As a courageous forward thinker, inspiring designer, and pragmatic pioneer, Irina Hagen and her team support companies in rethinking their own success. For her, the key lies in a paradigm shift. This makes it possible to break through barriers and shape change for the best for people and organizations. Irina inspires and fascinates with clarity, courage, and depth in her work and the resulting ideal added value and measurable results.
For the human business world of tomorrow
The good news is that those who integrate these changes into the company in a meaningful way and translate the rethinking into pragmatic and coherent action have the best chances of winning over people and markets.
A successful future in a rapidly changing world can only be achieved with a courageous paradigm shift.
Irina stands for this change. She opens doors and shows what is possible when potential is fully developed. Entrepreneurial, human, valuable.
She loves surfing on complexity and creating new corporate worlds together with people. The portrait describes what drives her, where her awareness comes from and why she places so much value on depth and simultaneous lightness.
The (corporate) world of tomorrow needs a paradigm shift
Irina Hagen is a courageous forward thinker, inspiring creator and pragmatic pioneer. With clarity, courage and profoundness, Irina Hagen and her team at MenschWert support companies in rethinking their own success. The key lies in a paradigm shift. This makes it possible to break through barriers and shape change for the best for people and organizations.
Irina Hagen’s professional career began after her high school graduation in the field of business administration. Through the intervention of a friend, a first great opportunity opened up, and her path initially led to Ireland. Maybe not precisely her dream destination, but here she got the opportunity to make a difference at a young age. She tells of her time in a large international company in Dublin: “We were 400 people on one floor. On the way from the front desk to my desk, I passed seven countries and heard countless languages.” She was immediately in the thick of things, helping to build a new European Service and Financial Center.
Back in Germany, Irina Hagen’s career remained international. As Executive Assistant at an international leasing and financial services company, she made a first-class start in the company. She worked long and hard and is grateful today for this intensive time. “I learned a lot about business and the bigger picture, had a 90-degree learning curve almost every day, and realized what was possible in terms of career,” she reports. Her journey then took her to an international human resources services company. She always wanted to work for and with people – with a lot of ambition, further training and determination, she worked her way into the recruiting team. However, as a woman in a male domain, she faced some headwinds here, especially since her male colleagues did not welcome her promotion from Executive Assistant to the Head of Central Europe to Division Manager. As long as Irina Hagen remained moderately successful, it would be fine, but she was and is not the type for mediocrity.
Setting up a business is a demanding task, which Irina Hagen took on and built up her company MenschWert step by step. Her exceptionally good entrepreneurial intuition allowed her to adapt to the respective situations and look to the future. Irina Hagen quickly received orders from well-known companies, including Amazon, Pro7 and Sky, and large projects that she led to success. “One of my big drivers is my curiosity and my will to better shape the future for and with people in organizations,” says Irina Hagen. In doing so, she acts as a thought leader who likes to inspire and make people think and as a trailblazer regarding the pragmatic implementation of modern concepts in which people work together, create economic and ideal value, and actively shape how people work together.
Irina Hagen believes it is crucial not only to scratch the surface, but to develop a deep understanding of organizations and the people within them. Because of this, she added psychotherapeutic training to her already strong business expertise. “Many principles from humanistic psychotherapy can be applied to organizations. I use that in my work,” says Irina Hagen. Here she also connected to corporate culture, because just as people have healthy or dysfunctional psyches, companies have a supportive or a hindering culture. The idea behind it: She also wants to use her work to offer a kind of “psychotherapy for companies.” This shows that Irina Hagen likes to think outside the box, boldly break new ground and inspire organizations. Her openness to new things also comes into play, for example, on trips through Asia or the USA, where she likes to visit companies or tech hubs. She has been a guest at Google in Singapore and on the campuses of Amazon, Apple, Ebay and Facebook.
In 2016, she was on stage at one of the first events, the Women Techmakers Forum, of the fledgling Google Office in Munich. She was one of the first speakers and inspired women in tech to generate more impact through design thinking principles with her talk. Especially by living their “female” attributes and enriching the tech world with additional perspectives that have not been appreciated so far, such as empathy, collaboration and multi-perspectivity.
“I want to open the door for people and show what is possible. Executive management, middle management, and their teams often experience the enormous, previously unnoticed potential of already existing resources when they are given the appropriate platform,” Irina Hagen tells us.
From her experience and her experiences, she knows that a change in thinking must take place and that a successful future in a rapidly changing world can only be achieved with a paradigm shift. Change management in the conventional sense often assumes a more or less linear, logical development. However, successful companies need rethinking in addition to continuous improvement. “Real change is not continuous improvement or optimization, but an all-encompassing and profound reorganization.” To support this statement, Irina Hagen draws on an analogy from the animal kingdom: a tadpole undergoes the transformation to a frog and does not become a new tadpole that can suddenly live on land. Organizations, too, already have everything in them to make this transformation. What is missing is sometimes the imagination, or the idea of what new worlds a frog can conquer, what new markets and opportunities are open to the “frog” instead of the tadpole. In this process, Irina Hagen is at the side of the organizations as a thought leader and pioneer. “Bold and profound renewal from within is necessary to give a world dominated by change and a volatile environment the clout it needs to thrive. Ultimately, it’s about breaking existing thought patterns. If you want a new outcome, you have to do different things. Long-entrenched best practices that were successful in the past no longer work today.” To usher in the paradigm shift, she and her team at MenschWert work at different levels: with the organization, management and individual employees. “In my work, I impart knowledge about interrelationships and, in reflection, generate insights that go far beyond the professional. And that’s what makes the work so enjoyable. I see business success while also being able to contribute to the personal development and satisfaction of individuals.”
For Irina Hagen, every project also means further advancement, learning new things, and improving things. In doing so, she likes to take on the operational role for a while, e.g. as an interim manager, to really know afterward in consulting which problems exist in everyday life and how they can be solved. Again and again she proves – also in a scalable way – that humanity and business are not mutually exclusive, but need each other to ensure the company’s success in the future. Together with her team, she would like to implement many more projects with and for her clients and make the (working) world a better place. “I see myself as a bridge builder, thought leader and designer who creates the connection and holism to achieve great things together. If the experience is made that together in the organization great things are possible, this will have an impact on people’s personal environment and thus a positive contribution to our society will be noticeable.”
Irina Hagen wants to shape change and the associated paradigm shifts actively. She sees herself as a creator of meaning and a forward thinker who likes to inspire and make people think.
She is a trailblazer regarding the pragmatic implementation of modern concepts in which people work together, create economic and spiritual value and actively shape togetherness. Her curiosity and commitment to excellence motivate her to evolve, learn new methods and expertly anticipate trends constantly.
Together with her team from MenschWert, she accompanies and supports companies in the paradigm shift and the associated profound transformation.
Irina Hagen founded the consulting company MenschWert Consulting GmbH in 2013. Learn more about her self-image, her role as a consultant and interim manager as well as her background and expertise here.