We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

– Albert Einstein –

The story of my creation of KWAN Solutions began in 2000. I was close to completing my law degree, but did not have a clear vision of my career path. My apprenticeship with Human Resources (HR) at VIVA Television changed this. Within a week I fell in love with HR. Winning new talent, help them thrive, having exposure to company strategy and the opportunity to influence the people agenda, was deeply rewarding and fueled my passion for HR. From there, I joined Molnlycke Health Care in 2005 as HR Manager for Germany and enjoyed 7 exciting years, establishing an HR function and its key processes. In 2012 I  moved into the Pharmaceutical industry, joining UCB Pharma/PAREXEL Int. as Director Human Resources and worked in global HR roles.

When I look back at the last 8 years, it feels like time travelled at warp speed. The compound effect of financial crises, globalization and digitalization forced organizations to adapt and do so more frequently than ever before.  Significant restructuring was seen as the answer every time, but was it addressing the root cause? This brutal Swiss army knife type approach led to diminished trust and doubt in company values and resulted in the loss of good talent (“regrettable losses”).

At the same time, whilst acting as change agent for others, the whole HR function also had to adapt.  Many corporate HR departments were changed to align with the Ulrich “Service Delivery Model”.  The HR Business Partner role of the model quickly won acceptance and appreciation from top management, but the same could not be said for some of the key HR processes, such as performance management, salary review, talent acquisition and -assessment.  “too cumbersome, poor technology, time-consuming and lack of purpose”, was feedback I received when I facilitated these processes globally.

For a while many believed that “with better technologies and more training for leaders this can be solved”.  However the underlying  HR processes were designed 20-30 years ago and followed growingly outdated beliefs about motivation, learning and how organizations should operate.  The root causes of many of the problems in organizational effectiveness (poor workforce planning, hiring and performance management practices) remained unaddressed.  This all contributed to my growing discomfort with the traditional approach to business.

Modern research draws different conclusions.  Future demands based on the new context and younger generations requires a new kind of organizational agility. Future organizations will be more like evolutionary systems than industrial machines, a metaphor from the past. New HR practices are ingredients for a successful metamorphose into this new workplace. Helping to drive this, is what I am passionate about.

I therefore founded KWAN Solutions in 2017. The name KWAN origins from the movie Jerry Maguire (1994) and stands for love, community and respect. “Show me the KWAN”, is our spirit.  Our community of agile enthusiasts and architects of new edge organizations is growing. We would love you to co-create with us and write the next chapter of collaboration at work!

My qualifications:

  • Operational Process Manager (BPM) TÜV
  • Certified Scrum Master® – ScrumAlliance®
  • Senior Certified Professional® – Society of Human Resources Management
  • Certified Whole Brain Facilitator HBDI® – Herrmann Brain Institute
  • NLP-Practitioner – DVNLP®

Kind Regards,
Heidi Ahrens

What We Do?

Purpose – People – Practices are the working areas in which we develop solutions that bring results for you.

Example projects:
– Development of corporate vision (purpose) and values
– Design of competence models for recruiting and personnel development
– Agile job evaluation and career models in cooperation with GRADAR
– Design of structured selection processes and potential analyses
– Team development concepts based on the Whole Brain Model/HBDI (Teambooster)


How we do it?

We work systemic, won’t jump to conclusions or fall for shiny objects. If you come along with us, lead by example and trust in our processes (e.g. SCRUM, Design Thinking), you will get a people practice or team intervention, driving your true company purpose and the values, you want to re-enforce.

Please visit our service page to learn more or get in touch directly.

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