Seven Hypothesis of German Tech Culture and Challenging the Status Quo

This week I had several discussions and hypothesis about German tech culture and pioneering, which make me to write them down on my Sunday thoughts for further discussion. Those thoughts are around now for many years now and is nothing really new.

Why German tech companies need a change?

Based on the article of Ben Evans and the scale of tech winners, I made up my mind about the upcoming technology waves and the role of German companies.

It is just one source of showing the US dominance in the IT industry.

German companies lacking in size, revenue and impact in the worldwide context.

So what is holding back German companies to become a tech winner?

Seven Hypothesis of German IT culture

My perception about German IT culture is based on my observations and bias, so it might be a good case, that those hypothesis are wrong and won’t fit for everybody.

My hypothesis about German IT software and hardware industry it:

  1. German IT culture is used to order and control.
  2. German IT culture is lives organizational hierarchies.
  3. German IT culture is based on a follower strategy.
  4. German IT culture is more cost driven.
  5. German IT culture is focussed on efficiency in production.
  6. German IT culture is perfectionistic in expectation and execution.
  7. German IT culture is underestimating the complexity of IT challenges and craftwork.

Changing the status quo: culture follows structure

What is needed, if German tech companies like to play a different role in the markets.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

-Albert Einstein

Obvious based on my current experience, agile methodologies, flat hierarchies and decentralization are answers. The focus must become in creating value in first place, not optimizing the output. This is the mandate of every agile team.

Embrace organizational change

Another good read about organizational behavior make me think over and over again: Larman’s Laws of Organizational Behavior

So there is also a management mandate in changing the organizational structure and servant leadership.

A lot of organizational thoughts and change management thoughts are already written down by Niels Pfläging, I recommend a slidedeck and book for further reading:

 

So once making your way to agile transitions a lot of helping hands are needed to structure and live the complexity.

Further reading: https://zwischenzugs.com/2017/10/15/my-20-year-experience-of-software-development-methodologies/

Anything you’d like to add? Don’t agree? Let me know and discuss.

Patrick


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