It was through Stephan Franke that I first came into contact with the subject. open space? Yes...heard about it before, but what exactly is it? "Let yourself be surprised and just come along!"
The 4th week at communicode is coming to an end, it's Friday and there's pizza... a good combination. So off to the kitchen on time, where the open space will be ushered in with a joint lunch. Open Spaces always take place at communicode on the first Friday of the month. The first idea to use a day for free discussions came up 5 years ago, and in the last 2 years it has become the Open Space.
But what is that actually? Various topics are proposed in the open space, which are then presented and discussed. These can be of a professional nature, such as current customer projects, internal improvements, or of a private nature, such as hobbies, social engagement, etc.
The only rule: there must be at least 3 participants who are interested in this topic, then it will take place.
After lunch together, the board members Stefan Belmann and Armin Peiker together with Stephan Franke (Director Business Development) will open the program for the rest of the day. A look back at the past financial year, current developments and trends, news about communicode and new colleagues are on the agenda. Then it’s time to vote on the topics to be dealt with in the open space.
This time on the agenda: - Dashboards/ KPIs for an urban client - Information about the German bone marrow donation - "Not the difficult words" - everyday terms in the job explained - Core Media Hybris Showcase - Sharepoint at communicode
Despite the omnipresent digital transformation, voting is done in the classic way with pen and paper But why do you do this as a company and entrepreneur and give employees the space during working hours to be able to exchange information about non-work-related things?
According to Stefan Belmann, CEO of communicode AG, the speed of change in our society is increasing, especially in the digital environment in which we operate. Everything is spinning, everything is becoming faster and more immediate, so that one's own curiosity and the desire to stay informed become more and more important. The way you learn, how you communicate, how much you perceive must adapt to this as well.
Due to the variety of topics that one comes into contact with today, this cannot be implemented top-down in the classic way by company management.
“If you want to be innovative, it doesn't happen in a silo, but with people from different disciplines who combine the tried and tested in a new way. It is important to find a common language and to develop more understanding for each other's work. This pays off in the long term for the quality and innovative ability of the company.”
Armin Peiker, board member of communicode AG adds: “The tasks and solutions that we develop for our customers together with them are becoming more and more complex. Creativity, lateral thinking, a change of perspective and cooperation are needed to make this complexity, the increasing information density and the ever shorter innovation cycles more manageable. In order to promote and demand these skills, it is not enough in our view to only want to achieve this through seminars, training courses, etc. If we are serious about the goals of continuously improving the company's ability to innovate and quality, we need spaces such as the OpenSpace or our communiversity within the company that get by with a minimum set of rules. In this way, we try to create a start-up atmosphere in which every topic is allowed and each of us can make a contribution. From our point of view, it is a good investment to build up and expand the aforementioned skills with comparatively little effort. In many cases, these discussions also result in new customer solutions, optimized work processes, etc., which we as a company are all the more pleased about.”
But back to the Open Space: For me, it's about presenting visualized key figures and the technology behind them for a municipal customer with communicode's own PIM system infuniq.
It continues with a very clear and intuitively understandable demonstration of the possibilities of CoreMedia for simple and fast SAP Hybris-based campaign creation and control in B2C eCommerce.
The last lecture deals with the ongoing digitization and the associated tools at communicode itself. There is a lot of discussion, ideas for other areas of the company and customers are derived and, above all, insight is gained into the fields of activity of other colleagues. Employees join or leave, because if the topic is not that interesting or there is nothing new to learn, you can attend other lectures - walking is allowed. You don't necessarily know that from meetings. At the end, everyone comes together again, feedback is exchanged and the day ends with a beer from Essen together after work. For me it was the first but definitely not the last Open Space:
The process is clearly regulated and limited in time, you quickly get an insight into many different topics that you have chosen yourself immediately beforehand and that you do not come across in everyday life or do not have the time to deal with them. In addition, you exchange ideas with colleagues with whom you don't necessarily work every day, so that different perspectives arise and you learn to think outside the box. So everyone can take something away from this day, be it new impressions, ideas or contacts. With this in mind: Here's to the next round of pizza and open space at communicode!