Hello, and welcome to the virtual frontier, the podcast about virtual teams created by virtual team disclaimer, all of our interviews are done virtually to, and then your host and I'm part of the team here at the virtual frontier. In this episode, we welcome Peter Pröll as our guest. In the introduction to season two of the virtual frontier. I described Peter already as a silent business samurai today I wantto explain why. the original meaning of a summary can be found in the ancient Japan.
The term derived from the Japanese verb saberu, which could be translated as to serve or to support. Those Samurai back then were excellently trained in military tactics and grand strategy and acompainend their lords and regents on their endeavors. Well, Peter doesn't have any lord or regent like it was back then in the old times, but he does support guide and advise business owners and organizational leaders, as a modern business samurai. Beyond his technical expertise, he also offers the necessary contextual knowledge to tackle today's business issues, and organizational development in a smart way, with real agile work solid organizational knowledge, and a very practical approach.
As known from the beta Codex members and Associates, they cut right through the bullshit and get to the core. It is like the samurai gets in position to perform an elegant and precise sword stroke. In this episode, I talk with Peter about the world of remote work, how companies often try to maintain control over their employees and managers in particular over the subordinates, and why this is doomed to fail, like always. Especially science, the vast majority of the white collar or so called knowledge workers were pushed more or less involuntary into full remote environments during the last year the cracks and dysfunctions have become even more visible.
What could be done about it? How could we make work better for the individual? And also for the organization itself? Do we need control? And what about letting go? Could we talk about the motivation of the individual? About this and more I have spoken in this episode with Peter. If you enjoy this show, subscribe on YouTube review on Apple podcast. Follow us on Spotify, Stitcher, Simplecast or any other platform you like using for podcasts.
For our English speaking community. This is a German episode and you can find a transcript of this conversation on our blog at www.flashhub.io/blog or on Happyscribe.com/public/ virtual frontier. Or check out the video with subtitles for this episode on our YouTube channel. You can find all the links in the show notes below. A quick mention of our sponsor FlashHub. Build your virtual team systematically and with method. Scale at any time with your business and make work better.
You want to upgrade your knowledge about virtual team work properly want to set up your own team. Participate in next upcoming virtual team challenge and get all the tools and frameworks to do so. If you want to learn more about the next challenge, visit flashhub.io. So without further ado, let's dive into Episode 30 of the virtual frontier. Enjoy the conversation.
Yes, hello dear Peter. I'm glad that it worked out with our conversation today. This is the second time we've arranged to meet. The first time we hold each other. We have a bit of teething problems. That's why I'm even more pleased that it worked out today. Our topic is remote control. How do I properly monitor my employees? And in our preliminary discussion we sounded out a little provocative yes header and title. Above all, I want us to immerse ourselves a little bit about working at a distance.
How the whole thing came about with the tour. And yes, just tell a little bit about you, from in the background again so that one or the other knows you, yes not yet had to do with it or has not yet come across your website, that you have there still a little insight into you, what where you come from.
Yes, good morning Daniel, with you it's tomorrow and it's always such a bit beautiful as it is around the world always with the time zones. I've already had my lunch. Yeah, thanks for having me first. I'm actually from the agile world, but I've found that agile working is really agile working, really, self-organized, really self-directed, that something like that only ever works if the framework around the business framework is right or most of the problems ninety-five percent of the problems and more arise right there at the boundary between the agile teams, between agile units and the rest of the I'm telling myself now not agile organization.
That made me go on a quest of a few years. Then I stumbled across the Beta Codex, I'll just say that very casually. I dealt with it intensively. Simply out of necessity. I wanted to know how to really implement this agile approach at the corporate level. And on its own, from what we know from the agile manifesto, it's simply not enough for the enterprise level and not comprehensive enough. That's what Beta Codex provides. That's where I'm at home and now I help, support and accompany companies to realize self-organization up to the complete corporate context.
And that will then be carried out seriously and consistently. That is my short introduction. Emphasis on short.
Yes, of course, agile working is becoming more and more important. It is also mentioned more and more often. In different backgrounds and contexts. But I would like to go into it again, what that means for you personally, what you identify with it, how that works in the best case to fully grown in a company, because we see it often that agile is propagated a lot, but that then in the implementation actually works more with hierarchies and adapted models but not really goes into the agile self-organized work.
Yes, Agile for me means what the word literally means, namely to be agile, to be flexible and to be able to react quickly. There is this guy quite funny narrative of the big tanker, where they say, big companies are ponderous and are difficult to steer and take a long time to change their own course. Which is absolutely rubbish and nonsense. Small companies can be just as ponderous and just as stuck and just as hard to change course. But today we need the Agile under the Agile element, so an Agile element in the sense that I can very quickly orient myself to the market, orient myself to new requirements, whether it's any crises or Sais changed, fools, made podcast waves.
Today I have it, be it a change in market demand. It's just Monday and I'm already running out of words. This has nothing to do with the size of the company, as this narrative of the tanker might imply, but this has to do with how you are structured and built in the company. It just so happens that when we are self-organized we are self-directed. By that I mean self-organization not of individuals. That an individual can self-organize, but that a team can always self-organize.
And that is the decisive criterion, whether I can now be agile and nimble according to market needs or not. And at the moment when we become larger, when there are several teams, this agile element must be maintained accordingly and this can only be maintained if you only ever think at team level when the teams are appropriately authorized. And can also make correspondingly autonomous, decentralized decisions. If we don't have that. The opposite would be nice. That centralized power would have centralized decisions, a centralized structure.
And then I have a problem. Because there's always one person deciding over a lot of other people. And that limits the decision making ability and the control ability of the whole team. Whether this one person or, if you think big, in a large corporation, where it is then said We need a new strong doer. Mostly it is the new strong man. Now and then also the new strong woman. Then we are limited. Then we always have only one person who can decide and be agile.
And only within this framework can all the others then be Agile and act accordingly. And that it. Moderate to, my gym teacher used to say. Moderate to sucky it's special. It just doesn't work. Yes, if I now so the, we can look at worldwide, but also like for a German-speaking area. But we have also had large and small tankers in the last year, which are now in the context of our topic, which concerns this whole work now also at a distance, which was much in many places now compulsorily conditioned simply by the situation.
Nevertheless, we have quite a lot of ponderous tankers and large and small ones that have not really moved when I look at it from my point of view, where working relationships that have taken place before, whether they were agile or not yet even thought of, have tried in the agile context to move their strategies and what they did before, with such an office space in the virtual or in the remote area. That's where you have your difficulties.
Absolutely because if you're not Agile, if you're controlling, if you're management. So that's the normal. In ours. Most of the companies nowadays. Then you are as a manager or managers. As the people. Who controls. Who have. Controls. Who looks like where are we aligning and doing our work. Then you are dependent on the fact that you have a very, very close contact, also to get appropriate feedback. What is going on where and how, otherwise I can't control it at all.
Otherwise it's like flying blind for people. If. If there is no contact therefore and accordingly still very, very many companies directly and there at this point on as quickly as possible and as good as possible back to the office. One could observe that in the first Corona wave. BH's point was to say from and to hygiene and from the typical danger spots. We bring Corona into the company, people get infected and then drop out. That was then very, very big fear scenery.
So we all went to the home office as quickly as possible. As soon as the first wave was over and this fearful backdrop was gone, of course we had to manage and control better. Everyone went straight back to the office. Until the second Corona wave. And the funny thing is, if you look at the numbers, which are now in one or the other studies accordingly, then even the home office rate in the second wave is not even as high as it was in the first wave.
It is nearly as high, but not even as high. I would say, appropriately, it would have been much higher. But no, not now.
Well, very exciting. I haven't noticed that there are two different scales. How do you say so there were two different scales over this period of time after months of the first wave were significantly more still and now in the second attempt are the people then still the companies then already more at the back steer back into the office with all the strength. I see, I have thus from single examples, where then the people now somehow also sometimes completely senselessly in any office environment stay and work actually also at home could make or also not at all.
But the employer wishes then nevertheless controlmäßig that the coworker is Vorort. Where do you see the biggest weakness, especially from the company side or from the management side? That they are intelligent people. Let's just assume that. They actually see. You can see that employees could work at home. They also see the results being delivered. Of course, with all the environmental influences that we have had in recent months, this has certainly changed. But then why do managers still stick with it?
If you could say okay, I'll give the I'll give the leeway. We create the possibilities that the employees can work at home or workflow wherever, but then still want to counteract there and keep that in the room.
Yeah, right. People are intelligentsia, is not the question whether people can think, but whether they want to think, if at all. And that respect does not only apply to people where it is about. Home Office. Yes or no, but also to all other people. The point is that it's not, it's often said. Yes, that's because managers just don't have confidence or that something else is. And the mistake is made very, very, very quickly.
Has one then directly personified? The evil not home office posturing, personified in the form of the managers or the managers. And that is not the case, but one must look at, in which predicament, where, there, in which corset I call it times evenly these people are. In particular, middle management in top management could be questioned again. They are the only ones who have the possibility to really change the corset. To change the corporate structure.
But as long as that doesn't happen, everyone is in this corset. In this in a very terrorist concept. In all central corporate taxation. In the hierarchy with it. And there are very clear rules of the game about how to play, how to measure success. And how success is judged. And mostly it is not the company's success that is judged, but the individual success. Even if you look at the lower hierarchy levels, the team success is never evaluated accordingly, but the individual success is always evaluated and these rules, which enforce them, almost have a corresponding behavior.
I can almost not act differently as a manager, as a manager, but to submit to this corset accordingly. I have no authority whatsoever to do otherwise. After all, there's either giddyup or hot. You can either do it in a centralized, controlled, managed way or you can do it in an authorized, self-organized, decentralized way. But there is often an attempt to make such a hybrid. You can of course make the management control a little bit softer in quotes.
There are limits to the tools. Very clear limits.
Hmm, that works, perhaps already in the approach but then I think, as soon as the, the tasks also become more complex and the really in the teams also the true self-responsibility and organization is demanded, one bumps at it relatively fast to the borders, which were already mentioned by you.
Yes, it is not even so much about the demand on the teams that they organize themselves, but it is about the authorization. That the teams can offer themselves such an open space, such an open framework, that they can organize themselves at all, can steer themselves within this framework. As a direct supervisor, I am usually not allowed to give this to the team at all. As a manager, I don't have this authorization myself, so I can't pass it on.
My head would be cut off. That is the problem. Even if I wanted, if I as a manager wanted the team to be self-organized, self-controlled, to create value and to work ideally. I would first need authorization from above to allow the team to work in this way. And I usually don't have that.
How? How do we we can get into that a little bit more later. But since that's what we're talking about... So this remote control, funnily enough, is what we've chosen. For me it always has a lot to do with this control, which is somehow tried to be exercised on all levels. But at the end of the day, if you look at it more closely, the real control is vanishingly small. So from all the different management levels then really enforcing it.
How does it work differently? How do we get to the point in practice that we say okay, let's, let's be with the control will now work with remote, what we did before in the office, probably much less. As you can see now, that some of the employees complain that they are in some pointless zoom meetings from morning to night and then at the end of the day they say, "What did I really achieve there, apart from clicking through from one meeting to the next?
Yes, that's exactly the point. So the Corona Pandemic is a little bit like an amplifier, like a burning glass that makes it very clear again and highlights which of the functionalities we actually have in there. Whether that's just about the fact that centralized control is just very hard to do. If my people my team remote, is each for itself at home. Is that. You just mentioned the topic of meetings, which you actually how often have I heard that in the last few days.
We don't really get to work here anymore. We just hop from one Zoom meeting to the next Zoom meeting. I can't get anything done. It's cruel, yes. But that's not because of Corona, it's simply because Corona now makes it quite obvious that it doesn't work like that. I always think of someone who saw that even before Corona existed. He already saw this in the 90s and reacted accordingly. That was Professor Dr. Götz Werner, the founder of the DM drugstore chain.
He also had the claim at the beginning that he said Okay, we are now growing here a sending into the nineties, the beginning of the nineties, a strong growth phase of DM drugstore market. And he has said. He assumes that there is such a thing as the ideal store. With the ideal assortment and the ideal furnishings. And that would have to be found out. And then, I call it rolling out very blatantly, implement it in every single store.
In other words, making a very, very clear control system, but only then being confronted with reality. He realized it wasn't feasible. You can't do it. The bigger they become, the more branches there are, the more a corresponding control does not take effect, the less they can control themselves. And then he took the step and said OK. If central control doesn't work, there has to be something else. And he turned that right around, there the tables and that's what it takes.
He's left the power, the decision-making power for the stores in the stores or given it back to them. A very famous quote of his "You have to give headquarters the. God it's Monday. I'm at a loss for words. You have to beat the arrogance out of the head office. That's what it said. And that works, as we all know, who know the drugstore market here at least in the German-speaking area, so know the drugstore market, know the drugstore industry quite excellently.
They sell the same products in part, the exact same brands at comparable or the same prices, offer the corresponding colleagues rather even higher salaries and have a better return on investment. The branches decide themselves and in a self-organised way what exactly their assortment looks like, where they buy their products from, whether they do this at the central DM purchasing department or externally. They decide what selling price they offer in the store accordingly. And that's the point where every store can really say, "Here in our neighborhood, at our location, this and that makes sense.
We are no longer controlled by the head office, but are controlled by the actual market. And that works. It works very well and it works brilliantly.
In the context of what I had also written down, so as a cue. It is the clarity. Because often, I think, this also has something to do with the example that was mentioned at DM. At some point they took the step and said OK, we want to get rid of all this arrogance. So create clarity. This in this garbage or this superfluous get away, which somehow does not work anyway. And so it also remains with me that it is incredibly important in all these different roles that exist in a company, in the different teams.
That there really is clarity, how such an organization looks like such a structure, so that everyone who works in this, in these teams and in this organization, can identify with it, can deal with it and can then also give his input to it.
Yes, exactly. So the more you go in the direction of self-organisation, the more there is of course the requirement that everyone in the company becomes an entrepreneur in the teams, in the truest sense of the word. That's not something you have to learn a lot. But it is something that you can and must practice. Normally you don't have any practice in this area. Some topics, you have to learn accordingly and for example, you have to learn about structures in the company.
In the same way it looks that one clarifies oneself, how even then thus the keyword, which we have in the beta codex there to have is organization physics. How is such an organization structured in a meaningful way? And where in this organization, in these structures, do I find myself. You have to consider that there are many different types of structures. You can go deeper into that. I don't want to make a lecture on Org Designing or Org Physics out of this podcast.
If you are interested, you should read the book by Silke Hermann and Nils Pflege about cell structure design. There is that also again on drawn. These are so topics organization, physics, organizational structures, where what plays together, where apply which decision structures and decision processes. This is something that then actually all in the company may do to themselves accordingly and should look at I say times so exactly otherwise is to talk, yes banana.
Yes, quite clear. In our preliminary discussion we had addressed that once very briefly and I throw the keyword now simply again purely, because we hear that now also lately ever more frequently so between despair and yes, one does not know so correctly, what is to happen, that managers and so is said. Just let go.
Yeah, I get a rash when I hear about that.
That's why I said.
I get a rash when I hear that. Letting go. I always think of Na in the most positive way, of my own development within meditation retreats and the like. Yes, because of me it fits, then we have located it there. When I think of letting go, it means I have to, I should let go. That's all letting go means. Letting go of what I'm holding on to. Means I let go and I usually let go into something that is unknown.
This is a great spiritual practice. But I always ask myself What, please, has this lost here in the professional and organizational context? It's not about letting go and letting everyone, it's about doing something consciously well with skill and for that I also need to know what I'm doing. I have to have an appropriate how can I put this best, I have to have a very, very clear eye on it. I need to have a very clear understanding of what I'm doing and let go.
That's an option for me, that I give up control, relinquish control all well and good. But that means I let go and then do nothing at all. Often leads when that's done. Yes, so what I also often hear yes, earlier is so Control and Command or at the moment still prefer Manager, prefer Manager. Now let go of control and command. Then comes self-organization. Nothing comes, nothing comes. Then we have laissez-faire and from laissez-faire.
By simply letting go, no self-organization happens and that's what I get to hear again and again. Yeah, we tried that once. We didn't want to control so much anymore, we didn't want to steer so much. But somehow the self-organization doesn't work. No, you have to know exactly what you're doing
and how you do it. It is not a matter of letting go, but of stopping with one thing in favor of another way of acting here accordingly and not letting go. Above all, how does letting go work at all? Daniel, how do you let go?
Yes, while meditating. But not while working. I've just remembered in the context of that I had recently heard an interview with with Elon Musk, who was probably somehow asked by an interview, where he is tonight because now just in Berlin on the road in the construction of his new factory. And then he was asked where he was spending the night. He says then so somehow so ice cold every day of his factory in the conference room. Because there he has the feeling that he lives and feels how this whole thing, this whole juggernaut of his company is developing.
The way the factory grows and so, instead of letting go of this. It's more like inclusion, what he's doing. He really immerses himself in this, in this process, which is how the company or how this factory is now temporarily being built up. And I think that actually goes somehow in the right direction, if you look at it that way, just because it then really goes purely into the whole, into the whole development process.
Yes, I would mark everything with a question mark and you would have to look at it more closely. But there's one thing it's not about. It's not about letting go. That's where you get laissez-faire. And if you practice laissez-faire, you won't achieve anything, not even self-organization. That is naïve and it shows whoever talks about letting go and promotes laissez-faire accordingly. This is evidence of a lack of knowledge of what real self-organisation is all about.
Which is also a big buzzword, that has now not even something to do with the current. Whereby that is of course probably now also again extremely forced, that for our employees must motivate. Or the teams must be motivated or the individual employee would have to be motivated. Or we are motivating ourselves. How? how do you stand to this catchword? What can one, what can one add to it? Because this is often misinterpreted and people think one thing, but something completely different is meant.
Well, basically we have exactly the root of the problem at this point, i.e. why don't we all be Goetz Werner and say okay. We stop with the central control and give the power of authorization to, for example, the branches. Why don't we do that? Why don't we go into self-organization and decentralization? And when you hear the relevant decision-makers, that's exactly what it boils down to. Yes, you have to motivate people. Can I trust them?
Will they really perform? All this is based on rather All of this is based on images of people that are not in line with reality, that people have to be controlled, that they have to be told what to do and how to do it, and that shows that I don't trust people to be able to think. Stupidly enough, those who have tried it and have made it fair on this letting go and Lessig. They then felt affirmed by saying Ha, I knew it.
Look at that. I left out all the controlling and look at the people. There's still no commitment. They still only think from noon to noon. And still nothing happens. So the point is with motivation. It is also something where you can see that you are of the opinion and always talk about motivating people so that they are motivated and do the work with a lot of commitment. Where I think, it can't be true now, if you think about it very carefully.
Attention thinking, please stop. I have a situation where I steer towards, or when I say I don't want to steer anymore. Just let go, practice laissez-faire, do nothing more. Then I have a situation which is unfavorable, really unfavorable for self-organization, where self-organization can't happen. It's a situation either where you're stuck in a really tight corset, or a situation where I'm completely floundering as a team member. And then back to the old grasp as a team member and say ehrten I'm swimming here.
Well, you better give me my assignments then. Either way. I'm not going to think along and then people come, he says they're not motivated, they have to motivate themselves and then give the pride, the responsibility. For the behavior. In the team, which is derived yes by the structure, by the framework, but that this responsibility. This is pushed onto the individuals. It is said that they are not motivated. That's why it doesn't work.
But to think that maybe it's not because of the people who are not motivated, but because of the framework that is provided to these people or that the teams are embedded in. You don't think about that. So that's blaming. And the professional community is also arguing independently of that blaming. The professional community argues a little bit like this. Is it even possible to motivate people? And if so, how? In several workshops I think workshops my rangehe and question that or ask the participants.
How do you motivate people? Backwards appreciation. Praise. But as us outside areas things in the direction, there I do not say that it does not motivate. It's being respectful of each other. What I really see the other person as a human being, as a human being who is capable of thinking. That I see the person I have opposite, nothing I exaggerate, now times very pointedly as a slave who owes me something. Whom I can tell what to do and then has to do that.
That's just respectful interaction. And thus I would say that this behavior others as praising anyway again a whole other story, but what was so listed as respectful treatment, as appreciation and the like. Please, that's not motivation, that's simply not demotivating others. In my opinion, you don't need to motivate people. No one gets up in the morning and actively decides to do it. Today, I'm just really, really demotivated. No, we love to be motivated.
When we are motivated, life is fun, work is fun. It comes incredibly easy to us. But what causes us to be demotivated. Those are the dem motivators. It's enough that when I'm in a situation where I have influence, I just say, "Okay, where are the motivators? Let's look for them and take them out one by one. Right? For me personally. If I notice that I am demotivated, then I should take responsibility for myself and look at where or what or who is demotivating me in which way?
And what is behind it? Understand the problem and solve it. Or creep through life demotivated. Yes, why? So it's not for me. I don't like it.
It is then partly an unwieldy, oblique image of man, which we have within the company, but also of ourselves often and in parts. Because you can see that and I think it is also an aspect in the whole, in the whole last months with the decentralization that has taken place, that just simply it. It is noticeable how much senseless work we do every day in the working conditions. Where there is not really anything behind it. Take what we have already briefly mentioned before.
All these online meetings where the employees are then shooed from one meeting to the next where in the end no real value creation takes place. There is no production where anything is produced, where anything is made, where employees somehow work together collaboratively and bring something forward, but it is really, relatively pointless, killing time.
Exactly. And that's the biggest de-motivator there is, if I can't create value. And when I say I, I mean people in general. Can everyone ask themselves how demotivating it is to do something meaningless, that is, to do work that does not lead to value creation, where nothing of value is created, but how that affects you, if you are hindered exactly in this value creation, if you have to make some lies and some business theatre, meetings or anything else, where you say afterwards Yes great, it has now had any value at all, I would have preferred to work or where you get a target, where you say Yes, what's the point now?
That doesn't help us at all here. It's completely weird, it's the biggest de-motivator there is. And demotivation is dangerous. It's not just something that kills commitment, that kills thinking. Because when such nonsensical announcements come along, what you should do now or how you should do it, then you can only get out of the company in the evening in a reasonably healthy way from a psychological point of view if you don't think about it at all, stop thinking.
At that point. Everything else is heavy. And even if you stop thinking, even then it will still have an effect. Not just in the psychological, but definitely in the physical. I my was 2018 that the health insurance AOK my I would have been it times a field study on this made and could prove how much the meaningfulness of the work or the nonsensicalness of certain work is directly correlated to corresponding disease patterns. In other words, it makes you sick.
What do you have to melt on your tongue? This is not just about bad management, it is not just about unsuitable, uneconomic company structures. It's not just about what I as a company, if I'm centrally controlled, can't react in an agile way at all. Can react quickly. But this is about health issues. It simply makes you sick.
One factor that I think is also not particularly conducive to health and which is also partly in the context of meaningfulness, I think, is the pressure that is also felt by many managers. With many managers who either build up pressure themselves or say yes, I function particularly well when it's really pressing everywhere. Or they get the pressure from above. We also know that when the management or the board of directors then stands with the imaginary whip and is always nice on it until the manager runs and can pass the pressure down to the executive level in the hierarchy.
You also have a very, very special background and a thinking what, what concerns the topic of pressure. would you like to share that with us a bit?
Yes, with pleasure. So you've already touched on it a bit, you have to realize how pressure works in the first place. Pressure works when I have a teacup on the table and I want to move this teacup accordingly, then there's really physical pressure on this teacup. I push it to the side. Now of course in corporations hopefully that doesn't work, hopefully the whip is just virtual. Exactly. Hopefully it doesn't go so far in companies that physical force is used here to create the pressure and use it to get people to do something very specific.
But it's about control. That is, somehow I have to get people to do what I want them to do. How I want the enterprise controlled. That means, if it doesn't work physically, it's psychological and psychological pressure. That is always built up by having a corresponding fear. The backdrop must have a threat and fear backdrop. This is either explicitly expressed Do this and if you do not do it, you have to reckon with them and the consequences.
Or implicitly. Here in Europe we are still very, very spoiled. But if you go to America and actually go to American companies, you notice that there is this sword of Damocles hanging over people who can be fired spontaneously in the middle of a meeting and lose their job. And I don't need to explicitly set up any threat scenarios anymore. I simply say as a supervisor. And this implicit sword of Damocles that always hangs over him, that then ensures that people have traces.
And if you take a closer look at what that then has as a consequence, then it becomes a gruesome that you can measure accordingly biochemically how our whole system reacts to this pressure, to this fear and threat. We have to decide now, is it an evolutionary, deeply imprinted program, should we fight against the danger that threatens us? Or should we run? And this decision has to be made quickly. And the body adapts to it. With measurable release of neurotransmitters, adrenaline, and haven't you seen what else is going on?
That's a problem because we get distracted, the attention and the energy that we actually need, and the calm that we need to be focused and therefore effective and efficient in doing the actual work that we're supposed to be doing that's gone. Irrespective of that, one could even go into another facet, namely the depth-psychological one. If the other one, who presses me more, comes to me with a fear and threatening deep-psychologically I can only have a fear that the fear of death.
So someone who threatens me with death depth-psychologically intentionally or unintentionally is he my enemy or my friend? And is that confidence building or confidence destroying. So this is very counterproductive in many ways with the pressure and it certainly doesn't lead to a high performance team somehow sustaining itself in any way. There are still people who say yes, but Peter, if I don't put pressure on my people, then nothing will happen. Yes, exactly. You put pressure on them until nothing happens.
Unless you keep pressuring that the next point, the next facet you have to look at once you get into this devil's game. Once says I work with pressure, then I have to continuously keep following up with pressure accordingly. What comes out the back is neither efficient nor effective, nor does it have any quality that is good in any way. It's all just I'm quoting my gym teacher from back in the day moderate to crappy. You're trapped there first in this vicious spiral of pressure.
Yes, it is somehow relative, such a pathological dependency relationship, so now the drug addiction has just somehow come to my mind. Yes, but if it then at some point no longer works, but this, parallel to it, then I must always put more behind it, because otherwise nothing runs just at some point more. So why someone with the addict who then always has to put a little more on top because otherwise it just doesn't work anymore.
Well, that's a nice, nasty, pretty comparison. Exactly. And all that helps is withdrawal. Whether you go cold turkey, that depends. But withdrawal and we all know that when you go from something like that to withdrawal, it's not like you're able to perform again from now on, but it takes time for the whole system to regenerate because of all the facets that have a really nice lasting effect. Even if you say you have no more pressure.
There is a reason why all Agile frameworks and all Agile work techniques explicitly focus on this. No pressure, no push. Always pull.
If we now also like to look back at the conclusion of our conversation at What might that look like if. And what might it look like if companies say okay, we see the printing thing isn't really working anymore. We can't put more on it. Employees are probably kind of staying in their home office more or less. Is still sitting for quite a while. But we do have these crusty old structures, the ones that are still kind of with us there and hanging behind us.
What are some practical steps we can take to get there? Let's say we're ready. But we don't really know how. We have not booked coaching with Peter Pröll or Beta Codex. How can the employees and the companies approach this in practical OK. We want to go through withdrawal from the old ways of working and do something new.
Now we're totally in rehab and out of alcohol and drug problems. My God, what are the people listening out there now thinking? But I kind of like the picture. As long as alcohol and drugs continue to be pumped into the company from above, from the management, and that's where the lever is humming, in the form of central control, it's naturally very difficult to say in the company as an employee. I don't really want to go along with that any more.
I would like to do it differently here in my area of authorization and responsibility. We all know this from agile teams, which try to build up such small islands of happiness in companies. And where, if you go Kantian, the corresponding Scrum Masters complain about exactly this interface between the agile teams, between the islands of bliss and at the rest of the company, where poisoned control and management of people happens. That's a tremendous amount of energy. That you keep it clean in these islands and B of course it also leads to the fact that you are exhausted somewhere and don't really get anywhere.
That is, at the moment when I say independently in a company. I make here at the place from me and the hierarchy down. Please now a little in the other direction. One should be careful not to overstep my own competencies, my own authority that has been given to me, my own framework of authority that I am subject to. Conversely, as a self-organized team, I should be careful not to exceed an authorization that I have been given.
These are thresholds when you cross them. Some people dream that this is what is called bottom up transformation. Yes, yes, first of all we make all teams agile at the bottom and then this will plant itself accordingly upwards, nothing will. I can not a bottom up transformation that has succeeded. If you say now, we have understood that, we have also understood that a human image that man controls and must be controlled and is not capable of thinking for himself and actually comes intentionally demotivated and must always be motivated, all that is actually not helpful.
I don't want to say wrong, but it's not helpful. That's number one, number two. If we look at the relevant research findings of the last hundred years, then we also see that this image of man is not appropriate to reality, but is just a result of poisoned control. Yes, when you say that, when you say yes, people are quite different. People are incredibly happy to take on responsibility. There is nothing more fulfilling for a person in a company, except to really provide meaningful value for themselves personally, for the team, for the company.
And it's just a matter of creating an appropriate framework, in quotes only, where people are enabled to simply act according to their nature. Because then we have won as a company. If one has changed this, this human image, then it of a corresponding authorization. That this image of humanity is followed by consequences, that serious and consistent work is done on the corporate structure. And this authorization can only come from the body that has the authority to work so profoundly on the structure that it is the board of directors, upper management.
And that's where the framework has to be opened up. When we talk about transformation, the actual transformation, which is then authorized. It has to take into account the framework that you want to achieve. So starting from the space where you are, top management decides means top management has to open the framework, give the authorization. Where do we want to go? Self-organization, that means the whole transformation has to run already self-organized. That means number one.
Understand human image. Number two understand how self-organization and self-direction works. And then, please, as management, don't let go. No laissez-faire, but know exactly what you are doing and how you are doing it. And then actively encourage and support self-organization in the company, create the right framework, and that's work.
So that's all said, dear entrepreneurs, dear women entrepreneurs, we now have a few points that we can start with and really become active, because what I also notice again and again, in these, in these new, in these new environments, when we also speak of agile working, of what you also mentioned now, that instead of kind of withdrawing and letting go and it's, I think also what I meant before with the example of Elon Musk, it's actually rather the opposite that you really have to throw yourself into it and really get involved, really go all out there because only then something also works sustainably.
And I think you've made that quite clear now. Dear Peter, I think we are slowly coming to the end of our conversation. We could certainly talk for another hour or two. We can also do that again in a second round, because I still have a whole list of questions and topics that I would like to discuss with you. If entrepreneurs would like to get in touch with you or look deeper into the topic, how can they find you, what would be good access points?
And maybe you also have some tips where they can get involved with it afterwards and go deeper into the topic.
Yes, of course the best way to get in touch with me is via my homepage, where you can find all the other contact information. I operate under the beautiful name Alinbu, which is derived from the saying Everything in butter. If you take the first two letters Alinbu and net on the homepage, you will also find a section magazine. There are a lot of articles about the topics we have been talking about. And yes, like. As I said it.
So it's not a matter of letting go, it's a matter of building up awareness here and building up expertise. And of course you can read up on this with the appropriate literature. I have already mentioned my two colleagues Silke Hermann and Nils Pfläging. The have written next to the book as cell structure design also a basic time organization for complexity it of the Nils or of both then as co-authors the book complex modes, which are nice beginner's work to deal with this complex of topics in principle and otherwise of course like to browse about Alinbu in the net and there further or start to browse and like to write more.
Yes, we'll be happy to link that in the podcast in the show notes, etc., so that one or the other will find their way directly to you. Yes, dear Peter, thank you very much for your time that you have taken today. It was really very informative and I think we were able to look at it from different angles today. And I thank you again very much for the conversation and I hope that we can meet soon for the second round here at Virtual Frontier and discuss this further.
I laughed when you transmitted more the desire program for today, and I had asked yes, and all in one hour. We've come quite far. That surprised me very much. Thank you, dear Daniel, for the invitation and a second round always gladly.
Let's see that we do as soon as possible. Have a nice afternoon, dear Peter,
Have a good day, bye.
I'd like to thank our guest Peter Pröll for joining us today. You can find out more about Peter and his consulting firm Alles in Butter, visiting his website www. Alinbu.com. You can subscribe to the virtual frontier on Apple podcast, Google Play Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube or anywhere else podcasts are found. And while you're there, please leave us a review to help people find our podcast. On behalf of the team here at virtual frontier I'd like to say thank you for listening today.
So until next episode, keep exploring new frontiers.