At the end of February  I was invited to speak at the Do Work You Love event in Münich, Germany.

I was given this amazing opportunity by Galina who I’ve known for many years and being friends with. She is the founder and organizer of the DWYL events, branding and coaching. The community’s headquarters is based in Münich but such events are organized in other cities as well – Berlin, Augsburg, etc. Our company INFOLEVEN is hosting the event in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The preparation for the event was in the same time easy and challenging. To formulate the content was quite easy – I just had to talk about the things we do every day, our strategy and what shaped us to be what we are today.

The challenge came with the format and the time limitation. I am a talkative person and being able to tell my life and the whereabouts of the company in 7 minutes was quite a hard task for me.

The one thing that was a real challenge is the way we are supposed to tell our stories… We are supposed to make it interesting, engaging and to talk about our achievements. The latter is not that easy for me. I am aware that there is so much more to achieve and that we can be much better than what we are now. This makes me humble and does not allow me to be arrogant or provocative about our achievements.

So at the event I talked about the amazing culture and advantages we have at Infoleven and how we managed to build that up. As every new beginning it took time and a lot of effort and we thought it would be interesting for other people to have a glimpse at our working day and hear more about the team.

The whole INFOLEVEN team believes in freedom and responsibility.

Our goals is to encourage initiative, motivation and responsibility in our daily lives. For example – you don’t have to worry if you’ve arrived in 09:15AM or 10:50AM, you don’t have to check in by a work clock . We have a shared calendar where you can mark at what time are you coming at the office or if you are planning to work from home. All you need to do is to coordinate with your team first and organize your time to do your work – either later in the evening, during the weekend or whenever. That’s what is important to us – getting your job done. People can take a day off in the middle of the week. They just have to announce it earlier and coordinate with the team, so everyone in their team can organize their tasks.

This non-strict timing is really beneficial for people because it alleviates some of the daily stress and brings a feeling of a relief. There are way too many places where people don’t have a lot to do on their job but they just HAVE to be there for a fixed starting time and period. And that’s really inefficient for both the team members and the organizations. We recognize that self-care is also really important for mental and physical health, so that you’re functional in your life – not just at your job but also in your social life, family and personal development. So being able to manage and use your time is natural for you, so it is  for the culture of INFOLEVEN.

The next topic I talked about was how Infoleven was established, some history of the company and the background of the founders. I am not going into detail here (You can read more in my previous post) but in general – I shared how I got to move from Bulgaria to Germany, my student times, my working places, all the places I’ve lived in and all the jobs I had, including in companies like Siemens and also about my MBA from INSEAD.

To build up a software company you need to have a solid technical background, good sales skills and of course to really care about your customers – to be able to provide utmost service, so you can grow.

INFOLEVEN began as a start-up two years ago. For the last few months we stopped the growth and focused on improving the organization and internal communication. We  applied processes, structure, templates and responsibility matrixes. That all builds predictability, reliability and quality. Our clients need to know that they can rely on us. That also goes for all team members. Everyone in the team has the right to expect a certain product from her co-workers but also has the obligation to deliver a specific product with specific quality and characteristics when needed. Because in order to get the job done, team members should rely and trust each other. Establishing internal trust and team spirit early in your company is one of the vital elements to build a sustainable organization and allow your business to grow. But that’s not like personal trust –  they have to trust in their professional abilities and work habits – to be able to “get shit done”. And to ensure such relations and efficiency in your work place, you have to set information interfaces and patterns within the process landscape, the game turf of your business.

Further in the talk I shared what the future of Infoleven looks like – bright of course.

We’ll continue focusing on the German-speaking market, also called DACH (D – Germany, A – Austria, CH – Switzerland). Our next move will be towards the Nordics – Sweden, Norway and Finland. We are aiming at these countries because we see opportunities for many interesting projects. And the following step would be starting our first product. But in order to do all that we need a few things in place – a structured organization with processes and a functioning sales process with a devoted team.

We need to be sure that we can have a non-working weekend.

In order to focus on the product, we need to do our homework.

Second to that comes the budget. We need to be able to invest time and money in building this new product and attract an investor. We know that in order to get an investor to sell your MVP to someone who has money, you need to show them a great team to execute, a viable idea and some ability to break the rules – your secret weapon.

I think that the story I told was interesting and engaging for the people at the event. There were questions afterwards which gave the start of fruitful discussions.

Our goal is to show the real face of our company – to show where we come, what we are and where we are heading to. For us it is important to build a positive and lasting image of our organization.

It was a great event – an exciting and beneficial experience. I met a lot of awesome people and had some great conversations.