How is it possible to manage people from 15 different countries with multiple cultural backgrounds, time zones, languages, and working traditions? As Karger’s Head of Regional Office, Distributor & Agent Management, Mike Petersen does exactly this. What does his working day look like? How does he get motivated each day, and how does he not get confused by so many time zones? Let’s find out.
Take us through a day in your work life. What are some of the work habits you’ve developed over the years that help you maintain productivity?
There isn’t a normal day as Head of RODAM, however a pattern that has naturally emerged is I typically start in the east and flow westwards. Given the locations of our Regional Offices (RO), it’s not unusual to start somewhere in Asia at 7-8 am and end my day conversing with either RO North America or LATAM.
I’ve always worked in an international capacity of some description, so the two most productive things that I’ve learned are patience and conducting business in a fluid manner; what we expect or experience in a ‘Western’ business world isn’t always what we experience elsewhere.
In terms of habits, I would simply say being curious about how business is done in other parts of the world, and by proxy applying what I’ve learned from one country or culture and integrating it with others.
What motivated you to apply for a position at Karger?
Pull up the sofa… how much time do you have? The chance to work in a truly global capacity, and influencing the strategy and direction of well-established and highly respected publisher.
What has been your experience during the remote working over the last two years?
Because my team is 95% international, my experience has been outstanding. I work with people from Brazil to Australia, and all points in between. It doesn’t really matter where I’m based, my team are scattered to all corners of the world, as long as I’m connected I can engage with them. HOWEVER! I sure have missed in-person contact; as much as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working from home, boy, there have been days when my office has seemed incredibly small and isolated.
What do you enjoy the most about your time at Karger?
The diversity of my working day, literally no two days in a single week since joining Karger have been the same. This has no doubt been my saving grace during the pandemic.
What would you like someone who’s interested in applying to Karger to know?
As a family-owned medical research publisher, Karger is the perfect combination of a “not-for-profit publisher” mentality and commercial publisher mentality – we know what it is we want to achieve but we take a very considered and flexible approach to achieving it.
How do you switch off from a busy day at work?
Joining my Zwift cycling club (EVO) for live & virtual cycling, and my local cycling club (the Histon & Impington Bike Club – HIBC) as often as I can, and my kids!
What inspires you every day?
My four perfect and highly inspiring children mean the world to me – everything I do, I do for them. A wise man once told me: “whatever you do in your life, make sure you can keep up with your kids” – great advice, Dad!