Back to what drives us
25. Apr 2023

New Growth Organization - We rethink strategy consulting

Mann hält lila Pfeil mit der Aufschrift Mut
Mann hält lila Pfeil mit der Aufschrift Mut

Yay, we became a new regenerative organization.

At the beginning of the year, we set out to become an even more responsible, innovative and humane organization. As thought leaders for new growth and regenerative business, we also see ourselves as an innovative force in our own industry. And that means taking courageous steps, standing up for what is right and starting change with yourself.

The last few years have proven that turbulent and disruptive times are not a state of emergency or a passing phase, but an everyday occurrence for all of us. However, only very few companies are really geared up to meet this change in a productive and targeted manner. All too often, the ability of entire corporations to innovate still depends on individual departments, sometimes even individual people. As a result, future viability is not only spread over a very small number of shoulders, but is sometimes even left to chance.

We wanted to outline an organization that places continuous transformation and the assumption of responsibility even more firmly at the core of our model and anchors it there systemically. A fluid system that encourages us all to continuously critique ourselves, create new offerings, and be resilient to constant change.

To this end, we have said goodbye to a static portfolio, fixed team structures and rigid disciplinary affiliations, and have largely abolished hierarchies and traditional management roles. We have opted for a minimal set of structures in order to deliberately create even greater space for entrepreneurial people to make responsible decisions.

In doing so, we have created New Growth for ourselves as an organization along three dimensions:

1. Even more growth comes from a dynamic innovation portfolio.

Our aim is to provide our customers with the best possible answer at all times - now and in the future - as to how they can realize new growth for themselves. And we can only do that if we look at how we can make our consulting even more innovative and customer-centric every day. That's why we have abandoned the idea of a static portfolio. Instead, we have rethought our own service offering as a dynamic and flexible portfolio logic. This allows us to boldly, consistently and quickly translate customers' emerging needs into concrete, innovative services. The new service offering is designed accordingly, focusing even more strongly on new growth themes - with the offerings Company Innovation, Sustainability Transitions, Corporate Strategy & Transformation, Digital Growth, Firsts & Future Alliances, Brand Experiences and Life-Centered Product & Service Innovation.
The range of services is managed by so-called business partners at diffferent, who combine many years of entrepreneurship with specialist expertise.

By adapting proven methods and best practices from innovation management for consulting, we deliver a new consulting approach.

Maria Meermeier

Business Partner Digital Growth, diffferent

"I am highly enthusiastic about the idea behind our new organizational model. Because our new approach is about being courageous and creating something new. We are able and expected to explicitly dare new things and new growth and seek entrepreneurial opportunities for our customers and ourselves that combine relevant social needs with business potential."

2. personal growth and even more professional excellence emerge in the skill hubs.

In many consultancies, very rigid, standardized career paths are still common. We asked ourselves, how does that fit with diverse people with different strengths and motivations and the complex challenges of our time, which increasingly require networked knowledge that transcends professional boundaries? From our point of view, not at all. That's why we have broken down our internal team boundaries and instead created fluid learning spaces around future competencies - we call them Skill Hubs.

Here we focus on topics such as Sustainability Management, Brand Building & Management, Business Strategy & Design, Data 2 Strategy, Foresight & Storytelling, Organization & Transformation, Project & Program Management, Research and Strategic Design. In addition, in the Beyond Expectations Skill Hub, for example, we deal with AI-supported consulting and dealing with uncertainty, or in the Consulting for New Growth Hub, with developing one's own consulting personality.

Each fffriend can freely assign himself to the Skill Hubs according to individual interests, deepen professional excellence, drive topics with like-minded people and network knowledge even more. Curiosity becomes a design principle here and ensures exciting multi-dimensional skills profiles. In this way, we can not only make new knowledge more widely available at high speed, but above all incorporate it directly into our daily consulting work. We all benefit from this: we as individuals, because learning can once again follow our own passion, we as a company, because our competencies are always up to date, and our customers, because the latest knowledge flows directly into project work and consulting approaches, making them even more excellent.

Anton Püschl

Consultant, diffferent

"There are topics that excite me and there are topics that excite others - the new organizational structure allows me to independently choose where I set my focus points to strengthen my strengths and explore areas of interest. I think that's very good."

3. systemic growth comes from role-based working and a different understanding of leadership around self-responsibility

We have replaced a hierarchical model with role-based working. This means tasks with clear responsibilities are translated into roles and these are assigned based on competencies, experience and motivation, not just levels, titles or hierarchy. Each role has a clear mission, so there is transparency about what we can and cannot expect from the role.

Self-leadership and greater individual responsibility for each person will be the focus of our understanding of leadership in the future. We have done away with classic management roles that focus on coordination and organization. Instead, leadership for us now means mentoring, coaching and professional sparring. For example, we have one or two people for each Skill Hub who act as representatives of the respective competency in the overall organization and, as Practice Leads, help our fffriends to follow their own development path.

In the future, our own organization will be shaped together with all employees. People who are affected by decisions will be involved in the decision-making process from the very beginning or will decide for themselves. This has already been practiced and practiced in the process of new organizational design. This creates a system and an organization that is jointly designed and supported by many and continuously evolves.

We have set out to design a regenerative organization that will enable us to pursue our strategy of New Growth much more consistently and exemplify exactly what we want the future economy to be: Focus on the essentials, sustainable operations, and an organization made for people. We are excited to see what we will learn along the way, what we will experience together as an organization, and what else will emerge. And we are really keen on all possible futures!

Carolin Hauke

Practice Lead, diffferent

"It was very exciting to be involved so early in the process of new organizational design. There were no predefined solutions yet. There were still a lot of open questions that had to be answered jointly. The freedom to play a major role in shaping the system in which we all work every day was unusual - also in view of the responsibility that goes with it. And at the same time incredibly motivating and energizing."