IKOR is part of

"You're only working in reality if you completely eliminate the subjunctive - 'one ought to' - from your vocabulary."
25 Jahre IKOR

– Company and Culture

IKOR Managing Director: "You grow strongest on your tasks"

Part 3/3

The European technology consultancy, started 25 years ago in a garage in Münster, is celebrating its anniversary. In the third part of the interview series - about IKOR's growth, identity and unique selling points - Managing Director* and long-time employee Lars Ackermann discusses successes and failures as well as learnings and beliefs. And he reveals his birthday wishes for IKOR.

"Our successes and failures have brought us to where we are," you recently said at the IKOR summer party. We've already talked about unique selling points and successes in previous parts. What was your biggest management fail?

Lars Ackermann: I made mistakes and then always woke up to the reality of life again - for example, when I had to "manage" a project that was critical for IKOR in a difficult negotiation process. At the same time - until then I was a consultant - I was responsible for a major project. The change to IKOR management was a great challenge. Today I know that the project decision at that time laid the foundation for IKOR's success, because it is tasks like this that make you grow the most.
We have mastered the management challenge. It also showed me what obligations it entails to prevent damage to a company. As a managing director, you can't be angry with anyone but yourself.

What did you learn from that?

Ackermann: I've learned that you can only work in reality if you completely eliminate the subjunctive - "one would have to" - from your vocabulary. If you want to lay the foundation for success, you have to save wishes, faith and the subjunctive. I've also learned that it's always about people. Successful cultures - a universal theme - must find people with the right attitude, expertise, inquisitiveness and willingness to learn, combined with unconditional customer orientation. Inspire this culture and great things can then be achieved.

What is your credo?

Ackermann: You don't lower your standards or ethics, even when other people might. I will never compromise my integrity. Handshakes and the spoken word are binding elements. For me, it's also important to be courageous and do things differently. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, "Stay hungry, stay foolish. "In the beginning this was just a hypothesis, but the growth and development of IKOR has proven it in the meantime.

What is your birthday wish for IKOR's 25th anniversary?

Ackermann: I wish IKOR continues to actively live and role model its customer orientation. And that this remains a central part of IKOR's management processes and entrepreneurship. Why? Because active dialog with customers (and partners) has always made us strong. The substance is there. It was laid 25 years ago in the funding business, is still a central component there and has spread to IKOR's other sectors and activities. I thank every colleague who acts accordingly - and every customer who places their trust in us for this. On this basis, we do not have to worry about this company. In this sense: Happy Birthday, IKOR!

* Lars Ackermann was IKOR's managing director until January 2023, when he moved to the top of X1F. The technology solutions provider includes several brands, including IKOR.

To the previous interview parts

Ackermann: "Decide rationally and endure negative feedback" - Part 1 of 3

25 years of IKOR: "Those who are humble receive valuable feedback" - Part 2 of 3

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