Corporates are changing – just read the news around VW, Volvo and the ING bank to name a few. There is a simple reason – accelerating changes in global markets makes corporates’ agility a strategic priority.
Statistics confirm that 50% of german companies have started implementing agile methods and frameworks. But here comes the problem: Roughly ⅔ of such transformations fail.
How is that? Well, according to the “State of Agile” Study 2019, the biggest blocker for successful agile transitions are cultural issues – resistance to change and inadequate management support and sponsorship.
And this is where the startup Echometer comes in. It is a company I met recently as part of my advisor role at the Founders Foundation. As a Spin-off from the psychological department of the University of Münster, the startup has a unique perspective on agile: Focusing on employees and teams mindset. Echometer helps fostering the agile mindset in two ways.
Firstly, scrum masters and agile coaches, the change agents in such agile transformations, are supported in so called “retrospectives”. Retrospectives are regular team workshops, where teams come together to continuously improve. In these retrospectives, Echometer as a “digital coach” helps developing the team using scientific findings from psychology combined with artificial intelligence.
Secondly, by using the tool in retrospectives, the development of the team and transformation can be made visible – not only on team, but also on organizational level. That way, Echometer ensures that agile transformations become measurable in a way that is combinable with the agile philosophy of self-responsibility. Teams and managers get specific hints and tips about how they can help their teams grow – based on the Echometers learning algorithm in the background.
The Center of excellence of a leading high-end domestic appliances manufacturer has put the use of Echometer this way:
“We use Echometer to gain transparency about cultural developments and to enable purposeful team discussions.” Source: Echometer
Co-Founder and CEO Jean Michel Diaz adds:
“While many companies have no clue, about how the transformation is going on an operational level, our customers have real-time insights and can be sure that agile teams support the transformation with a buttom-up continuous improvement process (!) – which is even more important.” Source: Echometer
Christian Heidemeyer, organisational psychologist and one of the Co-Founders of Echometer, recently visited the Barcamp of the ING (see picture). While the bank is one of the most popular examples of a corporate implementing agile methods and frameworks company-wide (see McKinsey, 2017), they agreed that agile mindset is a huge field to continuously work on.
Seems like Echometer is heading in the right direction.