver in life: Create value and to move on with an instinctive sense of what matters most and to affirm the challenges on the way as well as to embrace life as it is – rich and exhausted, beautiful and broken, deeply connected and disrupting, overwhelmingly generous and impermanent, endless strong but vulnerable, birth and death, Yin and Yan.


Courage and Humility – Mut versus Demut

It took some extra courage to finally arrive in SdC because of an unexpected event on the eve of July 25th 2013:  The fatal crash of a fast train at the entry of the city which had caused more than 70 dead and left many people seriously injured – a huge shock and silence came over the whole city on a day normally full of joy, music, fireworks for the anniversary of St. James.
The morning of my planned arrival, after a few minutes with hesitation I decided, that the end of life is an incontestable part of any walk and by being present in this town with silent compassion and simply to embrace the grief, this helps to affirm the course for change in the cycle of life.

The German word for courage is “Mut”. The German word for humility is “Demut” – I like to consider humility as an expression related to courage:
All my behaviour in profession and in all stages of life is driven by three values, confirmed by my personnel transformation walk:

Courage for sustainable value generation, Integrity, Respect – or in one word: Humility

The Way and my professional experience teaches me to succeed in these values by using these main skills: Act with intention and with holistic thinking, connecting with people and balancing an attitude of compassion combined with fearless, result-driven and honest communication.

The leaders, peers, teams and business-partner I have worked with in the past appreciated my commitment and my attitude not to confound commitment with blind allegiance – that keeps me on my way, like I followed my way on the Camino: Without GPS, but with my instinct and in collaboration with the community to follow for what matters most.

What I do

After my arrival in SdC I have not stopped with this walking exercise – The Way will always be on my transformational map and connections to this medieval path can be explored across all Europe.

So now and in the future, I am looking for on-going transformation as a competent and leading consultant and as Sparring-partner, connected with engaged and collaborative leaders sharing the desire to create the road-map of sustainable value-generation.

My passion is to provide a compass for value-driven, wellbeing-oriented holistic ecosystems and to facilitate the development of a collaborative mindset defined by purpose, compassion and empowerment.

My strong Communication excellence, my experience as business partner,  my leadership experience in complex systems driven by extremely dynamic changes, and my deep passion of building a culture of transformational development will be valuable ingredients for entrepreneurial and individual consultancy with purpose, for visionary collaborations and for conscious guidance.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile picture Christiane Schicker

Core duties and deliveries in recent past

At GSK the huge advertising spend volume required senior strategic involvement into a complex brand-portfolio and scaled budget management across regions. Volumes varied across my regional circle of responsibility between 30 to 80 Mio. Euro net-billings, distributed among 15 – 20 media-active brands.

With my deep understanding of the strategic sourcing and targeting, my strong ability in structuring complex systems and by providing simple but robust monitoring and forecasting tools through Media trading I became a trusted consultant across the Operating Model involving Finance Controlling, Procurement, Data Analytics, Marketing-Lead and General Management.

With my strong communication ability I managed to translate diverse expectations and goals into clear guidance for the operating external Media Agency for tangible delivery results.

I developed outstanding intercultural and interdisciplinary skills embedded in a Global Media Team, responsible to represent local priorities into Global context as well as adopting Global guidelines and goals into local application for aligned business consistency across boundaries.

At Carat all leaders were committed to operate in the bigger, valuable context of diverse service brands under the umbrella of One Operating Model of Dentsu Aegis Network. Instead of competing in silos we managed to provide customized solutions with one voice.

When the GSK CH organisation in 2011 transformed into a cross-nationally centralized Hub-organisation for 11 markets in North & West Europe I was challenged to translate this in a likewise Media-Hub-Organisation in close cooperation with the Media Agency. With my strong cross-cultural skills and my sense for holistic communication and management I succeeded in developing a harmonized, integrated and aligned Media-Agency-to-Client interaction with all satelites across the markets.

In the new Global Media Matrix I contributed to multiple Global Media-Agency recruiting rounds to harmonize the collaboration with finally 2 main agency groups.

With my strong skills in translating central ideas from Global to Local and with my sense for result-driven efficiency I managed 5 transition periods to switch Media-Campaign portfolios and trading inventory from one Media Agency to the next and to connect people and teams in a complex, defragmented and difficult environment.  I managed negotiations and contracting of core deliveries to be provided by the Media Agency with appreciation for my result driven focus and my sense of fair but challenging partnership.

This long lasting experience helped me to get fully involved very fast into the agency universe as Managing Director of Carat. It helped me to get a sense for entrepreneurial achievements  and synergies in the mutual partnership of the agency AND the advertising client.

At the beginning of the digital disruption the Media Management at GSK was responsible to drive and embed Digital Transformation. I  developed diverse co-creating teams and hired dedicated experts for solid execution in a fast changing environment.

Biggest challenge in Digital Transformation has been the cultural reluctance of integral teams to embrace disruption. I was leading project teams to translate and implement globally generated Digital Acceleration programs to be cascaded into regional implementation. The General Management trusted on my innovative, open minded leadership to drive an on-going learning- and reverse-mentoring culture across boundaries.  It was key to unlock the potential of new approaches while accepting the transactional impact of failures and calculated risks. We succeeded to build an open minded culture for scaled measurable coverage approaches and innovative consumer centric brand building across analogue and digital activities.

At Carat within the Dentsu Aegis Network in cooperation with biggest German FMCG clients Data Analytics and Data Management became the key asset to succeed in a now totally consumer centric advertising media approach with an agnostic media channel approach.

At GSK complexity and cultural conflicts increased significantly when the regional business map and brand-portfolio changed significantly. We were facing huge challenges with defragmented systems and limited resources as well as cultural conflicts. With my impassionate attitude and common sense for what matters most I contributed to an integrative, open minded culture to enable productive results in an empowered team co-creating with a spirit of passion and profession to overcome numerous barriers and limitations.

I developed a centralized media management organisation, leading and developing a team of up to 5 people. They were enabled and empowered to work across boundaries in a multi-cultural environment and to build trust with competence and smart moderation to manage expectations among peers and stakeholders. This well settled culture of ways of working became then the role model of the next reorganization initiated by the merger of GSK business with Novartis Consumer Healthcare business.

At Carat, process and continuous transformation became crucial to face fast changing client’s requirements. Customized team-formats mirrored individual organizational requests of clients still compatible with internal frameworks across the One Operating Model of DAN. Again, process and transformational mind setting was crucial in order to adapt fast but efficiently.

I was facing highly engaged and professional marketing-teams with dynamic challenges, strong strategic expectations and with more and more defragmented ecosystems.
With my holistic communication skills, a passion for tailored and scaled translation of Business and Marketing objectives in sound and value-driving media strategies the Media Management team was appreciated as a competent and trustful advocate and sparring-partner for brand building, data analytics and targeting.

In my interface role and due to my vast communication skills combined with strong intercultural and social skills I became a reputable facilitator for overarching brand building workshops.

At GSK, in order to find the right balance between challenging budget restrictions and the expectation of effective, scaled media performance I was asked by General Management to coach and integrate local procurement into the buying- and trading process of Media inventory in cooperation with the Media Agency.

With the close collaboration with Finance Lead and Procurement lead, and collaborating with the Media Agency I succeeded in generating a significant double-digit Mio. Euro amount of incremental and budget-impacting Media value across my whole career at GSK. The highly performing efficiency and outstanding achievements in gross-to-net ratios has been confirmed continously by annual audit benchmarks and results.

The knowledge generated within GSK helped me as Managing Director at Carat to focus on the holistic entrepreneurial success from agenci’s as well as client’s perspective.

Latest activities and Aspirations

My Journey 2016/2017 – Time-out and recreation for a life with intention

July 2016 – March 2017: Recreation period – Work And Travel (South Africa – India – Bhutan – New Zealand – United States – Mexico) – Free-lancing consultancy projects.

Highlight in November / December 2016, relevant for business and life purposes: Follow me on my journey to Slow Change Experience, an entrepreneur workshop carried by the Centre of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan.  After the workshop I moved to the East-End of Bhutan to follow my own cause project as sponsor and mentor for a cooperative.

What is Now?

  • Gardening leave 2019
  • Active engagement in a non-for-profit community aiming for conscious leadership and holistic wisdom sharing: Wisdom Together e.V.
  • Lector activities
  • Kick-off for new approaches in transformational leadership:

Since May 2019 I attend a certification course to become a Facilitator: Institute For Transformational Leadership, Berlin

As of September 2019 I will attend a Masterclass in Holistic Leadership driven by the 9 domains of the Gross National Happiness governance concept issued in Bhutan: Die Gestaltungskraft des Glücks

What is coming next?

Always On

Sharing what I experience in my deep connection with people and culture in Bhutan, about value-oriented wellbeing in cultural, social and business ecosystems to become an “advocate of Gross National Happiness” – for more insights follow this link Gross National Happiness – A Core Paradigm of Development and other related articles in my blog.

Continuation of my mentoring work for the Radhi YU-DROM Rice and Textile Cooperative, a grassroots initiative to bundle resources for increased income in rice-farming, to promote local production of hand-woved textiles to bring to a larger audience and to develop further incomes for the community by positioning the cooperative as touristic spot in East-Bhutan.