Change is movement. Organisations that are open to change – flexible organisations – are now referred to as “agile”. Even if a lot of nonsense was and still is pushed with this term, it gets to the heart of what we consider to be the essential factors behind the success of organisations. Agility means focusing on people – both the user, who knows their volatile requirements better than any expert, and the team, who know better than any supervisor what they need for their work – if only we would ask them! Agility means considering business models and strategies against the backdrop of constant and unforeseeable change, as well as building processes and structures such that they quickly produce joint outcomes and facilitate errors – and therefore learning.
With this holistic, agile position, we look at all of our projects, whether this concerns the organisation of inter-divisional cooperation, a concept for a new marketing application or the agile transformation of the organisational culture. This does not mean, however, that scrum is the solution to any problem! Whether and to what extent we use agile methodology in our projects depends on the question being asked, the objective and, above all, the respective environment.
VUCA worlds require changeable business models and strategies that are adjusted to them. In the process, humility is the starting point on the path to organisational resilience: it is only when we acknowledge that we cannot predict or plan the future that we are in a position to recognise change as an opportunity. When unforeseeable events become the rule, it makes little sense to use valuable resources on detailed, long-term planning. The communicative aspect of strategic specifications becomes all the more important: strategy is leadership and should therefore be clearly formulated and communicated such that all organisational units can make their own independent contributions. Clarity, simplicity and participation are our fundamental principles for successful strategic and conceptual work.
Processes and structures are the backbone of all companies. With increasing complexity and maturity, these become rigid and inflexible in many cases; silos form and change becomes the greatest of enemies. We want to establish robust, open, and flexible processes and structures that enable us to expand the organisation’s prospects together and adjust quickly to new circumstances. Interdisciplinarity and horizontal networking in particular play a vital role here. In addition, we make use of the vast body of agile methods that have proven their worth in various contexts, from meeting formats such as scrum retrospectives to complete organisational operating systems like Holacracy.
People make organisations. We want to encourage everyone to take on this responsibility and to shape the organisation’s fortunes themselves. This is not especially easy. Established and internalised patterns (or organisational culture) get in the way of new approaches and must first be overcome (or transformed). Traditionally, this aspect was positioned as “change management” at the scarcely heeded end of (subsequently often unsatisfactory) change processes. We are convinced that people and culture constitute the framework for all successful change and therefore need to be incorporated from the very beginning. In times of increasing complexity where classical management models have reached their limits, we create the prerequisites for swift action: collective intelligence and decision-making ability at a working level – not rocket science, but it feels like a superpower nonetheless.
While “agile” continues to work its way into the mainstream, consistent user-orientation is still in its infancy as the second central paradigm in start-up culture. In the process, it forms the foundation of all success stories.
User-orientation is not simply a question of method. It is a fundamental change of perspective that also has an impact on processes and structures.
Functional realms, bureaucratic structures and authoritarian leadership stand in the way of necessary change. Frequent restructuring is the unsatisfactory answer of the moment regarding these challenges.
We want to support the many courageous people in questioning the status quo so as to be able to thoroughly enjoy working better: across divisions and hierarchies and close to the individual.