This is the first article in the series The next big thing: autonomous, self-organized units, through which I would like to share my experience and make them accessible to to others in the same boat.
Nearly every company in Germany knows that markets are changing faster and faster. The world is, at least metaphorically, becoming smaller and new competitors sprout up more rapidly. Growth is exponential. Digitization and artificial intelligence are on the rise. Decisions are more and more complex and are overwhelming the old corporate structures as well as the decision makers in management.
More and more people know: agility seems to be the new currency.
For start-ups, it’s actually simpler to get funding if they can prove their ability to adapt to change.
Many companies have already accepted that they have to change the ways they work. But they all struggle with the big questions of how to do this?
The consulting market in Germany has taken advantage of this situation and you can see the increase in consulting companies, freelance consultants, change managers, Agile and personality coaches who focus on supporting companies with ideas, concepts, tools or processes to handle their future development.
Several years ago I joined an event in Berlin where one of these consulting companies tried to sell a new and awesome tool: empathy! How crazy is that? I asked them, “So, managers only have to create empathy and that’s it?” I don’t know the exact answer anymore but who cares. IMHO, it’s quite stupid to think that a tool, detached from the whole complex environment, is THE solution. It’s both a waste of time and energy. These, surely well-intentioned, opinions help to increase the revenue of the consultancy but the customer will lose on three fronts: money, time and hope. I can’t imagine how often managers observe that all these new crap ideas are simply not working for their company. And maybe they are right.
One big mistake they all have made is attributable to the protectionism of their old structures, their old mindset, their fear of change or of losing their jobs, positions or power. Yeah, I can truly understand this.
And many consultants support this by offering simple solutions. Believe it or not, a little bit Scrum in the development team is absolutely not enough to save the future of your company.
Here is the thing: stop working on symptoms and start tackling the root cause! It’s ultimately systemic and human.
If the pain points are really stinging and you know you have to address them and change something, maybe you should start to think more radically. In a world where nearly every business can be disrupted by new ideas you may have to!
I want to invite all start-ups, small business and even big corporations to learn from the small start-up, I was working for. I had the possibility to be a part of an autonomous, self-organized team, consisting of all the pros needed to create and develop a great e-commerce product.
Do you want to work on the real problems? Let’s start with Product and unit vision.