New Work by Design
New Work by Design

New Work by Design

A community of New Work org designers.

Hi-I'm Manuel.
I help companies become fulfilling workplaces.


What I do

I specialize in New Work organizational design, helping companies implement just enough structure and process to ensure smooth operations and scalable growth without becoming “corporate”.

For whom

I work with companies at a critical early growth stage—typically around 25-75 employees. At this stage, founders often struggle with maintaining influence as direct oversight becomes impractical.

They seek to implement structure and processes but want to avoid bureaucratic stagnation. I guide them in establishing an organizational operating system that not only supports growth but also enhances their appeal as an employer - making the way they work the decisive reason why people join their company.

How I do it

Over the past decade, I've worked with three companies full-time, transforming them into New Work role models. Through these experiences, I've distilled the nine necessary key practices for a sustainable New Work implementation.

I support companies in prioritizing, designing, implementing, and iterating the nine key practices in a way that serves their specific context while staying true to underlying principles that nourish self-organization and intrinsic motivation.

My role is to guide, facilitate, and advise, providing the tools and frameworks necessary for the organization to continue evolving independently. Going through this transformation will take 1-2 years, depending on the specific context.

Why I do it

My bigger goal is to create more fulfilling workplaces. I want us, as a society, to see and experience work differently. Not just as a job that pays the bills, but as a calling that energizes us and gives us meaning.

When I first experienced a New Work environment in 2011, it turned me, an introvert, into someone who passionately shares the potential of fulfilling work environments. I know that workplaces that create this kind of enthusiasm are possible, because I experienced it myself and helped recreate it in other companies.

I am committed to supporting companies in making the way they work the decisive factor why people join and rave about them.

Who I am

I started my career as a software engineer, which played to my strengths of being methodical and well-structured. However, I quickly became disillusioned by project management and client interactions that didn't feel "right".

This led me to absorb everything I could about Agile, Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and Lean Startup methodologies, gradually moving into the role as Agile Coach. I became proficient in supporting teams to collaborate well but noticed that systemic company issues stunted these improvements. This realization spurred my transition into organizational design, with a focus on intrinsic motivation, relationships, and emotional intelligence.

I love the process of understanding a system’s complexity and creating simple solutions, whether in software or organizational structures. My pragmatic idealism balances practical tools and techniques with a deep commitment to underlying values and principles.


New here? Start with...


5 ways I can help you

1 | Online course

Transformations are totally doable, but inherently difficult. Your best option is to hire someone who’s done it before. Which makes transformations difficult and expensive.

The New Work by Design Transformation course is my attempt to give you all the support you need to succeed for less than the price of a consulting day.

This course teaches you the approach and the tools that I have used in the past decade to support companies transforming to New Work.

Paired with templates and case studies that you can use as starting points, your transformation will be better, faster, and cheaper.

Zero risk: If you feel you didn't get a huge amount more value than you paid for, email me for a 100% refund within 60 days of your purchase.

Format: Self-paced (with two 1:1 calls) or as part of a group (with 12 monthly group calls)
Duration: 12 months
Location: Remote
Language: English
Cost: 999€

NEXT COHORT STARTS IN SEPTEMBER.

See course details and preview content

2 | Workshops 

Learn about and practice the NWbD key practices.

Format: Open or in-house group workshops (5-20 ppl)
Duration: 1.5 - 4 hours
Location: Remote
Language: English or German
Cost: 299€ - 999€

Find out more about the workshops

3 | Leadership program

Support leaders’ personal growth to make their leadership style one that people genuinely admire and respect. Enable them to lead by attraction rather than command. (Help them win.)

Equip leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to cultivate an intrinsically energizing and motivating culture. (Help everyone else win.)

Help leaders behave in a way that creates an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute and experiment leading to innovation and adaptability. (Help the company win.)

Format: Group workshops (up to 15 ppl) with optional 1:1 coaching
Duration: ~ 9 months
Location: Onsite and remote
Language: English or German
Cost: 21.000€ (+ travel expenses when onsite)

Find out more about the leadership program

4 | Org design sprint

Understand, sketch, decide, prototype, and test one of your organizational core processes. Do in one week what otherwise takes months.

Input: an organizational process for which you want to implement a solution

Output: a tested solution and a change management strategy to put it into practice

Format: Group workshop (3-8 ppl)
Duration: 5 days
Location: Onsite or remote
Language: English or German
Cost: 6.000€ (+ travel expenses if onsite)

Schedule a get-to-know call

5 | Consulting

Book a consulting session with Manuel.

We will work on the questions and material you bring to the session.

Format: 1:1
Duration: 60 minutes
Location: Remote
Language: English or German
Cost: 500€

Book a session


As a founder, you might like what I have to offer, if ...

  • All your capacity (time and energy) are tied up in the nighty gritty details of all the different parts of your business
  • You don’t have time to spend on
    • higher-level topics like strategy or
    • higher-leverage topics like the current bottleneck of your value chain
  • You want people to make decisions on their own, but you are afraid that they are not able to make the right decisions without you
  • Keeping tabs on everything worked in the past, but it no longer does. There is just too much going on to keep up and you are working yourself into the ground.
  • Your company has 25-75 employees, and you know the organizational challenges are only going to get bigger as you keep growing.
  • You also don’t want to become just another “corporate”. That’s not why you founded your own company.
  • You want to work with people around you that are motivated like you are.
  • You don’t want to be a micro-manager for people who are doing “just” their 9-to-5 job.
  • You want the people you work with to care and be engaged.
  • You always had a sense of that work ought to be different. That it shouldn’t just be about trading money for time. That it should be about what people really really want to do - their calling.
  • You read a couple of books about New Work (maybe Reinventing Organizations, Drive, or Delivering Happiness) and they inspired you, but you don’t know where to start.

What course participants say

Nicola Heckler
Interim Head of People Experience & Senior People Partner
casavi

"I have been able to foster positive outcomes and drive meaningful change"

I started my professional career at a FinTech company in Munich that is a pioneer in New Work. After experiencing the advantages of New Work, I was curious and excited to implement it in a new, open-minded environment like my current employer. However, I quickly realized that I lacked some of the necessary tools and guidance to navigate this transition effectively.

The course posed the perfect opportunity, offering a platform for me to deepen my understanding of New Work principles while engaging in meaningful exchanges with fellow participants. What truly resonated with me was the course’s emphasis on practical application. The course website gives an overview and deep dive into the concepts and their general application, while also linking to further resources on how the concepts have been applied at different companies. The monthly group calls were thoughtfully designed to encourage self-reflection, collaboration, and hands-on learning experiences. This active exchange with Manuel and the other participants helped me with real-life situations and challenges and widened my understanding of New Work. The course highlights the value each topic brings to a company, making it easier to turn stakeholders within the organization into ambassadors.

The effects of the course have been nothing but invaluable. By applying the knowledge and strategies I acquired during the course, I have been able to foster positive outcomes and drive meaningful change within my organization in our performance process and the way we give feedback.

I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of New Work practices. Whether you're dealing with performance optimization, goal alignment, or conflict resolution, this course offers practical solutions and invaluable insights that can make all the difference.

Katja Sommer
Chief of Staff, Office of the CTO
Upvest

"I will come back to the provided material for inspiration for a long time to come"

In this course Manuel presents an impressive walk through workplace relevant topics such as Decision Making, Leadership, Goal Alignment, Conflict Resolution, Org Structure, Feedback, Individual Growth and Relationships. He has not only assembled a myriad of frameworks, theories and best practices, he adds his reflections from over 15 years of experience in Software development, Agile coaching, Conference speaking, and working with organisations at different growth and maturity stages.

Working through the provided material and joining the practice discussions with your fellow learners will improve your game no matter what career level you are currently at.  The course material includes numerous visualisations, videos and templates which you can use right away. I walked out of each session with great new approaches to incorporate into my work life, and will come back to the provided material for inspiration for a long time to come. I highly recommend this course to coaches, managers, and leaders of any organisation.

Bernhard Herzog-Obereder
CTO
W.A.F. Institut AG

"a catalyst in my career and abilities, enriching my capacity to empower individuals and organizations"

Right from the start, New Work by Design went above and beyond what I had anticipated. The course is impressively organized, offering a blend of theoretical insights and real-world applications drawn directly from Manuel's extensive experience. The blend of interactive sessions and diverse materials, including texts, visuals, and videos, significantly deepened my understanding. Manuel has a unique talent for distilling complex concepts into straightforward, compelling visuals that elevate the learning experience to a whole new level. Moreover, his skill in fostering a safe and open environment during group sessions is transformative, encouraging everyone to share profound insights freely.

Finishing New Work by Design has been a catalyst in my career and abilities, enriching my capacity to empower individuals and organizations. It solidified my foundational beliefs about human motivation and beyond.

The insights I gained on decision-making aren't just theoretical—I've put them into practice within my teams, leading to swifter, more sound decisions across our organization.

This course didn't just broaden my professional horizons; it empowered me to shape the kind of work environment that myself and others are eager to be part of, driving us to create products we truly stand behind.

I wholeheartedly endorse New Work by Design for anyone aspiring to transform their workplace into a space where they're truly excited to work. Whether you're embarking on your career or seeking to enrich your existing knowledge, this course is a treasure trove of practical wisdom and actionable strategies that can significantly impact your professional life, teams and organization. Manuel, along with the supportive community, turns the learning process into an unforgettable adventure, far beyond just acquiring new skills.

I especially valued how this course isn't a blanket solution; Manuel personalizes the learning journey during the group sessions, adapting it to fit the group's specific needs and scenarios. This approach not only makes the content more relatable but also enriches the learning experience. For those who will walk this path in the future, I encourage you to be bold and open, sharing your thoughts and challenges in the group sessions. It's a surefire way to maximize what you take away from this course.