26 mins read time

Fabian Schünke on Fake Innovation, Transformation and NewWork skill sets

On this episode of the Virtual Frontier, we’re joined by Fabian Schünke. Fabian is the Senior Consultant at Vollmer & Scheffczyk.

Daniel and Fabian had a great conversation talking about innovation, agile engineering and the future of work.

Listen to the episode below:

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Full episode transcript below:

CHRIS REEVES

Hello and welcome to the virtual frontier, the podcast about virtual teams created by virtual team. I’m Chris and I’m part of the team here at Flash Hub. Today’s episode, we have Fabian Schünke. Fabian is a senior consultant at Vollmer & Scheffczyk. Daniel and Fabian had an awesome conversation, talking about virtual teams, agile engineering, and the future of work. So here is Episode 11 of the virtual frontier, featuring our guest, Fabian, Schünke. Take it away, Daniel.

DANIEL GUAPER

Hello, everyone. My name is Daniel. I’m guest speaker at the virtual frontiers podcast and part of our virtual team at Flash Hub Innovation transformation and self organization are big buzzwords, filled and defined very differently but still most Lee experienced with a lot of uncertainty crossing all industry sectors. Today we want to discuss with Our podcast partner Fabian Schünke, some of those topics more detailed and bring some certainty to our audience. But before we dive into the topic of today’s podcast, Fabian, please go ahead and tell us a little bit about your own career path. And so we can catch up with you where we’re heading in the near future.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Hi, Daniel. Thanks for having me.

It’s quite cool to be part of this podcast. I’m quite excited. I already told told you Daniel, then we will see if the if the 45 minutes will, will be enough. Because there’s so many things to talk about.

DANIEL GUAPER

Yes, so I can we have you to make two parts of it.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Perfect. So yeah, you asked me about my my background and my career path. I started out as a machinist, so I did a job education. In a midsize company close to Munich, and after school, I wanted to do something with my hands. So I did a job education as machinist . I loved it. It was it was great doing something very practical. But when I was moved to production and I had to work shift, I realized that this might be not the best idea of doing it for 40 years. So, at the end of that job education, I started looking around what’s possible in that company and I did the first simple engineering works. So very simple construction engineering design stuff. But I realized as a machine is that will be nearly impossible to do that as a professional. So I decided to, do my engineering level. So I did a diploma in Mechatronics so mechanics and electronics. Um, and during that studies I was still working in that company company is called Schleifring , Schleifring und Aparatebau it was called in the past now it’s only Schleifring. And so I started out started doing some design work and Schleifring slip rings, rotary joins the the English expression. And there was an American company I was working together with in that time and they bought that slip ring and I had the opportunity to do an internship in the US so I moved to Boston for a while and did some engineering work there. company called Analogic North north of Boston. And when I came back from from the US I actually was planning to do something else. But Schleifring offered me the the opportunity to work as a sales engineer and project manager. So I did my diploma teases in project management for a development in Israel. So it was a camera development for company in Israel. And I did the project management for it. And after it started as a sales engineer, and it was, it was awesome. I had US, Israel and then Japan later on as areas. So it’s traveling a lot meeting a lot of people working a lot of times in international teams obviously. And then I realized that not only the technical side, but also management economics in general organizations strategy and so on is also key factor in companies so I decided to do an MBA and I did an MBA part time in Munich for three and a half years which was quite intense after work always going to, to university. And what I was planning to leave Schleifring to be honest and see something else. But then there was the opportunity to become head of sales for medical applications, which was awesome. After that I wanted to leave Schleifring again. Not not because I didn’t like the company, but I wanted to do something else but then they offered me to be head of business unit. And and I stayed again. So at the end, it was the very end it was 18 years from studying the machinist education until I left the company finally and during the time as head of business unit, I was the head of sales, engineering front end, and quality engineering. And I realized at that time I realized, Okay, wait a minute, company is not not to be seen as a machine. But of course there are people interacting with each other and especially if you’re not in the same department, this can become quite challenging. So if you are working in a metrics organization as I did you realize, okay, something is wrong here. And so you’re pushing, you’re pushing and you’re working with customers, and then it comes to centralize department like sourcing or production.

And I was like, Whoa, I was going crazy because I always thought, okay, they don’t realize how important this is and we need to work for the customer.

And, and they, of course work for their department for their keys. For the KPIs and for the whatever,

And I didn’t realize what was going on, and that was the time when my boss came up with the idea of bringing consultants in, I was not very happy because during my MBA, I met some and of course some some consultants and I had a picture or an image of consultants in my head and I thought for the problem that we are challenging this will not help but V&S so Vollmer & Scheffczyk came along and I realized in the first meeting or wait, okay, they are they are completely different. So they came up with ideas and teases and so on, that I was not facing at all until that moment. So, they were, they were telling crazy things like okay, it’s not so much about the processes. Let’s talk about how this organization as a sum of human beings is functioning. And and why people act like that. It’s not because they are not willing. It’s because they are they also stick or they also are stuck in in some kind of context or whatever. And they kind of opened a door to a completely new world for me. That is four years ago. I read every single book that they handed over to me, I put so much energy into this world and it came to the point that I decided to move on and be part of that organization following V&S which is a complete the self organized a consultant company and trying helping trying to help Other organizations to move towards that way or become more, more effective, more more efficient.

And I’ve been doing that for two years.

And yeah, and I was planning to do it longer than to be honest again. But then there came an opportunity along to become a managing director in a midsize production company. And they also started moving towards that direction. And I can be be a part of that transformation and, and be in a position that I can really take, yeah, simply take decisions to move in the right direction when it comes to that transformation, and that will start in July 1 . So I’m quite excited.

DANIEL GUAPER

That’s great. So this is a fantastic story and the quite a trip over the globe that you had for the last 18 or 20 years. And it’s very interesting as to say that you came originally like from the from the production side and you learnt the practical stuff and everything and then you change to the management side where you can see as well like the other topics that are important to a ccompany. I think one of our topics today is innovation. And as you pass so many different stations I’m sure you can tell us a little bit more about what is innovation and maybe when I think we fake a lot of time innovation with because call something innovation and innovation, or we implement things that , our competitor is doing and what is the definition for yourself, maybe or maybe You have more firm transmission was is what is innovation and what is not

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

you know, innovation is a, this really is a quite funny story. When I was at Schleifring in a way innovation was a big, big topic. So, we, I think Schleifring is quite innovative companies still um but nevertheless we we always have the feeling okay, they need to be more we need to push more, we need to be faster than that and the competition and so on and so on. And so there was a group of managers that decided to build kind of a task force for innovation. And in that time being, I will my background was …. very management driven. So I remembered some speeches of innovation. People, for instance, the innovation manager of BMW in Munich. And I contacted him. And I said, Hey, we are midsize company here. West of Munich. Are you interested in helping us or giving a keynote and bahh and he said Yeah. And he came, he came to Schleifring and he helped us building up and innovation management system. And it was basically like BMW system way smaller. So of course, probably like hundred times smaller than that, then what BMW does but the basic steps were the same. So we thought innovation management as a machine. So if you do this, then you the result will be XY. And there was a there was an online store kind of, you could type in your ideas and it was like a machine. And two years later I wrote a blog was called in German It was called “Es lief eigentlich ganz gut, bis wir Innovationsmagagment eingeführt haben”. Sorry you could translated to “it was all right until we introduced innovation management” because because we we, we totally oversaw what is the key factor for innovation. So the human being again, and and not the process. And so I was thinking of thinking about it a lot. And there was a colleague at V&S, Miachael Kasteleiner, or one of the partners who had a similar story and so we were, we were pushing that the topic innovation a lot at V&S, and thinking about it a lot. And so, at the end, there is There’s the definition for me that innovation, it is only innovation if the customer or the user is, is recognizing it as something new. And it must bring value to the customer or the user. And it needs to get appreciation. And now sounds pretty simple. But I think a huge difference And the mistake that we did is it is the customer or the user and not the manager, or the hierarchy or the management who does that decision or takes that decision. So what I mean is we had an innovation system and people came with ideas and the management charged if this is right or wrong, or if it’s promising or blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And this is bullshit. This is absolutely bullshit because the management cannot do it. In a complex world. so I think we all are still stick to the idea of this strong manager, who knows how the world works and can take good decisions because his education is so fuing good. Yeah, but the world is not is not acting like this anymore. So even if we think it’s a good idea or other way around it, even if we think it’s a bad idea you can you can see that every day people people are coming up with with company so with ideas that you never thought it would break through, and then it’s the new big thing. And so, and so for me, the only three key things is, is it’s new to the customer or the user. does it bring value to the customer? And do you get appreciation so money or something else? In exchange and so that was a huge learning for me that I was like, Okay, so my role as a as a manager changes from charging and taking decisions over ideas to building an environment that people can try and error own. Building Mvps, getting budgets, getting obstacles out of the way, being quick, learn quick do things. And instead of being that strong manager, trying to pretend that you know how the world works sometimes I think there’s still some some business left where this let’s call it old way of managing innovation might still work. So there might be this crazy guy Understanding his market understanding his customers, then I would say, Okay, stop doing a design thinking circus and all that stuff. simply tell the people what you want, execute it and be successful. But my thesis is that there are not many businesses left where you can be that way or where you will find managers like that. I think a lot of a lot of people still hope they could be like that, but but I think it’s nearly impossible.

DANIEL GUAPER

The one man show businesses are dying, dying businesses.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yeah. exactly

DANIEL GUAPER

Maybe their are still a few left where you can do that, if it’s not really complex, but I’m generalizing. This is a dying species of managers.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yeah, absolutely. And, and here, I think we also running into a into a paradox on that it’s not working anymore, but at the same time, that’s what you expect from a good manager. So you come into a company and you say, okay, but what’s your idea? What do we need to do in the market to be successful? And if the manager says, I don’t know, still our, the community, the organization and companies. Sometimes I’m not.

I’m not at the point to accept that. But I think it’s the truth in most of the times, and another thing that I that I found very, very often is that everyone is asking for the new Facebook. So it needs to be this huge new thing. And, but, I keep saying with customers now as a consultant, that In the back in the days when when someone came up with the idea of toilet paper it’s not this huge big thing. But back in the time it was innovation, it was great and in and what I what I tried to say with with a funny story for within a Methapher is that it does not need to be the new big huge thing. It needs to be something that customer or users appreciate. And they give you something in exchange. And even if if I don’t know some some digital app is nothing crazy for for an IT company for engineering company or for for a machinist company.

It could be a huge innovation to have an app that is that is another thing. It does not need to be the big new thing, just to get the appreciation from the user. And so now I tried to think innovation, more as a iterating, quick learning, surrounding environment, and not like a plan that you can execute and a machine that you can drill , and always, always, foresee what the next step needs to be. If you can do that you are happy, do it execute them successful. But I think there are not many, many companies left where you can do that.

DANIEL GUAPER

I think you already answered my next question mostly, but I still think we can tell a little bit more about why why is it then companies often after the theoretical knowledge about how to create a culture of innovation But then in the daily real life, they fail completely.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

I think what I’ve learned in the last two or four years with with V&S is in the past, I also thought, an organization as a machine, but it’s not. And there’s a second mistake that I did, which is that I thought that people, some people are simply strange, and you have to fix people. So meaning I was looking into, I don’t know, production department or whatever. Or manufacturing department and and I thought that people are strange. Why do they behave like that? That’s, that’s crazy. But what I did not realize back in that time is that of course People are not strange, but maybe some but but 99 percentage of the people are just people, and they want to do good work and they want to solve problems. So there needs to be something else, something else, not the people themselves. And so there’s a story that Beno Löffler our CEO tells a lot and I love it. He said, Okay, let’s try to imagine there’s there’s this one guy, and this one guy. He gets up in the morning, and it’s a Sunday. So he goes to church. And, of course, he lives in in Bavaria in Munich, so he needs to go to soccer. So in the afternoon, he’s FC Bayern on the soccer stadium. And after that he wants to chill out with his with his, with his mates with his friends. So he goes into spa wellness thing. So, it’s this one guy is always the same person, if he goes to church, he will shut up, he will be quiet, he will look very frimly me and so on in the soccer stadium, he will get a couple of beers he will be loud he will be shouting and in Spa and wellness he will get naked and they will talk quietly but but he will be naked. So you will get behavior which is dependent on the context you are using. So it’s the same guy. And the same guy is quite is very, very quiet in the morning. He’s drunk in the afternoon and loud and …. and funny and bar and then there’s by he’s naked. And now if you shift that so if you say get naked in the church, be quiet in the football stadium and get drunk in the spa. It will be strange.

And of course, this is very simplified and blah, blah, blah. But But if you take that further into the professional surrounding, if you take a very, very talented, innovative guy at Google and you swap it, swap him with a guy in a multi hierarchical system, where innovation is driven by the top management. The thesis is after 1,2,3 months, they will also swap behavior. And, of course, there’s a toolset that they learned at Google or in the other company that they will still be able to do, but the behavior is much more driven by the context he is in or she then by his personality, and I think We all would love to think that it’s different, not with me no no, I am stronger than the organization or the context. But there are examples in history not only in companies, but also in history, where you can see no no the majority of the people will fall into the behavior of the context. So, to answer your question, I think the management should think much more about the context which is present at the company.

And then observe the culture in in that company and try to change things that that can be changed, you cannot change culture, but you can change structures. You can change the context in some ways. And then observe the culture again, to push the culture in towards a way or a direction that you want to have it and one or is healthy for innovation.

And that is I think that is could be an explanation why everyone is understanding. We need innovation. Oh, and people should think, innovative and creative and intrapreneur, entrapreneur, and all of that. But if the context is not allowing it, so if you are, if you’re in the fuing church, and you tell the people all the time get naked, they won’t get naked.

DANIEL GUAPER

Or it’s gonna big mess.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yeah, this is one guy getting naked, he will be kicked out. And that is happening in companies.

You have this one guy, he’s saying okay, I don’t give a s**t. I Building up this homepage or something and then the boss is coming along and saying that okay, who who did? Who did sign it off? No one I thought we should think intrepreneur . No, no, no, no, no, you have to get it signed off by me. And then the next time he has an idea he will not do it

DANIEL GUAPER

Yeah, that’s completely correct. This hole this whole process of innovation comes always along with transformation as well inside the company so if a company decides okay we’re gonna we’re gonna do some changes or we’re going to implement new tools in our company. I think as you worked especially for a consulting company in the industrial sector with a focus on preparing these mainly traditional organized companies for the future. I’m sure you have experience of some transformative process inside the company and in the transformation of an organization, the world the way we work together and collaborate and all this is changing really fast and increasing speed. Seeing those changes happening all over the globe, do you think companies in general and humans more in particular, are aware and prepared for what is coming and what maybe it’s needed for personal quick learning and adaption.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

So, of course, I, I only have a small image or small picture of some companies I met. And, of course in in a certain market that we are in, but I think, or what we discuss at V&S right now is, you can you can tell a trend that more and more managers are complaining, maybe complaining about We try harder and harder and harder. And it gets worse worse worse. customers, they simply don’t know anymore what they really want. They changed specs all the time. Competition is getting is getting crazy. The political surrounding is uncertainty in perfection. And and so everyone is everyone I don’t know, but a lot of people are mirroring us. There’s a change. There’s a change to five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, and you hear a lot the sentence. Back in the time it was so great. Somehow we found a solution. We managed to do it. So there’s a trend. I think you can see that and now I think there are At least two types of managers, there’s this one type trying to do the things that they did in the past simply harder and more. And there are there are these other guys who start kind of an exploration trip. So what else is there? Are there alternatives to the way of thinking that I have in mind right now. And then they, they, they start to Yeah, to do experiments and try to find out new ways. But a lot of these second type of management guys are falling back into the trap. Because until now It was clear that if you have a problem, you just have to search for the right way and then execute it. Which is OK, if you have a complicated problem, and you have simply think hard enough and you will find a solution. But now, if it’s really complex, you have to try error, learn, adapt, and that is something especially in the market and in the niche that we are in that managers have a very, very hard time with. The exception of the uncertainty. And for us as consultants, this was all a lot of times it was a huge problems because because the our customers ask us, okay, you’re the consultant, tell us what to do. And then the answer is often we need to try and then like no, no, we are paying a lot of money. Tell us what to do. Well, I just told you what You need to do is try and I think this is really a huge obstacle. But well if if my thesis is right and the complexity is is gaining even more it is like an evolution and companies who will not learn to adapt and fall into this new way of organizing things. I think the consequences they that they that they die. Because they cannot adapt fast enough. And this could be a consequence.

DANIEL GUAPER

Yeah, for sure. One thing about the change you you talk, you work in a consulting company or you have worked at the last year’s that is basically a self organize company without formal hierarchies mostly. There are a lot of misconceptions in the industry about what is a self organized company and how they are operating in some way with a holacracy model. So could you tell us a little bit more about that change that happens already in your own company and how you adapt with that because I think I can remember this is not all flower power and happy doing so there’s things happening on the way and things you have to adapt, right.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yeah, absolutely.

That was one of the reasons why I moved to V&S is because I wanted to experience myself how it is to work in such a company. And I wrote a blog article some weeks ago, which is called “one year without a boss. If I would have known it”. It is Yeah, I opened the blog article with with a conversation I had with my brother. My brother has three kids. And of course he had the first kid before I had my first daughter. And and when I asked him, How is it with kids, why isn’t it great and da da da? And he said, Well, you know, I can I can explain for two hours and you will pretend that you will understand but you will not until you have kids and then you will feel it. And of course I can explain the feeling but you have to feel it. And of course in that conversation, I was getting kind of frustrated because it wasn’t a haaah. You can still tell me how it is. But when when I got my my first daughter and now my second I would, I would tell people Without kids the same thing. And working for an organization without hierarchy or self organized, organization. I would pretend that with, trying to explain how it is to have kids is kind of how to trying to explain how it is to work in a self organized organization. Nevertheless, I will I will try to do it.

DANIEL GUAPER

Share experience.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yes. But I guess what I’m trying to say is, it is different, and it is hard and it is so different than you could not even imagine that it’s so different. And that’s the same with kids, I think as my experience. So when I when I got to founders, I thought, well, there’s no hierarchy so there’s no boss. So we do things together. And that is Yeah, Miss misconception. Number one that hierarchy is gone. That’s not true hierarchy is always there.

DANIEL GUAPER

Even more strong sometimes

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

correct, but it’s not as explicit and static as an traditional organization, but it’s always there. And there was something. Now I kind of think it’s funny that I was so I don’t know. Stupid maybe.

So, of course, this hierarchy and now you have to find out where is it right now Exactly. Who has the most competence in that situation and who should I follow in that situation? But, but it’s simply not not true, that it’s gone. And, and that was kind of kind of stupid, too. To think that hierarchy is gone. And the second thing that that is funny is that everyone is saying Okay, so you have yourself organized so everyone is doing what he or she wants. So it’s kind of chaos or anarchy or random and that is that it’s funny. I mean, it’s still an operating organization. I mean, we need to make money we need to pay our bills. So of course not everyone is simply doing whatever he wants. So there’s a there’s a clear road map kind of orientation. So what what are our goals for this year what what is our focus? What’s my job? What do I need to do?

And now after after two years, I have to say it’s I’m very close to my colleagues from a personal side I’m very, very close. They’re nearly all of them are friends now.

But in, discussions, it’s even harder than before. So if we have discussions about, topics for our customers or for our strategy, the discussions on our heart very, very, very hard. And that’s good. I mean, the quality becomes better. But in a hierarchy will classical organization it was not that hard, at least my experience because it was clear after I don’t know there was a discussion going on for one minute and there was good Okay, well, he’s my boss. I don’t Well, we just simply do it as he wants, and that’s different. And so everyone who thinks that it’s a you call it , easy, easy hippie living. Totally wrong. Totally, totally wrong. So Oh, yeah, and there’s one thing. People are saying, well, it’s kind of chaos. There’s no structure. Oh, yeah, that’s a jail or new work, self organized. No, I would say, in a self organized system, you need even more structure, but different. Yeah.

Because in a in a hierarchy, it’s so easy. You just look up, or you look down, and that’s the way it goes. And then you have processes and just follow it. But if you have a self organization and you don’t have structures, for instance, how do we, how do we take decisions or who’s doing marketing right now who is building up the strategy for the next three years? And how do we come to conclusions and decisions in this strategy work? If you don’t take care of that structure? Yes, then you can, then you go into chaos. But that has nothing to do with professional self organization or holocracy even. Yeah. But I think you know what I mean? What I mean?

DANIEL GUAPER

Yes, I could experience some similar things with Flash Hub as well we’re working as self organized structure. So people are think often this is something where you don’t have or you don’t communicate enough and you do have to seek out. No, it’s a complete difference. We talk, everything double there’s over communication about a lot of lot of things that we have to talk more intense than maybe a company where as you mentioned it, just look up to the boss and wait for instruction or for decision. So yes, it’s getting everything it’s getting more intense. But the good outcome is you mentioned as well. Most of your colleagues are right now your friends, you know, this is something that happens with you getting closer and you have to talk about things more intense.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yeah, that’s, that’s a that’s also a very interesting point. I had, I had a lot of customers and we were talking about solving problems without hierarchy and and doing that together as a self organization. And then there was this topic, do we now need to become friends? Do I need to be open to to my colleagues? And I heard this a lot that people said, well, but this is profession and, leisure, leisure, and so there are two different things. If I go to work, these are my colleagues. And I don’t need to be open to them. I don’t need to become friends. And I thought about that. A lot. And my position finally is the following. I agree, you don’t need to. But if your competition somehow manage to have an environment where a lot of people are friends, or it’s a very friendly open environment, they will become better in solving problems, they will become real teams.

And at the end, they will be a strong competition, and they will be better than you. So, yes, you don’t need to do that. But think about it, that your competition might do it. And this becomes a competition relevant factor. And so and so I think it is kind of well, how to say You need to be careful in saying, I split that and I only if I’m at work, I’m just professional. And that’s all I do. This might not be enough anymore in the future. And so that’s kind of my position now. You know,

DANIEL GUAPER

I completely agree with you. And just like, I think you care more for friends or, how he’s doing, how he’s performing and what what problems are, or what problems could be done for just for colleagues, you know.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

at this. There’s the study of Amy Edmundson, I think came out last year at least I saw the first time last year about psychological safety in teams and that that’s the success factor number one for four successful teams. And you you rather have Let’s say lower education, but a psychological safety environment, the result the results of this team will be higher than you have high potentials, but only only egoistic personalities and a not psychological safety environment. The results will be very low. And this study of man, this blew me away last year. I was like, yeah, it’s it’s so it’s so clear. And, if I think about my history in work, I remember leaders, where I felt exactly that I simply felt safe. And therefore I did things. And I think these are the these are the topics and things we need to take much more care of is the leader of tomorrow or the managers of tomorrow? Then telling the people what to do?

DANIEL GUAPER

Yeah, exactly. For sure.

I have a question what we do is we have like those over decades or even over centuries, we be taught and instructed people at work in very hierarchical structures with little space or no space to innovate and no space to make their own decisions. How we get those people on boarded and included, as they have a lot of skills hard skills, but is stuck still in those traditional organized knows organizational thinking. So for example, the Deutsche Bahn or Bosch or Lufthansa, like big, big companies, big enterprises, but they have a huge workforce, which is still stuck in this old thinking, old organization.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Maybe as a starting point, I love the idea of human type x and human type Why? I’m so in a in a tailor, organization, yes, more thinking of human type x. So you need to give benefits you need to motivate people so they that they get things done. And of course, the type why where you say, Well, everyone is motivated and everyone wants to solve problems and do great stuff. Let’s build an environment so that they can do it. And obviously, I’m following the type why. And if we follow that, consequently, I think step number one is get rid of all the shit that demotivates people. So if I need To fill out 10 pages to get I don’t know, my money back from traveling last week or I need a new laptop or whatever because I want to program that app and the laptop was broken and this takes 10 weeks or I’m managing a very very complex project and I need to go to milestone reporting every second day and it doesn’t help me it only gives the management more secure and more safe feeling.

Get rid of all that shit. So let’s go through organizations and look okay what what is what is really building up value for the customer? What is needed to be innovative, what is asked by the law and Everything else needs to be scrapped needs to be kicked out. And a lot of of people ask, okay, how does this Scrum or design thinking or whatever you want to call it?

How does that work? Because we need to become agile then I think the right answer should be before you start implementing and using the next new thing. Let’s get rid of 10 old things that are just causing pain and time consuming and so on. So that will be step number one, because this will change the context people are in. So if you change the way of reporting in a project management, let’s say in the past, it was a milestone management system and you had to report every second day and you change That to a platform where you can get help instead of report the status that will change the context and maybe people start liking that meeting again.

And then I would get rid of rules and talk about principles. Start off with with the agile principles and adapt those to your own organization. So that people can take decisions on their own again and not having a rule which is taking away your decision making process. And all of that, you need to give orientation. You might want to call it vision. I don’t care but where are we heading to? Why are we doing that? And of course, at the end, you need a tool set to do that. So how does Scrum works? I don’t know, or how does it kanban board work or whatever. But that is kind of for me from the priority 678 I don’t know. The other things are much more important. And then let’s build our own tools set and whatever is helpful and needed for our context. And, I think if if you there are so many good books about that, but don’t look for the next blueprint. I don’t think I think that’s the wrong order. That’s not the jumping point. This using Scrum is good, but using Scrum in a church, you know,

DANIEL GUAPER

It has to be the right environment

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Exactly, I agree completely

DANIEL GUAPER

We talked already about the hard skills that come from the old industry. And, and there, it seems to me that the new soft skills to become successful tomorrow in tomorrow’s business becoming important, more or we are becoming more and more important every day. So my question is what can companies do to nourish such skills like empathy, critical thinking, creativity, all those things that will help us to be successful tomorrow but still are not really nourished by companies and how that could be developed.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

There is a there is a fantastic book of Dr. Gerhard Wohland , probably one of the best books I read the last years and he he takes it he builds the differentiation between blue And red world and the Blue World is where you can tell how to do it. And the red world is where you have to ask Who? Who has talent who has an idea. And in the Blue World, on the other side, it would be how do we do it? How is the process? What’s the next step? So I think if we want to build out soft skills or push that, field of competence, we have to stop asking the question, how do you do that? Or do you know how to do it? And ask more of the question who who could be the right talent in that situation? Who is the one we don’t exactly understand how but who is the one building up teams and, and to find the right people in the right situation, for the right problem that could also Be a new management task, I think.

Another topic I’m thinking about a lot is if it’s not clear, so if there’s uncertainty about the way to get there, it will become more and more important to find managers and leaders or simply people who built up a psychological safety environment. So they are giving courage to the colleagues and and pushing them with confidence and they are taking the uncertainty on their shoulders and not pushing that to the teams and I’m afraid you cannot really learn that I think you can of course you can understand that.

But I personally think you cannot really learn it. It’s and I know that the people out there saying there’s not no such a thing as talent, but I think there are talented people who can simply build an environment of, of courage and confidence. And if you find those people, push those people bring them in the right position, then I think great stuff can happen.

DANIEL GUAPER

Very interesting. Of course, Fabian I think we’re heading to the end of our podcast today. Let me do some closing questions. I think you already started to mention some books. But what books are you reading at the moment and can you might recommend some of those

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Yes, I have to say that that Beno so our CEO, he is he’s a crazy man. He reads so many books and he always brought it over to me. So I read also a lot of book not not as many as he but still. So there’s one book I really recommend, which is “Die Denkwerkzeuge der Höchstleister” I’m not sure if it’s if it is translated into English. It’s from Dr. Gerhard Wohland

We need to look it up. You need to look it up. If it’s translated to English,

DANIEL GUAPER

we can look it up for our audience after

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

But they’re also cool interviews with him on YouTube to follow that, then, of course, reinventing organizations from Frederic Laloux. Ahmm. pretty cool. What else oh yeah there’s there is Sprint from Google Venture and I use that really in industry with a couple of customers now and we we build it out MVPs using that book very very very cool I can absolutely recommended so many books

Chris Rees startup the startup stuff from that and

DANIEL GUAPER

I think that’s very good.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

and there’s one recommendation Qualityland of Mark Uwe Kling something different and very funny

DANIEL GUAPER

shocking that’s great we need shocking and riddling content

DANIEL GUAPER

Okay cool. How can our listeners connect with you if they want to reach out to you?

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

I think the easiest way is LinkedIn or Xing . I think that’s the easiest way. Yes.

DANIEL GUAPER

Okay, cool. Well, then I can just say thank you Fabian for the today’s podcast, I learned a very much about innovation transformation and the whole human factor around it, and how important that is. And thanks again for participating in our podcast on Virtual Fontier today.

FABIAN SCHÜNKE

Thanks for having me.

DANIEL GUAPER

Yeah. See you next time on Virtual Frontier

CHRIS REEVES

I’d like to thank our guest, Fabian, Schünke for joining us today. You can find out more about Fabian on the Vollmer & Scheffczyk blog. You can also follow him on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to subscribe to the virtual frontier or leave us a review on Apple Podcast Cast Google Play Stitcher or anywhere else podcast are found. If you want to learn more about virtual teams as a service is the flashhub.io. On behalf of the team here at Flash Hub I’d like to thank you for listening. So until next episode, keep exploring new frontiers.

 

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