Miriam grew up on her family’s vineyard, stemming from a long tradition. In her early years, her parents aimed to lead an alternative and rather esoteric way of life. She was influenced by her Dads passion for inspiration, the preservation of nature and his aspiration for game changing ideas. She attended a Steiner Waldorfschool and when she left school, she decided to study business administration. During her first internship abroad, she met Thomas Fuchs at a restaurant in Melbourne. That was the perfect spark for some CV-tuning activities, more internships to come and a long lasting friendship. Her passion for people and interest in finding ones way to leading a fulfilling life, always drove her to HR related issues and positions. Being able to deal with these questions in an environment, where everyone is passionate about optimizing the ambulant care of cancer patients, is giving her the true feeling of doing something meaningful.
QX: Miriam, beginning of this year you took over your new role as Head of Human Resources at the Omnicare Holding. You have been working in different roles in Human Resources throughout your career. Why HR?
Miriam: What drives me is to support people in getting in the driver seat to achieve their own success and as a result, the success of their (employing) company.
QX: What are the specific HR challenges Omnicare is facing? And what is your (personal) agenda as the new Head of Human Resources?
Miriam: In a dynamic environment, where ongoing change and uncertainties are immanent, my priority is to support our staff in getting the orientation needed and finding their personal strengths and access to their personal resources.
QX: Assuming a new role within the same company - especially when it comes with great leadership responsibility as yours - is a non-trivial challenge. From your recent personal experience as well as your professional capacity: Any advice for those of us facing this challenge in the future?
Miriam: The most important thing I see would be: be authentic, not perfect. Do what you can do best and find the right people to complement you with their strengths which are needed to achieve your goals. Therefore know about your abilities and those of your team members. Develop inacceptable weaknesses to an acceptable minimum and identify those skills you are great at and develop them to perfection. The results will pay off.
QX: Next to your work at Omnicare you have been involved as partner and operator at your family’s vineyard and guesthouse. Your family now runs the Vineyard Zähringer in the 6th generation – since 1844. What does that mean to you?
Miriam: The winery means a lot to me and my family and I do what it takes to work for the success of the business together with my Brother, who took over the management a few years ago. Especially in threatening situations like a few weeks ago, when for 2 nights in a row the temperatures decreased to around minus 4 degrees celsius and killed the majority of our grape sprouts, then you get reminded of the significance and the force of nature.
QX: What’s your family’s winegrowing philosophy?
Miriam: This year we are celebrating 30 years of organic winegrowing. We are convinced that if you strive for highest quality you can only succeed working hand in hand with nature and not against it. In June we will be celebrating this on our annual “Gutsfest” on 24th of June 2017 and would be very happy to show you around our cellar and vineyard in person and of course to drink some great together …
QX: Any parallels between wine growing and the development of people in companies?
Miriam: Yes, definitely! No matter what you focus on, the glas of wine in your hand or the cancer patient being treated. In the end it comes to the importance of a holistic and resourceful perspective in order to achieve perfect results and long term success.
QX: What is your favourite Zähringer wine?
Miriam: Of course I tend to say I love all of them and especially our dry and floral white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Gewürztraminer. But since I always favour Sparkling, I’d say our Crémant!
QX: If you could choose: With whom would you like to drink a bottle of that Crémant?
Miriam: It is always good to have friends and family around – and of course our cellar and fridge is always well-prepared for any visits …
QX: Tell us about your personal Vanity?
Miriam: Hm. I have something classical for you: Next week I’ll be turning 40 and of course I hope to meet some people who at least act surprised ;)
Thank you for the talk!