Is the traditional leadership role in the crisis?
The crisis at Volkswagen in particular has shown that there are obvious “weak points” within established management that require sustainable optimization. Traditional, outmoded leadership appears to be in serious crisis.
Let's remember 2015: The automotive industry is back in the headlines. Not as usual with excellent figures that put the previous year in the shade, but with crisis reports that range from profit warnings at automotive suppliers to the mega scandal at Volkswagen.
But is are Company not generally reached a phase of radical change? A clear answer to this: Yes, it is you! It is no longer just about the management of good numbers, because the crisis is deep and, if you look at the example of the automotive branch, can be summed up with the following five keywords:
- 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
Given these points, an important question arises: what has management missed? And which qualifications or characteristics are required now and in the future for managers in order to achieve the turnaround and to stay at the forefront of development in the long term?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Implementation skills: Decisions not only have to be made, they also have to be implemented in a sustainable manner. A hands-on mentality and the corresponding implementation know-how are therefore required. Companies from Silicon Valley and Silicon Allee are already showing how it works.
- Pioneer in corporate culture: Tomorrow's managers must credibly represent the corporate culture and principles of the company in front of their employees as a living example. The aim is to create a culture that allows openly to address “what is not feasible” or “faulty” and to constructively turn it into a holistically feasible solution - which at the same time knows no fear of failure.
- More openness for cooperation: First examples such as the topic of “navigation” show the need in the industry with a view to what others have long known: “What I can't do alone may work better in a team”. What has just started in this example should not stop at topics like “Google” or “Apple”. The automotive industry has to open up to new networks.
Networking is required
In order to assure itself of these qualifications or characteristics, the industry is forced to not just turn around “in its own juice”; she will not be able to avoid getting “talents from outside the industry” on board:
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
But how do these qualified “new” managers have to set up their company so that the German automotive industry can remain successful at the top of the world tomorrow?
Sustainable, global, flexible and lean with regard to development, production, logistics and sales - and internationally forward-looking with regard to our own products and applied technologies. All this coupled with a constructive, open and credible way of dealing with your stakeholders. And one sentence must completely disappear from the vocabulary of the car manager: “We have always done this…”
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