Our analysis tool and collaboration with the Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing
What is culture? What does it look like? What point of reference does it have? Finding an answer to this, I’m sure you’ll agree, is quite a task. We rose to the challenge and developed a tool that helps us discover and understand our customers’ work culture.
With the K+N WORK.CULTURE.MAP we can analyse the culture of a company, organisation or team in seven dimensions. We use the tool to find out what the status quo looks like in terms of work-life, creativity, agility, management style, performance, technology and employee structure.
“In the case of the Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing for example, this means in specific terms that we still have a need for optimisation in the technology dimension, because the current status falls short of the target vision,” says Happiness Minister Gina Schöler. In March, she and a team of three colleagues took part in a workshop held by Carina Hölzer and Georg Frech of König + Neurath, which signalled the start of cooperation between the Ministry of Happiness and König + Neurath. In this interview they allow us a peek behind the scenes.
“Looking closely at the company’s work culture together creates a stable basis of trust and offers both parties added value in qualitative terms by highlighting the full potential for change.” (Georg Frech)
“The planning and design of spaces for living or working has in principle always been based on the interpretation and representation of cultural, sociological, psychological and functionally aesthetic or structural circumstances,” says Carina Hölzer, who is responsible for planning and consulting at König + Neurath. “We have always considered, queried and discussed these parameters – and translated our solutions into the space by focusing on the people. So this approach is not new.”
“The K+N WORK.CULTURE.MAP is a very clear and analytical tool,” adds Georg Frech. “We can use it to take the current situation of the company and the team and represent it interactively. The visual representation simplifies the change process that often goes hand-in-hand with spatial alterations,” says the head of the K+N Academy. “The results form a crucial basis for decision-making processes and potential action – which incidentally are considered independently of products in the first place,” adds Carina Hölzer.
With the WORK.CULTURE.MAP we have a clear comparison of the status quo and a clear vision
Carina Hölzer, who is assigned to the Ministry of Happiness project in the capacity of interior designer, says: “It has been a very pleasant cooperation right from the start – characterised by openness, good humour and a willingness for honest dialogue.
For us it was unusual that the whole process was conducted remotely. Normally we advise our customers in medium-sized companies or corporations on site. In this situation all those involved met virtually. Since the ministerial team works on a distributed basis at locations all over Germany, they are very familiar with this model. Thanks to this collaborative venture, König + Neurath has gained insight into key aspects of mobile working.”
There were a few light-bulb moments for the Ministry of Happiness too: “We found it very interesting that as a team we all gave the same answers to individual queries almost universally, in other words we are a very homogeneous team. For that reason we wanted even more linking elements in our day-to-day work. One of those is the desk we all now have: the same system - TALO.YOU - can now be found in every single one of our offices, in different specifications tailored to individual needs,” says Gina Schöler.
“It’s a real benefit for us that direct dialogue can provide us with an even more accurate picture of the diverse ways our furnishing concepts can be used in the home office and for remote working.” (Georg Frech)
“König + Neurath fitted out home offices for the entire ministerial team with suitable furniture, which takes our team cooperation to a whole new level and unites us as a coherent whole.”
“The basis for the outfitting was the Work Culture Map we devised between us. As a result, our work is very design-oriented, creative and agile – and we are highly performance-oriented as a team.” (Gina Schöler)
The result: our work is very design-oriented, creative and agile – and we are highly performance-oriented as a team
“For us the team feel is a priority despite the geographical distance – we support each other with appreciation and empathy. The new furniture enhances our sense of shared identity – and consequently our wellbeing at work. Incidentally we found it very interesting that nearly all of us gave the same answers in the individual surveys, so we’re a very homogeneous team and we all see eye-to-eye.”
The workshop and the collaboration inspired us to want more. To be continued… “We’re thrilled that we now have an element that unites us: a common desk. The same system – with individual configurations customised to personal needs,” says the Happiness Minister.
The Ministry of Happiness and Wellbeing, an initiative led by self-styled Minister of Happiness Gina Schöler, advises and inspires companies and organisations on themes such as positive psychology, lifestyle and happiness research. Tips and ideas that are often easy to implement are provided through workshops, books and on the website at ministeriumfuerglueck.de, with the goal of making (working) life happier and more fulfilled. Gina Schöler is a popular speaker and book author, who recently published her latest book “Glück doch mal” (Just be happy).