Coaching & Production: When everything is different from one day to the next

An Interview with Simea Merki from Team morntag, formerly

At the end of September 2020 Simea Merki and Corinne Ulrich together with f:mp organized an actual live workshop in Cologne. Besides the interesting topics and coversations we had with the team, we also had the chance to talk about the past months and look forward toiint:day.

Simea Merki is part of the team at morntag (formerly, which has undergone a lot of changes over the last several months.

First of all, thank you very much for participating in our interview. Please tell us how the last months were for you, especially considering all the Covid measures in Switzerland?

The last months have been quite rough. Although we had less internal changes because we usually work from our home office, our bookings for consulting training and coaching have been completely cancelled.

Only the production orders are left over. Before Corona, the structure of the work orders were 60-80% training and coaching courses and fewer production orders. From one day to the next, we only had one project left to work on. As a result, we put all our marketing power into production and were able to start large projects. In the meantime, it's also good to have experienced the focus differently.

Do you now also do online trainings or are you just slowly getting back into live trainings?

We do both: We certainly intend to continue with online trainings. In addition, we are also doing the LinkedIn learning videos. We have now recorded a few more of these because we see potential there. After all, it's online and you can learn from anywhere in the world.
I personally didn't feel very comfortable with zoom meetings: With software training, you sometimes need the opportunity to go to people and show them exactly what they need to do or where they can click.

In addition, the online trainings do not provide the personal interaction and shared lunch. The transfer of knowledge in terms of content is already coming across, but personal contact and becoming familiar with each other is just not the same in my view.

When you think about a presentation our priint:day next year, you probably have a totally different perspective than you had at this time last year.  Do you already have an idea what you want to present at the priint:day 2021?

Our original topic was: Innovation is a matter of heart. At the moment we rather don't have to struggle with innovations, the Corona era was a boost for the digital world. Recently, we have often had presentations about Distributed Work, i.e. location-independent and distributed teamwork, home office, etc. We often faced skepticism. "That's not possible" or "It's nice that it works for you, but I couldn't do it" were often the reactions. Now that many have tried it, I don't think there are any more reasons why we cannot do exactly this.

Now you could probably ask yourself the question: When does it actually make sense not to work remotely?

When you do something new, you should believe in it. In this situation many had to dare something new, but unfortunately not of their own will or curiosity. The experiences showed these people that it is not so bad to work remotely and it would be nice if something like this would become and remain a matter of the heart. You always learn something new. If you do something because you have to, then it works. But if you do something because you like to do it and because you want to do it, then it works better.

On social media you have already announced that you are going to change your company name. What is behind the change?

Exactly, the name was developed from a Renaming Workshop. We put our values and our drive into words: Who do we actually want to be? What makes us different?

It is very important to us that the name is not dependent on technology, products or people. We work collaboratively as a team and everyone has equal rights. In addition, next year we will be a GmbH - on one side this will give us some relief, on the other side it is important that the same people are still involved. Nothing should change for us personally. Our passion and therefore the claim will remain in any case.

It is a big step to come down from the personal brand "Haeme Ulrich" and to transform the brand to a completely new creation.

What we have to do now is communication work. Haeme always says that he is happy when his name is not the center of attention. Not because he wouldn't support it, but because we have all noticed that it's not right, because internally we are all equal.

When you work between two different countries, like you do, what do you see as the key differences between Switzerland and Germany?

There are cultural differences but I appreciate both of them very much. For example, the lunch break is very important for the people of Switzerland. For the locals, lunch is at 12 o'clock and nobody is allowed to interrupt it. It is also said that Germans always finish work on time. But those are small things.

Hopefully, in the future we will see more similarities than differences. Often, we are always focused on how different everything is and we don't even see that many similarities exist. I believe that we can learn a lot from each other.

Thank you very much for taking the time for these insights and we are looking forward to seeing you at the priint:day next year.

About Simea Merki

"Come on, let's try." her favorite saying.

Simea is part of the family business morntag, formerly

She works primarily online. Be it on social media, with WordPress, texts, design and always something different.

Creativity is fun, even in life. Sometimes layouting, then making music. Sometimes text, then design.