The people in the organizations have changed as well. The part of the workforce that gives goodwill in the morning its “brain at the factory gate” shrinks. The number of people refusing to see work as part of life is increasing. This has a significant impact on human leadership.
- Personnel instruments support participation expectations. With the collection of up and 360-degree feedbacks, personal performance evaluation is no longer a one-way street. The claim to leadership is realized in the participation instruments of a modern human resources system. Employee surveys, feedbacks and team rounds effectively level out unpleasant asymmetries in leadership relationships. This is an attempt to create transparency of performance at all levels. In addition to the business-related, people’s private options for reducing the asymmetry of hierarchical leadership relationships have also increased.
- The control of knowledge work becomes more demanding. The triumphant progress of knowledge work has raised a number of unanswered questions for controlling value creation. The skills and activity patterns of today’s knowledge work and the technical possibilities of networked communication through social media promote lateral coordination and cooperation, increasing project organization and the temporary nature of work relations. The autonomy of successful knowledge workers puts classic control instruments to the test. The contextual embedding of knowledge complicates the goal setting and review. As Peter Drucker put it: “The knowledge worker is the one who is the only person in the organization who knows (and can judge) whether he did his job well.” By implication, this is not the professional judgment of the leader in this leadership relationship The focus, but the orientation, sparring, networking of employees with each other here are the most essential management tasks. And: The control of knowledge work relies on an appropriate basis of trust.
It becomes more important to bear contradictions and to clarify roles. The increasingly complex, • bounded organizational models lead to ambiguous role assignments on the personal side, which places increasing demands on the ambiguity tolerance of executives and employees. It is becoming more and more important to be able to act effectively even in contradictory contexts of interest and to place particular role aspects in the foreground, depending on the context. Employees of a demanding internal service company, for example, must be able to flexibly switch between service and control roles.
- For people in the company, the skill pressure increases. The shortage of skilled workers and managers, as well as the increasing skill pressure, are leading to an intensified internal competition of knowledge. It is true that the documentation of knowledge with the personal sender at central interfaces becomes immensely important in order to keep the knowledge in the company. But the sinking half-life of knowledge requires that qualification be done quickly, decentrally, and self-organized. Competent workforces are more and more employees, who continue their education independently. Especially in young industries, this leads to permanent shifts in competency-based power structures. The support of the individual empowerment of the employees becomes the central management task.
It is questionable whether the personnel development or the “people managers” in matrix structures actually still have enough insight into the respective mode of operation and content competence in order to ensure an adequate qualification individually. Top-down uniformed training programs are becoming less and less effective. The best way for mixed small groups is to work together to find solutions.
The feedback culture of the digital natives and the ability to communicate references into social networks inevitably binds the qualification of knowledge workers to the individual. This requirement is further emphasized by the ever-increasing urgency of actually lifelong employee development, which also needs individualized support and formats and must be anchored in daily activities.
- The desire for self-realization no longer ends at the factory gate. The demands placed on the organization and management of work are constantly increasing when people place their happiness in the center of their actions in the sense of expansive ideologies of self-improvement. This also includes increasing expectations of the own effectiveness in the organizations. The evaluation of work according to its personality is no longer a privilege of highly qualified people.
After all, the self-confident design of the work-life balance is increasingly accompanied by a posteriorization of professional aspects of life. In particular, the generation of digital natives increasingly questions classic patterns of authority and values. Participation and participation are demands that are demanded and practiced on other socio-political levels.
Key challenges for leadership and leadership systems
The times when executives in clearly defined and confined spaces a
clearly mandated authority to act based on clearly formulated goals are finally over. The essential destinations of the classic
Leadership models are no longer correct.
- The changed framework conditions of leadership make the overall strategic orientation of the organization more difficult. Leadership in the VUCA world is increasingly facing a crisis of orientation. At the same time, leadership in this world is more important than ever.
- Managers are increasingly confronted with tasks in which they no longer have clear authority, but are nevertheless responsible for the achievements of others. These include, in particular, the cross-departmental project tasks in which interest groups and their actions must be oriented towards a common project objective.
- The crisis of strategic planning is also a crisis of the target systems in organizations – and thus a crisis of leadership. Organizational learning has replaced elaborate planning and goal-setting systems in many places.
- The participation and management claims of people and employees in companies hardly allow asymmetrical leadership relationships in the classical sense.
- Leadership can hardly take place single-handedly. Successful leadership is a product of collective decision-making – if only to provide adequate redundancy to tackle increasingly complex tasks.
- With the demarcation of the organizational and working world leadership at the organizational border becomes the central challenge. Increasingly, this involves involving stakeholders outside the organization.
- The triumphant advance of knowledge work puts asymmetrical leadership relationships and the associated one-sided goal-setting processes to the test.
The incentive systems are in transition. Freedom of action and freedom of action, self-efficacy, responsibility allocation and other factors become the alternative currency with which benefits are compensated.