Employee Leadership Agile Management: 4 Tips for Disruptive Transformation


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There is a lack of trust in digitization. Industry 4.0 is overslept. People are skeptical of agile management. Employees see disruptive transformation as an enemy rather than a friend. What's behind these buzz words?Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®

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Stefan Häseli Stefan Häseli Portrait 1_quadrStefan Häseli is an advisor for organizational development.

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New Work requires people who work together

In the discussion about new work, it is often overlooked that agility and all the other - sometimes not so good-sounding - terms are not just about machines and technology. First of all, it's about people. It is about the people who are supposed to continue to work together today.

Even if the conditions have already changed significantly and will continue to change drastically. Organizations are no longer hierarchical. Promoted are self-responsibility and transparency, trust and an open error culture. And, because it shapes our professional life, above all a successful communication.

Agree with each other and with each other

In agile times, aspects such as speed and adaptability play a key role in business life. Our job is constantly to question things, conditions and processes and to check whether everything still fits.

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Agile also means involving customers and employees in product development to generate a constant exchange of feedback and immediate learning transfer. In day-to-day dealings, all of this only works if everyone agrees with each other and with each other. Then the megatrend New Work will succeed.

Hannes becomes agile

Hannes also has to go through it. His company wants - at least in the declared external view - not lose the connection. He already heard of this magic word AGIL, which promises great results.

Agile! Agile? Has not that happened in the IT industry many years ago? And now this should suddenly be considered a big mission statement and establish itself as a management method? Agile management as a guiding principle? A huge topic! However, Hannes doubts that everyone will enjoy it.

"Sounden" until it fits

First, the HR department is tentatively set up agile. The order literally states that the said HR department is "agile" as a pilot project. Finally, Hannes will implement this project in the production department and is thus part of the SBC, the Sounding Board Committee, which has to confirm to the piloting department how the agilization will work in the responsible department.

Although the requirement is clear: you have to do it. And the CEO has already said how to do it. In fact, there is little to "soundene", but process is process. You simply "sound" as long as it suits the boss. Not that Hannes seems useless, but the question of meaning spills a bit high. There is no time for that now. It is important to start the process. The HR department will kick off a workshop.

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Decreeed and internalized attitude

Everything is perfectly prescribed. Incidentally, this way of working is also the internalized attitude of the HR management. "Pretend what people have to do to know what and how to do it." But how does that fit in with the new agility? In the workshop it is discussed: Agil means now, not everything to say, what one thinks, then to have it implemented, then to sanction it at the end anyway. Again another says that it is not possible for HR to be agile. "Everything is predetermined anyway".

The next one throws in the round: "We are a great team and already very agile". The keywords end up in the boarding protocol, which Hannes now has to sound like. Hannes considers how the workshop and the statements affect him. He must not ask the credibility question of a process that is not congruent. He decides, therefore, to limit himself to the feedback "works professionally and linguistically absolutely understandable". Nevertheless, Hannes begins to ask himself, if really everyone understood everything.

Do everything agile and change nothing?

Because he himself no longer understands the world. He begins to think disruptively, questioning the whole plan of "now-do-it-just-everything-agile-and-change-still-nothing" and is glad that agile is basically translated as moving.

An agile target image means, for example, that you sometimes sit there and sometimes, or maybe you do not agree on the benefits the customer has. Somehow Hannes does not let go of "agile". He starts to love himself and completely loses his inner hold, which is really true. NOW Hannes has arrived even in the agile age.

Agility needs communication: 4 Success Factors

Anyone working in a disruptive project does not need new forms of communication. On the contrary: it is enough if he applies the basics of human communication. It leads to success if the following four factors are taken into account:

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1. Be present

Digital networking challenges us to be constantly present in the few personal conversations, to focus on the moment and extend all the antennas to sense what happens between the lines. And second, to articulate correctly. So, what one means to say unequivocally and without confusion creating detours.

2. Be open to individuality

Everything we have seen and experienced so far shapes us. But prejudices limit us. That's why we should also look for differences and discover something new, exciting and interesting. Our counterpart deserves the chance not to be what we expect.

3. Accurate listening

Exact listening is fundamental, because only then we know what the other wants. And only then do we know what exactly happens in the project.

4. Clear communication

Because everything goes a little faster, the danger is great that it comes to small misunderstandings, which often have a devastating effect. Or it could take precious time that could have been better spent. All the more important, therefore, is clear communication.

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