A little more than 6 months ago, Audrey Rouach Baverel (Mindstyle Coach and Consultant) Marco Houwen (Tech entrepreneur) and Sylvain Cottong (Economist & Futurist) launched the HOW Institute. By focusing on the HOW, their mission is to prepare companies and their employees for the challenges of the 21st century while dealing with a rapidly changing world, workforce and global competition. The three experts met with BEAST to discuss their approach which aims at empowering Humans in the center of today’s corporate ecosystems, by showcasing new leadership models, Human-centric products and future-oriented sustainability practices.

What are the main challenges faced by managers – but also by employees – in the current corporate environment? What’s your solution to solve them?

In today’s corporate environment managers, and employees are more and more under pressure to deliver ever more value to the organization. Between the fact that they are « always on » through today’s technology and the growing demand of customers to be more flexible and innovative, they are stuck in paradigms coming from two centuries ago where hierarchy and order execution were the main trigger in their workday.

Today all stakeholders in a company and in the world of work are forced to deliver not only the work they are told to do, but also innovative and flexible solutions on all levels, on their own initiative. And here comes the challenge: nobody told them how to act in this world. Neither the school system, nor traditional corporate classroom type learning, nor the old-fashioned ways of being managed are preparing them for this new reality.

That’s why at the HOW-Institute, we are focusing on the essence of what makes a company innovative and a learning organization: scalable & agile learning!

We see learning not only as a way of handling a feel-good training budget with a company, but rather as the cornerstone of a future-driven and sustainable organization, that recognizes that the way it manages knowledge largely contributes to build and develop its intellectual capital and essence of value. We are a partner for developing together with our customers their tailor-made learning strategy, allowing them to create and implement habits, processes and tools for an ever more innovative workforce to become implicitly more creative whereby improving overall organizational performance.

What are the main components of the services delivered by the HOW Institute?

At the HOW Institute, we help our clients design and implement a tailor-made and agile learning strategy according to their organizations’ needs and context, on the path to a sustainable and innovative learning culture, to stay on top of the game in more turbulent economic and societal times.

We take scalable learning really seriously and consider it as the most important competitive advantage today and even more so in the near future, and we will apply design thinking and user experience methodologies throughout our work and processes, to systematically redesign work environments with the primary design goal of accelerating learning and thus performance improvement.

In other words, we guide organizations and individuals to develop and strengthen their innovation skills to deliver steadily more customer value, in self-organizing teams that collaborate together in an interactive network, whilst providing an outstanding workplace experience.

We typically walk with our clients through the following phases:

• Audit & exploration phase

• Strategy development & learning system blueprint

• Deployment assistance

• Awareness workshops

In other words, how would you define the main mission of the HOW Institute?

We help organizations and individuals to raise their awareness of the challenges they are facing in the so called VUCA world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) by helping them to develop innovative learning and knowledge management strategies and systems (including – or replacing – their corporate training programs) and we also offer workshops mainly about soft skills and new organizational models (new work). In other words, we give them the opportunity to become a true learning organization.

Interview by Alexandre Keilmann