Agile Organizational Development
Agile Organizational Development
How quickly and how regularly a company adapts its business practices to changes in the overall market conditions can become an important competitive advantage. In an extremely dynamic environment, it may even be essential to survival.
Yet, change can be difficult, demanding and fraught with much insecurity. Change projects are often linked to painful experiences in the past, so that organizations then tend to procrastinate initiating another round thereof. The workforce is left dangling in a state of “coulda, shoulda, woulda …”
Our role is to accompany and empower you and your company to compete on all levels of agile organizational development: We continually mirror your corporate environment and discuss with you what we observe; we throw up some possible hypotheses and conclusions to provoke new ideas; we help you to make reliable and daring decisions; and we spur you on to implement those very decisions quickly and efficiently.
How things proceed in the respective situation depends greatly on how well developed the ability to change originally was in your organization and how swiftly your organization can change course.
Do you have questions?
»Up to that point, we had preferred to work without a theoretical superstructure, but now, together with the CCOD (Coordination Circle for Organizational Development), we introduced a very strict metaprocess, so that today every individual employee can highlight structural problems and suggest solutions. We were thus able to bridge the gap between centralized decision-making and allowing input from everyone in the organization.«
Claas Voigt, CEO
At the beginning, we were in a sense trapped, following the switch to self-organization in our corporate leadership. We kept asking ourselves: Do we proceed by introducing fixed structures or do we leave the teams to themselves? Things went back and forth between these two pole positions many times, and to be honest, we had failed to find the proper path to success – some framework that would enable a truly decentralized approach to internal cooperation. The result was chaos, the utter inability to make long-term decisions concerning the future development of the company and to follow up on them.
Up to that point, we had preferred to work without a theoretical superstructure, but now, together with the CCOD (Coordination Circle for Organizational Development), we introduced a very strict metaprocess, so that today almost every individual employee can highlight structural problems and suggest solutions. We were thus able to bridge the gap between centralized decision-making and allowing input from everyone in the organization. Sure, there is still some – at times fierce – pushback at various levels to implementing change, but this resistance is no longer leveled solely at the company management but is more diffuse and thus less destructive – which also avoids conflicts on the interpersonal level.
Initially, the CCOD did produce a formal roadblock or two, but the decisive thing was that the overall circle of people involved in pointing out problems and those involved in solving problems were growing in parallel. Both the internal collaboration as well as the cooperation of some departments with the CCOD grew slowly but surely, so that today many more colleagues are involved in the iterative organizational development process.
Working with Organeers was cooperation in the best sense of the word, close and collaborative, which was important to our whole company culture. It provided the requisite affinity to quickly get to the root of our problems. Organeers was always very focused on solving the problem at hand by presenting well-thought-out solutions backed up by their diverse experiences of what works and what (likely) won’t work. And yet, they remained on the outside looking in, maintaining a neutral consultation position, which came in handy for mediating conflicts that arose between two parties.
»Together with Organeers, we thought through the development of our organization and determined that we could reduce our growing pains while simultaneously exploiting the latent potential present in our company.«
Andreas Jonderko, Owner & CEO
In the beginning, when we had only 10–20 employees, it was not really a problem; the teams were small. But that changed once things took off, when the need for departments and major elbowing entered the scene. I had not reckoned with that since I always thought we were an “all for one and one for all” type of company. My biggest mistake was to keep eyeing the big guys and trying to take a page from their book.
Together with Organeers, we thought through the development of our organization and determined that we could reduce our growing pains while simultaneously exploiting the latent potential present in our company.
One of the main steps in this process was creating interdisciplinary teams, which solved a load of problems we had been experiencing: in the company’s structure, in matters of responsibility, in communication, in project management. When I think back on the many workshops we had held, with 12 people from marketing and 6 more from the project, etc., etc. – that was clearly not very productive. But now, it’s like we went on a diet and lost a ton of weight. You can move and breathe freely once again.
Our company is in principle very operation-oriented and opportunistic, so we first had to learn to work continually to improve our structures, something we had neglected in the past. We all joined hands to attack this matter, which resulted in a fantastic team effort to push this matter further, in addition to the new workspaces we established which are concerned with both strategic and structural topics. Representatives from various areas and with different competencies within gastronovi now sit at the table and together strive to advance the organization. In this manner, more and more people have learned to view things from different angles and make the respective decisions.
The cooperation with Organeers proved to be very agile, without the typically rigorous structures, which provided us with a very different perspective. What I learned from Organeers especially is sometimes just to rush ahead despite my natural inclination for a hard and fast plan. I find it amazing how quickly and succinctly they were able to discover the weakness in our system.