At Liip, we value diversity and inclusion as a foundation for creating long-lasting social, environmental, and economic value together with our customers and partners. We promote diverse teams and take this into account throughout all phases of our employee journey.

Joanita is an excellent example of how Liip incorporates diversity and self-organization. In October 2018, a Scrum team hired her, a senior female professional, as Scrum Master, bringing in extensive experience and a new cultural perspective. She is now the first person to retire from Liip. Together with our People Lead Link and co-founder Nadja Perroulaz, she took time to reflect on her journey, the lessons she's learned, and the wisdom she leaves with us.

Nadja: Joanita, you started with us in October 2018 as a Scrum Master and Agile Coach. Can you share what your first months at Liip were like?

Joanita: Absolutely. The first few months were quite an adjustment. Coming from very hierarchical companies, I was used to a different way of working. Liip’s self-organised structure was both challenging and refreshing. It took time to get used to the idea that I didn't have to solve every challenge myself, and that I didn’t have to give advice outside my role. I learned to trust the process and let others take ownership of their roles and responsibilities. It quickly became clear that this structure empowered everyone to take ownership and be more effective. It also meant I had to unlearn old habits and trust my colleagues to manage their tensions and responsibilities.

Nadja: Please describe yourself today and what you're proud of.

Joanita: Today, I consider myself to be a bridge between our clients and our tech circles. I was hired as a Scrum Master, and the accountability of this role is the effectiveness of the Scrum teams. I embrace the purpose of Scrum, which goes beyond the rules of Scrum. Furthermore, I am proud of all my initiatives to create better partnerships; work closer with clients from start to finish in full transparency and trust, ensuring that our clients are happy with the digital products and services our circle delivers. As an Agile Coach, my focus is to improve interpersonal communication and team dynamics. I am the most proud of our transition from a “you-should-fit-in” to a “you-belong-here circle-culture”. It’s been a fulfilling experience to bring a human perspective into IT and agile methodologies.

Nadja: Reflecting on your 5.5 years at Liip, what are three things you’ve learned or developed?

Joanita: First, I've learned the importance of good enough for now. Perfectionism can be paralysing, and I've embraced the idea that progress is more significant than perfection. Second, I've seen how emotional intelligence in building trust and open communication within teams has shaped the circles I was working with. Finally, I've developed a more in-depth understanding of the balance between giving and receiving in a professional setting. It's always an exchange, and both parties (employee and employer) need to be committed to mutual growth.

Nadja: What advice would you give to someone in their mid-50s looking for a new professional challenge?

Joanita: I would say, don’t be afraid to take the leap. Age should never be a barrier to new experiences. Embrace flexibility, be willing to learn, and don’t shy away from environments that seem challenging. It’s in these settings that you grow the most. Furthermore, leverage your experience to bring a unique perspective and be open to learning from others, regardless of their age or background.

Nadja: What comes next for you? Will you stay connected with the Liip world?

Joanita: I’ll definitely stay connected with Liip, but in a different capacity. I’m excited to focus more on my own business, where I coach female leaders and conduct workshops. This new chapter also allows me more flexibility to visit my children, family and friends abroad.

Nadja: What have you given to Liip, and what has Liip given to you?

Joanita: It’s been a beautifully balanced exchange. I’ve contributed by shaping team cultures through diversity and emotional intelligence, creating initiatives like the Agile Expertise Circle and peer coaching programs. In return, Liip has given me invaluable learning experiences in a self-organisation and the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. While I feel I can still offer a lot, my journey here has reached a natural conclusion, and I’m ready for new challenges.

As Joanita transitions to her personal ventures, we celebrate her lasting impact at Liip. Her initiatives and her genuine joy in empowering others greatly benefited us. Her journey highlights lifelong growth and learning. Thank you, Joanita, for your dedication and the human touch you brought to our digital world.