The App Coach for Everyone

Author: Regina Weinrich

Jan 30, 2020 Innovation

Insa Klasing knows how to run a business. As the German Head of a large fast food chain, she was able to double the company’s turnover in five years. Now, she is going all-in on an app – having founded the coaching platform TheNextWe.

Ms. Klasing, you advocate for a radical rethink of corporate culture.
I am of the belief that a manager, alone in their office, is unable to work out the answers to all market challenges and the rapidly changing needs of customers. This is not possible given our technological landscape, whose transformation is accelerating exponentially. They must involve every employee. In my previous role, I always wanted coaching for staff at all levels of the organization, to help them get even better. But that would just not have been affordable. This realization inspired the idea for TheNextWe.
The name sums up what the app is about?
Yes. It is all about developing a new relationship between management and employees. The previous division of the work itself and management’s organization of work is no longer the right way forward in our digital world, if you wish to remain relevant as a company or organization. TheNextWe intends to help make this transformation successful. This can only be done together, as a ‘we.’
What can a digital coach do for me?
Oh, the coach isn’t just digital, there’s actually a real person. Each of our users has a personal coach for individual exchanges for twelve weeks. There are phone calls and chats, as well as online exercises. But everything remains anonymous. At times of upheaval, it is important for people to get the right support. It is not unusual for employees to feel left behind by new developments in their company; there are misunderstandings and reservations, and these prevents everyone from achieving important goals.
How does the app help?
The first four weeks of the program involve rethinking the company’s current charted course. It’s about recognizing what a person thinks about this, and how it can best be integrated along the way. This leads to new beliefs, which are then implemented in daily business for eight weeks. Practiced again and again, they are soon part of natural behavior, which in turn means the set goal can be achieved. We do not focus on the behavior of the individual, rather on the thoughts of the many – our program reaches hundreds of employees at the same time.
How do they respond to your approach?
Many write to us afterwards to express their gratitude for our support during cultural change and transformation. Everyone needs to be more agile, innovative, collaborative, customer-centric, the list goes on. We are under crazy levels of pressure to be better. Using the app, participants can express themselves with full anonymity, and receive the necessary help to succeed. Most are very relieved when they realize that this is possible, even under completely new circumstances.
Who seeks out your support?
We count all sorts of companies among our clients – from big corporations down to SMEs. We also field inquiries from works council members who want to support their workforce. Mostly the impulse comes from the boardroom. With the help of our app, an entire organization can be helped to move forward – with one method in one program – which makes the whole thing scalable. This has not been possible on the ­market so far.
You work very differently to the rest of the coaching market …
Indeed. We are able to work with the widest breadth and make coaching results measurable, with no travel times or costs to speak of. Many say that you have to physically sit with your coach, watching how the other responds. We subscribe to a different belief. Just by conversing on the phone, we are able to dive deeper, faster than in a face-to-face conversation. By getting rid of the visual aspect, it becomes easier to open up about the real issue at hand and talk about it in an unbiased way.
About Insa Klasing
In her role as head of a fast-food chain, she would have desired a coaching for all her employees. But coaching was only available for executives, and at exorbitant prices. Together with her brother Klaas Klasing and Psychologist Anke Kaupp, she founded the start-up TheNextWe to rectify this. She has also recently published her book ‘The 2-Hour Boss,’ in which she describes the positive effects of reduced leadership and increased autonomy for employees, learned after a riding accident in which she broke both arms.