Kathrin Kroenig

Author Archives: Kathrin Kroenig

Kathrin Kroenig

​Kathrin Kroenig.

Kathrin is an organisational psychologist and co-founder of Intao. Her entire career - be it as employee in HR Development, as coach or now as entrepreneur - has been about people as the key factor of company success.
She is building bridges between the old and the new world of work. Her core areas of expertise are leadership, change and the future of learning.

For the Intao Leadership Journey, Kathrin is the partner for the topic 'From feedback to feedforward'.

​Kathrin Kroenig.

Kathrin is an organisational psychologist and co-founder of Intao. Her entire career - be it as employee in HR Development, as coach or now as entrepreneur - has been about people as the key factor of company success.
She is building bridges between the old and the new world of work. Her core areas of expertise are leadership, change and the future of learning.

For the Intao Leadership Journey, Kathrin is the partner for the topic 'From feedback to feedforward'.

Simon Deeley

Simon Deeley.

Simon's focus is using high-quality remote team-working to open up the path to more balanced and fulfilled lives, abundant with meaningful, fulfilling, trusting relationships.  On that foundation, teams and organisations can build outstanding levels of performance.

Simon has built and run both co-located and remote teams, working across the full gamut from startups to large multi-nationals. His experience leading in the engineering and technology sector provides a broad-base of practical knowledge, but it's when Simon combines this with his holistic, human-centred approach to team-work that great leaps are made.
In 2020, Simon switched from full-time employment to start remotify.work, where he helps organisations reach their full potential by learning from the world's most successful remote companies.


For the Intao Leadership-Journey Simon is our partner for the topic 'Remote Leadership'.

Simon Deeley.

Simon's focus is using high-quality remote team-working to open up the path to more balanced and fulfilled lives, abundant with meaningful, fulfilling, trusting relationships.  On that foundation, teams and organisations can build outstanding levels of performance.
Simon has built and run both co-located and remote teams, working across the full gamut from startups to large multi-nationals. His experience leading in the engineering and technology sector provides a broad-base of practical knowledge, but it's when Simon combines this with his holistic, human-centred approach to team-work that great leaps are made.
In 2020, Simon switched from full-time employment to start remotify.work, where he helps organisations reach their full potential by learning from the world's most successful remote companies.

For the Intao Leadership-Journey Simon is our partner for the topic 'Remote Leadership'.

Christina Grubendorfer

Christina Grubendorfer.

Christina stands for a reflective view of new  work and related management and organisational challenges. The psychologist, business administrator and economist has been accompanying companies as a systemic consultant for over 20 years. She is a sought-after executive coach, author of numerous books and articles and a keynote speaker.
Her subject areas: Sustainable organisations, attractive working environments, brand-oriented leadership and change and transition.
In 2009 she founded the consulting company LEA GmbH Berlin and has been a trainer at Simon, Weber and Friends for systemic organisational consultants since 2013.
Her podcast "Developing Organisations" has excited a steady and growing audience for the past year.

At the Intao Leadership Journey, Christina is our partner for the topic
'Leadership and decision-making. Letting go of the illusion of being in control'.

Christina Grubendorfer.

Christina stands for a reflective view of new  work and related management and organisational challenges. The psychologist, business administrator and economist has been accompanying companies as a systemic consultant for over 20 years. She is a sought-after executive coach, author of numerous books and articles and a keynote speaker.
Her subject areas: Sustainable organisations, attractive working environments, brand-oriented leadership and change and transition.
In 2009 she founded the consulting company LEA GmbH Berlin and has been a trainer at Simon, Weber and Friends for systemic organisational consultants since 2013.
Her podcast "Developing Organisations" has excited a steady and growing audience for the past year.

At the Intao Leadership Journey, Christina is our partner for the topic 'Leadership and decision-making. Letting go of the illusion of being in control'.

Dorothee Toereki

Dorothee Toereki.

Dorothee is all about awareness for the effects of digitalisation on companies, administration and society.

In the past, she worked on that as digital advisor for IBM and director of digitisation for the Boysen Group.

Today she works independently giving lectures and workshops on technological, cultural and organisational change.

For the Intao Leadership Journey Dorothee is our partner for the topic
'New Technologies and their influence on how we work'.

Dorothee Toereki.

Dorothee is all about awareness for the effects of digitalisation on companies, administration and society.

In the past, she worked on that as digital advisor for IBM and director of digitisation for the Boysen Group.

Today she works independently giving lectures and workshops on technological, cultural and organisational change.

For the Intao Leadership Journey Dorothee is our partner for the topic
'New Technologies and their influence on how we work'.

Katrin Grunwald

​Katrin Grunwald.

Katrin is a trained consultant for team- and organisational development. 
After eight years in the HR Development department for a large European group in the aerospace industry, she has been working with international clients in organisational development, team development and coaching first-time leaders since 2018.

For the Intao Leadership Journey Katrin is our partner for the topic 
'Building a team culture of trust. Even digitally'.

​Katrin Grunwald.

Katrin is a certified consultant for team- and organisational development.

After eight years in the HR Development department for a large European group in the aerospace industry, she has been working with international clients in organisational development, team development and coaching first-time leaders since 2018.

For the Intao Leadership Journey Katrin is our partner for the topic
'Building a team culture of trust. Even digitally'.

Susanne Westphal

Susanne Westphal.

Susanne Westphal is the founder of the Institute for Arbeitslust which translates into ‘work-delight’. Her motto: Achieve excellent performance with enjoyment! She prefers to practice coaching on long hikes. She writes her books sitting in front of the greenhouse, her workshops always take place in inspiring places. She has been self-employed as a consultant, trainer and executive coach for 18 years.

Before her coaching career, she was the head of corporate communications for a mobile phone company. After studying business administration, she founded one of the first price agencies in Germany in the early 1990s.

At the Intao Leadership Journey Susanne is our partner for the topic 
'Understanding motives. Leading different types'.

Susanne Westphal.

Susanne Westphal is the founder of the Institute for Arbeitslust which translates into ‘work-delight’. Her motto: Achieve excellent performance with enjoyment! She prefers to practice coaching on long hikes. She writes her books sitting in front of the greenhouse, her workshops always take place in inspiring places. She has been self-employed as a consultant, trainer and executive coach for 18 years.

Before her coaching career, she was the head of corporate communications for a mobile phone company. After studying business administration, she founded one of the first price agencies in Germany in the early 1990s.

At the Intao Leadership Journey Susanne is our partner for the topic
'Understanding motives. Leading different types'.

Marcus Raitner

Marcus Raitner.

Marcus is convinced that elephants can dance. 

That is why since 2015 he has been accompanying the BMW Group IT as agile coach and transformation agent on their journey to an agile organisation. 

After completing his PhD in computer science at the University of Passau, Marcus initially worked as an IT project manager at msg systems. In 2010 he started all over again working at esc Solutions, a small startup with a focus on project management and project coaching, as senior partner and later as managing director. 

Since 2010, Marcus has been writing about leadership, digitisation, new work, agility and lots of other topics on his own blog

He’s laid out his six theses for new leadership in the age of digitisation in the "Manifesto for Human Leadership", which has been published as paperback and e-book on Amazon.

At the Intao Leadership Journey, Marcus is our partner for the topic
'New Leadership. From chess master to gardener'.

Marcus Raitner.

Marcus is convinced that elephants can dance. 

That is why since 2015 he has been accompanying the BMW Group IT as agile coach and transformation agent on their journey to an agile organisation. 

After completing his PhD in computer science at the University of Passau, Marcus initially worked as an IT project manager at msg systems. In 2010 he started all over again working at esc Solutions, a small startup with a focus on project management and project coaching, as senior partner and later as managing director. 

Since 2010, Marcus has been writing about leadership, digitisation, new work, agility and lots of other topics on his own blog

He’s laid out his six theses for new leadership in the age of digitisation in the "Manifesto for Human Leadership", which has been published as paperback and e-book on Amazon.

At the Intao Leadership Journey, Marcus is our partner for the topic
'New Leadership. From chess master to gardener'.

Building Connection in Virtual Teams

Intao - Building Connection in Virtual Teams
Intao - Building Connection in Virtual Teams
Building connection in virtual team is essential

A team is not just a group of people working on a project, it’s more. In a team, we feel connected, there is a ’we’, a bond, a feeling of belonging.

This is equally true for co-located and virtual teams. In a co-located team you might get lucky and the team comes together beautifully (– let’s not go into how likely that is at this moment –) in a virtual team, however, it is particularly important to work towards this because the frequently-quoted ‘water-cooler moments’ don’t exist. 

For leaders of virtual teams, it is particularly important to be intentional in creating team cohesion and a feeling of connection because it significantly influences employee satisfaction and performance.

At Intao, we have been a virtual team from the start. We created a set of routines that make sure, we are aligned and focused, communication is transparent AND we feel connected to each other.

It’s safe to say, it paid off. Here is a message taken from one of our slack channels:

Intao - Building connection in a virtual team

The Most Important Tool We Use to Build Connection in Our Virtual Team: Our Daily Morning Check-in

Our team starts every workday together with a daily morning check-in. Our check-in is designed to:

  • Keeping everyone posted on what’s going on in our projects
  • Celebrating successes
  • Creating focus for the day ahead
  • Taking care of emotional safety and well-being
  • Creating a little spark for the day 

We meet every workday at the same time. For us it’s 9:30 a.m. For a team of 8 you will need 15-20 minutes.

The Process: How the Morning Check-in Works

One person volunteers to start. In our team, it’s two people in particular who like to go first so we usually stick to them starting us off.

They speak about what they’ve accomplished the day before and what they are intending to tackle today. It’s not just about listing tasks, it’s also about speaking about feeling stuck or celebrating something we are proud of. It’s an opportunity to ask for support or share something personal.

When the first person is finished, they name the next person to speak.

The last person is also in charge of what we call ‘the motivation’. 

The Special Part: ‘The Motivation’

What we call ‘the motivation’ is not really about motivating anyone. (If that’s even possible, is a whole other conversation.) Instead, it’s about creating a small spark for each individual beyond the actual project tasks. 

We use reflexion questions, quotes, little stories. We even used to have a team member who led us through short meditations. 

This, for example, was posted in our #selfawareness Slack channel as an answer to the question “What advice would you give your 14-year-old self today?”

Intao - Virtual Teams - The Motivation, Advice to my 14-year-old-self

Now, you think that has nothing to do with a connection within a team? On the contrary – this is about getting to know each other, even being vulnerable.

The Rules for Our Morning Check-in

We do have a few rules we like to follow.

  • The meeting starts at the agreed-upon time – no exceptions.
  • Once you said your part, you name the person whose turn it is next.
  • Coming late means you have to do the motivation at the end.
  • The check-in is mandatory unless there is an obvious reason to skip it.

A Special Note to Virtual Team Leaders

This check-in is a valuable opportunity to – well – lead. 

As a virtual leader particularly, you have to be intentional about all the different levels of teamwork. The morning check-in is good for alignment and connection, for transparent communication and clarity around goals and progress. It’s a magic wand.

In a virtual team, moments of direct communication are rare. So you can use the opportunity, when it’s your turn, strategically. You might want to create a bit of transparency about what’s going on in terms of strategy, you might share a personal story regarding a topic you would like to team to talk about.

Don’t be scared to be ‘human’. Being a team is not just about getting work done but about showing up as a bunch of humans who are excited to work on a common goal together.

The morning check-in allows you to make sure everyone is okay – on a professional level and as a human being.


Foto von Kathrin Krönig

Kathrin Krönig

Kathrin is one of the founders of Intao. She is a psychologist by trade who never thought she‘d found a startup, a tech startup of all things. She is passionate about the future of learning, about remote teamwork and how leadership is going to look tomorrow.

Blended Learning: How to Choose the Best Digital Tool – a Checklist

intao-blended-learning-checklist-hero
intao-blended-learning-checklist

Are you thinking of bringing your training company to the next level by extending your training catalog with a digital learning solution? Smart move! Blended Learning has the potential to combine the best of two worlds – all the unique advantages of in-person instructor-led training with all the benefits from e-learning and digital tools. And thus it ensures you higher customer satisfaction, retention, and recommendations. (Read more about the benefits here.)

And yet, it’s no easy feat to choose the best digital tool for your needs! Drawing from the years of experience we have as trainers and developers of a digital learning solution for blended learning, we created a comprehensive checklist for you!

Our checklist includes aspects regarding the features of the tool, the software provider, pricing, and marketing. It provides a list of important points for every aspect and related tips and questions. This checklist will support you to choose the digital learning solution, which fits your needs best. Let’s go!

Before you start looking, be clear on your blended learning strategy

Before you choose a tool and get the maximum benefit out of this checklist, you have to be clear on your strategy. Here are a few questions, to support you gaining clarity for your blended learning programme.

  • Why are you choosing to implement blended learning? What are your goals?
  • How will your in-person training and the e-learning part interact? Does the digital tool come before, during or after the in-person trainings? (Read here a bit more about different options.)
  • What do you want to use the digital tool for? For example, is it about providing more content or about encouraging people to try things they learned – or both?
  • Who is your target audience, what kind of users will be using the tool(s)? Are they digitally savvy? Are they open to new things?
  • What skills do you want to train with your blended learning programme?

Special considerations: Developing soft skills

If you are in the business of developing people (in contrast to conveying knowledge), you have to account for a different learning process – and so does the tool.

Soft skills – or as we like to call them essential skills – are based on personal traits, mindset, attitude, values, a general way of relating to the world. They are much closer linked to a person’s core way of being than any other skill set. Personal learning is more than understanding. It requires a ‘shift’. And that shift needs reflection, new perspectives, a-ha moments, etc. and the digital tool has to account for that. (Read more on this here.) Therefore, you will find a special item on soft skills in the checklist.

Go for “less is more”

The checklist contains a lot of different features. Luckily and most likely not all e-learning tools offer all of them! Because counterintuitively as it may seem, this is a good thing for you – and for your clients and their users. You won’t need all of those features anyway.

You will profit much more from a few selected ones, which are in line with your personal blended learning strategy. Go for “less is more”. That way you won’t have to pay for features you are not using and the tool is easier and more intuitive for you and the participants of your trainings. This will make the implementation much more likely to succeed and ensures that your efforts bear fruit.

Checklist: How to choose the best e-learning tool for blended learning

Must-haves

  • Easy to use: A digital tool for blended learning absolutely has to be intuitive and easy to use – for you and your team as well as for your clients. No one likes using a complicated tool, so this is important to ensure that your investment in going digital pays off!
  • Engaging: Focus also on choosing a tool, which is engaging for the users for the same reasons. Features, which can make a digital tool more engaging are for example gamification elements, a variety of content presentation such as videos and images, or captivating conversations with a digital coach. Tip: Try a demo and see how well you rate these two aspects!
  • Learning Philosophy: Making sure the philosophy behind the tool shares your vision about trainings and learning. Keep this in mind, when you look at the tool, check out the website, and talk to the provider. Do they understand how training works and what you need? Do they know how people actually learn and grow?

Essential features & technical details

  • Learning Content: This is very basic, but check if the tool allows sending your own unique content to the users. (Sometimes simple tools only cover setting goals.)
  • Different Media Content: Next step, check what kind of formats are featured, like text, images, videos. Does it offer everything you need?
  • Supported Devices: What devices can the user use to access the digital learning solution? Does that fit your clients’ needs? Is there a browser-based version? A mobile app? Tip: We highly recommend a tool which makes learning for users independent of time and location, like mobile apps!
  • Supported Languages: Does the tool support the languages you require for your clients?

Optional features

In the following, we want to present to you a list of optional features. Quick reminder: You do not need all of those! Go for “less is more”. Your users don’t require all of those features to learn effectively. Make sure to know, which ones are the most important to you and match your trainings.

  • Content Library: Does the provider offer existing content for you to use/purchase? Tip: Deciding if you need this depends heavily on how many resources you have and what your clients will require. Purchasing content might be worth it if it helps you sell your trainings!
  • Reminders: Does the tool include a feature of sending reminders like push-notifications to users? Tip: This is crucial to ensure longterm user participation, we highly recommend this as a feature.
  • Goal Setting: Is it possible for users to set learning goals?
  • Collaboration: Are participants able to interact with each other in the tool?
  • Gamification: Does the tool include some kind of game-like aspect to motivate participants like for example being able to collect points, earning badges or doing quizzes?
  • Learning Journal: Are users able (and encouraged) to take notes on their insights or progress? This is really important for long term learning transfer.

Bonus: Requirements for soft skills and personal learning

  • Personal: Changing how you relate to the world is personal and as such emotional. Often, overcoming fear is a main factor for effective development. An e-learning tool should feel relatable.
  • Continuous: People just don’t change overnight. E-learning for soft skills development should be like a fitness app, not like a one-time boot camp.
  • Multi-levelled: It’s about more than understanding. Rationally grasping a concept is a good start. Personal learning also involves creating awareness, reflecting on past experiences, taking action and trying out new behaviours. A digital tool should encourage those processes.
  • Self-directed: Instead of having to follow the rigid logic of a course, the learner should be able to follow their own train of thought.

Software provider & support

  • Introduction to the Tool: How extensive is the introduction to the tool for you and the other members of your training company? Is there some kind of supporting documentation (e.g., how-to articles or videos, FAQs)? How well are things explained?
  • Support: What kind of support does the software provider offer for you and your clients (e.g., e-mail, chat, telephone, tutorials)? How quick are they to answer? Do you have a personal contact person or is it just an anonymous support hotline?
  • Collaboration with the Provider: Make sure the software provider understands your needs and you get along with the people you will start working with. Do they have a training background? Do they listen to your needs?
  • Content Creation Services: Does the provider of the digital tool offer additional services such as content creation? This is different than a content library, where you can buy existing content. Content creation refers to the provider adapting or creating content specifically and uniquely for you. By investing money in the creation of your content you save time. This in turn allows you to focus on sales and your core area: instructor-led trainings.

Price

  • Pricing Structure: What’s the pricing structure? Does it fit your needs (e.g., number of users and time frame)? Make sure you don’t have to pay for anything you won’t use and ask everything you want to know. If you understand what you get for your money, it’s easier to make a decision!
  • Discounts: Check if you can get a discount in some way. For example, often if you pay a yearly fee instead of monthly, you usually can save money. Or maybe the software provider offers a starter package for new clients?

Marketing & customer relations

  • Branding: Is there an option for you to brand the tool, so your clients can see your brand and your logo in the material you offer them with the digital tool? Here is an example of what that could look like in our mobile app.
Adding your company name and logo in the Intao App is easy and looks good
  • Marketing Material: Does the software provider offer you marketing material, which you can use for your own clients? Offering a digital tool is a great selling point, like showing your clients how much more sustainable your trainings are because of the digital tool you use. That’s why it is very helpful to get some marketing material explaining the advantages of the tool to your existing clients and potential customers.
  • Evaluation: Does the software provider assist you in evaluating how well the tool works for you and your clients, for example via user statistics?

Recommendations & user ratings

  • Recommendations: Ask your network what tools they are using and how satisfied they are. Additionally, you can check out websites such as Capterra to see user ratings.
  • Best Practice: Moreover, it is helpful to read some best practice article on the website of the provider, so you get a better idea if the tool can be used in such a way as you need it.

Choose the perfect digital tool for your blended learning strategy

This checklist will support you in choosing the best digital tool for your own personal blended learning strategy and will thus make your training company ready for the future. More questions? Not enough time? Get in touch with us today and chat with our blended learning experts!Curious how Intao checks on your list? Request a demo for our mobile application designed specifically for personal learning!

Intao – the learning platform designed for personal learning

Foto von Kathrin Krönig

Kathrin Krönig

Kathrin is one of the founders of Intao. She is a psychologist by trade who never thought she‘d found a startup, a tech startup of all things. She is passionate about the future of learning, about remote teamwork and how leadership is going to look tomorrow.

How to Use E-Learning for Effective Soft Skills Development

Honestly, would you choose e-learning to become a better communicator? How about growing as a leader?

The probability is high that your answer is a plain and simple ‘no’, maybe a ‘not only’, and you‘d be right. Traditional e-learning tools were not designed for learning beyond rational comprehension.

intao-e-learning

What makes soft skills development different?

The topics commonly referred to as ‘soft skills’ like leadership, collaboration or communication have different learning requirements. The term ‘skill’ means the ability to DO something. And of course, that’s true for soft skills as well. The bigger challenge, however, lies in the mental processes involved.

Soft skills development involves what we call ‘personal learning’.

Which comes with its own set of criteria.

Soft skills – or as we like to call them essential skills – are based on personality, mindset, attitude, values, a general way of relating to the world. They are much closer linked to a person’s core way of being than any other skill set.

Personal learning is more than understanding. It requires a ‘shift’.

Personal learning, learning or un-learning something as a leader or communicator, requires not only a rational understanding but a personal shift. The processes and tools designed to facilitate that have different requirements from those addressing technical skills.

What does an e-learning tool need to enable personal learning?

E-learning tools designed for soft skills development have to be:

  • personal,
  • continuous,
  • engaging,
  • multi-levelled and
  • self-directed

Personal: Everybody needs to learn different aspects.

Let’s take the topic “giving better feedback” or example — a highlight in any communication course. The challenge isn’t to learn the rules on how to phrase it, the challenge is to tackle my personal issues: Some people tend to be too harsh, some people tend to not be clear enough, some avoid feedback altogether because of how they think about making mistakes. One topic and so many different aspects to learn. An e-learning tool should be intelligent enough to help the learner figure out which aspects are important.

Continuous: People just don’t change overnight.

Humans are creatures of habit. Any real shift takes time. We have an aha-moment, we try something out. We keep practising. Eventually, it becomes part of our natural way of responding to a situation. Again, as I said… it takes time. A course might create a learning impulse, but it won’t support the personal shift. E-learning for soft skills development should be like a fitness app, not like a boot camp. And, let’s face it, the only chance, learners will do a little something every day, is for the tool to be mobile!

Engaging: The only way people take time out of their busy schedules.

We are all busy. Sticking to learning something every day is tough. Especially when it’s not urgent. Plus, we are all so very spoiled when it comes to how engaging content has to be. If an e-learning tool wants to compete with all the other distractions available, we better come up with something better than slideshows or talking head videos.

Multi-levelled: It’s about more than understanding.

Rationally grasping a concept is a good start. Personal learning also involves creating awareness, reflecting on past experiences, taking action trying out new behaviours.

Self-directed: Personal learning follows a personal logic.

In a skill-oriented course, it is alright to follow a logical structure. For topics like leadership or communication, the learner constantly sub-consciously evaluates the content: Do I believe this? Does this fit how I think about this? Do I really need this? Does it fit my values? Does it fit my idea of how the world works?

The maxim for personal learning is to create and keep an openness at all times. So instead of having to follow the rigid logic of a course, the learner should be able to follow their own train of thought. Microlearning is a good start — even better would be a network of microlearning so that learning becomes a journey.

An e-learning tool effective for soft skills development will address all these different levels.

How could an e-learning tool incorporate those aspects?

We used our decades of experience as trainers and coaches to build a learning platform which includes all of this. We built a mobile learning application where a digital coach guides you through your learning journey. Like a personal mentor would.

Curious? Click here to get a demo for our mobile app Intao.


Foto von Kathrin Krönig

Kathrin Krönig

Kathrin is one of the founders of Intao. She is a psychologist by trade who never thought she‘d found a startup, a tech startup of all things. She is passionate about the future of learning, about remote teamwork and how leadership is going to look tomorrow.

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