7 Leadership skills of the future: learning from the VW scandal


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Google and Apple, VW scandal, e-mobility, networked and autonomous driving: the German automotive industry faces enormous challenges. What competencies does the manager have to face tomorrow so that Germany does not lose its connection?

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Here writes for you: Stefan Randak is Director Automotive at Atreus Interim Management GmbH. Profile

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Is the automotive sector in crisis?

Overview

The automotive sector is back in the headlines. Not as usual with excellent figures, which overshadow the previous year, but with crises, which range from the profit warning at automotive suppliers to the mega-scandal at Volkswagen.

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The crisis at Volkswagen in particular has shown that there are obvious "weak spots" within the established management that require sustainable optimization.

Disruptive innovation

Overview

But is not the automotive industry generally in a state of transition? Here is a clear answer: Yes, it is her! It is no longer just about the management of good numbers, because the crisis is deep and can be boldly described with the following five buzz words:

  • Ascending and financially strong new competitors (Google, Apple)
  • Transnational change in the automotive movement (drive, networking, communication, safety, navigation, autonomous driving)
  • Turnaround in view of the desirability of owning a vehicle
  • Partially lacking internal transparency for management in batch
  • Partially missing corporate culture

7 Leadership Competence of the Future

Overview

In view of these points, an important question arises: What has the automotive management failed? And what qualifications or qualities are now and in the future required for managers to create the turnaround and remain permanently at the forefront of development?

  1. Wider knowledge: Anyone who wants to keep up with the process of change and the interlocking of processes as a manager must have a much broader knowledge in the future. The Automanager of tomorrow needs a good overview of the changes and trends in the areas of drive, networking, communication, safety, navigation and autonomous driving in order to influence and influence the impact on its own product range proactively and correctly.
  2. Visionary: Anyone who wants to assess the right and sustainable trends needs a sensitive feeling and a lasting interest in the trends of this time - and he needs imagination to keep these trends in the future and to draw the right conclusions for his own business strategy.
  3. More Pragmatism: Whoever wants to ensure the necessary high flexibility, especially in production, logistics and human resources, must have a healthy portion of pragmatism. Only those who adapt quickly to new requirements and make decisions can respond appropriately to short-term changes or fluctuations in orders.
  4. Higher agility: In the future, even slimmer and faster reporting paths will be required in the individual hierarchies in order to be able to respond to changes in a clever, quick and interactive manner. The decision-making processes are also to be tightened up, because speed is a trump in a time when the development cycles are getting shorter and shorter.
  5. Implementation skills: Not only do decisions have to be made, they also have to be implemented in a sustainable way. Therefore, a hands-on mentality and the corresponding implementation know-how are required. Company Silicon Valley and Silicon Allee are already showing how it works.
  6. Pioneer in corporate culture: Tomorrow's managers have to credibly represent the corporate culture or principles of the company as a living example in front of their employees. It is necessary to create a culture that allows to speak openly about "not feasible" or "flawed" and constructively turn it into a holistically feasible solution - but at the same time knows no fear of failure.
  7. More openness for cooperation: First examples such as the topic "navigation" show the need in the industry with a view to what others have long known: "What I do not do alone, may work better in a team". What has just started in the said example should not stop at topics like "Google" or "Apple". The automotive industry needs to open up to new networks.

Networking is required

Overview

In order to assure themselves of these qualifications or characteristics, the automotive industry is forced not only to turn "in its own juice"; she will not be able to get on board "non-industry talents":

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Less self-proponents and patriarchs, but rather team-oriented creators who have already earned their spurs in other branches of industry (eg IT, social networks, etc.).

Outlook: The leadership competence of the future

Overview

But how do these qualified "new" managers have to set up their companies so that the German automotive industry can still successfully stay at the top of the world tomorrow?

Sustainable, global, flexible and lean in terms of development, production, logistics and sales - and internationally forward-looking with regard to their own products and applied techniques. All this coupled with a constructive, open and credible approach to their stakeholders. And one sentence has to disappear completely from the automanager's vocabulary: "We've always done that ..."

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