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, overwhelming 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 25th2013:  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 experience in Communication, KPI-oriented advertising planning, in strong negotiations which aim for collaborative value creation, my leadership experience in digital transformation, and my deep passion of building a culture of transformational development will be valuable ingredients for holistic leadership consultancy, visionary collaborations and sustainable added value.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile picture Christiane Schicker
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Core duties and deliveries in recent past

General Management, Marketing Lead and Finance Lead required senior strategic involvement to manage advertising investments of a complex brand-portfolio and scaled budget management across regions. Volumes varied across the different regional arrangements 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 key milestones in the annual, quarterly and monthly decision making process on advertising investment in General Management.

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 fairness.

Complexity and cultural conflicts increased significantly when the regional extension changed the brand-portfolio map in 2011 across 9 media-active markets with a centralized Hub-Business-Model. 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 a team not losing positive spirit 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 organisation and culture of ways of working became then the role model of the recent integration within the last merger.

The ongoing transformation, increased volumes and number of brands required a new local definition of the annual Marketing- and Media Strategy planning cycle. Leading the Media-Management-Team we succeeded in pushing forward the annual media-briefing and strategy development process. Thus, the end-to-end cycle of Marketing activation planning in interaction with lead-times in Finance, Procurement and with below-the-line activities had been harmonized.

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 every individual brand strategy.

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 of Media Management 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. The highly performing efficiency and outstanding achievements in gross-to-net ratios has been confirmed continously by annual audit benchmarks and results.

Marketing Mix Modelling based on econometric scenarios is a key tool to identify value drivers and ROI of different activities. In the first period of my contribution to this, the focus was mainly on the media activities for core brands in Germany. With closer cooperation in the Global Media Team and driven by a broader need of MMM analysing all activities above and below the lines I became a core team member in a cross-country project-team to roll out guidelines and a playbook for portfolio monitoring. With robust MMM monitoring and convincing deliveries and assertive moderation of the process in close cooperation with the analytics team for Germany, Holland and Sweden I became an appreciated expert and moderator in this area.

The new Global Media Management faced the challenge of a defragmented database with strong limitations to provide a holistic picture of Media investments and key KPI’s across brands across the Globe. I had been appointed in 2014 to lead a cross-national taskforce with support of the Media Agencies to develop and establish a Global Media Scorecard for the audience of Global senior leads. With my sense for data-management, experienced in virtual, cross-national team- and project management I managed to extend the initially static and fragile Excel report of covering only 24 markets into a dynamic, automated and web-based Dashboard covering the Globe including the recently integrated Novartis brands.

By recruiting and managing the Digital expertise in my organisation, Search became a main asset of digital activation for GSK Consumer Healthcare which led into a close strategic cooperation with Google, mainly driven by Germany, beside UK and the US.

GSK brand-advertising is very successful with video commercials and in recent years it became crucial to identify and develop an integral planning-, booking- and performance- approach for integrated exposure in key target audiences across linear tv broadcasting and digital video streaming. In  most Continental-Europe Media Markets until present we are still facing defragmented measurements and huge challenges for harmonized but robust convergent KPI’s in this area, due to delayed progress in digital TV broadcasting. Built on my expertise to identify sound and measurable solutions in collaboration with our Media Agencies I was asked by the German Advertiser’s association OWM to provide a synopsis across the top 6 Media agencies in Germany to understand methodologies, tools and systems used for holistic video media planning and performance, published in September 2016.

However, regarding the holistic picture of a digital strategy across all assets many organisations struggle with huge cultural, infrastructural barriers and lack of knowledge. As of 2013 I was leading project teams to translate and implement globally generated Digital Acceleration programs to be cascaded into regional and local implementation. The General Management trust on my innovative, open minded leadership to drive an on-going learning- and reverse-mentoring culture across boundaries in order to overcome barriers and reluctance against disruption, compliance risks and failures and to drive an integrated approach of consumer activation. Especially in the FMCG-focused German market we succeeded to break down significant reluctance in Marketing-Teams who tend to focus on linear TV broadcasting for fast push effects. We created a more open minded culture for scaled coverage approaches and holistic, consumer centric brand building across analogue and digital activities.

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 (Managing Director at Carat Deutschland GmbH)
  • 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.