What’s it all about?

In January 2022, Jurgen Appelo, one of the most influential thinkers for modern management, leadership, and organization design, offered his model for “versatile organizations” to the world.

The unFIX model is more modern, versatile, and practical than currently popular approaches like SAFe, LeSS, or the so-called Spotify Model. It gives us an excellent opportunity to get inspired, learn together, and start (gradually) building versatile structures and dynamic teams. This conference is for everyone interested in designing organizations for continuous innovation and a better human experience.

READ MORE ABOUT THE UNFIX MODEL
What’s it all about?

What is the unFIXcon?

The unFIXcon is the world’s first conference on the design of versatile organizations using the unFIX model. We invite entrepreneurs, leaders, and change-makers to two days of impulses, exchanges, and solution-finding together in the inspiring space of the Seminaris Campus Hotel in Berlin on September 28 & 29, 2022.

Jurgen Appelo and other brilliant thinkers on agile management, leadership, and organizational design will hold talks and guide us through open spaces and workshops to inspire, discuss and develop the future of scaled agile organizations.

The unFIX model is a simple tool that helps you with versatile organization design. With a focus on continuous innovation and the human experience, the unFIX model facilitates gradual change and dynamic team building and managing the system.

For an introduction, get a cup of coffee and watch this short interview with Jurgen Appelo:

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Who will be there?

Jurgen Appelo, the Corporate Rebels, Pia-Maria Thorén, Nicolay Worren, Lisette Sutherland, Jan-Willem Ageling, Sergei Anikin and many more!

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Schedule

This is an overview of the speeches, case studies and workshops that are planned for our two days of inspiration and exchange.
The texts will be adapted and some will be added as we get closer to the event.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • overview
Henriette Wienges
09:00 - 09:45Welcome By Henriette Wienges, Marco Luschnat, David Cummins, Andreas Ollmann
Jurgen Appelo
09:45 - 10:45Keynote: Versatile Organization Design with the unFIX Model By Jurgen Appelo

What comes after Management 3.0, SAFe, Holacracy, and the Spotify Model? Well,
it’s not hard to see in which direction the world is moving: organizations that consist
of networked individuals who work from anywhere, who form teams on the fly, who
focus on the customer experience (CX), who aim for objectives and achieve results,
and make that a whole lot of fun for themselves. Let’s unFIX our organizations!
The unFIX model is a simple tool that helps you with versatile organization design.
Unlike many agile scaling frameworks and self-management methods, unFIX has its
focus on continuous innovation and the human experience. It facilitates gradual
change, dynamic teams, and has an important role to play for managers.

Nicolay Worren
11:00 - 11:45Organisation Design By Nicolay Worren
12:00 - 12:45AGILE PEOPLE COACH – an alternative career for HR and managers in the future of work By Pia-Maria Thorén

After the pandemic, companies start to realize the need for abolishing annual budgets linked to fixed performance targets and rewards to reap the benefits of increased adaptability and intrinsic people motivation. Few competitive advantages remain for companies who want to survive and flourish. One such competitive advantage is to learn faster than the competition to be innovative and creative and invent and produce new products and services that customers want and need. But it requires a totally different leadership mindset that promotes psychologically safe environments with people who dare to make mistakes and learn from them.
Agile People Coaches see organizations as social systems, not machines. They recognize that people and relationships build organizations, and if their motivation is high enough, they will find ways to innovate and provide value together. Of course, we still need structures, but just enough to provide cohesion instead of restriction. We need to foster great business cultures to guide behaviors and incentivize people to do things that will help them perform in a common direction. In this scenario, the future career path for leaders and HR professionals is to adopt an Agile People Coach’s competencies, which aims to create the right conditions for individuals, teams, and the whole organization to grow and develop and change as needed to survive.

12:45 - 13:45Lunch
13:45 - 14:15unFIXed By David Cummins, Andreas Ollmann

tbd.

14:30 - 15:15Distance Leadership By Lisette Sutherland

Hybrid working existed before covid, but covid definitely made it more popular. With
extensive polling of workers around the world, the answer is clear: the future of work
is choice. For organizations to survive and thrive in the modern world, we want to be
able to work a hybrid or “remote first” way: working online as if we were in the office
together.
In this interactive presentation, we’ll explore what it means to lead a team remotely,
and how global organizations are reaching through the screens to collaborate
seamlessly at a distance. You will walk away with new ideas for what it means to be
“present” at work and how to create that sense of team even when you’re virtual.

Matthias Marschall
15:30 - 16:15Lessons learned from trying to understand the structure of a 150k people agile organization. By Matthias Marschall
Willem-Jan Ageling
16:30 - 17:00Untap your potential to create valuable products with Fluid Scrum Teams By Willem-Jan Ageling

Creating and sustaining a valuable product calls for many different people with different skills. This is especially the case if you consider the complete product experience. Traditional Scrum Teams have the typical skills to build and deploy software or any other physical or virtual product.

But a product is more. It also has aspects like UX, support, and policies. As a result, the complete product experience relies on many people with all kinds of skills.

The standard stable cross-functional Scrum Teams are great with a limited number of required skills. But if you need to make use of many different people with their unique skills, it is less optimal.

Willem-Jan Ageling will discuss how Fluid Scrum Teams are a way to solve this need to collaborate with a larger group.

Marco Luschnat
17:30 - 18:00Conclusion Day 1 By Henriette Wienges, Marco Luschnat
19:00Evening Program

Snacks, drinks, and good conversations

  • overview
  • workshops
  • cases & talks
09:00 - 09:45Welcome to the second day By Henriette Wienges, Marco Luschnat

Presenting an overview of case studies and workshops

09:45 - 11:15Keynote: Haier – a study By Pim de MorreeCorporate Rebels
11:30 - 13:00Case Studies, Impulses, Workshops I By Ron Eringa, Susanne Ringen, Valentin Nowotny, Joachim Landow, Benedikt Stemmildt, Jochen Swoboda, Kadri Pirn, Juan Gutiérrez Plaza

In the spaces: Play Cube, Standford, Yale, and Harvard

13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 15:30Case Studies, Impulses, Workshops II By Carolin Adler, Jaana Rasmussen, Matthias Marschall, Jürgen Dittmar, Ute Braun, Anke Nehrenberg, Johannes Mainusch, Sergei Anikin, Max Muth, Pino Decandia, Manuel Wegener

In the spaces: Play Cube, Standford, Yale, and Harvard

15:45 - 16:30Fishbowl By Jurgen Appelo, Speakers (tbd) and Participants

An interactive format to create a dialogue with Jurgen, the other speakers and the participants

Jurgen Appelo
16:30 - 17:00Closing words and until next time By Jurgen Appelo, Henriette Wienges, David Cummins
Nicolay Worren
11:30Academic Discussion By Nicolay Worren

an informal group session to discuss current academic research related to organization design.

Ron Eringa
11:30 - 13:00The cure to unFIX every culture By Ron Eringa

Practical insights to understand the cultural implications of implementing unFIX.

In this interactive workshop, Ron illustrates different approaches for introducing unFIX for each level of agile ‘maturity’ (using the value systems in spiral dynamics).

Susanne Ringen
11:30 - 13:00Leading with Tight-Loose-Tight By Susanne Ringen

What does your team really need from you now? Should you be more clear, explain your expectation, give feedback or even control? In the jungle of possibilities, it’s not always easy to find the right approach. Nor is it easy to know exactly what to do next. Tight-Loose-Tight is a simple but still complex approach developed in Norway: It helps you analyze team situations and find out what the right next steps are. In the workshop, you will get to know the concept behind Tight-Loose-Tight and how you can use it in your daily leadership. Bring the cases you struggle with and go home with solutions.

Valentin Nowotny
11:30 - 13:00How to Redesign Your Corporate DNA? Introduction to Corporate Innovation Mindset By Valentin Nowotny

Valentin and his colleagues from Austria and Switzerland created a periodic table of innovation with a total 59 elements, which they incorporated into a story in their book “Corporate Innovation Mindset: The Redesign of Your Corporate DNA” which was published in German last year. The book describes the successful transformation from a traditional player to a successful company that is able to operate with a completely redesigned business model to face the challenges of the 21st century.

The participants of the workshop will work with these specific 59 innovation genes and will discuss them in detail in smaller groups.

Valentin will introduce the concept at the beginning of the workshop and then moderate a discussion of participants’ experiences with the material in the context of versatile organizational design.

14:00 - 15:30Success factors for change and transformation in agile organisations By Carolin Adler

A hands-on workshop for sharing, inspiring, and developing success factors for change and transformation in the agile organization (development). How do we enhance the change-ability of team members? What involvement is needed from whom? Which communication is supportive? Which tools and workshop settings worked in our cases and companies? What failed and what can we learn from that? Which models and known examples help us to support our organizational development? Let’s learn from each other, share experiences, and inspire each other for developing the future together.

14:00 - 15:30Oh Captain, my Captain! By Jaana Rasmussen

The road toward any new organizational system is riddled with pitfalls. Most of them stem from human behavior. We are supposed to manage systems and not people. We all know that since Management 3.0. This is the right idea, but it is not entirely true.

In Jaana’s experience, successful implementation of transformation fails most often because of a lack of leadership. Leaders are people. Not systems.

Leadership is key. Behaviour is key. Your actions as a leader matter, communication is crucial. Everything you say and everything you don’t say matters. We constantly underestimate the importance of communication, because everybody believes he/she speaks clearly and is a good listener.

This is the reason for poor implementation: Reflecting on our own behavior and actively working on it is stressful, it takes time, and it is emotional and unnerving. It is what we call a big hairy problem.

So what do we do?
In her workshop, Jaana shares her insights on the top leadership skills for transformation and change, that leaders and change-makers need to develop (30 min) and everybody who is in the transformation business should take into account.

• Strategic storytelling for transformation and change
• Active Listening Level 3 (Scharmer)
• When to speak and when to be silent

In the following part of the session, we will share our leadership and transformation impediments and create solutions together (with liberating structures).

Matthias Marschall
14:00 - 15:30OKR Clinic By Matthias Marschall

The OKR clinic is led by Matthias Marschall, Engineering Director for Google’s internal OKR tooling.

Matthias believes that OKRs have a huge potential to inspire and align teams.

Setting strong Objectives and Key Results is a skill that needs practice, but a typical, quarterly cadence of setting OKRs makes it hard to get better at it quickly.

Let’s flex and build our OKR setting muscle together.

After a short intro about what makes good and bad OKRs and looking at the most frequently asked questions around it, we will spend most of the time working with your own OKR drafts and practice to make them even stronger, together.

You will leave this session with stronger OKRs and a deeper understanding of what to watch out for when writing your OKRs in the future.

11:30 - 12:15Competencies instead of position? Careers in agile organizations By Joachim Landow

How to create careers in an agile organization through self-responsibility, self-organisation, and self-development

Benedikt Stemmildt
11:30 - 12:15What it takes to be fast: A tale about responsibility, accountability and independence By Benedikt Stemmildt

Nowadays being fast is one of the most important goals of every company.
Being fast at entering a new market, being fast at developing new features,
being fast at innovating new products.
Time To Market is the fuel for every company’s Build, Measure, Learn cycle.
If you run through it faster you learn much more in a shorter time, giving you a huge advantage over competitors.
This is pretty obvious, but how do you make this happen?
Benedikt would like to tell you a story about the power of independence.

Juan Gutiérrez Plaza
11:30 - 12:15Let’s unfix before it’s critical – a case study By Juan Gutiérrez Plaza
Kim Nena Duggen
12:15 - 13:00Organisations-Design für Flow By Kim Nena Duggen

Flow: the feeling of a mental state of complete immersion and complete absorption in an activity that proceeds as if by itself.

That is exactly what many people in organizations would like to make possible. How can this be achieved? Kim will inspire us with real-world examples and will explain which questions need to be clarified before such a transformation is possible and how to achieve a state of optimal fit between people and the tasks in our own organization.

Jochen Swoboda
12:15 - 13:00tbd By Jochen Swoboda
12:15 - 13:00Life after Pipedrive – how many leaders have implemented the Pipedrive framework and how? By Kadri Pirn

Pipedrive has used a similar approach to the unFIX model for 4 years now.* During this time several companies have implemented the Pipedrive framework.
Kadri will present stories of ex-Pipedrivers who have taken their deep experience with dynamic structures to new teams. She will show examples of implementations and answer questions about reasons to implement the framework or when not to do it. She will provide ideas on what to avoid and what to adopt in different situations.

*We recommend Jurgen Appelo’s blog post “Pipedrive Unfixed (Case Study of a Unicorn Company)” for a comparison of unFIX and the Pipedrive framework.

Jürgen Dittmar
14:00 - 14:45(un)FIX the System, not the People By Jürgen Dittmar
Ute Braun
14:00 - 14:45(How) Is a self-organized team in a hierarchical organization possible? By Ute Braun

Most people work in classic hierarchical organizations, and so is it at Deutsche Welle, the German international broadcaster. As part of the organizational development team at DW, Ute Braun and her colleagues started asking themselves whether self-organization could be an option for them. Then, they began to explore the possibilities….

Ute will provide inspiration for ways to become more self-organized with your teams. She will talk about her team’s motivation, the different roles they created, their learnings along the way, and how they plan to move on from where they are now.

Max Muth
14:00 - 14:45How we grew from 5 to 20 with the help of dynamic structures – a Demodesk case study By Max Muth

The “Demodesk Agile Framework” makes use of dynamic structures – especially rotating roles – to help resolve some of the pain points Demodesk faced when growing from 5 engineers to 20. In this talk, Max Muth will highlight the initial motivation for the change, and the challenges they had during the transition period and will illuminate some pain points that appeared as a result of the new setup.

14:45 - 15:30Struggle and Learn – Corporate Democracy By Anke Nehrenberg, Hannes Mainusch

In 2016, kommitment GmbH was founded as a democratic and participative management consultancy. At first, they didn’t tell our customers about it. After all, what was needed was management expertise and process know-how. Those are qualities that apparently require little enthusiasm for democracy. But in the meantime, as Anke and Johannes will explain, their internal structure has unexpectedly had an impact on their customers. They will talk about participation, pair-doing, process transparency, solidarity, conflicts, and system failures. And about the viral transfer of the democracy DNA from organization to organization: a complete empirical report.

Manuel Wegener
14:00 - 14:45Case Study: BVG By Manuel Wegener
Pino Decandia
14:45 - 15:30The managers of WHAT and HOW. Unfixing the double reporting line. By Pino Decandia

Transformations, regardless of the name of the framework, tend to split line management function and people growth function in the name of more clarity and accountability. They eventually end up into a double reporting line of managers that need to talk to each other about alignment issues and conflicts of interests and goals, which leads to seemingly endless alignment meetings.
Pino Decandia will provide some insights from the transformation journey of a very large company that didn’t have such separation in the beginning, then adopted it in the transformation. He will explaining how they started working together via a pure experimentation approach with the goal of keeping good business results and, at the same time, creating options for people growth.
Pino will not provide a solution to copy and paste into any environment. He will lead the audience through useful mistakes that he and his colleagues have made (and continue to make) with the aim to provide some food for thought.

14:45 - 15:30unFIX-ing Unicorns By Sergei Anikin

There are several specific challenges such companies have to deal with and Sergei Anikin believes that unFIX and similar models can help overcome those.

Specifically, he will talk about:

– How to enable high growth of the team without giving up speed and velocity of the development
– How to enable a multi-product growth strategy
– How to enable an M&A strategy
– How to balance speed with quality

and many other questions related to VC-funded, high-growth company scaling challenges.

Location

Seminaris Hotels are dedicated to the future of creative meetings: They offer everything you need for modern trainings, workshops and conferences based on the concept of New Work.

With its home on the campus of the Freie Universität, surrounded by green nature, the Seminaris CampusHotel Berlin is located in a place that transforms a lot of knowledge into new goals and projects.

The Event & Conference Center provides a lively environment and creative spaces for exchange and inspiration.

Location

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