Our Values

Many of our values apply not only to us and the people in the co:dify expert network with whom we work every day, but also to our customers. More precisely, the kind of customers we wish to work with.

Embrace Complexity

We strive to break down any matter from the thematic universe of sustainable and systemic innovation management as simply as possible, while never rendering it under-complex. “Reduce to the max “ is the maxim here. What we do not like at all are extremely simplified and recipe-like “X steps to Y” frameworks, which are common among the snake oil and cargo cult representatives of our profession, but also among innovation theater and quick-fix-preferring practitioners in the industry.

We particularly appreciate it when people we work with …
  • Enjoy complexity and are not intimidated by it, or are quick to look for a shortcut out of laziness of thought.
  • Can think and communicate in systems without being too academic, incomprehensible or even arrogant for others.
  • Have an “everything is designable” attitude and also accept challenges that are a head or two bigger than they are.
  • Do not just have a T-shape, but rather a star-shape and can be connected to many disciplines and discourses.

Courageously Say the “Unspeakable”

We don’t tell anyone what they want to hear, and that includes our customers. This may sometimes make working with us a little uncomfortable, but our clients and partners always know where we both stand. If necessary, we are ready to lose a client for whom we and what we stand for would have to bend over backwards. The best compliment we ever got was from a ‘Head of Innovation X’, when he said slightly annoyed: “You guys really have a genuine Kreuzberg consultant attitude. If I want something from my #Insert-Big-Five-Consultancy-Innovation-Unit-Here, I call them and the next day I have my PPTs on the table. From you, I always get to hear first, you can do it like that, but it’s not gonna work, because X. Shouldn’t we try Y instead?” Great, there’s no better way to summarize working with co:dify.

We particularly appreciate it when people we work with …
  • Courageously speak out uncomfortable truths, yet always remain constructive and point out possible alternatives.
  • Are able to act politically, but not for their own benefit and with regard to the particular interests of their own group or function, but in a sense of a shared mission and for their organization as a whole.
  • Have the stature to admit their own blind spots or not-knowing and give other, more qualified experts the space and arena to be effective.
  • Don’t just use convoluted and politically correct wording, but rather simple and provocative language to get to the heart of the matter.

Do it! At best with theory …

There are two extremes, which we observe in actual innovation practice and which we do not like at all:
1) The countless “gluing coloured stickies creative apologists”, who call themselves design thinkers or similar and dress up their blind actionism with “just do it” or “let’s quickly go into action“ credos. And 2) mere theorists who have qualified themselves for their leadership function, e.g. with a Ph.D., but only try to “lead” with abstract concepts and plans that are hardly comprehensible for others, without ever having done the hands-on work of a product/innovation team themselves. We strive for a healthy balance in-between these extremes.

We especially appreciate it when people we work with …
  • Feel comfortable with our occasionally paradoxical balance between thinking through theory and trying things out. Because we believe in the coexistence of two mottos: “Nothing is more practical than a good theory “ as well as “The only way to do it, is to do it …. . “
  • Are intrinsically motivated and do not shy away from the efforts of their own personal and entrepreneurial growth. This especially includes never stopping learning.
  • We have a detector for innovation theater, buzzword bingo as well as masked insecurity, which, for example, drifts into theatricality through an exaggerated “enactment of professionalism”. We avoid such environments and people as best we can.
  • Appreciate all types of learning in others: learning by doing and reflecting on one’s own practice, but also learning by participating in current theoretical discourses and taking into account current empirical findings.

Making the Difficult Simple

Business life is always so serious. And especially when it comes to innovation, there’s so much pressure involved. So we strive to bring a playful lightness to our project work and learning experiences. In doing so, we again take very seriously those principles that are really important to us: namely, the profound willingness to deeply explore topics and phenomena, as well as intentional, playful experimentation in everything we do.

We especially appreciate it when people we work with …
  • Strive to bring fun and wit to even the most challenging product development, project or workshop activity.
  • Get to the essence of management and innovation concepts and help people/clients who can’t invest as much time as we do to get to the heart of things (e.g., in terms of methods, frameworks, thought models, etc.).
  • Demystify matters that are intentionally rendered or presented in a complicated way and convey them in a reasonably simple way.
  • Infect others with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude through their confidence while knowing how to shield them from counterproductive influences (e.g., political hidden agendas, fearful worriers, HIPPO power play, etc.).

Build, Share and Grow Knowledge Collectively

Many of our clients have echoed that they appreciate it, when we help them navigate the sheer mass of innovation management approaches and curate the best theories, management philosophies and frameworks for their context of application in each case. In this regard, it therefore is not important for us to “own” our own proprietary consulting approach and attach a ™ or © to it. That’s too “90s McKinsey”-style for us. We are passionate advocates of open knowledge. We cherry-pick the best theories and, at best, empirically validated approaches and pragmatic frameworks, acknowledge their sources, and remix material respectfully and in a way that it can be tailored to solve our clients’ jobs quickly. Everything we produce along the way, we in turn love to share, according to our mantra: “We love to share — with sharers”.

We especially appreciate it when people we work with …
  • Do not just copy and paste, but respectfully remix content or even create their own. Motto: “Knowledge is the only resource that increases when we share it.”
  • Recommend a competitor instead of themselves or their own company if they know that a client will be served better by the depth of expertise offered there.
  • Have a broad repertoire of methods themselves and like to develop their own tools and frameworks — preferably as a plugin for existing industry standards.
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