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People, values

apaleo is proof that an agile approach keeps teams together

Larissa Bricis August 4, 2021

Each month, apaleo is taking the opportunity to champion one of our core values. We'd like to share a little bit about why these values are so important to the team, but also how they impact apaleo customers. This month Uli Pillau, founder and CEO at apaleo, shares the personal and professional aspects of our champion value 'agile'.

The values project

Every month at apaleo, we're taking time to champion a single value (of our six core values) across the business. Last month, we championed the value of 'diversity' and challenged our team to use their steps to raise money for a local LGBTQI+ charity. If you'd like to read more about that you can do so here, and here.

This month, our chosen value is 'agile'. Our values project for this month was to challenge individual team members to jump into the daily calls of other teams, so that we could all broaden our horizons and understand each other a little better. This resulted in teams - even team members - who has never explicitly worked together getting insight into the everyday ups and downs of their colleagues. It also opened the door of opportunity for team members with fresh eyes to suggest new (hopefully better) ways to do things every day. Setting ourselves these little projects is proving to be quite enlightening, and helping us to keep our values front and center.

Uli Pillau believes that agile is a value that's lived and breathed within the apaleo team. When there's an obstacle, we band together and find a way to overcome it; when Plan A hasn't panned out well, our Plan B is ready to go. Being agile is a key aspect of our collective success. So, we asked him to expand on that a little: how and why does apaleo exhibit this value?

Why is the 'agile' value important to apaleo?

apaleo’s most important asset is our team. Moreso than the numbers, or the public relations, or the number of self-important events, it is the people that make a startup successful, and without them any company is set to fail. This is a lesson that the founders of apaleo learned over and over again with our previous startups. Getting the best talent on board - and keeping them there - is the most critical and most challenging aspect of a company's long-term success.

Now, this is not really about the skillset and the experience of our team members, because those can always be developed . More importantly it is about their individual approaches and personalities; the values and the goals we all share; about how diverse we can be and how every employee chooses to interact with other people. Moreover, at apaleo we like to make our people co-owners of the company so we are all in a position of working towards making the company a true success. Our shared values form the basis of how we live, work, and act at work. It is all about respect, honesty, credibility, and celebrating tons of other things that make us different. Leanness and agility are core to growing apaleo, and sticking to these bundled with our other core values have to remain in our focus all the time.

How do we live and work in an agile way?

When I think about our 'agile' value, I feel it applies to pretty much everything I do, and I constantly think about ways to work on it. Obviously putting long-term strategies and goals in place are an essential part of a successful start-up, but on our way to achieving these goals there are always tons of new ideas, different directions or detours to be taken. Something I find unique about apaleo's approach is that, across the business, if we can see a way to make things quicker or better, our combined approach is always to try it out and see what works. This flexible approach allows us to keep things fresh and innovative.

Nothing is set in stone, and this relates both to private and work life: what matters is how we react to the ever-changing world. Staying agile helps you get through the challenging times without enduring unnecessary stress. So far in 2021, I have faced a pretty tough year personally, but what helped me was my ability to adapt to these sudden changes.

What's in store for the future?

When I look back at apaleo over the past few years, we have certainly had our moments of crisis, some of them bigger than others. In particular when the pandemic hit us (and the rest of the world) in March 2020, nobody knew what was coming. Our own niche – the hospitality industry – was among those hardest impacted by lockdowns, travel restrictions, and prolonged closures. It was something entirely unexpected, and we had to take measures immediately to protect apaleo, both as a company, and as a unified team. Being agile at this point was actually our key to survival. We devoted a lot of time to discussing how to proceed, and we used every resource we could find in order to bring apaleo through to the other side with as little damage as possible.

During the past year we saw many hotels and software companies go out of business, and I feel at apaleo we can be very proud of what we achieved and how much stronger we all are at this point in the pandemic. In fact, one of the reasons we did end up receiving Series A funding in the midst of such uncertainty and chaos was because the venture capital companies found our success and agility so impressive.

So for me, agility remains one of the key things we as a company should continue focussing on. Despite the rapid growth of the company, in team members and clients, I believe we should try as much as possible to pursue a true startup spirit in all areas. As such, I know we're all looking forward to a fantastic journey together, with our success determined by how committed we are to our core values of being agile, fostering trust, encouraging communication and ownership, and making intelligent decisions.

As we wrap up July’s focus on our agile value, we’re happy to say that August’s core value will be “Intelligence.” Fellow apaleo founder, Philip von Ditfurth, will speak to this topic in a future blog post. If you’d like to learn more about what drives our team, and see how our other values are put into practice, you can read up about them here

To find out more about our diversity value, read apaleo founder, Stephan Wiesener's, opinion on why apaleo's diversity value is a team effort here

Larissa Bricis

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Larissa Bricis
A lifelong Sydneysider, Larissa used the pandemic as an opportunity to add one more 'unprecedented event' to the list and move across the globe. In 2021, she joined the apaleo team as a content writer. In her downtime, she can be found reading, snacking, or cycling around town in search of that elusive German sun.


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