Mitte is a Berlin-based startup disrupting the drinking water industry. They are building sustainable hydration solutions that not only focus on purification of water but also enhance water with essential minerals like calcium and magnesium through a process inspired by the natural water cycle.
With offices near the trendy Maybachufer canal, Mitte is really a hot startup to watch. We have had the pleasure of working with Mitte on a couple of Executive roles, which brought us into contact with Morten Noormann. It has been great to get to know him and see what value he will add to Mitte.
How did your career start?
My career started during my studies. I had two memorable professors that mentored me back then. I’m also very heavy with helping others — if I understand a certain topic, I help others. One of the professors made me a tutor for programming languages and the other one wanted to bring me into a professional career in Mercedes-Benz’s research facility in Southern Germany. I was aiming more towards the North of the country, though, so he put me in contact with someone in aerodynamics at Airbus in Bremen — that’s where I did my internship during studies. After that, I did a second internship at Rolls-Royce in Berlin and started my professional career going back to Airbus. For 5 years, I worked in a high lift department, mostly focused around aerodynamics of the taking off and the landing of commercial aeroplanes.
Who is Morten outside of work?
A family person, that spends a lot of time with my wife and children. I put a lot of energy into taking care of my kids.
Tell me about your new role as a Director of Engineering at Mitte.
I was the Director of Engineering before at Native Instruments. However, it’s very different as I wasn’t too involved with people management — I had Engineering Managers below me. At Mitte, since the company is much smaller, I’ll be involved in that part more. We are in the middle of a heavy restructuring, and the main objective for me is to create and maintain a safe environment. One, where teams and people are structured in a way that allows people to connect with each other and focus on a common goal rather than being stuck waiting for management to make decisions. They need to be able to make mistakes and feel safe doing so, allowing them to progress and become high-performing teams.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Working with highly intelligent people. Seeing them thrive, being successful, bringing more people on board, and developing — this is awesome.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Servant Leadership is the shortest description. It’s not that I want to decide and delegate the work — it’s more about being a coach and a personal guide to my teams whilst empowering them.
What’s the biggest challenge in leadership for you?
Work is changing, especially if you work in a creative environment. Management is shifting — you need a different style of manager that is helping more than managing per se. You have to help teams unfold their potential. You have to let go of a lot of things, including the power that you give back to your team. Leadership changes to make people more self-responsible. This is the biggest challenge. You have to make communication much easier for that reason
What should we expect from Mitte in the future?
Mitte will be the major player in water mineralisation, making consuming high-quality water much more sustainable.
What would your advice be to an aspiring Engineering Director?
My advice to aspiring Engineering leaders is: be a good listener, do not interrupt people, and actively seek possibilities to make others successful.
Would you like to work for Mitte? Contact our Executive Talent Partner, Georgia May, to learn more about current job opportunities at the company.