[00:00] Oliver: Back in my Nestle times we used to say, if Nestle knew what Nestle knows, how do you figure out who is working on what, who is learning what and how can you share that? U.
[00:17] Intro: Welcome to the Innovation Metrics podcast, all about measuring innovation, innovation accounting and managing the uncertain process, developing new, sustainable and profitable business models. Our guest and cohost today is Oliver Durrer, who is on a mission to empower purpose driven pioneers and leaders so they can unleash their full potential for impact. His 15 year plus global track record of fostering innovation, corporate entrepreneurship and learning includes large enterprises, SMBs and tech startups across Europe, Southeast Asia and Silicon Valley. He holds a Master’s of Science in Business Administration and is a certified Lean Innovation Coach. Oliver is the founder of Swiss Sleep, where they help entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to navigate uncertainty and lead change. Welcome to the show, Oliver. Great to have you here.
[01:12] Oliver: Thanks for having me.
[01:13] Elijah: So maybe enlighten us quickly who you worked for before you went out on your own or found the company. Do you want to do that?
[01:23] Oliver: Sure. Thanks. I’ve basically been a corporate entrepreneur or a corporate entrepreneur for ten years with Nestle right off the university and I did pretty much anything starting out in marketing the product manage and moved over to what I like to refer as the dark side of the darker side of the force sales. So I did keyCount management for a while and was lucky to get the opportunity to build an actual corporate startup with the Nescafidoche Gusto business unit, which I believe is still today probably one of the fastest growing business units and brands within the Nestle sphere. And last but not least, had the huge opportunity and pleasure to launch market with Myanmar, nestle Myanmar, where I was responsible for marketing in a new market. So it was the second last remaining white spot next to North Korea. And after the, let’s say, Nestle decade, I went into Negro, which is the largest Swiss private employer, and they cover pretty much everything from retail over to electronic goods, leisure, education, banking, petrol stations, you name it. And so it’s an amazing territory for an entrepreneur and innovation geek like myself. And I had the mission to build yet another corporate startup and built a digital extension of their education portfolio for Micro Club School, which are also Switzerland’s biggest vocational training institution. Private vocational training institution. Back to your intro. That’s where I encountered firsthand the, let’s say, the challenges of how to not just behave entrepreneurially and apply these methods of lean innovation, of design thinking lean startup agile and trying to learn experimentally. But in order to do so align with the organizational leadership in terms of why is it a good thing to do that and how do we do this and how can it be of a mutual benefit for the organization at large? And this corporate startup, this little virus that tries to go viral within the organization.
[03:59] Elijah: Yeah, fantastic. So maybe if you want to name a few, what do you think were the biggest roadblocks or limiting factors to enable that kind of behavior that is ultimately good for the company? Why is a company not letting that happen?
[04:24] Oliver: I believe maybe the biggest or one of the biggest, was truly getting to level with company leadership, to really get a common understanding what it was we were trying to achieve and why we chose the way to go about it. We did. And so this whole notion of build, measure, learn, and really measuring what matters, this notion of learning being the primary factor ahead of classical KPIs that you can measure, like revenue, customers and so on and so forth, when you’re pre revenue, pre customer, and you’re just trying to derisk your idea to find out whether you’re onto something. That was, I think, one of the key challenges. And it took me a while to, in a number of ways, figure out how to communicate that. And the best way was just to involve leadership, to really have them experience it rather than just trying to present it and explain it and all this and all that. It was really involving them running a workshop and actually having empathy internally. So not just with external potential customers and early adopters, but really with internal stakeholders and especially leaders. And it helped to not only have them understand, but at the same time involve them and give them a better stake, let’s say, into the project. Because in all their reservations or concerns, we could turn them, we could onboard them, take them on, and actually turn them into assumptions, hypotheses, test them. And then it was pretty much apolitical as a discussion to have. It was more evidence based, and it was, okay, here’s the feedback we’ve gathered from the market, from customers, from early adopters. And yes, you may have been right or no, turns out this was wrong, but here’s the insight that we gained.
[06:28] Elijah: But you say you think they’re missing. Like, that’s obviously my bias and that’s obviously the bias of the show. But there is probably a measurement issue that you describe, like something were a governance issue. Like, how can we actually look at what they’re doing? Right? And so you started helping them to say, look, there’s still a way of reporting, there’s still a way of gathering sensible insights into what this team is doing or where this product is at, even though there’s no revenue and ROI doesn’t make sense yet, and so on. So you actually practically help them to say, look at these indicators, rather than those indicators or something like that.
[07:05] Oliver: Exactly.
[07:06] Elijah: Is that right? Exactly. And they want to maybe enlighten us a bit there.
[07:10] Oliver: I would say that was probably half of the job, was really, how can you show and by basically leveraging this, turning this into a win win, where it makes it for you very clear. Which metrics are you following and then aligning on this set of metrics in as simple as possible dashboard pardon, with senior leadership, with our sponsors, so that we have as much alignment as possible on what are the key metrics that we’re following and which is the frequency of reporting. So what is the cycle speed of our experiments and also to which degree do we make decisions on that? Basically, allocate resources, whether it’s time are.
[08:04] Elijah: You happy to dive in? There are like a few things already. Like, I would love to dive in your dashboard. What did your first dashboard look like? What were the KPIs? I’m not sure what you can and cannot say. Obviously, there’s a bit of that’s the downside.
[08:24] Oliver: That’s a tricky one.
[08:25] Elijah: Yeah, I don’t know. Or can you use proxies?
[08:29] Oliver: Let me try. I try to be more specific.
[08:32] Elijah: I haven’t sent all of her any questions. Everything is just super confronting just here, now, and in the moment.
[08:41] Oliver: To give a very specific example, one was typically okay, the first version of the website will be in one language only, and we decided it would be German. And Switzerland being a multilingual country, of course there was a certain pressure also to represent the French speaking and the Italian speaking part and ideally, potentially translate the whole thing into English because we wanted to reach a super regional, potentially international audience with this startup initiative. We, however, decided together with leadership, that we would stick to one language version only, which we would use the German version to test what was working in terms of onsite content. So is it visual? Is it short form text? Is it long form text? Is it blog posts? Is it what kind of offering, how does it connect with the existing offering? How can we blend online and offline trainings and so on and so forth. And that was one of the first things that we basically nailed and said, okay, guys, you will not find this in French, you will not find it in Italian. We will, however, then once we figured out what works and we are confident to an 80 20 degree level that this is where we want to be, then we will translate and we will fine tune further. So, to be very specific, the language level translation was something that we had to, let’s say, anticipate that pressure would come to have it multilingual, because it’s kind of how you do it. You have different language regions. You don’t want to be regarding any of them.
[10:24] Elijah: It’s like a political dimension.
[10:26] Oliver: Political dimension. But we were like, we won’t do that because it’s not efficient. We want to be effective first before being more efficient.
[10:36] Elijah: And how did you manage getting them on board beyond just like, laying out the facts, right? Like what you believe to be the facts. So how did you get them on.
[10:45] Oliver: Board by literally laying out a roadmap, how we would go by milestones, but also what we would be trying to figure out. So really listing the assumptions, the hypotheses, the tests that we were running, how we were doing it and what we could expect to have learned by when and really like laying out a learning roadmap and the measures, the respective measures. And even then there were moments where of course we had pressure and was like okay, but hey, we want to accelerate and revenue is not yet there, we need to accelerate further, we can pressure to scale. Yeah, exactly. Absolutely.
[11:26] Elijah: And then you had probably certain lead indicators there for success and not all of them came true, I suppose, because otherwise you could just adhere to the roadmap.
[11:36] Oliver: Yes, that was the second key element to actually anticipate and make it very clear from the onset that this would remain agile, that this would not be set and fixed and set in stone, but that would be the general, let’s say, channel. Within we will be learning and experimenting and having our innovation thesis basically like our larger overarching innovation thesis within which we wanted to explore and learn and to make sure that we were hitting the sweet spot because we were not in an isolated context. We had a fully functioning organization around us with its own challenges and our goal was to help as much as possible with existing challenges but then also to go beyond, to go further. And so the next thing was, for instance, was the type of portfolio in terms of what would we be offering and why. And there was also like we had an idea of what the full fledged portfolio would look like, where we could bring it to. But we didn’t start right away with the full offering because we were trying to figure out what is the top three types of offers. Very specifically, online training only so completely self study in an elearning setting. The second one was blended with a tutor. So a human tutor, which from experience and from benchmarking we knew that was the most effective way to learn, but more expensive, of course for the customer because there is more human time involved and it’s less scalable, it’s less flexible. But we did that in an interactive setting which now seems to be the standard thanks, quote unquote to COVID-19. But back then it was still something where the, let’s say, legacy organization we came from was more used to physical onsite training and so we wanted to bring that into the digital realm.
[13:44] Elijah: Did you ever involve leadership into making and to making predictions?
[13:52] Oliver: Yes, because we had regular steering committee sessions and one of the ways we basically went about this was really by a traffic light system. So very okay, are we in the green or orange? The goal was never to go into the red, of course, because you would have an early indicator.
[14:12] Elijah: How do you go into the red? How does it go into the red?
[14:16] Oliver: There were, I think, one or two occasions where it went into the red where we really had to just maneuver around a major roadblock. I think that’s typically kind of the realm I’m not confident or comfortable enough sharing.
[14:33] Elijah: Yeah, I got it.
[14:35] Oliver: But typically where you realize, okay, this is clearly where we need to pivot. Right, like a major pivot in terms of the product offering, for instance, where you need to fundamentally change something about the core offering.
[14:50] Elijah: Let me take this back five minutes ago. So when you say about how many new insights do you want to get, like your learning cycles, I think you mentioned that you actually set a KPI around it, is that correct?
[15:04] Oliver: Yes.
[15:06] Elijah: What was the number? How did you do it?
[15:09] Oliver: Well, also we had what we wanted to get to and what we felt was realistic to start with. Yeah, what we wanted to get to, ideally was a weekly cycle with weekly insights.
[15:21] Elijah: That was kind of one new insight a week, basically.
[15:25] Oliver: Yeah, exactly.
[15:26] Elijah: One experiment a week, or whatever you want to call it.
[15:28] Oliver: Yeah, one experiment a week. Or like running experiments, biweekly. But gaining insights weekly was the idea. We wanted to as much as possible gain even several insights with one experiment, right?
[15:41] Elijah: Yes.
[15:42] Oliver: And we knew, however, that we could not overstretch. Like when you take a car, of course you can accelerate and then put in the clutch and then it kills the engine. Right. Better to start slow, ease into it and then accelerate. And that’s typically what we did. So we were like, hey, in the beginning, we realistically have to do monthly cycles because we don’t have yet the mindset we don’t yet have.
[16:13] Elijah: How long did it resources that’s exciting. So how long did it take? This might be exciting for listeners started and they can benchmark themselves a little bit. So you started with monthly sort of experimentation or inside cycles. And then after three months, actually, I.
[16:34] Oliver: Have to admit, we started with monthly. Our goal was monthly and we had to extend it first. How beautiful was more going towards the quarterly thing, right. We were like, hey, a month is feasible. It’s ambitious, but having the startup mindset, the learning fast, failing forward fast, et cetera. And then you realize, well, yes, that works for us, but we need to bring everything with us, everyone with us, the organization with us is this African proverb saying if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. And that’s really the thing we wanted to get far, to go far. So we needed to bring the rest of the organization with us, starting with our top leader sponsors. And so we actually then went a bit more into a bimonthly, if not quarterly cycle to start with. At the very beginning and then actually accelerated to the monthly cycle. And that took two cycles off more a quarter. So there you go. Half a year is over for two cycles. And then in the second half year, we accelerated a bit more towards the bimonthly and then monthly cycles. That’s the reality, right?
[17:44] Elijah: Yeah, no, that’s great. No, that’s wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that.
[17:48] Oliver: In the end, we literally, after three years, it came to a close, so to speak, where we integrated this corporate startup into the actual and it’s a cooperative structure, into the cooperative structure because we were feeling that now to scale and to really solve the scale up challenge, now we have to integrate it. Now we have to be one of the portfolio projects or of the portfolio offerings, which are more in the digital and blended learning realm. And since we structured it in that way in the very beginning so that it could actually scale, we managed from the early onset these connecting points, this interface, I like to call it, right, to not build a good foundation, fully derisk startup. And then you still have the same, let’s say, post MNA challenge where it’s like you realize, whoa, but there’s a cultural clash, there’s different practices that are not compatible with each other. So this compatibility challenge and scale up challenge, we managed from the very early start of actually derisking and figuring out what was the type of innovation that was working in this realm. We at the same time made sure that it would work at scale. And I think that’s really the key also, that’s yet another layer. So it’s not just about successfully derisking your corporate startup, it’s also successfully anticipating that you can then hit the next level of scale once you have basically proven the concept and the commercial pilot has been successful. I think that’s a really tricky one as well. It’s not just going from idea to income. It’s really to go to impact that next step, to really scale income customers, to move over from innovation accounting to classical financial management. Accounting is kind of the mirror image of that. I don’t know, it sounds almost counterintuitive. It sounds like you’re making it more of a thing than it needs be or than it has to be. But it is a real challenge. Even if you have a successfully running unit in a certain context, to really take it to the next level and leverage the biggest win win possible, then you really need to plan for that from the early onset. And that’s why the next step for us was then to integrate not only the corporate startup into the cooperative structure, but to set up a catalyst for entrepreneurial practices. We called it the Inolab the Learning Innovation Lab, because that was the plan, was basically to influence the whole organization, to make the organization more of a learning organization one, and not using the agile and all that, which is part of it. But it was really about how can we be a learning organization?
[20:44] Elijah: Yes. Overall, yeah. That’s very axiomatic. Right? So then that gets us maybe back to this KPI where’s the cut off when you think about we know we need to if we don’t learn, we don’t make progress. We don’t know if we make progress if we learn, but we certainly don’t make progress if we don’t learn. Right. So we need to get a new insights period. We need to be a learning organization, period. Ultimately we want to create new sustainable business models and so on. But we need to learn. Now, we can say, yeah, we learn like one inside a week, or we can take this further. But anything that reports around how much a team learns, how many insights a team gathers, that kind of reporting that you can create then to the manager, where in the organization, until what level of the organization is that still useful? Like, think about we’re reporting all the way through, I don’t know, to shareholders. Right? Where do you see that maybe in the future or where do you see that in the past? Where do you see that right now? As a management tool to better understand or to more fairly maybe judge teams at the end of the day. Right.
[22:12] Oliver: Ideally it’s a full stack thing. I would say full stack. I mean, it holistically goes transversally across the organization from literally top to bottom. Ideally, modern organizations are pretty flat in terms of hierarchy anyhow, and more decentralized in terms of power. So more entrepreneurial, let’s say freedom of decision making and actions that you can take. In our case, we were lucky that actually our top sponsor and let’s say steering committee director was the HR director and in the process, actually towards the end of our corporate venture became the CEO of the company. So we were really well suited basically to expand the influence of the learnings. And let’s say the leverage was of course great having the number one guy of the company basically as your sponsor. But it’s not done with that. And it needs to be democratic, I think. It’s really not about and that’s very Swiss, but it’s about democratic decision making and it’s about consensus, rather.
[23:32] Elijah: Don’t know how much we have to explain that. No, we won’t.
[23:40] Oliver: Yeah, we’re big on consensus. We’re very big on consensus because again, it helps you go far maybe rather than go fast because it takes some time to gain consensus. But once you have it, you are stable. So that’s why also I’m all about agility within stability and vice versa. I think it’s very important to be clear on it is a transversal thing. It goes from top to bottom and then really okay. What, however, is strategically the vision, the goal, the mission, and how can we break it down at the relevant layers of there’s different ways to skin that cat. My wife hates when I use this expression. It’s kind of a violent one. But anyhow so there’s so many different ways to do this, but basically it’s always okay from top to bottom. How do we see our structure within that company? What is the relevant levels that we want to address? And how can we custom tailor the metrics, the KPIs to these layers so there’s not a cookie cutter, one size fits all approach, I would say.
[25:01] Elijah: When you then gather new insights, how did you record them? Like, we spoke about this before. Like I know, but you know, this is obviously a little bit way back and stuff. It’s not necessarily I know, not necessarily your, your vision, but like, how how did you yeah, how did you do it and where do you think, how could it be done better? What is your vision there in terms of storing? You talk about learning. Let me just frame it quickly. We spoke about this before, but just to frame it a little bit. So we talk about learning organizations and in a sense that knowledge is an asset, right? Potentially, maybe not. You might gather a new inside and just doesn’t help you. You might learn the wrong thing at the wrong time. Also good to know, by the way, how often that happens and why that happens and how that can be improved, because it all costs money. But there might be some gemstones in there and there might be some really good things in there. We repeat experiments over and over. Teams all across the organization learning the same thing. Very often they don’t know anything about each other and so on. So there’s an issue around that. I just want to frame that quickly. So maybe if you want to speak to that, maybe was there something that was really done really well already back then? Or how do you envision that?
[26:24] Oliver: There’s a saying that goes closely to what you were just describing at Nestle. Back in my Nestle times, we used to say, if Nestle knew what Nestle.
[26:31] Elijah: Knows you said it back then.
[26:34] Oliver: Yeah, we used to say that. Yeah. That was ten years back, almost. And it was very true. There was a huge challenge in terms of actually, in that sense, learning organization, knowledge management. How do you figure out who is working on what, who is learning what, and how can you share that? There were initiatives which, by the way, Nesca Fedoche, Gusta, I think one of the things they were doing really well on a global level was regular sharing sessions with the European markets and then the European markets helping the other regions in their rollouts to avoid the same mistakes or actually to benefit from the learnings that had already been drawn. And whatever we were doing, we tried to also map it in a way of, okay, what is the learning objective? What is our hypotheses how do we test this and what the success look like and what is the time frame and then record it. So already then and I was the guy running around alex Ostwell is going to love this running around with business model design and before that even the business model generation where it was really a case study nest Cafe or let’s say Nestle’s Coffee portfolio with Nescafe soluble coffee nespresso at the top used it all the time.
[27:58] Elijah: He used it back then. Oh my God. I’m just realizing that I was like standard example.
[28:03] Oliver: We’re case study in this book and so we need to apply this framework and it absolutely makes sense. And that was the starting point. And I was so excited then to see that with value prop and decision design he went more into also the Lean Startup, lean Innovation realm, et cetera. But anyhow now I’m digressing what kind.
[28:24] Elijah: Of learning cards should sharing yeah did you use report cards back then? Did you use strategize? Not yet actually.
[28:32] Oliver: Not yet? No, that was even, I think, before these existed, to be honest. It was the very early. The book had just been launched. The Business Model generation. It came out and I was, like, getting it and going through it and also realizing that already when I was working in marketing or working in sales, I had been doing to quite some degree, I had been applying a scientific method. It was always like, okay, if you want to see what works, we need to measure it’s.
[29:00] Elijah: A bit older than some people think, right?
[29:03] Oliver: Okay. Even my father was doing Lean Startup with one problem, one customer, and his solution that he co developed with them. But that’s yet another story. And Lean Startup didn’t exist yet. The term, at least before Eric Reese and Steve Blank. Anyhow but yeah. So figuring out who knows what what is being worked on in a global context of an organization, but also cross departmentally and cross functionally and how can you that’s the first step. Mapping what is being worked on, what are the projects, what are the challenges and so on and so forth to understand what’s going on in the organization and to some degree then leverage these synergies and realize, hey, okay, the Spanish team is working on something similar, like the Thai team now in Thailand. So how can we interface? Interface and how can we leverage these learnings and sync?
[30:04] Elijah: So you managed to do that not.
[30:08] Oliver: Me directly, that was the organization. Yeah, we were one of the pioneering markets in Switzerland because the project has been launched between it was Germany, UK, France and Switzerland were amidst the first markets basically to launch the project. And then, so kind of naturally, you are the ones people turn to for, hey, how have you done this? Because you have already been there. Right, but that was proactively pushed, actually, that was institutionalized, this kind of knowledge sharing and change. And that is something I really loved that we were doing this. And I think then we on a market level and that was more than I, let’s say, bring this a step further. We also did that together with Nespresso teams because I was like, wait, I don’t see any reason why we should be internally not learning from each other. Even also across divisions, across departments, et cetera. Even to a degree, we were co competitors, right? Between Escapado Chigoso and Nescafe.
[31:17] Elijah: Did you say copditors?
[31:19] Oliver: Yes, exactly. But then yeah, and still we belong to the same organization, right? We have learnings to share. We want to serve our customers best.
[31:33] Elijah: That’s a beautiful topic, by the way, the Copaditor topic, and how bad that can be in terms of if you don’t share knowledge, suddenly you can imagine the old competitive spirit in organizations and crush your competitor and we get better and we weed out the people that are not strong, whatever. How incredibly counterproductive that will be when it comes to a learning organization, potentially.
[32:09] Oliver: So we started really setting up regular first, very informal and more and more formalized exchanges with the Nespresso teams on a market level right, in the Swiss market. And there is a thing like Nestle in the market, which is not just the market per se, but also what we called the globally managed businesses. So that also inglobes that and takes it in the larger context. And so we were truly, I think, living that and pushing that further. It was all about sharing, exchanging, co, collaborating, co creating things. Like even when you had to update your market business strategy, as it was called, or your business plan for the next three years, et cetera, et cetera, we were like, hey, why don’t we sound the higher level market trend expectations that we have with our colleagues? Why should we have a different view? Why shouldn’t we get a kind of a shared vision and the shared expectation of market evolution and where trends are going to and what consumers will be doing more and less often, so on and so forth.
[33:20] Elijah: Wow, that must be such a high pressure to be right. Also in this, like, we’re talking about investment thesis these days, like make sure we treat strategy a bit like product ideally, right? So that’s kind of the North Star, like fare fast on your strategy, right? Because that’s going to chew up a lot of resources if you’re wrong. So what I’m hearing there is that there are like strong opinions probably for survival reasons as well, and then maybe both of them are wrong, potentially, but they’re not coming together. Not both parties are not coming actually together to make it better. So that’s another structural issue you’re describing. Yeah, I suppose that’s something you’re helping organizations with today, right, to break that stuff down. So how do you go about that? Like this particular topic, maybe do. You want to give something away?
[34:17] Oliver: Yeah. I think this is really where I am lucky to be able to draw from this experience in big corporations, big organizations, let’s say, on the one hand, side stuff like what I’ve shared with these challenges, kind of having been there and done that. How can we improve sharing? How can we improve a common strategy, common vision? And then how can we measure and break it down and accelerate learning and the learning cycles, learning velocity and insight velocity. But then that’s, let’s say, to a certain degree, execute or exploit side. And then there’s the explore side as well, right? When we talk about ambidexterity in organizations and you have to explore and execute or exploit side. And I see this as a Yang and Young as like it only goes together in symbiosis. So you need this stability of the big organizations, that’s great. But then you also need the agility and the speed and the learning faculties of the startups, the Lean startups. And so we try to bring these two worlds together. We help startups so entrepreneurs as much as entrepreneurs, because often startups, they have the speed, they have the agility, they can learn, but sometimes they lack a little of direction and of strategic alignment and of planning. And so they need a bit what the big guys do well to get to a certain stability, to be, let’s say, even more effective rather than efficient. And on the other side, the other extreme of the scale, we help the big guys become faster and more agile again and to truly innovate and not just play innovation theater, but really move the needle, as Brant Cooper would say. And I think that’s really what is exciting. We play in a pretty broad spectrum of challenges, but the common denominator is always, okay, how can you be effective and efficient together? And how can we catalyze this to leverage, to really unleash this full potential? And that’s why I’m so passionate about working with entrepreneurs as much as entrepreneurs. The common denominator is this pioneering spirit and it’s that the people we’re working with and we love to work with this, they’re all purpose driven. They really want to make an impact. It’s not just about making money and about successfully proven that you’re onto something. But we call it innovating with impact.
[37:02] Elijah: What’s your biggest secret you can give us in terms of changing organizations? What do you think is your is there something you feel like, I don’t.
[37:17] Oliver: Know, there’s maybe one big secret. I don’t know whether it’s the biggest and it’s also true to life in general, I would say, and it’s also my favorite song. Start with the man in the mirror. It’s really very often the case that you have leaders, you have potential clients that contact us and are like, okay, we want this or we need more of that. And it often also involves them taking good, hard look at themselves first and their organization, because it’s often what I tell them. Then it’s like, okay, if not you, who? And if not now, when? If you want real change, you may have to change yourself and you have to be willing to do that. And it starts with changing yourself. Only then can you change your organization. You represent a big chunk of your organization as a senior leader. So that may sound very basic. Yes. And that’s where involving them, first of all, having empathy for them and understanding why they change right. Is even maybe that they don’t see where to even possibly change to begin with. It also takes empathy, again, back to the starting point and understanding and compassion. Beyond empathy, it takes compassion to not force anything to give it the time it needs to organically evolve. And I mean, then there’s also the song is called Start with the man in the Mirror. It could be a woman in the mirror as well. Right, thanks for saying that.
[39:00] Elijah: I appreciate it.
[39:00] Oliver: In an organization and as a senior leader, in an organization, organizational leader, it’s so important to create an environment of psychological safety for yourself to be vulnerable and yes. Not to feel like you have to be perfect, because nobody is and nobody can be and you shouldn’t even aspire to be. It’s about progress, not perfection.
[39:23] Elijah: Yeah. And I want to add please measure it so you can please measure it. Everybody who says it, please start measuring it. Right. It’s not that tricky. Actually, we talk a lot about culture and it’s not that well defined. Very often psychologic safety might as well fall under that. And I think that’s measurable. And you can start doing that today across all levels of your organization and drive.
[39:49] Oliver: That is why typically yes, at least.
[39:52] Elijah: Drive it where it’s super important. Like at least drive it within innovation teams and within that branch where it’s just super important for outcome. Right, yeah, that needed to be said.
[40:04] Oliver: And exactly, I couldn’t agree more. And that’s why also, I believe with Swiss Sleep, the way we operate is always sort of threefold on at least three levels, which is really from the individual, right? And that can be the top senior leader or it can be the practitioner in the organization, but the team, let’s say level as well, and the organizational level as well, are so important. So I think you cannot really dissociate them. If you want effective culture change, or let’s say evolution, which we are all about, you need to cover all three dimensions from the individual over to the teams and then the organization, including the ecosystem surrounding the organization or the organization as an ecosystem. And that is really something that I’m so passionate about because it’s just a matter of where do you focus on how do you adjust your lens, your zoom. Right? Because even an individual is an ecosystem in its full. Right. So you focus on the individual, you focus on the team it interacts he or she interacts with, and then, okay, what is the larger context of the ecosystem? And I think really aligning these different elements or different layers levels is so crucial. And I would say we really specialize in these interfaces in between. So it’s really like zoom in to the level, the individual or the organization, but then also zoom out to okay, and what are the interactions about? I think when you said culture, to me, one of the simplest definitions of organizational culture is attitudes and beliefs, times, behaviors, and practices. And it’s really so, again, look at the individual, but look at how individuals interact with each other and how in which environment, in which kind of behaviors are not just tolerated, but are actually encouraged and fostered. Right. And then, okay, do you have a strategic vision, and are you actually measuring progress towards achieving that mission? I think that’s where it comes full circle.
[42:17] Elijah: I have a title now for the podcast for today, at least, a working title. Yeah. The man in the mirror.
[42:23] Oliver: Oh, I love that. And actually, it’s funny. Did you know that it’s not Michael Jackson who wrote that song? It’s Shaida Garrett.
[42:35] Elijah: But I’m terrible now that you say Michael Jackson, I realized it was sorry, I couldn’t hear you. Excuse me.
[42:43] Oliver: Sayda Garrett. She wrote that song for Michael Jackson.
[42:48] Elijah: Oh, nice. There you go. Woman in the mirror.
[42:52] Oliver: I love that song, especially the Acapella versions of it. Anyhow, I love it. Man in the mirror. I like that.
[43:01] Elijah: So, yeah, reach Oliver on LinkedIn at I’m not sure. Just look for Oliver. Dura. Durrer. And there will be a link, and I’m absolutely new to this, but there will be all sorts of links there. Do you twitter?
[43:17] Oliver: Twitter, LinkedIn.
[43:19] Elijah: Twitter, LinkedIn?
[43:19] Oliver: Swiss Leap website?
[43:21] Elijah: Swiss Leap?
[43:22] Oliver: Yeah.
[43:22] Elijah: Leap stands for Lasting Enterprise Action Practices. By the way. That’s good to know, I think. And, yeah, we’ll make sure there’s some links and stuff. Cool. Thanks for that. Thanks, Oliver.
[43:38] Oliver: Thank you.