Organizational consulting

Developing organizations

Organizations are the place where we work together. Dozens, hundreds, thousands of people bring their different skills together and accomplish together what individuals could never do individually. Organizations are complex systems that are constantly renewing themselves, adapting to new environmental conditions while remaining as they are.

Anyone who wants to develop organizations in a targeted manner has to contend with this stability. We help with our outside perspective and design interventions that offer a new approach. We foster the collective ability to learn and thus help to adapt to complex, rapidly changing environments. We coordinate the further development of organizational design with the development of cooperation and provide development impulses for the people involved. Together with our clients, we ensure communication that activates the power of different participants and allows new things to emerge.

When organisations grow, they have to change fundamental patterns again and again. A start-up functions fundamentally differently in the founding phase than in the scaling phase, when the market is being conquered. A company with a high degree of maturity differs significantly from one that has just developed different functions. Each growth phase places different demands on the people involved. Shaping change in such a way that new patterns build on old strengths ensures the long-term success of the company

The further development of existing patterns also becomes critical to success when companies experience major changes in their environment. If a medium-sized company want to grow internationally and become global market leaders, they have to relearn. A energy company that has to leave nuclear power, oil and gas behind needs a completely new set of skills in order to be successful in the volatile renewable energy market. The drug manufacturer that wants to become a provider of personalized medical solutions must leave yesterday's ways of working behind. The major changes require new forms of cooperation. New approaches need to be coordinated. This often means more complexity and more responsibility for everyone. But this is not always welcome. In our view, the key to successful organizational development lies in the triad of organizational design, the personal development of the people and the realignment of collaboration. When everyone grows beyond themselves, a new form of collaboration emerges that takes the whole organization to a new level. More agile, more flexible, more process-oriented or more empowered; an organization does not become that simply by taking a top-down decision. Contact us today so that we can clarify what this can mean for your project.

Get in touch

Culture of transformation and cultural transformation

Stable patterns of organizations can be seen in the visible structures of the system. How decision-making processes work, how reward systems function and how it is defined who belongs to the organization. In the same way, patterns can be seen in the invisible structures of the company's culture. The culture explains why things work the way they do. It is the shared assumptions that are rarely consciously hidden in myths and stories. It is the sum of what we have learned together. What is normal here and what is not? How must things be because it has always been like this.

When culture becomes an opponent of the desired change, things get tough. The sails are set, the course is clear - but somehow there is no wind. There is no strong headwind either - but the ship cannot get out of the harbor.

willms.partner designs transformative learning processes with companies so that the big change succeeds. Our interventions create a culture of transformation. In large group events, learning groups and workshops, the participants come together and learn how to say goodbye to the old. By coming together, the new develops. This creates a shared sense of direction, which means that everyone can win on the new path.


Directions of attention in organizational development

Organizational culture for growth and development

We support organizations in anchoring growth and development as central concerns of the organization and developing strong learning cultures. We are inspired by the concept of the Deliberate Developmental Organization (DDO) by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. In their book "An Everyone Culture", they describe DDOs that are often market leaders in their sector. The continuous development of people creates strong competitive advantages. DDOs prove to be crisis-proof, adaptable and particularly attractive to employees.

In a survey we conducted in several companies in 2023, there was a high level of agreement with the statement "My work challenges me to constantly learn something new about myself." However, the challenge of everyday working life is still far too rarely transformed into personal growth. Those who are alone with their learning challenges at work get annoyed with their colleagues, grumble or run into burnout. Far too rarely is personnel development also seen as personal development. In 2019, in a joint study with the Department of Applied Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, we were able to show that a focus on personal development helped a company to establish psychological security in the team, improve collaboration, strengthen collective resilience and take the next step in corporate development.

We believe that we are only at the beginning of integrating personal learning into the world of work. What do you and your company want to learn next?