Interview with Wirtschaftsförderkreis Harlingerland e.V.

Again, it’s time to present you a new member of our initiative: the Wirtschaftsförderkreis Harlingerland e.V.. Thanks a lot to the chief executive Frank Happe for the interesting interview.

The association acting neutrally and independently from politics and administration is accomplishing crucial tasks of the economic promotion in the rural district Wittmund since 1989. At the moment four employees are working for the association.


Which approaches and measures concerning Operational Excellence are already implemented at your company?

Frank Happe: We do not follow direct approaches or measures, we are rather acting as a multiplicator and providing impulses. 

Are there further actions planned to be undertaken in the future in this field?

Frank Happe: We do not have specific approaches, though we are thinking, that cultural change is important to be considered.

Does your company offer advanced trainings to the topic Operational Excellence for your employees?

Frank Happe: No.

What are your expectations on this initiative? 

Frank Happe: To learn from each other and to jointly challenge the change process.

To which themes do you wish to exchange thoughts and know-how?

Frank Happe: I am pursuing a general approach, this is why I am not focused on precise areas. Additionally, AGILE is interesting for me.

Are there specific aspects which are extraordinarily interesting for you? (for example, for networking-meetings or best-practice trips)

Frank Happe: I am especially interested in the following topics: sustainability in a company, cost efficiency, cultural change and agility.

Are you interested in workshops during our networking-meetings?

Frank Happe: Yes.

Which challenges do you see your company being confronted with in the future?

Frank Happe: There are no specific challenges for us, but we are meeting the challenges of any kind. 

Do you see a fundamental change within your sector in the next 5 years?

Frank Happe: I do not see a fundamental change, though I am convinced of economic promotion not only being an important instrument now but also in the future. 

Thinking about the north-western region, what do you think is mostly needed by the region to challenge the ongoing as well as future changes? 

Frank Happe: From my point of view, motivated parties as well as “change-guides” and innovations are especially important.

In this context, how do you value the potential of initiatives like ours?

Frank Happe: There is much potential in initiatives like this one. I think, we are on a good way, but still there’s additional scope.


We are very happy to welcome the Wirtschaftsförderkreis Harlingerland e.V. as a partner of our initiative and like to thank Frank Happe for taking some time to answer our questions.

If you have further questions to Frank Happe or points of references, feel free to contact our (interview) partner under