Coaching bang - Levi9 story

Posted On Sep 26, 2021 |

This is a post about creativity, commitment, introducing and nurturing the coaching culture.

One of collaborations we in Koucing centar are the most proud of - cooperation with Levi9. We decided to start presenting our work and believe the best way to do that is through case studies, presenting our partners and projects. For the beginning, we invited Aleksandra Štrbac from the Levi9 HR team to talk about the company and the importance of employee development.

Levi9 is an IT company established in Serbia, in Novi Sad, 16 years ago. Its headquarters is in the Netherlands, with development centers in Serbia, Romania, and Ukraine. 

So, many of us who heard the name of the company had a question about it. So Aleksandra told us an interesting story about how the company got the name.

"It all started with a bang - in July 1994, a comet struck Jupiter and made it possible to observe a direct collision of two objects in the solar system for the first time. Hitting Jupiter, Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 caused explosions stronger than the total nuclear arsenal on Earth and left behind craters of the diameter equal to that of the Earth. Levi9 has a vision of the impact of similar proportions on the IT market”, shares Aleksandra.

Today, they have two development centers in Serbia - one that includes offices in Novi Sad and Zrenjanin, and the other one in Belgrade. In our three offices, the development centers in Serbia have 600+ IT experts.

Levi9 believes that their business is creativity, and tech is the tool. 

When we talked about learning and development, Aleksandra shared that it is an integral part of every phase of a Niners’ career. 

From day one in Levi9, each Niner begins his/her journey.

Commited to technical and non-technical development 

Niners have two streams of development: technical development (that consists of on-the-job learning and technical training that are part of our internal initiatives such as AWS, Azure, etc., scrum training, Tech Talks and meetups, full access to Udemy platform, etc.) and non-technical development (internal programs of soft skill development, leadership skill development (Lead9), knowledge sharing sessions, etc.). 

L&D Team shared that they are especially proud of Levi9 Academy - an internal program that brings together different studies under the same roof, through courses, training, project work, knowledge and experience sharing, something we call a blended learning approach.

Coaching beginnings - from flirt to deeper relationship

"Last year in November we hosted a meetup named „Coach Me if You Can'' with Jelena Pavlović from the Koučing centar. The meetup was organized and hosted by our ex-colleague Dunja Milanković Poznić and it generated a lot of interest among Niners. That was our first organizational “flirt '' with the subject of coaching. It went great and we started thinking of introducing coaching throughout the organization on a bigger scale", Aleksandra introduces us to LIevi9 coaching begginings.

After that, the local leadership team had the opportunity to experience team coaching on their own in the form of a one-day workshop. They had different reactions, but no one stayed indifferent. 

Next coaching steps 

We plan to introduce coaching to all our leaders through the program called Lead9 - specially created leadership program, designed to enable our Department and Delivery Managers, Tech and Test leaders to strengthen their unique leadership style. 

It is a 9-month journey, from an idea to its realization, with great support from the people from the Koučing centar. The program is tailor-made to fit our needs and I must acknowledge the great flexibility the Koučing centar showed in every step of designing it. 

Why coaching?

Aleksandra adds it was a very brave decision because there is a lot of misconception when it comes to coaching. This program is their first step in introducing a coaching culture within Levi9, creating awareness and offering people a choice. 

Desired outcomes of the program

120+ Niners will be introduced to coaching. For some of them it will not be the first encounter with this methodology but for sure the most comprehensive one. 

Aleksandra adds: "We strongly believe that, after this program, our leaders will be equipped with the tools they can use in everyday work. 

Coaching encourages innovation and creativity in overcoming challenges. It helps to identify current opportunities faster and overcome the fear of uncertainty. Coaching tools are very useful in the goal setting process and people who are coached show a greater focus on achieving those goals, and thus better performance.

Let's not forget the team perspective: coached teams improve not only cooperation but also the relationship with superiors and clients. Team roles are clearer and resources for continuous learning and development are developed.

Our goal is to build an internal network of coaches to foster peer coaching within the organization. We are very enthusiastic about the impact coaching practice might have on Niners, but let us take the first little step in achieving our goal 😊".

Stay tuned and follow the next stops on this journey with us!