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Frederik Vind, ADC’s Talent Activation Lead, explores the future and complexity of modern work environments, with a particular focus on data engineering teams. Drawing from ADC’s own internal team, he highlights the key factors contributing to their success.

A High-Performing Engineering Team Across Europe

In June 2024, I had the pleasure of facilitating a team dynamics workshop with our incredible Engineering Competence Center. This group comprises some of our most dedicated and passionate engineers from the Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Italy, and Spain, all working on groundbreaking projects in responsible data and AI.

The team, which I also coach individually, is a high-performing group with a unified purpose: to create the future of responsible data and AI. It is a diverse team, dispersed across Europe, exhibiting remarkable cohesion and performance both individually and collectively.

Navigating Complexity over Complicated

Complicated challenges have clear solutions and predictable outcomes, like building a car, and can be solved with expertise and established processes. In contrast, complex challenges are unpredictable with many interdependent factors. For instance, managing a global team working on various projects requiring adaptive, flexible solutions, and continuous learning.

The projects our team tackles are not just complicated but highly complex. We are at the forefront of technological and innovation advancements in responsible data and AI. This approach emphasises adaptation over traditional hierarchical structures and waterfall project management.

In the context of “new world” dynamics, it is essential to recognise the freedoms this complexity allows. The team’s exceptional performance and thriving environment would not have been possible under a traditional Taylorism hierarchical structure.

Pictured: Frederik Vind

Responsible Data and AI: The Core of Our Work

At ADC, our teams focus on responsible data and AI solutions. For data engineering, this involves solutions that are not just technically innovative and functional but also ethical, transparent, and beneficial to society.

This includes tackling challenges such as data privacy, algorithmic bias, and ensuring that AI systems are designed and deployed responsibly. The complexity of these projects requires not only technical expertise but also a deep understanding of ethical considerations and societal impacts.

The Key to High Performance

What makes our data engineering team excel can be linked to several factors also highlighted in Google’s Project Aristotle. While our team may not have the traditional conditions that lead to high performance, their results speak otherwise.

A selection of the key elements that we are working with to drive success are outlined below.

Psychological Safety

We strive for an environment where we feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other.


We rely on each other to complete quality work on time.

Structure and Clarity

We try to define clear roles, plans, and goals.


We look for personal significance in our work.


Our work matters and creates positive change.

Redefining High-Performance in Modern Data Engineering

Our Engineering Competence Center team exemplifies the potential of modern, distributed, high-performing teams. By embracing complexity and fostering a supportive, collaborative environment, we are not only creating the future of responsible data and AI but also redefining the dynamics of high-performance work in a global context.

Reflecting on this workshop reinforces the importance of adaptability, innovation, and cohesive teamwork in navigating the complexities of modern data engineering projects. As we continue to evolve, these principles will undoubtedly guide us in achieving even greater success in the responsible data and AI landscape.

Continue the Conversation

Are you interested in learning more about ADC’s way of working? Reach out to Frederik Vind to continue the conversation.

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