32 Agile Arbeitsmethoden 02

Corporate culture

An interview with Jens Huchting, Group Managing Director, Group Human Resources

To achieve our goals, we keep developing and fine-tuning our corporate culture. We want to sharpen our client focus even further, becoming more agile and innovative.


Agile working methods

In order to develop client-focused digital solutions with a high degree of flexibility and speed, Aareal Bank Group deploys new, ’agile‘ working methods, including the ones shown below: 

SCRUM: 

Project management method characterised by a high degree of flexibility and only a few simple rules: the cross­-functional project team organises itself, working using empirical evidence, incremental results and iterative approaches.

DesignThinking: 

Approach to develop new solutions in a creative environment. A cross­-functional team views client needs from different perspectives, employing various methods akin to those used by designers.

Lean Startup: 

Method to develop products and business models: prototypes are used within the scope of empirical studies to evaluate the success of innovations. In this context, prototypes are being gradually developed into a final product that is market­-ready. 

Mr Huchting, why is everyone talking about the development of corporate culture?

"In this digital age, certain behavioural stand­ards are crucial and imperative for success if a company wants to gain a competitive edge. For us at Aareal Bank Group, a consistent focus on our clients, a high level of agility and an above­-average innovative capability are central factors which support us in strength­ening our market position and enhancing our role as a digital pioneer. Such behavioural standards and priorities cannot simply be mandated, and they don’t just change over­night either. They have to be incorporated into the corporate culture – and from there, impact on the actual behaviour of all employ­ees and executives."

So, when talking about client focus, agility and innovative capabilities, what exactly does that mean? 

"Focusing on our clients means making them the centre of our attention, it means knowing and understanding our clients and establish­ ing trusting partnerships with them. Being able to react swiftly and implement changes in a dynamic environment with complex require­ments – that is our understanding of agility. It is reflected, for example, in the way we pro­ceed: we think and act with an entrepreneurial spirit, we engage in cross­divisional and cross­ company collaboration, and work fast and efficiently. And, last but not least, being inno­vative means continuously searching for new impulses to enhance our work and our clients’ success, having the courage to question the status quo, and giving each and every one of our employees the flexibility and personal freedom they need to learn and develop new ideas."

Jens Huchting, Group Managing Director Group Human Resources

32 Agile Arbeitsmethoden 01

How do you implement these goals in Aareal Bank Group’s corporate culture? 

"First of all, we check to see in which areas we ourselves don’t comply with these behav­ioural standards yet, and what is keeping us from doing so. At the same time, we provide impulses for a cultural change – with flagship projects and the creation of an appropriate framework, e.g. with Creative Boxes, new workflows and working methods and with the help of Agile Coach Pools (short explanation of terms via drop down text boxes and mouse hovers). Within this context, the executives play an important role, as they have to live up to the expectations of their role model function. In order to be able to measure our progress, we have launched a change moni­toring process, which surveys the general mood at regular intervals."

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