From the author:
The CEO of a large medium-sized company recently said: “I am in a privileged situation: I can go to conferences where top-class experts explain to me what is important in digitization. But I have 1.700 employees who cannot. I have to show them what it's about - and why that's important to them. ”
No better way to say it. The first task of leadership is to give direction. Where should that be? Company go? And why? Employees have the right to specific answers. Who remains vague behind words, does not do justice to his role.
The most pressing employee question is: "What does this have to do with me?" And that's important! Because I can only act when I know why I'm doing something. And those who have been screwing components together for years may not see it yet. However, there are also department heads who rigorously reject new concepts: we need a user community? What nonsense, we build products! You can understand that. But if the competitor turns his customers into enthusiastic fans who share the product with others and himself and thus show what the best further development should look like - then a pure manufacturer will soon no longer have much to laugh about.
Leadership means making it clear to everyone how their contribution looks and why it is important. One of the top priorities is to take the fears of the employees seriously. Who will be enthusiastic if the result could make your own job superfluous?
But where do we get all the specialists from? Not so easy - many modern professions did not even exist at school: Data Scientist, Web Designer, YouTube Star - Often we can not train people as fast as we need them.
One possible solution is to change the profile: in the past, you had to study computer science, but today it is an education with a higher potential as far as the number of translators is concerned. And you always have to understand what employees are doing today if you want to advertise and keep them. It is nonsensical to push everything to the generations X and Y and Z. Some men go to the end with 40 at maternity leave, some emancipated young woman wants to stay with the children a few years later as a mother. Important is that they have the choice!
The trend will tend to be part-time, with 40 hours becoming an exception. Some want a job like friends, with table kickers in the foyer and joint action, others want to drop 17 clock the spoon and go home. The task of the company is to provide employees with the opportunities that are important to them.
And another harsh truth: we can not go into any superheroes from Apple and Google, so they can point us to the future as a Chief Digital Officer. There are not so many heroes. And if they do, they probably do not want to join us. We have to deal with today's colleagues. And we can do that too!
It always amazes me how much unused potential is in companies. Silos are not clichés - almost everyone complains. About cumbersome, senseless processes, unclear responsibility and empty rituals. Budget planning, jour fixe, sprawling meetings - no one likes them, but they all go with it. The problem is: If your company wants to become really agile, agile, you have to throw ballast here to get back space to act.
Whoever says: “Now digitize!”, But at the end of the year the bonus is based on old key figures, will have little success. Even stronger: Such cynicism kills motivation and just drives better employees to flee. The new has its price, including making mistakes in order to learn from them.
Good leaders recognize that they need their employees - with heart and brain. There are beautiful concepts, such as Working Out Loud, where work is shared as in social networks, so everyone knows who can do what and where. There is the holocracy, in which employees organize themselves, hackathons and barcamps, and many other formats in which experimentation and development are carried out, often beyond company boundaries. This is not so much about the concrete results of the event, but about the change in the workplace, the better networking and the easier cooperation. This allows us to raise the potential that we need. And without any superhelden.
Digital: Time for renewal
Digitization is the opportunity to rethink its business. It is clear what the value of the company is. And to show how all the digital possibilities help us to offer our customers these values in the future. Our people make the difference - we just have to allow it.
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