Wemanity, a worldwide Agile company, has officially opened its Luxembourg office. In his inaugural speech, Jean-Christophe Conticello, founder of the startup, delivered his vision and ambition for Wemanity.
by: Marion Finzi
photo: Marion Dessard
featured: Jean-Christophe Conticello
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Cooperation, Innovation and Agile
At the roots of Wemanity there is a simple observation: digital transformation is everywhere, but in order to survive, companies need to change their way of thinking and adapt in a fast way. “One cannot talk about digital transformation without transforming internally first—organizationally, culturally and then technically,” explained Jean-Christophe Conticello. Migration to new technologies cannot be successfully achieved without the best practices in place, with Agile transformation being the first step. “Our vision is to change the world of workers by 2050 using cooperation, innovation and Agile,” stated the founder.
Corporations must change their practices in order to compete better in this new world. That is Wemanity’s ambition.
Agile management was created over 15 years ago, and many firms worldwide have begun an Agile transformation. “Even if we started 15 years ago, Agile is not dead. Agile is so powerful that we need Agile every environment that exists today,” declared the founder.
Wemanity was created five years ago and now has seven offices worldwide, with over 100 clients in 23 countries and 400 employees. “We want to become the number one in Agile transformation internationally, and the office in Luxembourg is one step closer to reaching the goal,” declared the founder. Eight people now work in the office in Luxembourg. “We promote quality of work and hire people with real skill,” said Arnaud Lamouller, Head of Operations in Luxembourg.
“Giving instructions to people because you’re the boss does not work anymore.”
Don’t do Agile. Be Agile
Important values such as goodwill, cooperation, sharing, continuous improvements, disruption and fun, are the essence of Wemanity’s culture. “We implement internally the values we preach every day to our clients. We don’t simply do Agile, we are Agile,” emphasized the founder.
As an example, Wemanity has developed its own internal organization called “Pod Organization” where everybody works in a team, with a “knowledge share day” every month and continuous training. “We are our own laboratory!” said Jean-Christophe proudly.
In Agile management, employees are considered as the key to innovation. “Giving instructions to people because you’re the boss does not work anymore,” said Jean-Christophe. Wemanity believes that a company needs to free all the innovative potential that its employees have by giving them a fixed role and more responsibilities. Working together is essential to the Agile culture. “We are stronger together, and we need to change the traditional top down work organization inside companies”.
More importantly, an Agile transformation starts with culture. “You need to build a culture first to make sure that people are ready to be transformed. People, and that is to say everybody from top down, are the sponsors of the transformation and need to be part of it,” said the founder. Starting a transformation without everyone on board would be the first step towards failure according to Wemanity.
“Agile is about creating the best conditions to enable people to exchange faster and to learn from each other.”
Agile, a means to evolution for traditional companies
Agile transformation, especially in a traditional environment, might be very hard and demanding for people. “We will not be afraid of changes! Changes need to be done in a perpetual state. Agile is a mindset and a means to such transformation,” declared the Luxembourg head of operations.
A concrete example of Agile transformation within a rather traditional organization could be heard by the one-and-only Olivier Debehogne, Head of Retail & Digital Banking at the BIL. “I did not hesitate a second when I was asked to come and share my experience of Agile transformation,” stated Olivier. “I am proud of what we achieved by working on people and on their behavior. Agile is truly more than a method, it is a culture.”
For 18 months now, BIL has implemented Agile transformation with the help of Wemanity (see our article “How the Agile method is transforming BIL’s evolution“). “It has not been, and still is not easy! But thanks to Wemanity, we now invest concretely in our people. They work in Agile teams of ten people with a common objective and more responsibilities,” explained Olivier Debehogne. “Agile is about creating the best conditions to enable people to exchange faster and to learn from each other,” concluded Olivier Debehogne.
Snapshots of Wemanity Luxembourg inauguration