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.

Jurgen Appelo and other brilliant thinkers on agile management, leadership, and organizational design 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 was there?

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

Get to know our Speakers

Schedule

  • 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 - 11:45When should you integrate roles in the same team – and when should you separate them? By Nicolay Worren

To create an effective organization, one needs to align the formal structure (the unit boundaries and the reporting lines) with how people actually work and interact. By grouping roles that need to collaborate and communicate in the same team or sub-unit, one increases productivity and reduces coordination costs.

One can achieve such alignment by first mapping the work processes and the interdependencies between roles, and by making sure that one integrates the interdependent roles in the same team or sub-unit. At the same time, there is also a need to avoid integrating roles with conflicting goals and functions. Such roles should be separated rather than integrated.

In his presentation, Prof. Nicolay Worren will present a new framework for handling this design challenge.

Nicolay Worren will also participate in an informal group session intended for those who would like to further discuss this or other topics on the second conference day.

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.

13:00 - 14:00Lunch
14:00 - 14:45unFIXed – How unFIX can help non-software-product companies define their structures for self-organization and agility and continuously adapt. By David Cummins, Andreas Ollmann

Although Ministry has always been digital (more than 20 years), adopting methods and frameworks designed for software companies that make products has always been challenging. Finding our own ways according to principles led to something very like unFIX in 2014.

Although unFIX is new, we are already experiencing its power and potential with non-software clients, including academic institutions, insurance companies, and manufacturers.

By not focusing on methods or over-defining a framework, unFIX can help any organization create structures for more self-management, interdisciplinary cooperation, and flexibility for the future.

More about Ministry Group’s unFIX story can be found in Jurgen’s blog: https://unfix.work/blog/ministry-group-case-study

15:00 - 15:45Distance 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.

Willem-Jan Ageling
16:15 - 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
17:15 - 18:00Conclusion Day 1 By Henriette Wienges, Marco Luschnat
18:30 - 21:30Evening Program

Food, 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: How to make radically decentralized organizations work By Pim de MorreeCorporate Rebels

Learn from some of the world’s most pioneering organizations of our times. No theoretical nonsense, but practical insights to change the way you work.

11:30 - 13:00Case Studies, Impulses, Workshops I By Ron Eringa, Susanne Ringen, 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, Valentin Nowotny, Jürgen Dittmar, Ute Braun, Max Muth, Pino Decandia, Manuel Wegener, Kim Nena Duggen

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

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

An interactive format with Jurgen, the other speakers and the participants

Jurgen Appelo
16:45 - 17:00Closing words and until next time By Jurgen Appelo, Henriette Wienges, Marco Luschnat, Andreas Ollmann, 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.

Jochen Swoboda
11:30 - 13:00Leading smart – Change through Psychology By Jochen Swoboda

Tips and tricks from business psychology

Valentin Nowotny
14:00 - 15:30How 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).

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.

11:30 - 12:15Life 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.

Juan Gutiérrez Plaza
12:15 - 13:00Let’s unfix before it’s critical – a case study By Juan Gutiérrez Plaza

Scoro is a 165-employee SaaS company that changed to an unfix way of working about 1.5 years ago, inspired by the “Pipedrive Missions Framework,” “Dynamic Reteaming,” and “Team Topologies.” This session will show what those changes were about, the current way of working, the reasoning behind them, and the learnings and challenges we faced along the way.

Jürgen Dittmar
12:15 - 13:00unFIX and Scrum@Scale – a perfect complement for the development of agile organizations By Jürgen Dittmar

One of the core fallacies in organizational design is to use “best practices” from other contexts and organizations. How many organizations have struggled with implementing the Spotify model or SAFe?

That’s why unlike many agile scaling frameworks and self-management methods, the unFIX model acts as a pattern library and has its focus on continuous innovation and improvement as well as the human experience. To support versatile organization design, it facilitates gradual change, and dynamic teams, and it describes an important role for managers.

Some might not know that Scrum@Scale, a meta-framework introduced in 2015 by Jeff Sutherland and his organization ScrumInc at least in its initial form, shared a similar idea: no prescriptions and continuous improvement based on the context and experience. While unFIX works with structural patterns Scrum@Scale is focusing on understanding the interaction as well as the fundamental principles and the necessary quality of the various functional components in an (agile) organization. How the components are then designed and developed in each case is left to the decision and responsibility of the “users.” And that’s where unFIX as a pattern library might be a perfect fit to complement Scrum@Scale.

Jürgen Dittmar, Jeff Sutherland’s co-trainer for many years, has worked with Scrum@Scale since 2015 and made significant contributions to the model in the early days. He also is an official unFIX Partner and one of the most experienced Management 3.0 facilitators worldwide. Jürgen firmly believes that unFIX and Scrum@Scale are a perfect complement for the improvement and sustainable development of agile organizations, and he’ll do his best to get you interested in this idea.

14:00 - 14:45Competencies 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

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.

Kim Nena Duggen
14:45 - 15:30Organization Design for 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.

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.

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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