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#19 If you feel too comfortable, push for a change – Kirsten Oppenländer

Kirsten Oppenlaender is responsible for digital solutions for commercial clients at Deutsche Bank AG. She is an MBA (CCI) and a graduate of the London Business School Leadership Program.

Kirsten Oppenlaender has extensive experience in payments processing, management of operational activities and in implementing new operating models. During the last few years she acted – among other tasks – as COO for the Retail IT Unit and the IT and Operations Department in Germany as well as Chief of Staff for a Member of the Management Board.


  • The speaker discusses the importance of understanding the changing landscape in the finance sector (09:42)
  • Collaboration with startups is a key strategy, but it requires understanding regulations and security concerns (10:21)
  • The speaker emphasizes the need to consider perspectives from different angles during cooperation (10:50)
  • Decisions on investing or partnering with startups depend on the strategic fit and growth stage of the startup (12:03)
  • The goal is to be faster in delivering projects and adapt to changes in the industry (26:19)
  • Agile methods are being adopted to increase speed and efficiency (30:47)
  • Career advancement in a large company involves performance, networking, and being adaptable (35:18)
  • Diversity is important, but balance uniqueness with fitting into the corporate environment (40:24)
  • Learning through personal interaction, reading, and sharing information in a network is essential (43:45)
  • The speaker’s favorite books include management help books and Silicon Germany (45:05)
  • A piece of advice to her younger self: Relax, calm down, and find a balance outside of work (47:12)
  • The conversation ends with gratitude for the opportunity and farewell (47:49)

Interesting Quotes:

Innovation is:
– collaboration from people with different backgrounds

– client centric

  • – different channels for different people.

Career Tips How to be successful in a bank:
You need to perform

Be resilient

Mistakes will happen
– If your environment can’t accept it then change it.

Push yourself
– If you feel to comfortable push for a change (internal or external)

Should you vision your future?
– The world and especially banks are rapidly changing so don’t make fix plans go build your network and take your chances.

Calm Down and Relax more, you don’t need to be perfect all the time

General Advice:
Don’t be too different – but still be yourself

Book Recommendations:

Silicon Germany: Wie wir die digitale Transformation schaffen Taschenbuch – Christoph Keese
The One Minute Manager – Ken Blanchard