Malte Beck

Malte Beck is Agile Coach at kartenmacherei, one of the leading providers of personalized event stationery in Europe. After several years in the IT industry and in project management, he specialized five years ago in agile organizational development. In 2016, Malte accompanied the transformation of kartenmacherei from rigid departments into agile, cross-functional squads. As an Agile Coach, he has been driving the methodical development of the teams ever since. His mission is to use innovative frameworks and tools to create the best conditions for efficient cooperation

Thursday 14th of March 11:45 - Agile Dreamteam: Lateral Leadership & OKRs

In agile cross-functional environments, classic top-down leadership is being replaced by new decision-making and leadership models. In most cases, the leadership is handed over to the team member who is considered an expert in the area affected by the decision. Since there are no “Vorgesetzte” in this structure (German word for supervisor. Literally translated: Someone who has been placed in front of you), no team member can withdraw to a (hierarchical) position or refer to it. All are equal. Although the teams work autonomously and self-organized and are all equally responsible for achieving the common goals, it can be observed that in most cases the measures and analysis of outcomes is driven by one person in the team. However, this can lead to ambiguities and misunderstandings within the team: There is an asymmetry of information regarding the goals to be achieved and the status of goal achievement. Especially in agile networks, however, there must be a direction which everyone is heading to. OKRs help here to a certain extent, since an alignment in the team is created by defining and communicating the objectives and key results together. However, the more comprehensively a topic is developed, the more detailed questions arise to which OKRs cannot provide answers. As a framework for goal management, they are located at a completely different flight level than implementation details. In order to achieve the objectives, however, decisions must also be made on a daily basis at the implementation level. But who takes the lead? Lateral leadership is needed to ensure that the entire team focuses on the same goal. Every expert must be able to captivate the colleagues thematically and convince them. Pure specialist knowledge is not enough for this. Leadership without authority places high demands on the individual soft skills of all team members: empathy, communication and conflict skills. In order to be able to discuss a decision openly without dictating, strong and mutual trust is required. In my talk I will show why OKRs and Lateral Leadership can be practiced independently of each other, but only together unleash their full power.