One person. Two roles. Getting X Done together.

Getting X Done together is the foundation of our culture at Miele X. It represents our vibrant and dynamic way of working. This is how we learn from each other and grow together, because every voice matters. Dao Siangjaemsai is not only the Management Assistant to our MD, Simon Harlinghausen, she’s also the Get X Done Manager. The latter role transpiring because Dao is the ultimate problem solver and embodies what it means to ‘Get X done’. We caught up with her to find out about her journey and how her roles bring people together.

How long have you been with Miele X?

I joined the company just over two years ago, as Miele X’s 12th employee, and in time, we have grown to a 155 people business and counting. Initially, I became involved in different departments and was given HR and office management responsibilities, in addition to being management assistant to the directors. This gave me unique insight into a broad range of aspects of the business, in other words I got to see how each role contributes in their own distinctive way to ‘Get X Done’.

As the business continued growing, I got to know each new starter and emerging department and use this combined knowledge to help people work together efficiently. Which is how my dual role evolved and I became the Get X Done manager. We believe in leading with solutions here and that there is no impossible task. My role is to help people connect so that we can learn from each other’s expertise and reframe problems together, to solve challenges quickly and effectively.

What convinced you to join?

Prior to joining, I had heard of Miele. But what I found special about Miele X is that they have taken a heritage brand and created something new and different to accelerate digital growth.

What changes have you seen over the last 2 years?

I think establishing a new culture which is distinctly Miele X has been one of the biggest changes. We have created an atmosphere that is welcoming, open and based on collaboration and feedback, which is in keeping with the way of life in the Netherlands. To people who come here from all over the world, this way of operating is quite unexpected and refreshing. However, we recognise that this may take some adjusting to, given that this way of working may be very different to a person’s home country. What we have built here is a multicultural community that is non-hierarchical and learns from each other’s unique skills, backgrounds, and life experiences.

Can you tell us more about what it means to ‘Get X Done’?

Getting X done is a key part of our agile culture. It is not a prescribed way of working, it is more of an attitude, a mentality and entrepreneurial spirit, and is achieved by working together. It is solution focused and in terms of my role, it means that a person can come to me with any request, big or small and I will arrange it from A to Z.

We have so many wonderful experts here, who have come from a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds, from fashion and health to skincare and the motor industry. We all work together and learn from each other to continuously improve ourselves and to deliver on our roles and our personal ‘X’. Another Miele phrase is pertinent here – Immer Besser or Forever Better. That is what we strive for every day and because there is not one way of doing things, collaboration is so important. Another person could have an entirely different perspective on how to solve a problem and together a better solution can be created.

Can you describe what you do every day?

My days are extremely varied. I could be helping Simon and managing his agenda, working with the other directors and the board. Or I can be welcoming somebody into the company. Often, my role is about networking and bringing communities of interest together. People know that I love to help them and that they can come to me with any problem.

What’s the most important aspect of your role? Or rather, roles?

I think connecting with people is a key aspect. Listening and really getting to know them, what they like and don’t like, their motivations and their skills. So that you can learn who is around you and how to get the best from each other. For instance, when someone comes to you with a specific problem that requires certain knowledge or expertise, you will know exactly in which direction to point them.

Equally, connection is vital in terms of the community that we have built here. I endeavour to make everyone who joins feel welcome, by introducing them to others with similar interests, ensuring that they know their way around the workings of the business and that they can come to me if they need help.

How does your background help the team?

Like many of my colleagues I came from abroad to start a new life in a different country, as my family emigrated to the Netherlands when I was a child. I know first-hand how it feels, adjusting to the culture shock, not knowing anybody, and needing to learn to navigate new systems. This experience drives me to be the familiar, friendly face that is visible and on hand to help people settle in and thrive here.

In terms of measuring success, I gauge that in smiles. If people are happy and they feel supported and free to do their job well, then I am happy.

What makes Miele X different?

The passion and drive of the people here is different and very special. When you come here you must be the type of person that can build something from scratch. You will be surrounded by experts to collaborate and share ideas with, but you will have total autonomy over your career and where you take it. However, you are far from alone. There’s an exciting energy here and it is a fantastic community to be part of. I have never experienced such a vibrant and eclectic mix of cultures. It is fascinating to learn from each other and grow together on this journey that we are all on as individuals and as a company. 

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