Monika Bock is a bit like LENA, the app she co-developed: agile, to the point and successful – it’s a pleasure to chat with her. What is behind the company’s rapid growth? How do the co-founders work together? What are the plans for the future? Konsultori Role Model Interview.
LENA Digital is very successful. Where does that come from, do you remember a big change in the last few years?
Oh yes, we have so much going on at the moment. We’ve expanded, we have new employees and a cool new office. There’s not one big change, we’re constantly improving the software. I think our secret is this amazing mix of the three owners.
We have an excellent programmer who doesn’t ask people to adapt to the software but tailors our software to the needs of our clients. LENA is very easy to use. Users click on the app and find their way around immediately. This gives them more time to focus on their core tasks. Then we have a very good strategist who always looks far ahead and drives us. He regularly documents the figures so that we always stay on course. And finally, there is me, an absolute salesman who is passionate about what he does. I take care of our customers with great commitment, we also get a lot of positive feedback.
The constant orientation towards the market and further development make us successful.
“A strategy is necessary because the future is unpredictable.” Do you agree with the quote? Do you have an effective strategy for your business?
In any case, it is crucial to have a strategy. It is also important to inform the employees so that they can follow it. But I think you also have to stay flexible. What we do: always adapt. We now have many customers who also want to do their people surveys with LENA. This is something we had not yet included in the software. We are currently considering a new function, LENA Echo, with which you can carry out employee surveys simply and smartly.
When you face a difficult business decision, what helps you the most or who do you ask for advice?
There is a weekly jour fixe of the three owners. We discuss the most critical issues in great detail.
If we still can’t come to a result that all three of us fully support, we get external help. Petra Wolkenstein from Konsultori, for example, was a godsend for us (laughs). When we have a difficult question, we make an appointment with Petra. She gives good input and brings in aspects we haven’t even thought of yet.
Our own decisions, supplemented by professional help, brought us very far last year.
If you could wish for one super skill, what would it be?
My first thought was to be able to fly. But I think I will choose to beam to save time. My life is really full and if I could beam myself from one point to another, I would save a lot of time.
What are you most proud of?
That I dared to take the step into self-employment. I was employed for a long time and successful in my profession. But I am really proud that I dared to take the step because I am usually very cautious. For me, it wasn’t that I dipped my toes into the cold water to try it out, but I took a running jump into the deepest lake.
I am incredibly proud of LENA. We are trying to live our dream. We are socially committed and act sustainably. Even in small things: we bought our great office furniture from Austrian manufacturers, even if it was a bit more expensive. That is an added value for our company.
And last but not least: we have a cool team. That’s also the kind of feedback you get as an entrepreneur. Good people like to work with us. That makes us happy.
The digital education and training platform LENA has already collected very prominent customer testimonials in Austria. What are the plans for the future?
With Petra’s help, we have defined our ideal customer very well. We have successfully launched the concept in Austria. With funding, we started to expand into southern Germany last year. Our campaigns are going very well. Now we will expand further into Switzerland and after that, we want to offer the interface completely in English.