How to implement tomorrows leadership skills without losing pace


In The Pocket


In The Pocket creates digital products that make people happier and businesses stronger. And they’re growing strongly.  In the context of continual growth, a leader surely benefits from reflecting on his leadership muscles and daring to wonder where these skills should be in the future. So In The Pocket was wondering: what leadership skills are not only necessary today, but also tomorrow? And how should one approach such an exercise?


High-paced companies in full growth, like In The Pocket, don’t easily have the time to stop and reboot things regarding the own internal organization. And as we all know the digital world is constantly evolving. There’s no pause button to press here (besides, buttons are so analog).

Leaders must grow with their company, their people, the market and their products. Okay, sounds a bit more complicated… so now what?


After exploring the challenge, the Bean design team came up with a quadruple solution (as solutions are not always one to one).

1. We don’t remove leaders from their team, nor out of their ‘natural’ habitat

At Beanmachine we keep leaders in their actual work environment so that what they learn can be, even has to be immediately transferred to the workplace. We’re not easily pulled away to beautiful, isolated chateaus with flip charts and metaphorical exercises. Instead, we prefer instant hands-on practice of what we preach. Nose to the grindstone – solutions in real time.

2. What makes a good leader… according to his context?

If you ask the leaders, you’ll get the expected answers. Ask the team and you’ll hear what’s really needed in order to build something together. To draw up the leader’s profile, we concerned ourselves with those who must work alongside leaders. Bottom up thinking, crowdsourced knowledge. To see that the captain and his crew stand by each other, and not over or under each other. Tailoring leader and team together.

3. Our input must fit the In the Pocket DNA and rhythm

No multiple day sessions spouting cut-of-stone methodology. No, instead Beanmachine presents bite-sized chunks, easily digestible for quick, applicable, and noticeable changes. The same as you build digital products and services: learn, test, improve, etc. Scrum aplenty!

4. Open by default

Although it was all about the leaders and improving their skills, all sessions were open to everyone having the ambition to lead one day. At Beanmachine we call it Open By Default: give everyone the chance to work on skills that they might need tomorrow. With this kind of openness and concern you can really build a strong and transparent company.


A variety of interventions resulted in a continuous learning path for the ITP-leaders and In The Pocket as an organization.  Not something one-off, but sustainable learning and continuous feedback in cadence with the growth of the organization. Or again the same as you would expect from a good digital product.

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