The Back Story monthly interview features ADAPTOVATE employees from around the world. Each month we ask them 10 questions. Our team is the greatest asset we have, and it’s a privilege to share just a little bit more about who they are.
This month we are joined in conversation by Maciej Gawarecki, a consultant with our European team. Maciej is based in our Warsaw office.
First up – how long have you worked with us?
I joined ADAPTOVATE in July 2021.
Why did you join us? Were you in the industry previously, or looking for a new career direction?
I joined because I was intrigued by ADAPTOVATE’s unique value proposition. I have never heard about any other company that helps clients become truly agile and innovate in the way ADAPTOVATE does. Prior to joining the firm, I was working in a big consulting company. Despite being placed on exciting projects and meeting a lot of great people I started to feel that I lost the spark and that I needed a change. When I was approached by the ADAPTOVATE recruiter I knew that I needed to try, and it was the best decision of my career – I can say now that I’ve got my spark back!
How has your previous experience and career helped define where you are now? Would you have done things differently?
It helped me tremendously. Working for different consulting companies and being part of multiple international projects has helped me develop the core skills needed to succeed as a consultant. Moreover, the majority of my projects were run in Agile and thanks to that I had a chance to truly understand that methodology. It has also allowed me to observe what “good” Agile means and what are the pitfalls that should be avoided. All this experience is invaluable for the work we do at ADAPTOVATE and it helps me put it to use to support our clients. Regarding the last question – I would not change a thing. I believe that all the experiences, those good and those bad, made me who I am today.
How do you balance your work life with your ‘real’ life – Do you have a good balance and how important is it to you?
Work-life balance is definitely important, lack of it may lead to burn out. Though, I must admit that it’s hard to get the balance right. COVID and working from home made it even harder. I try my best to always find some time for friends and sports. I try to exercise every day and I love to go on Snowboarding trips during the winter season. I’m actually planning a couple of trips right now.
With so many of our team remote working, we always like to ask how do you have your home office/desk set up? Organised or chaos? Any top tips?
I hate chaos on my desk! Every week I try to organise my workspace and keep it this way throughout the week. It helps me concentrate on the work. Besides, I love the simplistic aesthetic of my desk – just my laptop, monitor and headphones.
Do you play music during your Agile workshops with clients? What do you recommend on your latest playlist?
I don’t have a habit of playing music during my workshops, but it’s always up to the audience. If they prefer to work with some background tracks, I’m happy to play something.
How do you think technology has best helped humanity and do you have any concerns about our future?
It helps us grow faster than ever in human history – to the point that we would not be able to live without it anymore. The technology is the next step of human evolution, that is and will be embedded in our lives forever. I have many concerns, mainly related to our privacy and security, though I’m staying positive hoping that humanity will manage to make it right.
Strategic Foresight allows companies to detect changes early and ensure action is taken quickly. Which companies have you seen able to change and adapt quickly? (and hopefully using Agile methods to do so)
We don’t need to look far. Basically, every highly successful organisation in the last 10 years was forced to quickly adapt to the disruptive competitive market. This is why many companies try to follow leaders and early adopters such as Apple, Google or Spotify in embedding Agile practices. What makes these companies different from their competitors is pushing the Agile mindset to their core. Google cascade strategic OKRs to the individual employee level, Spotify constantly evolve their Agile operating model and Apple focusses on delivering the products that customers really value. The same thing can be said about the clients that I personally supported – the most successful clients were truly committed to Agile values. That commitment helped the companies change, adapt and empower their employees.
What does success mean to you personally?
It means being proud of my own work and achievements. I set up my own goals and I always do my best to finish the day with a feeling of accomplishment.
Finally – You’ve time travelled back to your 10-year old self – What advice would you give?
Enjoy your university time while it lasts! On the serious note though, I’d tell myself to focus on meeting with friends and getting to know as many people as I can. I believe in human interactions, and they are something invaluable in our lives. Looking back 10 years I see how much I gained thanks to a group of people I can call friends.
Special 11th Question – How have you found working through life and work during COVID?
It’s been hard, but it helped us all understand that remote work can be successful. I’m really enjoying the fact that I don’t need to waste time on commuting and instead I can spend it with family and friends!