Embracing change with ‘The Flow’ model: how we foster innovation

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By Martin Bouza

November 7, 2023

Back when I started my career, I couldn’t help but notice that most companies had these charts that assigned everyone a specific role. It always puzzled me how folks stuck to those roles and boxes they were put into, and how they were okay with being defined by their job titles instead of what they could actually bring to the table.

That’s why, when I thought up Arionkoder as a nimble and resilient organization, I knew we needed a different way of doing things inside. So, I came up with an approach that suited our needs: extreme collaboration, transparency, and a no-ego approach. But how could we, then, create a model that transformed our operations? How should we go about creating a self-adaptable operational model that is future-proof and helps us elevate to the next level?

Let me introduce you to The Flow. This is the operational model we launched in 2023, after learning from our experiences. You see, I’ve never been a fan of long-term planning for companies because if we have to be honest, the future is unpredictable. The COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear that change can happen any moment and that in fact it happens every second, and our well-laid plans can go down the drain.

Now, that doesn’t mean we should wing it. We need to be ready to adjust our plans and grab opportunities as they come. When we have a clear purpose to guide us, and the ability to pivot when needed, we’re all set to stay on the fast track. And at Arionkoder, everything we do is like an experiment. We’re always looking for ways to get better, smarter, and easier to use. This involves our operational model, yes, but also the technologies we use and especially the brilliant minds on our side.

Let me share an example of how things work within The Flow. We’re not afraid to try new things, even if not everyone gets it at first. It happens in every new and radical solution that not everybody adopts it at the same time. So some people in our company were taken by surprise when we decided to ditch job titles. In traditional models, what you bring to the table is limited to your job title. But by tossing those titles aside, we embrace change in our fast-paced environment where things can shift from one month to the next.

This speed is why we need an operational model that can adapt on the fly. We could spend ages perfecting a rigid system, or we can have a flexible one that molds itself to Arionkoder’s needs. In my mind, whenever I picture Arionkoder I see it as a living organism where its parts combine, create bigger things and change as as required to achieve extraordinary results. And with The Flow, our company acts more like a living organism working together instead of in separate silos.

We’ve also thrown out those fixed career paths. At Arionkoder, you can move in any direction you want because we care more about the quality of your ideas than your job title. It’s a merit-based model where opportunities are open to everyone, no matter where they are in their career: we seek to identify talents at any stage and nurture them. And our biggest invitation as a company is to let our people be challenged while they can count on a safety net below them, where they can innovate with the support of an entire team.

Sure, models -and mostly everything else in life- are trade-offs where you accept to let some things go. In this case we lose the predictability of a pre-planned career path and knowing exactly where you’ll be in a few years. But what we gain is worth it: amazing teamwork and collaboration between people, more transparency, and better sharing of information. And most importantly, we gain the certainty of knowing that this is the way forward. 

Now, I invite you to reflect: what other operational models have you encountered, and how do you think they can be improved? How would you shape the future of organizational innovation? Life is all about iteration for success, and together I’m convinced we can achieve it.