Leadership Development

Leadership
Development

“Leading successfully means balancing your own clarity, determination and solidarity.”

People in high-performance organizations need orientation, appreciation, and reflection of their own actions by their managers for the cooperation to be successful. The expectations of leadership work and leadership skills are complex and challenging at the same time.

It has been proven that the quality of leadership has an increasingly significant influence on the satisfaction and motivation of employees. Scientific studies even show a clear impact on customer loyalty, although the managers themselves often have no contact with them.

Only those who know and lead themselves well are able to lead employees, teams, and organizations. Good leadership always starts with good self-awareness. It succeeds with the right balance between pronounced clarity and determination on the one hand and good connection (empathy) with yourself and your employees on the other. These elements of the future leadership approach are essential for a good manager today.

  • Consciously choosing for which people leadership responsibility is the right task
  • Recognize, develop and use the potential of employees correctly
  • Establish employee development as a key management task
  • Mastering and applying management styles appropriate to the situation
  • To bind people emotionally to the company through good leadership
  • Have an appreciative effect in communication even in critical phases
  • Systematic development of leadership skills in the company
  • Easier implementation of organizational strategies and goals
  • Improved employee loyalty at all levels
  • More extensive exploitation of the performance potential of all employees
  • Increased employer attractiveness
  • Building a talent pool

Future Leadership in Practice

“Future Leadership requires suitable and effective development measures to enable future-oriented leadership and to give leadership the strength to do so.”

Our surveys keep showing that many managers see their thoughts and actions more in line with the Future Leadership concept than their employees describe and experience it. There is a gap between self-perception and the perception of others. But the expectations of many people in the world of work are apparently contradictory: They want a leap of faith and freedom and at the same time they expect a framework that provides clarity and security, especially in times of crisis. This balancing act is increasingly challenging for managers.

This is where our leadership development in the sense of Future Leadership comes in:

We empower managers…

  • … to find and strengthen their autonomy in thinking and acting
  • … to face their patterns and beliefs and replace the obstructive with beneficial paths
  • … to be able to consciously control how much freedom and how much framework the people they lead need and tolerate in a specific work context
  • … to create the right proximity and distance to employees so that leadership is individually appropriate and inspiring

“Confident, present, and affectionate – this is the only way managers today can inspire people for a meaningful, common future.”

  • Wanting to work and move through personality and sovereignty instead of through power and role
  • Being present in the sense of “what is right and important right now” and not reacting from old patterns of the two extremes “give and instruct” or “dive in and let go”
  • Have an appreciative interest in the how and why of employees
  • Being able to provide specific answers to the why of the employees
  • Finding meaningful ways between entrepreneurial interests, the current framework, and the actual feasibility
  • Always weigh between the overall responsibility for the system and the responsibility towards each and every individual

We always work specifically on and with the existing framework conditions and without a template in order to be able to “connect” where the people and the organization are.

The following case studies from our consulting work show two approaches in brief:

Case Study 1: Decentralized, heterogeneous service company

  • In a top-down process, based on strategic specifications, we put the vision and mission on the subject of Future Leadership to the test
  • A mission statement process, in which employees from different levels and areas are involved, promotes discussions about expectations, opportunities, and risks and reveals weak points, cultural history, and patterns of action
  • The management guidelines developed from this are accepted as practical assistance. The exchange in the management team about “How do we want to lead?” has been strengthened
  • Employees experience a learning organization because they participate in the development of leadership
  • We professionalize and sustainably anchor in the Future Leadership approach through targeted training measures, coaching and working with individual management teams

Case Study 2: Traditional trading company in a rapidly changing market environment after a change in management

  • In an initial workshop (management and upper management level), the participants develop a shared understanding of what the primary management functions of the upper management level are and are not! It is also worked out how these management functions can be experienced and what specific tasks and responsibilities are associated with them
  • The process of reflection on one’s own type of leadership and leadership effect motivates new beginnings and personal development
  • The resulting discussions and clarification processes bring the leadership closer together, understanding and supporting growth. This is also noticeable for the employees in a changing external effect
  • The management team shows more clarity and unity in attitude, messages, and prioritization
  • The Future Leadership approach specifically placed by the management comes to life in everyday work and is supported by targeted training, coaching, and team development in the management teams

Let’s talk about what such a process will look like in your organization and how it can be implemented.

Talent Management

“Talents find solutions, geniuses discover problems.”

Identifying and promoting top talent pays off! If you introduce a top talent as a new member to a team, the other team members’ effectiveness will increase by 5% to 15%. This also improves the economic performance of your company. Companies that invest in top talents have better business results on average.

  • Close integration of personnel development, personnel management and employee loyalty
  • Long-term talent development processes and measures
  • Senior-Management Attention
  • Targeted selection criteria in a transparent selection process
  • You increase the overall performance of a team if you employ only one top talent in the team
  • You will find “dormant” talents in your company
  • They attract promising talent in the job market
  • They increase the attractiveness of your company as an employer and thus employee loyalty

Some employees are more talented than others – talents / high potentials differ in the following 5 characteristics, the so-called 5 X-factors:

  • The urge to surpass themselves every time
  • An accelerated learning capacity and an increased absorption capacity
  • A high transfer strength – to transfer knowledge and what has been learned from training permanently into everyday work
  • Resourcefulness and risk taking
  • The sensitivity for business opportunities and obstacles

Due to their pronounced ability to face new challenges and to overcome them with interdisciplinary approaches, high potentials are particularly suitable for positions with a leadership character, but can also make an important contribution to corporate success as experts.

We would be happy to support you in developing the criteria for identifying top talents that are relevant to your company.

1) Definition of the relevant criteria that make up a top talent in the company

2) Establishing the criteria for participating in a selection process

3) Open announcement / invitation to submit an unsolicited application with a letter of application

4) Pre-selection from the submitted applications and admission to the assessment

5) Setting up and carrying out an assessment center with the candidates of the pre-selection

6) Final evaluation of the assessment center results and determination of the participants

  • The program content is modular and based on the main topics you have chosen
  • All training contains practical examples from leadership and teamwork, which are conveyed and practiced in alternating lecture and training situations
  • For each training, the participants receive a learning diary in which the training content discussed and / or supplemental information is documented
  • If desired, video sequences can also be incorporated and used
  • We offer individual reflections, one-on-one discussions, feedback, and individual coaching during the modules

We would be happy to support you in designing your talent management concept and your development measure; company-specific, methodically professional, and close to people.

New Work

“New work means lifelong learning and the willingness to reinvent yourself over and over again.”

As early as the 1980s, Frithjof Bergmann (philosopher and anthropologist) described the central values ​​of the “New Work” with independence, freedom, and participation in the community. He also says that without work, people feel “incomplete.” But for the individual, New Work should only consist of “work that you really, really want.” These are activities that correspond to your own strengths and needs. Back then, it was still a revolution for many entrepreneurs. Now it’s an expectation or even an obligation.

Today the term New Work is on everyone’s lips – the design and compatibility with traditional procedures are controversially discussed and challenged. New Work is not a method or a tool, but an attitude or a basic understanding of putting “people first”. This is a challenge and an opportunity at the same time if New Work is to be transferred and adapted in your own company.

Without a serious and sustained examination of the New Work approaches, companies will find it increasingly challenging to be and remain attractive and successful.

1. Attitude & Culture

New Work requires a change of thinking by managers and employees. Instead of “micromanagement,” instructions and decisions “from above,” it is essential to establish a culture that promotes and demands self-organization, equality, and independent action, and decision-making. When it comes to motivating people in organizations, attitude, sense, and purpose play an increasingly important role.

2. Organization

Traditional hierarchically oriented and silo-like structures need to be broken up to create agile and flexible network organizations. For example, flexible working groups enable employees from different areas to contribute their expertise on a project-specific basis, which creates interdisciplinary results. The implementation of organizational changes can affect individual areas of the organization as well as the entire organization.

3. Leadership

Transactional leadership should give way to transformational leadership. The manager must be aware of their role model function and create a framework that offers space for freedom and personal responsibility for the individual employees. A manager changes from a hierarchical manager to a coaching manager. They should encourage innovation and be open to new ideas. All management work at New Work is ultimately based on the trust, confidence, and further development of the employees. Virtual leadership will gain importance in leadership work.

4. Cooperation

Interdisciplinary and complex projects require “thinking outside the box.” Employees, but also managers, must therefore work together in a trust-based and networked manner. When a group of people from different areas focuses on transparency and results, creative ideas and solutions arise that would otherwise not have existed. Numerous technical tools are available to organizations to institutionalize and enable collaboration. Not only the tools but also the attitude & culture of the community and participation support and develop the cooperation.

5. Network

Successful cooperation in an agile organization requires good cross-functional networking, both internally and externally. The boundaries between partners, suppliers, and customers are being redefined with or through New Work. Achieving joint progress and further joint development are the focus.

6. Innovation & Technology

The digitization and automation of innovation processes are elementary. Even if the people in the organization are the focus of New Work, the opportunities of the technical possibilities are used to the maximum. They save time and resources and facilitate collaboration within and outside the organization.

7. Learning

Collective expertise and continuous knowledge creation facilitate cooperation and promote innovative ideas and solutions. The open handling of mistakes enables continuous learning and the further development of the organization and the people in it. Instead of avoiding mistakes at all costs, the people in the organization should be able to learn from each other and from their own mistakes and those of others.

8. Workplace

The question arises as to which workplace concepts support your New Work Transformation and which are necessary and which are not. A fixed workplace with fixed working hours may form a rigid framework with little freedom. Flexible working hours and locations and mobile working could not only promote creativity but also motivate employees. Ultimately, it is important to find out which aspects contribute to the successful implementation of New Work. Examples: Mobile working, home office, job sharing, 4-day week, collaborative office design, etc.

The transformation process towards New Work is not about introducing new tools. It’s about developing a changed mindset, not just for individuals or individual teams but also for the entire organization. Organizations only become faster and more flexible, more willing to learn, and more customer-oriented if employees can and are allowed to change their understanding of their roles and if all managers also allow more independent and self-determined action in practice.

  • The company management and executives believe in the meaning and benefits of the transformation to New Work
  • All those responsible are aware of or become aware of their own patterns of action and their beneficial or hindering effect
  • The executives enter into a dialogue with employees and convince all those affected of the significance and benefit of the expected and desired mindset
  • The executives begin to redefine the roles of the employees together with them and begin to grant and design freedom
  • Systematic exchanges of experiences with the given freedom, as a manager and as an employee, is institutionalized
  • It takes time and leeway so that employees can check how far they are willing to go and realize their own ideas

We are happy to support you in your New Work Transformation with expertise and methodological competence.

Have an open discussion about the why

Transparency is created through economic and cultural value creation goals and an open dialogue about motives, convictions, and beliefs is conducted. The question of to what extent the mindset should change is at the beginning of the path.

Develop a common identity

Based on the Why, the question arises, what does your company or what does your organization mean for you and for others? You can develop or find the answer by completing the sentence: “We are the ones who ……!”

Carry out a „Reality Check“ of the organization

How are topics such as responsibility, processes, rules, transparency, participation, etc. currently perceived by employees, and what is the target image for the aspects?

Promote Participation

Finding ways and processes to involve (all) employees on the path of transformation (“becoming involved”).

Become a “Learning Organization”

Create space and times for experimentation. Thinking outside the box is desirable and necessary! Tolerance towards mistakes gives security and reduces inhibiting fear. Creativity and innovation skills are specifically promoted.

Give budget responsibility to the workforce

Promote awareness of the financial responsibility of decisions and actions.

GET Agile

A result orientation is being put in the foreground while goals are defined together. The result of the performed work and the motivation of the people to contribute to it becomes the main focus.

Turning interfaces to seams

People want to understand what “the other side” is doing. Mutual support is more productive than blasphemy about one another. Promote collaboration.

Leading Healthily

“Mental and physical health must be an important part of responsible and conscious leadership today.”

Time pressure, variety of tasks, lack of clarity about situations and expectations, high demands, stressful conflicts: the list of what challenges us every day is long. It is almost an art to stay emotionally balanced, not to lose the clear view of situations and people, and to make appropriate decisions and act.

For healthy self-management, mindfulness and resilience (psychological resistance) are at least as important as mastering self and time management methods. These elements are just as trainable as physical fitness, which make us strong, flexible, and enduring. Mindfulness acts as the key to conscious interaction with oneself and with employees. It impacts the design of structures, processes, and cultural elements that make working life in the organization attractive and productive.

Superiors who “lead healthily” have excellent social skills, focus on relationship tasks and promote job satisfaction and motivation.  They manage to bring employees’ individual and social needs and goals into line with the organization’s goals.

  • Radiate security, give security
  • Appreciation even in critical situations
  • Adequate, reasonable workload
  • Suction instead of pressure
  • Give and show room for actions
  • Shaping a caring working atmosphere
  • Working styles, working methods, effectiveness techniquesn
  • Life balance and self-care
  • Mindfulness and resilience
  • Motivators, Beliefs, and Stress Patterns
  • Achieve sovereignty

Lead Projects to Success

“Collaboration across departmental boundaries and the involvement of all relevant people and skills make it possible to achieve project goals while meeting deadlines and budget targets.”

Todays working world is more and more organized in projects that are intended to produce a result or product within a limited time in changing team constellations. The associated complexity and fast pace place significant demands on managers and especially on project managers who otherwise have no leadership tasks.

Agreements and communication are becoming more critical, as is selecting the right employees to cope with the tasks. Roles and responsibilities change so that employees from the second row can also demonstrate project-related “Future Leadership” qualities.

  • Professional project management with a project “Steering Committee”
  • A project structure clarity in the roles
  • Process management in milestones and stages
  • Transparency in communication
  • Clear target agreements with everyone involved
  • Ability to assume responsibility for employees
  • People- and task-oriented project management at the same time
  • Mastery of the methodological variety for successful project work (e.g. SCRUM, OKR, Design Thinking, Working out Loud, retrospectives, etc.)
  • React flexibly and quickly to changing market requirements
  • Your company gains vitality
  • Your employees take responsibility for processes

Participation

“Participation stands for contribution, sharing, involvement and inclusion.”

Employees strive for meaningful work. The participation of employees in decisions in the organization is the key to become meaningful. Involvement in decisions that affect the colleagues themselves is particularly useful. This can increase motivation, as decisions are not made over their head, but the employees are rather seen and valued as the experts of their own system.

  • Managers can let go
  • Getting involved in ideas that differ from your own ideas
  • Clarity about the limits of participation
  • “Real” opportunities for participation that make self-efficacy tangible
  • Establishing a culture of mistakes
  • Broad acceptance of jointly made decisions
  • The motivation and satisfaction of the employees’ increases
  • Creativity in solving problems
  • Assumption of responsibility and commitment to processes