I had the pleasure of catching up with Dr. Adrian Reisch, Co-Founder at aioneers, to discuss their fascinating growth story, team collaboration effectiveness, startup culture and building outstanding teams.
aioneers was founded at the beginning of 2020, led by six former Ernst & Young partners with 20 years of shared work experience.
The company went operational in mid-2020 and quickly grew to a team of 25 people, which has since grown to just under 60 employees.
The aioneers ambition is to enable companies to boost their performance with technology, having observed efficiency and capability gaps impacting most companies across the market. This is particularly the case in terms of supply chains, although these challenging gaps are not exclusive to the space.
Efficiently identifying performance gaps requires a set of key steps, starting by establishing what is happening right now. To do this, insights must be generated, and aioneers provides solutions such as dashboarding capabilities that have been specifically designed for this purpose.
With adequate insights generated, tailored recommendations are then required to understand the most effective next steps. This is the point at which the aioneers AI solution can be deployed, analyzing the insights, providing predictions to drive informed decision-making, and finally making a real impact through execution.
How does team collaboration impact your startup culture?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced all businesses to think about team communication through cloud based tools, how teams collaborate effectively and how the companies work culture empowers cross-functional alignment and team building.
We all come from a background of effective collaboration workplace culture, as the pandemic took hold, aioneers was already collaborating in a dynamic, remote and agile way.
This collaborative way of working has been driven by our core value of always wanting to identify the best solutions to challenges, and this mentality has been applied in terms of internal communication and team collaboration.
Microsoft Teams has served as a key component in digital collaboration at aioneers, which has been foundational since our inception and gave us a good head start to maintain high levels of internal communication and collaboration throughout the pandemic.
While not much had to change internally in the past year from a collaboration perspective, the way we worked with our clients did. We observed the dramatic shift away from clients being able to have consultants and project teams physically present during collaborative phases of projects, to significantly increased familiarity with digital alternatives.
This led to us conducting important stages of our client journey such as pitches and project kick-off meetings in a remote way using digital team collaboration tools, and the whole process has worked extremely well.
Companies are now realizing that it is not essential for consultants or project teams to be on-site for every meeting, which is promoting more flexibility and agility in how aioneers and our clients collaborate effectively.
Attitudes towards this approach will continue to change and align, it still makes sense for workshop meetings and other larger collaborative roundtable events to take place in person. While this is true, team collaboration software tools will continue to help companies, employees, teams, clients and partners to effectively find the right solution to the challenge in hand.
In terms of remote working, aioneers is 100% flexible. Employees are free to work from wherever they want to, from Germany to India to Mexico, this process is driven entirely by our culture and each individual.
How have you maintained team collaboration effectiveness while building an outstanding team so quickly?
Assembling the right team for a project has been historically challenging across the industry, the biggest challenges now are capacity constraints. In general the talent market remains highly competitive, but our culture of team collaboration helps us to attract and retain top talent.
The rapid growth of aioneers has been driven by a high level of market demand that has been experienced. To accommodate this demand with the best resources available, we have captured both the right skills and capacity across our all teams systematically.
This increases productivity, effective teams communication, and collaboration opportunities to be optimized, whilst aligning skills and capacity to ensure the highest quality results.
Over and above our always-on approach to collaboration through digital software tools, our internal approach is backed up by a weekly half hour meeting, which serves as an open forum to discuss key challenges, how best they can be overcome, share ideas and building trust in our company vision.
These sessions always include colleagues from the leadership team and every team in the business, helping to promote fast decision-making effectiveness.
Talent acquisition will remain challenging, with many specific technical skills proving hard to find. We are proud of the fact we have attracted amazing talent to support the aioneers growth journey, from data scientists and software developers to consultants, we will continue to enable our teams to collaborate effectively and uncover the best solutions for us and our clients.
What do you feel is the foundation of a good collaboration culture in a fast growth startup?
Regular feedback for sure. It is the glue that holds a productive, engaged and collaborative teams together. aioneers internal feedback policy is open, fluid, and honest.
Embodying the core value of always finding the best solution, teams are encouraged to provide constructive feedback to ensure we embrace a ‘continual improvement’ mindset and that our processes are always improving organically.
Strategic alignment is also crucial for successful growth, when we talk about collaborative teams we must consider the cross-functional alignment and how the inter-dependencies our teams align to our strategic vision and goals.
Although the last 2 years have made company-wide get togethers more difficult, we plan to bring all our employees together biannually, wherein key lessons learned in the previous six months can be focused on and shared. This form of communication will play a key role in steering the development of the organisation, particularly in our early growth stages. As part of these meetings, teams will not only review key lessons that were learned and how to solve them, but also how we improve and evolve.
We help fast growth startups to improve team collaboration, strategic alignment and employee productivity through deep analytics and recommendations. To find out more about how to create a collaborative successful team as the foundation for your startup culture read our recent blog exploring the 10 best ways to improve strategic alignment and cross-functional collaboration or check out more information on the reason why startups choose to work with Flowtrace.