Future of Work

Future of Work


Essay by Stefan Rauch

From a Company to a Cooperative
When New Work concepts are expanded consistently


Do you like to go to work? Yes? Good for you – me too. Have you ever asked yourself why? We find affirmation in our work. I know this from team sports: In a well-working team, each member contributes his or her skills in a way that an outstanding result can be achieved. In football, I was always proud when my team won and I had done my part. What I want to say is, we thrive on the feeling of having contributed to advancing our team.

New Work expert Professor Carsten Schermuly differentiates between structural and psychological empowerment. In lectures, articles and meetings dealing with New Work exploration often is made into structural measures to break down hierarchies, introduce new room concepts, reduce the number of processes and increase accountability. New Work is said to cause a cultural transformation. However, I do not believe structural measures lead to such transformation.

Since the middle of this year, 49% of our company has been held by the nurdemteam cooperative. Shares are offered only to employees of iteratec. If all goes as planned, nurdemteam eG soon will own 100% of iteratec GmbH. These changes also are of a structural nature and they are by no means small. We know that we owe it mainly to our culture that from day one more than 70% of our colleagues have paid a significant amount to join the cooperative. Despite all this, we are aware that a lot remains to be done. We still are committed to the idea we had when we founded iteratec in 1996. Iterative work and a high level of accountability help us improve our projects and achieve better results. In the 15 years since I joined iteratec I have experienced that people matter here.

Key factors contributing to our success include encouraging each employee to leverage the freedoms they are offered, fulfill their roles in an entrepreneurial and accountable manner, carry out their tasks in the flow as often as possible, and ultimately be satisfied with themselves, their roles, and their tasks.

In my opinion, this works only if all colleagues

·         are confident enough to master their tasks,

·         regard their tasks as important to themselves, to the company, and even to society,

·         can carry out their tasks as they see fit and are free to decide when they want to do what and how, and

·         are convinced they can influence their tasks as required.

Together, these four aspects determine the wellbeing of my colleagues in their roles and with their responsibilities within the company. When all four aspects are in sync, you have a strong team and probably a coach like Jürgen Klopp. :-)

Allow me to emphasize one point: Because every person has a different combination of the four aspects, everyone must be challenged and promoted differently. To find out how we can improve in this area, I like to get ideas and feedback from as many interesting people and companies as possible. This said, I would like very much to see you at MCBW 2020 to exchange ideas.


Stefan Rauch is a Digital Innovation Officer and part of the management at iteratec GmbH.