If change is the only constant, then traditional change management approaches simply cannot deliver. In our dynamic world, Evolution is a better Algorithm for organisational adaptation.

I catalyse change at individual and strategic levels by creating space for iteration, co-creation and experimentation.

As your partner for systemic change I put my skin in the game through a mix of client partnering, process facilitation, subject matter expertise, deep reflection practices and capability building.

Being a node in an influential network of international practitioners, I can also meet your complex needs by forming a lean and bespoke collaboration platform with expert partners in Collaboration, Executive Coaching, Agile & Holacracy, High-Performance Cultures and Change Communication.

Click here for partner profiles

Jan Brecke

Catalysing change through executive coaching. German native World Economic Forum Regular.

Marina Ibrahim

Creating high-performance global business cultures. German-English bi-lingual Cosmopolitan.

Matt Clarke

Switching people on. The magic energy in any room from Australia to Austria.

Vikki Leach

Creating more inclusive and equal cultures. Local Role-model and Global Advocate.

Elvin Turner

Helping leaders and teams to move further, faster. Innovation Realist and Professor for Entrepreneurship.

Steffen Frischat

Installing Agile & Holacracy as alternative ways of working. German Executive turned evolutionary catalyst.

Together with your change agents we can create:

More Purpose

Establishing your context, framework and story

Advising you on the big picture and creating the right environment by:

  • Planning your unique transformation journey
  • Setting up a Transformation Office or Change Circles stocked with A-Players
  • Helping them to shape a consistent change approach that fits your organisation

 Building a movement of change agents with a sense of urgency by:

  • Crafting a compelling story for change that is authentic for diverse stakeholders
  • Advocating and facilitating bold moves and adhoc experiments early on
  • Inspiring courage through visits to relevant organisations that are ahead of you

Watch Video

More Leadership

Strengthening your Leadership Capacity

Turning your leadership culture into a competitive advantage by:

  • Inspiring your executives to be bolder and more mindful
  • Clearing decision bottlenecks by showing you ways to devolve power to those who know best
  • Enhancing natural leadership at all levels through unique experiential leadership labs with real-time situations and cases

Creating high-performance (cross-functional) teams by:

  • Observing meetings with instant feedback and coaching
  • 80% group coaching, complemented by 20% 1:1 coaching
  • Delivering micro-trainings based on emerging needs of the group

Watch Video

More Impact

Co-creating your new reality

Evidencing demonstrable transformation one step at a time by:

  • Implementing your chosen change approach in a way that people notice in everyday situations
  • Changing systemic patterns and unproductive norms through in-the-moment interventions
  • Growing strong networks of energised and capable change catalysts

 Installing enablers for a high-performance culture across all levels by:

  • Installing a new Operating System for better Meetings: performance dialogues, governance meetings, and stand-ups
  • Making important data more actionable through visual and visceral communication tools
  • Training and supervising in-house workshop facilitators and meeting observers

Watch Video

Together with your change agents we can create:

Establishing your context, framework and story

Advising you on the big picture and creating the right environment by:

  • Planning your unique transformation journey
  • Setting up a Transformation Office or Change Circles stocked with A-Players
  • Helping them to shape a consistent change approach that fits your organisation

 Building a movement of change agents with a sense of urgency by:

  • Crafting a compelling story for change that is authentic for diverse stakeholders
  • Advocating and facilitating bold moves and adhoc experiments early on
  • Inspiring courage through visits to relevant organisations that are ahead of you

Strengthening your Leadership Capacity

Turning your leadership culture into a competitive advantage by:

  • Inspiring your executives to be bolder and more mindful
  • Clearing decision bottlenecks by showing you ways to devolve power to those who know best
  • Enhancing natural leadership at all levels through unique experiential leadership labs with real-time situations and cases

Creating high-performance (cross-functional) teams by:

  • Observing meetings with instant feedback and coaching
  • 80% group coaching, complemented by 20% 1:1 coaching
  • Delivering micro-trainings based on emerging needs of the group

Co-creating your new reality

Evidencing demonstrable transformation one step at a time by:

  • Implementing your chosen change approach in a way that people notice in everyday situations
  • Changing systemic patterns and unproductive norms through in-the-moment interventions
  • Growing strong networks of energised and capable change catalysts

 Installing enablers for a high-performance culture across all levels by:

  • Installing a new Operating System for better Meetings: performance dialogues, governance meetings, and stand-ups
  • Making important data more actionable through visual and visceral communication tools
  • Training and supervising in-house workshop facilitators and meeting observers

“The Leadership Impact Genius”

STEWART BEWLEY - AMPLIFY

A TRACK RECORD THAT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

Making an 'Oil Tanker' fit for IPO through Systemic Change with Innogy

Over the last two years I have immersed myself in one of Innogy’s regional businesses which generates a significant proportion of their multi-billion Euro revenue from sustainable hydroelectricity. As a systemic change consultant, I have coached, trained, supervised, observed, challenged and supported more than 300 sponsors, executives, managers and employees across B2C and B2C sales and the Grid. My main purpose and mandate is to:

  • Hold up a mirror whenever I notice unproductive systemic patterns and challenge mental models
  • Coach the sponsoring executives to create an environment where improvements are recommended bottom-up
  • Develop the leadership capabilities of next generation managers who are often tested in their first leadership role as an NWOW project leader
  • Embed Innogy’s leadership models and change approaches through training and coaching
  • Develop a network of change agents across the business

 

Business Context

The confluence of new generation batteries, affordable renewable energy suppliers and the German government-dictated energy transition are threatening the future of Innogy, one of the big four Energy giants in Europe, at its core.

The Opportunity

With a bureaucratic history as a state-owned utility provider, Innogy’s CEO has realised that its management population is not a competitive advantage. Deeply ingrained patterns and mental models stemming from its civil servant days are in the way to adapt fast enough and to deliver the returns he promised to shareholders when splitting Innogy from its Coal and Nuclear-based energy parent company RWE through an IPO.

The Approach

NWOW – New Ways of Working – is an all-company transformation programme that is remarkably different: it trains its managers and employees to be lean experts, change consultants and coaches who use their newly built capabilities to apply a suite of lean and change tools under the umbrella of a unified change approach. The purpose of this massive multi-year effort is to create sustainable skills and expertise among its workforce to continuously improve operations and thus save money. Instead of strategy consultants proposing the cuts, these global household names of consulting develop the technical skills of lean management and process improvement, while I am part of a pool of a dozen external systemic change consultants, who develop the leadership skills of executives and project teams to transform the company.

Impact

I have demonstrably improved the quality of meetings and decision making. The business-led “Pull Approach” in the B2B division that I recommended and helped implement is regarded as a role-model across Innogy. The business is now capable of finding cost reductions of up to 5% year-on-year. I have inspired and developed a movement of around 20-25 change agents at all levels who now have the capabilities and mindsets to apply systems thinking and are savvy observers and in-house consultants. As one of the managing directors says: “It’s hard to pin down where and when you catalysed the change, all I know is it happened and your engagement has been a profitable business case for us.”

 

Over the last two years I have immersed myself in one of Innogy’s regional businesses which generates a significant proportion of their multi-billion Euro revenue from sustainable hydroelectricity. As a systemic change consultant, I have coached, trained, supervised, observed, challenged and supported more than 300 sponsors, executives, managers and employees across B2C and B2C sales and the Grid. My main purpose and mandate is to:

  • Hold up a mirror whenever I notice unproductive systemic patterns and challenge mental models
  • Coach the sponsoring executives to create an environment where improvements are recommended bottom-up
  • Develop the leadership capabilities of next generation managers who are often tested in their first leadership role as an NWOW project leader
  • Embed Innogy’s leadership models and change approaches through training and coaching
  • Develop a network of change agents across the business

 

Business Context

The confluence of new generation batteries, affordable renewable energy suppliers and the German government-dictated energy transition are threatening the future of Innogy, one of the big four Energy giants in Europe, at its core.

The Opportunity

With a bureaucratic history as a state-owned utility provider, Innogy’s CEO has realised that its management population is not a competitive advantage. Deeply ingrained patterns and mental models stemming from its civil servant days are in the way to adapt fast enough and to deliver the returns he promised to shareholders when splitting Innogy from its Coal and Nuclear-based energy parent company RWE through an IPO.

The Approach

NWOW – New Ways of Working – is an all-company transformation programme that is remarkably different: it trains its managers and employees to be lean experts, change consultants and coaches who use their newly built capabilities to apply a suite of lean and change tools under the umbrella of a unified change approach. The purpose of this massive multi-year effort is to create sustainable skills and expertise among its workforce to continuously improve operations and thus save money. Instead of strategy consultants proposing the cuts, these global household names of consulting develop the technical skills of lean management and process improvement, while I am part of a pool of a dozen external systemic change consultants, who develop the leadership skills of executives and project teams to transform the company.

Impact

I have demonstrably improved the quality of meetings and decision making. The business-led “Pull Approach” in the B2B division that I recommended and helped implement is regarded as a role-model across Innogy. The business is now capable of finding cost reductions of up to 5% year-on-year. I have inspired and developed a movement of around 20-25 change agents at all levels who now have the capabilities and mindsets to apply systems thinking and are savvy observers and in-house consultants. As one of the managing directors says: “It’s hard to pin down where and when you catalysed the change, all I know is it happened and your engagement has been a profitable business case for us.”

 

Developing High-Performance Teams for corporate innovation spin-offs with Fresh, Shine & Ucair

I have supported Innogy to get return from investments into new business models and product innovation which is required to deliver the promises made to investors to through their IPO.

The Opportunity

To achieve this Innogy has set-up a innohub, a corporate innovation and start-up incubator. Despite top management’s commitment and investment, the former industrial behemoth faces the challenge adapt to the world of agile start-ups and network leadership fast enough.

The Approach

This is where the DBP comes in, an 8 month programmes that provides entire teams support and challenge to Deliver Breakthrough Performance, which in the case of the innovation teams is to incubate and spin-off ideas as separate brands or even stand-alone businesses.

Together with in-house consultants and expert facilitators, I delivered three waves of the DBP with the “innovation wave” having had the biggest impact. In this wave I had the opportunity to merge my long-standing expertise in and passion for start-up management with executive development.

Entrepreneurial types are much more open to being challenged and no nonsense feedback, which is one of my signature strengths. The predominant way of working with these teams is in the “here-and-now” constantly switching between accelerating venture development “on the ground” and then pushing the pause button to “reflect on the balcony” on what’s really going on and in particular how to manage egos so that the bi-lateral relationships are more resilient during stressful development sprints.

The Impact

We supported four innovation teams through a combination of off-site modules and intensive team coaching on-site. The focus is always on what needs to get done in the next project or start-up life cycle stage and learning happens on three levels: self, team and organisation. One team binned their idea, which innogy also considers a success, because they failed fast. Three teams, Fresh and Shine, have launched new services as new brands under the innogy umbrella, and one of the wave’s true leaders has started his very own company, Ucair, which monitors solar parks through a fleet of drones.

I have supported Innogy to get return from investments into new business models and product innovation which is required to deliver the promises made to investors to through their IPO.

The Opportunity

To achieve this Innogy has set-up a innohub, a corporate innovation and start-up incubator. Despite top management’s commitment and investment, the former industrial behemoth faces the challenge adapt to the world of agile start-ups and network leadership fast enough.

The Approach

This is where the DBP comes in, an 8 month programmes that provides entire teams support and challenge to Deliver Breakthrough Performance, which in the case of the innovation teams is to incubate and spin-off ideas as separate brands or even stand-alone businesses.

Together with in-house consultants and expert facilitators, I delivered three waves of the DBP with the “innovation wave” having had the biggest impact. In this wave I had the opportunity to merge my long-standing expertise in and passion for start-up management with executive development.

Entrepreneurial types are much more open to being challenged and no nonsense feedback, which is one of my signature strengths. The predominant way of working with these teams is in the “here-and-now” constantly switching between accelerating venture development “on the ground” and then pushing the pause button to “reflect on the balcony” on what’s really going on and in particular how to manage egos so that the bi-lateral relationships are more resilient during stressful development sprints.

The Impact

We supported four innovation teams through a combination of off-site modules and intensive team coaching on-site. The focus is always on what needs to get done in the next project or start-up life cycle stage and learning happens on three levels: self, team and organisation. One team binned their idea, which innogy also considers a success, because they failed fast. Three teams, Fresh and Shine, have launched new services as new brands under the innogy umbrella, and one of the wave’s true leaders has started his very own company, Ucair, which monitors solar parks through a fleet of drones.

Developing 120 new 'ready now' directors for international expansion with European supermarket leader

Have you ever wondered what it takes to walk into a supermarket at 8am and have all shelves filled with products you want? I have designed a development programme for managing directors, so that they can balance leading branches and regional distribution centres with military precision while being also being able to deal with the typical pain points of fast growing brands. Add the advent of online shopping and new entrants like Amazon Fresh – both massively threatening the market power of big box retailers – and you have the perfect storm that top management needs to cope with.

The Opportunity

The value drivers in this sector are purchasing power, speed of growth, and above all, precision and speed of supply chain execution. The structure in this organisation is extremely hierarchical. This has created a leadership culture that is top down to the point where directors who manage up to 1.800 people are used to take orders from their superiors with little reflection of challenge. This has suited the company well in their decade long ascent to domination. Now facing shifting consumer demand and a workforce that is predominantly going to be Generation Y – including the new wave of directors and middle managers – this leadership culture is driving the company to a wall that will be hit in 2-3 years time unless a drastic intervention is being undertaken.

A very imminent problem for this company is growth: due to their international expansion they need 120-150 new managing directors within 18-24 months, and these don’t grow on trees. You almost need three times the amount of candidates that go through the assessment centre in order to fill all those posts as they open up with A-Players. In other words, while the company needs new leaders with agile, mindful and creative leadership styles, the operation to produce those leaders resembles manufacturing.

A third problem is that this long stretch of business as usual and “more of the same” has been rightfully mirrored by HR. Whilst this has served the function well including a seat on the board the leadership development platform is suffering from stale learning concepts and a pool of external training providers that – with the odd positive deviant – delivers rather mediocre quality.

The Head of Leadership Development wanted me to be an external sparring partner to 1) completely overhaul the development journeys for future managing directors and 2) to weed out the pool of under-performing training firms and replace them by the best trainers and coaches on the market. Using an external learning designer who on principle would not deliver any of the formats himself, it created a compelling story both towards the soon-to-be-fired incumbents and the new delivery partners. With this principle in place, there couldn’t be a conflict of interest.

My five key deliverables were:

  • Develop a Learning Architecture and an end-to-end development journey for 120-150 candidates who after completion are promoted to Managing Director level
  • Design purpose, objectives and parameters for all eight three day on-site modules in a way that makes it easy for external delivery partners to complement the design with their hero products whilst providing a consistent experience for participants
  • Identify potential providers for each of the modules and together with my in-house client choose the best in trial trainings and through pitches
  • Brief all existing and new providers on the new learning philosophy and train the coach for the first module in my own leadership model (Edge, Connection, Intervention), which the client wants to permeate across the organisation
  • Approve all learning materials from external partners in terms of quality and fit with the overall programme architecture and learning philosophy

Impact

As a result of my design approach and successful influencing, my client was able to launch a new programme that hits the nerve of what 28-35 year old high potentials want and need. This leadership journey combines intensive language courses and secondments into other divisions and countries with training modules that engage the whole person in three big ways:
first, they are ready for their first 100 days in the new big and often scary role, having practices and role-model everything from inspiring their new employees, influencing peers and majors alike, managing change, presenting on big stages and handling difficult conversations and conflicts. The feedback from the first cohort of 20 is that they are hitting the ground running and feel prepared for those first critical incidents.
Second, the first module on leadership in particular, gives participants a “Leadership_OS” – a pragmatic operating system that they can use in almost every interaction: What’s my edge, what do I bring to the table so that they want to follow me rather than feeling obliged to. How do I create deep connections with people fast? What can I learn from their every reaction – and how can I use this soft information and weak signals to have impact, to close the deal, to solve the problem, and how do I mindfully choose to use my personal power.

Third, and it’s early days, the way the programme is designed will inevitably lead to a systemic intervention in the client’s culture. As a result of the success of this programme for to-be managing directors, the board has decided to immediately stop the long-running programme for existing directors, often people who feel they know all the answers and consider the need for further training as a sign of weakness. If any of these incumbent directors, often in their 50s either wishes or is urged to develop further, they have to go on this new programme. Once this happens, it will accelerate breaking of old patterns and shifting behaviours and mental models that simply don’t belong into a modern workforce in the 21st century anymore; the bet is that this will enable my client to also succeed with ever more demanding online consumers and to become the Amazon of fresh food delivery in the World.

 

Have you ever wondered what it takes to walk into a supermarket at 8am and have all shelves filled with products you want? I have designed a development programme for managing directors, so that they can balance leading branches and regional distribution centres with military precision while being also being able to deal with the typical pain points of fast growing brands. Add the advent of online shopping and new entrants like Amazon Fresh – both massively threatening the market power of big box retailers – and you have the perfect storm that top management needs to cope with.

The Opportunity

The value drivers in this sector are purchasing power, speed of growth, and above all, precision and speed of supply chain execution. The structure in this organisation is extremely hierarchical. This has created a leadership culture that is top down to the point where directors who manage up to 1.800 people are used to take orders from their superiors with little reflection of challenge. This has suited the company well in their decade long ascent to domination. Now facing shifting consumer demand and a workforce that is predominantly going to be Generation Y – including the new wave of directors and middle managers – this leadership culture is driving the company to a wall that will be hit in 2-3 years time unless a drastic intervention is being undertaken.

A very imminent problem for this company is growth: due to their international expansion they need 120-150 new managing directors within 18-24 months, and these don’t grow on trees. You almost need three times the amount of candidates that go through the assessment centre in order to fill all those posts as they open up with A-Players. In other words, while the company needs new leaders with agile, mindful and creative leadership styles, the operation to produce those leaders resembles manufacturing.

A third problem is that this long stretch of business as usual and “more of the same” has been rightfully mirrored by HR. Whilst this has served the function well including a seat on the board the leadership development platform is suffering from stale learning concepts and a pool of external training providers that – with the odd positive deviant – delivers rather mediocre quality.

The Head of Leadership Development wanted me to be an external sparring partner to 1) completely overhaul the development journeys for future managing directors and 2) to weed out the pool of under-performing training firms and replace them by the best trainers and coaches on the market. Using an external learning designer who on principle would not deliver any of the formats himself, it created a compelling story both towards the soon-to-be-fired incumbents and the new delivery partners. With this principle in place, there couldn’t be a conflict of interest.

My five key deliverables were:

  • Develop a Learning Architecture and an end-to-end development journey for 120-150 candidates who after completion are promoted to Managing Director level
  • Design purpose, objectives and parameters for all eight three day on-site modules in a way that makes it easy for external delivery partners to complement the design with their hero products whilst providing a consistent experience for participants
  • Identify potential providers for each of the modules and together with my in-house client choose the best in trial trainings and through pitches
  • Brief all existing and new providers on the new learning philosophy and train the coach for the first module in my own leadership model (Edge, Connection, Intervention), which the client wants to permeate across the organisation
  • Approve all learning materials from external partners in terms of quality and fit with the overall programme architecture and learning philosophy

Impact

As a result of my design approach and successful influencing, my client was able to launch a new programme that hits the nerve of what 28-35 year old high potentials want and need. This leadership journey combines intensive language courses and secondments into other divisions and countries with training modules that engage the whole person in three big ways:
first, they are ready for their first 100 days in the new big and often scary role, having practices and role-model everything from inspiring their new employees, influencing peers and majors alike, managing change, presenting on big stages and handling difficult conversations and conflicts. The feedback from the first cohort of 20 is that they are hitting the ground running and feel prepared for those first critical incidents.
Second, the first module on leadership in particular, gives participants a “Leadership_OS” – a pragmatic operating system that they can use in almost every interaction: What’s my edge, what do I bring to the table so that they want to follow me rather than feeling obliged to. How do I create deep connections with people fast? What can I learn from their every reaction – and how can I use this soft information and weak signals to have impact, to close the deal, to solve the problem, and how do I mindfully choose to use my personal power.

Third, and it’s early days, the way the programme is designed will inevitably lead to a systemic intervention in the client’s culture. As a result of the success of this programme for to-be managing directors, the board has decided to immediately stop the long-running programme for existing directors, often people who feel they know all the answers and consider the need for further training as a sign of weakness. If any of these incumbent directors, often in their 50s either wishes or is urged to develop further, they have to go on this new programme. Once this happens, it will accelerate breaking of old patterns and shifting behaviours and mental models that simply don’t belong into a modern workforce in the 21st century anymore; the bet is that this will enable my client to also succeed with ever more demanding online consumers and to become the Amazon of fresh food delivery in the World.

 

Making Microsoft COOL again with Microsoft

“Microsoft is the New Google. Google is the Old Microsoft.”

That’s what Forbes postulated in 2015. Since then, I have helped Microsoft to earn this reputation.

The Opportunity

Microsoft wants to be “cool” and you can only do that when others “want” you – rather than “needing” your (enterprise) software.

The Approach

Together with Stewart Bewley from Amplify I have delivered more than a dozen two-day immersive trainings for a total of 250 people that redefine what experiential learning is: zero slides, no flipcharts, real play and creating an environment in which people do things they never imagined they could.

Centered around my one of my “hero products” – a leadership model that guides you to building an edge, connecting deeply, and intervening smartly – I help Account Directors and Senior Marketing Managers to convince customers and colleagues alike that Windows 10 is the game changer the company has been trying to launch for almost a decade.

We achieve this by scaling-up intensive 1:1 coaching within the large group. We also document impact through before-and-after videos.

The Impact

When they leave this leadership and story-telling laboratory they are confident and capable to shift customers’ perceptions via elevator pitches, campfire story telling, or simply by having natural authority and influence in daily interactions. Many people say it has transformed their work and personal lives.

This global programme – so far we delivered on four continents – is part of Sadya Nadella’s quest to add an intriguing consumer arm to Microsoft’s hugely profitable but not so exciting enterprise business. Whether you think Hololens and Surface Tablets are cool…the participants can tell a more compelling and moving story about their products than any ad pro ever could, and the Windows 10 folks are gaining traction amongst their colleagues through a more authentic and more subtle ways of leading and influencing. And remember, the better story wins!

“Microsoft is the New Google. Google is the Old Microsoft.”

That’s what Forbes postulated in 2015. Since then, I have helped Microsoft to earn this reputation.

The Opportunity

Microsoft wants to be “cool” and you can only do that when others “want” you – rather than “needing” your (enterprise) software.

The Approach

Together with Stewart Bewley from Amplify I have delivered more than a dozen two-day immersive trainings for a total of 250 people that redefine what experiential learning is: zero slides, no flipcharts, real play and creating an environment in which people do things they never imagined they could.

Centered around my one of my “hero products” – a leadership model that guides you to building an edge, connecting deeply, and intervening smartly – I help Account Directors and Senior Marketing Managers to convince customers and colleagues alike that Windows 10 is the game changer the company has been trying to launch for almost a decade.

We achieve this by scaling-up intensive 1:1 coaching within the large group. We also document impact through before-and-after videos.

The Impact

When they leave this leadership and story-telling laboratory they are confident and capable to shift customers’ perceptions via elevator pitches, campfire story telling, or simply by having natural authority and influence in daily interactions. Many people say it has transformed their work and personal lives.

This global programme – so far we delivered on four continents – is part of Sadya Nadella’s quest to add an intriguing consumer arm to Microsoft’s hugely profitable but not so exciting enterprise business. Whether you think Hololens and Surface Tablets are cool…the participants can tell a more compelling and moving story about their products than any ad pro ever could, and the Windows 10 folks are gaining traction amongst their colleagues through a more authentic and more subtle ways of leading and influencing. And remember, the better story wins!

Creating an exponential and agile organisation with Renewable Energy Company in Europe

I am privileged and proud to help a mid-sided Energy Company in Europe as the architect of a business transformation that has the potential to inspire others to follow.

The Approach

For the last 12 months I have partnered with the CEO and his management team to transform the company through a set of big interventions:

  • Creating and nurturing an MTP – Massive Transformative Purpose – to rally all 150 employees behind this bold new vision that could disrupt the energy sector
  • Launching an in-house start-up unit to develop the required value propositions and products
  • developing high-performing cross-functional teams with the task to take out 75% of CTS – Cost to Serve – until 2020 (in order to fund the new ventures and remain competitive in their core offering)
  • Introducing agile working methods
  • Implementing a new way to measure performance through Google’s famous OKR system (Objective and Key Results)
  • Adopting a more holacratic meeting and decision making style

The Impact

So far, I have catalysed the required changes in behaviour in the top team, which is now co-creating their exciting future together with their employees. I have helped my client to set-up a virtual consulting team stocked with the best experts for every work stream. As their Next Level Architect, this programme demands that I lean on almost everything I ever learned in consulting, coaching, learning design, corporate innovation and programme management – and bring those skills to my very own “Next Level”. A year in, Next Level starts to show evidence of my value proposition: more purpose. more leadership. more impact.

I hope that a year from now I am able to tell an inspiring story about my client and for new clients who also face the threat from digitisation and automation, and who want – out of a position of strength – to make the bold move most of their competitors are pondering about, but not brave enough to act on.

I am privileged and proud to help a mid-sided Energy Company in Europe as the architect of a business transformation that has the potential to inspire others to follow.

The Approach

For the last 12 months I have partnered with the CEO and his management team to transform the company through a set of big interventions:

  • Creating and nurturing an MTP – Massive Transformative Purpose – to rally all 150 employees behind this bold new vision that could disrupt the energy sector
  • Launching an in-house start-up unit to develop the required value propositions and products
  • developing high-performing cross-functional teams with the task to take out 75% of CTS – Cost to Serve – until 2020 (in order to fund the new ventures and remain competitive in their core offering)
  • Introducing agile working methods
  • Implementing a new way to measure performance through Google’s famous OKR system (Objective and Key Results)
  • Adopting a more holacratic meeting and decision making style

The Impact

So far, I have catalysed the required changes in behaviour in the top team, which is now co-creating their exciting future together with their employees. I have helped my client to set-up a virtual consulting team stocked with the best experts for every work stream. As their Next Level Architect, this programme demands that I lean on almost everything I ever learned in consulting, coaching, learning design, corporate innovation and programme management – and bring those skills to my very own “Next Level”. A year in, Next Level starts to show evidence of my value proposition: more purpose. more leadership. more impact.

I hope that a year from now I am able to tell an inspiring story about my client and for new clients who also face the threat from digitisation and automation, and who want – out of a position of strength – to make the bold move most of their competitors are pondering about, but not brave enough to act on.

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A FRESH APPROACH TO BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

Shaping Your Transformation Journey Every transformation is different. Plus, you only understand a system once you actually change it. That’s why we start with little experiments straight away instead of producing laborious diagnostics or detailed programme plans. We also rather start on an empty canvas instead of reusing blueprints from elsewhere. Once we find our stride as a core team, your ambition determines the the change journey; you need to mirror the desired strategic change with a matching appetite for change at individual levels.

Transformation Journey Mapping in a bit more detail:

It’s an everyday visual tool you can use for many situations including big picture thinking, programme management, internal communication and even coaching. It can be scribbled, printed and used online enhanced by quantitative data. It makes practicing the systemic cycle around Clarity, Choice and Consequence a regular task for the core team. You can also use it as a base for impact tracking.

Benefits of this unique approach and tool:

  • Treating your transformation for what it is: unique
  • Honesty and realism about what is a feasible stretch versus what is plain unrealistic or disingenuous
  • Helping you organise and align resources between consulting projects at a strategic level and coaching & training interventions at an individual level
  • Building in-house capacity for experimenting with the systemic cycle

Leading Change in Your System As a leader you are part of the system you need to change. You are limited by the echo-chambers you create and by your loyalty towards trusted and loved colleagues. To lead change in this context requires extraordinary observation and reflection capacity and an honest and authentic approach. Together, we will diagnose the system and learn how to adapt interventions during volatile and uncertain times.

The graphic explained in more detail:

Imagine this graphic as dynamic, moving and breathing – reflecting the adaptation as it unfolds. Change is displayed as a wedge here. The width of the wedge is determined by your level of ambition which can vary throughout the Journey. The more ambitious and complex the change, the wider the wedge, which results in more disruption in the system. The more the disruption in the system – and the more cultural resistance –  the greater the need for change leadership in terms of attention, role-modelling and capability building.

Leadership in this model is spread across the core team which leads the change and comprises at least yourself, myself and one internal change manager ‘on the ground’ (Must-have!) to make things happen and to attract more people into the core or the fringes. Most likely, we will need other external specialists (agile coaches, programme managers etc.) as well. I can bring in my trusted partners or work with your incumbent boutique houses or individuals.

With its underlying set of diagnostic questions, this model becomes an important navigator on your change journey. For example, it assesses the minimum level of disruption needed to invoke any change and the maximum level tolerated by your organization.

The graphic is rather an icon than a model as it condenses several tools and processes and is standing on the shoulders of Heifetz/Linksy (Adaptive Leadership) and other authorities with a systemic approach. It forms the backbone of our approach, ethos and practice.

Benefits of the systemic approach and its underlying practices:

  • a navigation and reflection tool to assess how much change to direct where and when
  • getting strategic clarity on what’s really going on under the surface of your organization and how all parts are inter-connected
  • challenging patterns and assumptions that may inhibit you from finding a solution that is best for the business
  • increasing your capability to make sharp interventions in the here-and-now
  • making Leading Change a core strength of your culture.

Being Smart Influencers We will be jointly guiding your system towards unchartered territory through your transformation. In order to have impact the core team must lead by role-modelling the outcome and practicing the art of smart influencing: build an edge, connect deeply and intervene smartly. We will develop your internal capabilities by passing on our tricks to you.

Benefits of this model and its underlying practices:

  • identifying the source of your edge and personal power, and how to utilise each responsibly and effectively to drive change
  • developing in-the-moment intervention tools that are smarter and subtler
  • avoiding the wide-spread “has worked here or there before” trap
  • building in-house consulting skills
  • amplifying your natural leadership capacity so that people want to follow you.

Connecting Consciously We are in the here-and-now and clear about our intentions. We know our triggers and can dial down our egos. We show vulnerability. We observe intensely and reflect deeply. As your sparring partners, we role-model first and then coach you to become the change leader you want to be.

Benefits of this model and underlying practices are:

  • a highly trusted and safe space for you to test any thoughts and intentions with us and get honest and agenda-free feedback
  • specifically, to make it easy and often fun to call out any EGO in the room
  • to show you how to build meaningful connections for win-win outcomes as a business leader and human (please do try this out at home!)
  • to accelerate this project and to create a more exciting workplace overall (your colleagues will notice a difference, promised!).

OUR EDGE: WHAT I – AND WE – BRING TO THE TABLE

As a businessperson who has succeeded in a broad range of roles across global corporate structures, high-growth businesses, boutique consultancies, and a start-up accelerator, I bring an edge to your transformation: I can catalyse change at both strategic and individual levels – and across all organisational life-cycles.

The reason why my clients want me in the room is my capacity to see the inter-connectedness of their diverse challenges, and to tackle the biggest elephants in the room. They also value my interdisciplinary capability to deliver a wide-range of interventions which saves them transaction costs.

Whilst not being the best in any one discipline, I thrive on collaborating with A-Players in Innovation Cultures, Digitisation, Agile Working, Holacracy, OKR, Executive Coaching, Change Communications and Programme Management.

Depending on your needs, you can choose between just myself, or this formula: Marcus Druen + Network Partners = Power of boutique firms – minus their overheads, hierarchy, and internal politics.

My trusted collaborators all run their own successful businesses and we all share this mantra: you cannot think yourself into a new way of acting – you can only act yourself into a new way of thinking. Hence, when we team up for bigger briefs, we role-model highly transparent and evolutionary ways of working for you to experience and participate in.

As your partner for change my quest is to practice what I preach: I am constantly challenging myself and integrating the learnings from successes and failures including a near death experience into my own transformation journey.

To be at full capacity for you, I follow a fixed morning routine and boost this through regular meditation, outdoor sports and deep reflection.

My resulting resilience and energy will help give you confidence and energy to better lead your organisation through volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity.

What my clients say

My trusted advisor

Ramiro Lafarga Brollo – CEO UPC Poland

His methods really work

Luis Malvido, CEO - Telefonica Cee

Rare balance of steer and flow

Thomas W. Thomas – Director Innogy Ventures

Without him our company wouldn’t be where it is today

Chris McCullough, CEO - Rotageek

The gravity in the room

Anu Pyysalo, Global Sales Capability Manager - Microsoft

Perfect blend of challenge and inspiration

Romina Heitz, Senior Change Consultant – Innogy Consulting

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