Future Leadership rethought

Future Leadership rethought modern corporate culture requires a change in leadership

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Do you know the old wisdom „The fish stinks from the head“, which is especially true in companies? It is of little use to turn the lower levels upside down and implement all sorts of concepts for New Work if the management level does not follow suit. Experience has shown that resistance to the implementation of new strategies often has to be overcome in the heads of superiors. In a modern leadership concept, therefore, this level must first be convinced and involved before a change can be successfully implemented throughout the entire company. Coaching for the management level should be carried out by experienced and professional experts who are able to motivate and convince those affected and to familiarize them with the new situation. In this article, we would like to take a closer look at why this partial service from EVOSULT is becoming more and more in demand and important for successful project management.

Agile leadership means flexibility at all levels

„Agile“ means agility, mobility and flexibility, which are essential for the implementation of business transformations or the execution of projects today. Ultimately, the necessity can be simply reduced to the fact that the agile approach can only work successfully and profitably if the entire organization is behind it and is involved. However, this is precisely where the first misunderstanding arises in consulting in many companies because management often means everyone else – but rarely itself. To be precise, it is not so much a matter of rejecting or questioning the procedures and competencies that have been quite successful so far. However, a complex organism can only adapt to new methods if the brain supports the change. Breaking through these entrenched structures alone and being successful at the same time is not feasible for many companies. Therefore, a comprehensive onboarding coaching of all levels – including the management level – is one of the most important services offered by EVOSULT to successfully transform organizations and processes and to give management personnel the ability to act as mentors for employees themselves. Especially the onboarding coaching, i.e. the integration of new employees into existing structures, has to be internalized in order to smoothly integrate new assets.

A corporate culture cannot be revolutionized overnight

Of course, structures that may have proven their worth over many decades cannot be thrown overboard overnight. For the changeover to work, not only is perfect communication between all parties involved necessary, but also a precise schedule to be implemented that prioritises and takes into account all important factors. When we are commissioned to carry out leadership coaching, the question is often asked in what form employee and management levels need to network with each other at all in order to successfully integrate the entire team into the New Work principles. In the end, the managers are the interface through which all elements of the company are connected. If Hapert does it here, the entire engine starts to stutter, similar to a defective control unit in a car. In view of this development, managers must ultimately also prove themselves as coaches in order to take their employees on the respective journey. After all, a superior never has just one function and task, but rather multiple roles to fill. Experts have grouped these roles into six main areas: – Disciplinary superior – Coach or mentor – Specialist for different areas – Faciliator, who can intervene and support organisationally – Personnel Developer – Entrepreneur Especially with the important aspect of Agile Leaderhsip, the principles of the so-called Agile Manifesto must be taken into account. These have been recognized as essential by the well-known Scrum inventors Schwaber, Beedle and Sutherland. The principles are actually obvious principles, but they are neglected or even ignored in many companies. These principles are as follows: 1. Individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools Well-established processes, outdated approaches and tools should never be placed above the needs of the individuals who have to deal with them. A rule just for the sake of the rule is not useful. What is important, however, is constant interaction, i.e. comprehensive communication with the employees. 2. A functional product is more important than comprehensive documentation The bottom line is that the result is decisive. The customer should receive the optimal product. The documentation of the exact implementation leading to the final product should not be more important than the desired result. 3. Cooperation with customers is based on contracts Contracts and specifications are important, but they should never stand in the way of comprehensive cooperation and interaction with customers. Flexibility is crucial to incorporate customer feedback into the ongoing development process. Regular feedback is more useful than a large final acceptance where changes are difficult and time-consuming to implement. 4. Flexibility before rigid fulfilment of plans Planning is important and sensible. But often they cannot reflect the flexibility of reality. However, it does not make sense to follow a rigid plan if the circumstances change. Therefore, one should always make sensible adjustments instead of bowing to bureaucratic dictates.

What is Future Leadership actually about?

This question is frequently asked. And that is exactly what we have just described: The term is defined by the flexibility or agility to manage projects and companies. It makes no sense to cling to entrenched structures that have long since lost their usefulness or that no longer have much to do with current developments. In addition to the transformation of corporate culture and structures, however, it is above all a matter of high quality in everyday work. This means not only the result in terms of high quality for the customer, but also the quality of work for the individual employees. This requires modern supervisors with up-to-date training who know how to inspire and motivate employees for the company. The current Gallup study on the topic of job quality proves that this is urgently necessary. 70% of those surveyed stated that they had only a low emotional attachment to their employer. A full 15% have already left their workplace inwardly and only 20% feel inspired and motivated by superiors. On the other hand, 97% of German managers consider themselves good superiors. It seems obvious that these figures do not match. They show that there are huge discrepancies between the self-perception of the management level and the daily working environment. These discrepancies could be eliminated in time with good advice and training by external coaches like EVOSULT. Ultimately, motivation-related layoffs cost German companies over one hundred billion Euros annually – and who can and wants to afford that?

Picture of the Managing Director EVOSULT

Author: Kai Kobbelt Project manager | managing director and shareholder The senior consultant has already supported well-known and internationally active companies in all project phases. He established himself as project manager and product owner in the areas of project, rollout and change management. As managing director and shareholder Kai Kobbelt founded EVOSULT GmbH in 2009.

Kai Kobbelt