Learning and capability building
As you will have seen in the previous chapters, we are seeing both accelerating technological developments and a bigger and changing role for Schuberg Philis in our partnerships with our customers. A growth mindset is crucial to achieving the necessary change. We seek a structural engagement with the development of new technological capabilities and of business and personal leadership skills. The question is, how should we approach that?
We spoke with Lotta Croiset van Uchelen, Chief DNA Officer, Roeland Kuipers, our CTO, and Peter Siepel, Customer Director, about capability building and learning. We also asked Carl-Erik Herlitz, Head of Research & Development at the leadership training bureau TUFF and the long-term trainer of many of our colleagues for his 'outside view.'
"Our curiosity about development, combined with autodidactic talent, was sufficient."
How things stand
The relatively rapid growth of the company, to almost 300 colleagues, clearly plays a role in our desire to make learning a more structural component of the organization. Lotta: "Until recently, learning was implicit. Our curiosity about development, combined with autodidactic talent, was sufficient."
Roeland: "We also had this attitude at the technical level. For example, when we started to do more software development, we found we had some clever colleagues with experience in that field, so we just did it. This enterprising attitude is very powerful, but we now need to extend it by creating even more space for learning and experimentation."
Carl-Erik describes the challenge: 'Schuberg Philis is a continuously developing organization, with many new features. This requires organizational development, but also work on mindset and core capabilities. One metaphor I like to use is installing new apps on your mobile phone: they offer great functionality, but don't work well if you don't upgrade your operating system. That's the process Schuberg Philis is in at present: they are upgrading their OS."
Peter: "Learning is a crucial component of our DNA, and we must take it beyond the autodidact level. We need to adjust ourselves constantly, to keep providing our customers with innovative solutions. This recognition entails a new approach in what we organize for our colleagues, so that learning becomes more logical and simpler and an integral part of our work. And we recognize that learning and looking good, simultaneously, is impossible: let's learn fearlessly!"
Learning on multiple levels
Our changing role and our ambition to be an inspiring discussion partner on multiple levels also requires people with different types of knowledge and especially a different skill set; skills that are not just in the IT field. Peter: "To remain at the forefront with a combination of keen insight into our customers' businesses and technological strengths for implementation, we need continuous learning in several areas." Roeland: "Technology can quickly add business value, without compromising stability and safety. We embrace these developments, but how can we translate this into capabilities that create value for our customers? How do we achieve such a capability and what does it require, in addition to the necessary training in technology?"
Lotta: "To embed forward-looking and continuous learning as a structural component in the company, we'll be both sustaining our DNA and doing more to unlock all the knowledge and experience within the organization. Sharing this knowledge with existing and new colleagues preserves our distinctive DNA and guarantees lasting consistency in our service to customers. Plans for the Schuberg Philis Learning Portals/Academy are now well developed. This will be an important pillar in our learning and capability building. The principle is still that colleagues are responsible for their own development, but we offer support. There will also be a strong emphasis on leadership development through action learning. We believe that all the necessary knowledge is present, if questions are asked in the right way. We'll allow ourselves to behave more like amateurs and to find answers by raising questions within the group. On-the- job learning, on steroids.