Get to know the people and the passion behind Tivian
In this exciting new ‘5 minutes with’ series, we’re taking a closer look at some of the incredible people who power Tivian.
Our first guest is Dörthe Minde, who serves as Tivian’s Group General Counsel and is based in our Cologne office. Join us as we delve into her background, expertise, and what drives her passion for Tivian’s mission.
Hi Dörthe, thanks for chatting with us. Before we get into your career detail, please could you share a few things about yourself, including your inspirations and the values that mean the most to you.
What or who has inspired you most in your life, and why?
The first vacation at my “happy place” in Tuscany was undoubtedly an inspiration to turn my job life around, even though it took some months before I finally decided to go in-house. That place has something special about it, which made me realize that I don’t need to prove to anyone, especially not myself, that I can stick it out as an attorney if it doesn’t make me happy.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You can’t please everyone, and being curious and smart is a good thing.
What are the values you hold most dear to you?
Honesty and loyalty.
You can invite four people to dinner (dead or alive). Who would they be, and why?
Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine the Great, Hannah Arendt, Greta Thunberg – just an interesting mix of very different women throughout history.
What is the go-to song you tune in to when you want to feel uplifted?
There are so many… What pops into my head right now is: “The Middle”/Jimmy Eat World and “Summer Girl”/HAIM.
Tell us about your background before joining Tivian?
After working as an IP/IT lawyer for international corporate law firms for years, I decided to switch gears and go in-house.
What does your role entail?
I’m heading Legal and HR, so my role is somewhat mixed. On the one hand, I advise on all things legal supported by our data protection counsel. But on the other hand, I deal with strategic HR and manage the HR team. So, I represent both Legal and HR in our management team.
What prompted you to move into Legal/HR?
Initially, I went to law school to become a journalist but then just stayed in law after spending years studying it. I have very structured thinking which I can utilize in this area a lot. Wearing the HR hat just made sense because it also involves many legal questions.
What does an average day as Group General Counsel look like?
It’s mainly reading and answering e-mails and reviewing and editing contracts and other legal documents. But, of course, there are also many internal meetings to align with different departments – it’s essential to know what’s going on in the company and be able to jump in and advise on legal implications that nobody might have thought of.
What are the challenges you see for HR in 2023?
Keeping people engaged in post-Covid work life. A lot changed during the pandemic. Like many other companies, Tivian has a flexible remote working policy, as many people prefer hybrid working and are choosing not to come into the office daily. This requires new measures to keep people connected and engaged. The additional challenge is that our teams are spread across different countries, time zones, and cultures. However, this is more than just a challenge. It’s also an opportunity to broaden our minds by listening to each other.
How has the role of HR and technology changed in the last five years?
Many administrative tasks have become automated, and now HR can focus on other tasks like retention and employee engagement, even in smaller companies.
How does Tivian help businesses?
When it comes to the workforce, analyzing data has become more relevant in recent years. In addition, internal communication is changing – people expect more open and transparent communication about what is going on and what actions and direction the business is taking. Involving people builds trust and rapport. Being left in the dark is what causes much more uncertainty and fear. I believe this is especially important in the turbulent times we face economically. Tivian can help collect data and insight via a well-established survey platform and structure internal communication via strong communication tools.
Thanks so much for your time Dörthe and for sharing your thoughts, insights, and story with us.
Before you go, please could you share one interesting fact about you (outside of work)?
I can write mirrored text by hand – a nice party trick, but apart from that it’s utterly useless!
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