(c) Maria Noi
Steffen supports organizations on their way to self-organized and agile structures as an @Evolutionary Catalyst – from social enterprises to MDAX companies. His personal purpose goes hand in hand with “building spaces of trust that inspire people to show their best”.
With a doctorate in physics and after some years in traditional consulting, Steffen joined the board of an IT company with a focus on cyber security. Ten years later, he made a switch to the energy industry and supervised the development of new business areas for ENTEGA, then Germany’s largest provider of sustainable energy. As part of this job, he changed product development to agile working methods and caught fire for the field of New Work. Following his purpose, he later became a co-founder of Impact Transfer via Ashoka, a panelist of the Google Impact Challenge as well as an adviser for “Digital Heroes”. Steffen has a 14-year-old daughter and is living in Munich, Basel and Vienna (and, being a convinced climate protection activist, on the train).
What is the main focus of your work at dwarfs and Giants?
- Business agility – agile mindset, agile leadership and methods for more responsiveness and innovation in organizations
- next:leadership in social businesses
- Accompanying companies (for-profit / non-profit) and initiatives working for climate protection
- Focusing my internal roles on product development and sustainability
What have been your most important learning experiences?
Working with social entrepreneurs has shown me how powerful purpose can be – how much it pulls you through all difficulties every day when you know that you are working for something good in the world and try to make life better as concretely as possible.
Shifting from being a classical leader to becoming a member of a holacratic organization required a lot of unlearning on my part – in terms of habitus, “now I’m talking” rights of way, expectations of recognition, ... and I am still learning.
Do you want to share a highlight of your work?
One of the highlights was working together with a research team (about 100 members): They received the order by the board of directors to come up with a new structure. The board did not draw up any guidelines in this respect but only established a framework in the sense of “quality criteria” that a good solution had to fulfill.
The team adopted a new, self-organized setup in an open process. It was fascinating to see how much power and innovation emerged, and how many skills became visible in the team.