Prof. Dr. Katja Stilz

Focal areas

  • Selection and development of executives and the design and implementation of tools and processes in corporate management
  • Active in consultancy and university teaching
    • With a focus on companies and industries whose core business is directed to technology and/or infrastructure
    • With a scientific focus on the psychology of entrepreneurship


  • Managing Partner at Alto Consultants GmbH (formerly lentze stilz stork gmbh)
  • Study of psychology, majoring in labor and organizational psychology, and a doctorate in the field of the psychology of entrepreneurship
  • 10 years in a DAX company of the ICT industry in the area of management selection and development as well as in process management and organizational development
    • 2 years as a specialist for executive selection and development
    • 8 years in different management positions,
  • in this position responsible both for central, guideline-creating work and for the competitive provision of services
  • Freelance for the past 10 years with corporate experience in questions of HR and corporate management
    • For the past 10 years, involved in the founding, setup and development of SUW Management Consulting GmbH (the predecessor of lentze stilz stork gmbH); 5 years of this as an executive manager
    • Active over the past 5 years in various different project-related partnerships and constellations on a freelance basis
    • Over the past 3 years, different teaching positions at various universities as well as, from the winter semester 2009/2010, a lectureship in the industrial psychology department of a university in Hesse (main subjects: personnel psychology and HR and corporate management)

Focus areas:

  • Leadership Consulting

Interview with Katja Stilz

Using sport terminology, are theory and practice on the same side or on opposing sides?

Katja Stilz: »From a theoretical side, you could say that they are two sides of the same coin, two different aspects of a whole. But I wouldn’t see this as a contradiction, nor in the sense of rivalry. A linking of theory and practice has a great potential for good when dealing with people and in corporate processes.«

Is it possible to speak of conditions for success?

Katja Stilz:: »Generally, the same basic preconditions apply to every job if you want to be successful: knowledge, will and experience. This sounds simple, but each of these areas represents a challenge per se in its realization if you make high demands on yourself and on your own performance. There are very few people who are happy to be only moderately successful. And there is naturally a connection between what you put into something and what you get out in your life in terms of effect and result. So everyone is also the source of their own success to a certain extent. I think it is very important always to keep this in mind.

But what actually is success? In abstract terms, the result of ability, will and experience. However, if you ask people this question directly, you find that success has many different facets and the answers you get depend a lot on the personality of the people you ask and on the phase of development these people are in at the time. On a very personal level, success for me has a lot to do with whether and how much I can use and prove my own specific talents, inclinations and prior experience. The opportunity for measured change in terms of quality and quantity is a decisive factor for professional satisfaction for me. From an individual perspective, personal success is also very much reflected in this factor. If you can accept this definition of success, then classical recruitment consultancy is the heart of the matter.«

Have these processes become faster today?

Katja Stilz: »Yes, I think this is generally so. We see on a daily basis how the time available for the implementation of certain tasks shrinks, while simultaneously the problems to be solved remain unchanged as a challenge and even with increasing complexity. Increasing experience should actually make it easier for you to solve problems better and more effectively. However, this is seldom the case in practice. This aspect is problematic since having enough time is a major requirement for quality. You have to learn to use appropriate methods and even quite deliberately to slow things down at times.«

Is flexibility the magic word?

Katja Stilz: »Yes - adaptability, a willingness to embrace change, curiosity, these represent the alpha and the omega for personal success. Particularly because processes and project goals can change very quickly, being able to react flexibly and fast is a great advantage. The challenge is to use the observation of events (which after all represent the past) as a basis for the following actions (representing the future) and not to dwell too long in a state of indecision. Darwin’s survival of the fittest, sometimes misunderstood as the strongest, actually refers to those who react best.«

Is it important to seek out the new?

Katja Stilz: »A corporate situation sometimes actually does require the new; but frequently it is rather the case that too many new things are introduced in too short a time, and then necessarily only superficially. The result is sometimes actually the opposite of what you really want to achieve - namely providing orientation, direction and clarity.

Less and better … this is where I see the bridge between the new and quality or actually the ratio of quantity versus quality. My favorite word in this respect is ‘traction’. A process or a tool is good precisely when it is right for the situation and for the specific corporate conditions. The measure for this is the traction.«