A few weeks ago (this summer) I had the opportunity to participate in the monthly meetup “Agile Breakfast” organized by three Agile Coaches working in Germany: Manuel Ilincheta, Säm Abdelkhalek y Shiva Krishnan. This meetup, now virtual, has been held for years in person in Germany, but due to the pandemic situation, they adapted it to a virtual format in order to make people who are not physically could attend.
After having attended some of their monthly meetups, I proposed to them to participate in one of them as a speaker to share my own experiences as an Agile Coach. They thought it was a good idea and finally, I had the opportunity to talk about self-organization techniques both in teams and in companies.
The objective was to share the steps we have taken in Keepler since it was founded, more than 3 years ago, until today, taking into account the Culture we wanted and the impact that the growth of the company would have on it.
Before starting with the talk I thought it would be a good idea to give context in a brief way. My goal was to introduce Keepler from a simple point of view and, above all, to explain what we based our decision to carry out some of the practices I was going to explain later. To do so, I talked about concepts such as Management 3.0, Holacracy, Sociocracy, etc.
Creation of the Keepler Manifesto
During this meetup I decided to focus on some of the self-organising practices we are using because I was not going to have time for all of them. I also wanted to try to have the audience connected so I decided to start every section with a question that makes them think about the concept I would explain later. To explain how we decided to create values at Keepler I decided to launch this question: How would you start creating a culture in your team or company?
Three years ago we were just 10 people with a lot of uncertainty because we didn’t know what kind of challenges we were going to face along the way. But we were more or less clear about what kind of company we would like to build. Taking into account our “flat organization” philosophy and the Agile influence, we decided to use the Moving Motivators dynamic from Management 3.0 to prioritize the values that we would like to have in the organization. The result was our Keepler manifesto, which you can find on our website, and our 4 values as the most important: Solidarity, Leadership, Continuous Improvement and Transparency. All this experience can be consulted in this Management 3.0 blog post.
This was the beginning of what came later: a set of practices and procedures that help us to drive Keepler and that are fully aligned with these values. Below you can see a mindmap with the relationship between our values and the practices and procedures we currently have.
Organization and self-governance
To explain how we are applying Holacracy / Sociocracy 3.0 concepts I asked the following question: How would you organize a large team or organization?
And then I explained how we are using the concepts of circle, link or driver, which are concepts from these frameworks and how this has helped us to scale the decision making and execution of critical tasks for the company. For example, initiatives such as K-luedo (post in Spanish).
Decision making and salaries
Finally, I shared how we are managing salaries at Keepler and how decisions are made regarding salary reviews. To do so, I asked this question: What approach you would use to make a decision in a team / organization?
In this part, I talked about the concept of the Advice Process (Reinventing Organizations) and Open Salary Formula (Management 3.0) and how Keepler is merging these two ideas to make a transparent and meritocratic management of salaries, which translates into having public salary ranges and a simple formula that combines variables to build the particular salary of each employee. This procedure is explained in another blog post (available in Spanish) and also in this Management 3.0 blog post.
Questions and conclusions
Once these ideas were shared, there was a question and answer session in which I had the opportunity to talk about different aspects related to the concepts I had shared. It was very interesting to know other points of view considering that this is something I had not had the opportunity to share in an international environment and I keep both the feedback and the experience of having shared Keepler’s DNA in a different context.
By the way, if you want to have more details of the meetup you can watch it here: “Agile transformation, a real one”.