In this world, it is not the fast or strong who win, rather those companies that are able to adapt and (in)visibly distinguish themselves from other companies through their ideas. Ultimately, it is essential to anticipate customer requirements at an early stage, considerably reduce development times, create added values, pick up on societal trends and, at the same time, lower costs.
One of our responses to the VUCA@WORLD is ASAP@WORK – Autonomy, Sense, Agility and Perfection - incorporated into a digital and networked working environment. With regard to the effective and distributed collaboration of the involved actors, ASAP@WORK relies on a corporate culture of trust and communication combined with a high degree of individual responsibility, whereby the customer, the human and the interdisciplinary team are put at the heart of the action. Seen this way, the sensible application of Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the blockchain, etc. is, of course, necessary, but ultimately only a means to an end.
Successful companies constantly scrutinise their behaviour patterns, the nature of their leadership culture, their accustomed processes and working methods. They are curious, leave familiar ground – driving by sight – and are adaptive and flexible, enabling them to open up new horizons. In this case, a mature organisational structure and agile teams (incubators) are not a contradiction.
In this sense, ASAP@WORK is a concept that requires agile teamwork and supports the successful development of hybrid and adaptive forms of organisation. ASAP@WORK is based on four cornerstones, which must be individually shaped for each company:
- Autonomy: redefining leadership/attitude/control and experiencing scopes of action and decision-making within a team
- Sense: collaboratively establishing and communicating a vision, strategy, products, markets and objectives
- Agility: developing agile process, collaboration and working time models
- Perfection: iterative learning and shaping the working environment
Anyone who wants “thinking outside the box” should not pigeonhole his employees. Thanks to ASAP@WORK, agile work in interdisciplinary and distributed teams becomes part of the corporate DNA. The sprint gradually turns into an internalised marathon. Design thinking as a method becomes a permanent feature in idea generation. Flexible working time models provide the framework for smoothing stress peaks. New technologies – used properly – help to create virtual processes and workspaces, where it is up to the employees to decide whether they participate in important votes and work meetings in person or virtually. In terms of value perception and value creation, this gives employees the opportunity to better establish their own balance of work, leisure and family.
Conclusion: The more agile a company is as a whole (wherever agility makes sense), the greater the economic success it achieves thanks to attractive products and motivated employees.