Organizational development - on the way to an agile-learning organization

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In today's world, agility is often understood as a key concept for successful business management. But being able to respond flexibly and reactively to market demands requires more than a theoretical concept.  

Netstream AG's journey to becoming an agile-learning organization began back in 2018. Following the motto: "The best way to predict the future is to create it", the Board of Directors gave Netstream a new direction with the newly developed vision, mission and aspiration.

But what does "agility" mean in this context?

When we talk about "agility", we assume a mindset, i.e. a certain attitude and way of thinking of the employees, and not familiar methodological or process approaches (such as Scrum). The agility mindset requires a departure from the usual striving for perfection right from the start and places the benefit and goal of action at the center. We master the way there in small steps. In this way, dependencies are gradually resolved and we allow ourselves to make mistakes along the way and to learn from them. Together we can achieve perfection on a path that is probably not perfect. Agility enables us to react to new market requirements within a short period of time and thus to work reactively, flexibly and adaptively.

Adaptation of the management structure

In order to be able to achieve agility in a company, individual leadership is being replaced by shared leadership. The Board of Directors implemented this at the beginning of 2019 with the decision to form the operational management, internally referred to as the "Leadership Group," as an independent management circle. This circle consists of seven members who can make decisions on an equal footing. Since then, we have been accompanied by Me&Me, the coaching duo specializing in agile organizational development.

In the first phase, the board established a new way of working together and making decisions in so-called decision meetings. Decisions are now made jointly with objection integration instead of majority voting, documented with the help of a tool and moderated by the external coaches. Depending on the context, the group decides directly on the content (What?) or authorizes one or more people (Who?) to make the decision on the content. This procedure simultaneously promotes the competence development of the individual employees. In the meantime, more than 200 decisions have been made and implemented quickly and also successfully by assigning responsibility to the respective experts / specialists. "Making decisions is important, but implementing the decisions made is match-decisive. With the change from consensus to consensus and the conscious reduction of power imbalances within the operational management, we have created a tool that allows us to actively shape our future," confirms Alexis Caceda, CEO Netstream AG enthusiastically about the concept.

Extension of the concept to the entire organization

But agility requires more than just a committee. Now that the leadership group has successfully established the new way of working, the task is to extend this mindset and the associated ways of working and thinking to the entire organization. We achieve this in many individual steps, in which employees are introduced to the methods and leadership is gradually transferred to the organization. With intensive coaching from various sides and the principle of "learning by doing", we move step by step into an agile-learning organization with a collegial leadership principle.

Read more about collegial leadership in our next blog post on organizational development.  

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