Patrik Bauer was born in Žatec, then he lived in České Budějovice, he studied at the IES from 1996 to 2004, when he finished his PhD. During his studies he also completed study stays at the Università degli Studi di Siena in Italy and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany. After graduation, he joined BCG as an associate, where he spent over two years. Afterwards, he started his career at RWE, where he has spent most of his working life so far. First in Východoslovenská energetika Košice as Head of Energy Policy and Strategy of Regulation and then as Head of Regulatory Management and Corporate Development. In 2011, he moved to Prague and he has worked for the company RWE EAST, first as a manager and then as Head of Participation Management and Organization Development. As part of RWE transformation, he moved to Innogy, as a Manager of the NWoW Programme. At the same time, Patrik served on several supervisory boards throughout his career. Since 2018, he has worked as NWoW Programme Manager in Germany until this April, when he joined T-Mobile to focus on "transformation".
Patrik is a travel enthusiast, conquering mountain peaks, and more recently explores gardening and processing the "gifts" of the garden.
Patrik, you graduated from the IES, but you are also a teacher here. How do you perceive the changes of the institute over time? From your point of view, what was better/worse in your time (when you were studying) and what do you like more now?
I am no longer working as an lecturer now, I was only actively teaching during my PhD studies. What I still perceive very positively is the Alumni community, which is really strong at the IES. The IES is, not only for me, still a very prestigious school. Considering the number of alumni, for example compared to the University of Economics, I am always surprised how many IES alumnies are in top positions. The alumni network is therefore a great source of contacts, both professionally, and personally. I am still involved in the community, although more passively now by attending events organized by the Alumni Committee. I also regularly meet many of my former colleagues and classmates from the IES.
You recently left for T-Mobile after many years at Innogy. What exactly are you responsible for as a transformation manager?
I worked at Innogy (formerly RWE) for 15 years in various countries and positions. I soon moved from "proficient" analyst to general management (people management) and negotiation/stakeholder management. When the Energiewende (a massive change in the way the energy sector operates) put RWE in a rather difficult situation with an uncertain future, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the creation of change programs to transform a large multinational into a form that was viable in the new environment. And I have to say that I am passionate about change management. Especially the last three years, when I coordinated the implementation of change programs in the field of energy networks in about 15 companies in 6 countries in Europe, have been very interesting. But after 15 years I found it interesting and refreshing to "move on".
What motivated you to make such a career change? After all, the telecommunications sector is something different from the energy sector?
As I said, 15 years is quite a long time and I was a bit longing for a change myself. Since my field is mainly change management/transformation at the moment, the change in the industry is not that critical, after all the way of working, managing people, their motivation, cooperation and so on are similar. Especially if you consider that in both cases, they are roughly the same size companies that are part of multinational German corporations.
The sectors and customer needs are of course important and are at the heart of the transformation activities. Therefore, there are many new things to learn. And I have to say it is a refreshing change. On the other hand, since we are starting an agile transformation at T-Mobile and Slovak Telekom, I can make excellent use of my many years of experience...
You have worked in the energy sector for a very long time, both in Czech and foreign offices. What was the biggest challenge for you?
I moved into the energy industry from consulting and the first big change was to set up a sustainable lifestyle. After all, just after the privatization of the energy companies and with the legal and regulatory environment still emerging, it meant a few years of somewhat non-standard operations with the need for a lot of flexibility... And a lot of travelling... After moving to Prague and working on coordinating activities in Central and Eastern Europe, the challenge was to improve my German to a level where I was able to work in that language. Which was very useful for me later when I moved to Germany. As part of my shift from line management to change management, it was also very much about changing the way I work, to "servant leadership" and coaching.
What is behind the acronym of your previous position NWoW? Where is this business heading lately?
NWoW stands for New Way of Working. It was a company-wide change initiative to introduce modern ways of working based on the principles of Lean and later Agile methodologies. It is a system of working that has become pretty much standard in most companies in recent years.
You are a great traveler, what has been your biggest travel challenge? What is your travel dream that you have not yet realized?
Probably still the biggest trip is the one from when I was studying at the IES - backpacking through Russia to India and back through Turkey... Australia was beautiful, for example, and I was very pleasantly surprised by a "road trip" through the western USA... Of the bigger trips, I would still like to look more in detail at South America. I had planned to do that this winter, but the coronavirus pandemic has changed my plans somewhat. On the other hand, now that I know you can get almost anywhere, I'm increasingly enjoying interesting destinations that aren't so far away. My heartland in Europe is Switzerland. But Scandinavia is also beautiful. Italy... and Germany, for example, has a lot of beautiful places...
Do you have any other hobby that went on during the lockdown covid period? How do you relax?
My hobbies are mountains - in summer on foot, in winter on skis - whether cross-country or skitouring... and mountain bike. Of course, family and kids are also a hobby - and it's great that these hobbies are merging as the years go by. Otherwise, after a long period of "city life", I have relocated to the "countryside". And that was great in just the time of covid! So now I also relax by gardening and working around the house... and I have to say that nature is fascinating. Seeing its daily changes and evolution is very satisfying. And I've also started baking homemade bread. Rye, sourdough. And when you sit down on the terrace in the morning, you slice yourself that fragrant slice, butter on it and freshly picked herbs...