An unexpected opportunity
As negative and sad as the Corona crisis is; in recent months, HR has been able to successfully demonstrate what it can do. However, if the gain in reputation is also to be accompanied by more say and higher budgets, next steps must be clearly set. Which steps are needed was discussed with six HR management experts at the Round Table: HR Management Consulting.
The Corona crisis has a particularly large impact on the trust base within companies. The massive move to working from home, for example, posed many executives – and not just the old school ones – with the question of how they can still ensure the motivation and performance of their teams. A change that may affect corporate culture is taking place.
“Control in the 21st century is an illusion,” states Kai Anderson of Mercer | Promerit. Despite smart systems, the ‘command and control’ paradigm can no longer be maintained. However, some executives have trouble facing this new reality. It’s no longer possible to do anything other than trust employees and empower them to act more independently. “This has massive implications for leadership itself. The topic needs to now be approached from scratch. Otherwise you will be just as far after the crisis as you were before – with old instruments from the previous century. ”
You can download the full article here. (in German)
Article by Kai Anderson, 15th of October 2020 in return – the magazine for transformation and turnaround (original piece in German)
Everything has already been said about the importance of leadership for successful transformations. The greatest potential for adaptability, however, lies within personnel development.
When Johannes Teyssen, CEO of Eon, fills a leadership position, he allows candidates to provide up to three references. Not from previous managers, but from people the candidate has supported or promoted; making personnel development competency a central selection criterion for management functions. If this kind of thinking caught on, we would be less concerned about companies’ abilities to change. The logic behind this is clear: the development of organizations and employees are mutually dependent. This responsibility lies clearly with leadership, as exemplified by Eon CEO Johannes Teyssen.
Two key misconceptions lead to failure
The first illusion lies in the self-perception of many managers, who consider themselves good leaders and therefore do not see any reason to change themselves or their behavior. However; in every employee survey two areas of action are always the frontrunners: leadership quality and communication. The same view is shared by management – but others are always responsible.
The second illusion that hinders change lies in the fundamental understanding of leadership. Leadership is often equated with directing or controlling. Control is an illusion in a world which we describe with the acronym VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity. In this world, we must not only organize ourselves differently, but we must first begin to think differently. Empowerment and trust replace command & control as the foundational understanding of leadership.
For Kai, these illusions are the reason why the theory regarding leadership’s central role in transformations often doesn’t translate to practice.
Making the change to a culture of trust as a prerequisite for a modern, adaptable and efficient organization is the real transformation.
The transformation begins with overcoming these illusions. For this reason, questioning your own leadership style by gathering feedback and through regular reflection within the management team is necessary. Additionally, dialogue with co-workers and employees is imperative to carry the change into the breadth of the organization and enable it to develop further. This kind of dialogue-oriented transformation requires a lot of effort and more notably, time – otherwise it simply will not work.
When real dialogue is experienced, honest feedback is asked for and responsibility is delegated consequently, then you can win the trust of the organization. The resulting engagement – activation of the workforce – tilts the entire system towards a new and better state.
Empowerment doesn’t mean leaving the empowered to their own devices
On the contrary, dialogue is more essential than ever to support the newly responsible and further their development. In short, the development of employees is the most effective method for enabling real transformation.
Here you can read the full article.