Bernd Steffens | Günther Wirkus
“Agile Leadership” and now also “Agile Strategy” are discussed as future-oriented answers to many current challenges for companies.
What does “agile leadership” actually mean? What’s really new about it? What are the prerequisites, what are the consequences? How would that work in our company?
The whole life is change and yet, especially in the corporate context, we have a hard time with it. Digitization, globalization, industry 4.0 stand for current challenges – for companies, teams, individuals, economically, organizationally, psychologically. How can we deal with it? To what extent are changes still organizational development, where does change management begin?
As we see it, coaching is directed at individuals and fosters their ability to organise themselves in their professional and working lives. Coaching supports the person in shaping their personal development, their social roles and their cooperative relationships as well as in coping with their decision-making and action requirements in working life.
Conducting a Conversation
Although we already learned as a small child, communication causes us problems all our lives. Conversation, feedback, criticism, conflict, meeting, emails – the list of topics for which support is sought is unlimited. How can we improve our communication?
Conducting critical discussions
Managers are often required to hold difficult conversations, e.g. give critical feedback to an employee or communicate an unpopular decision. Perhaps it is also about a difficult discussion with one’s own superior about general conditions or scope for decision-making. All those situations have a common goal, namely to convey a clear, possibly uncomfortable or unpopular message to the interlocutor, which should ultimately bring about a change in behaviour and improve future cooperation. What has to be considered? How can such a thing succeed?
Since corporate cultures can also have a negative impact on the performance of employees and the success of companies, the goal of every corporate culture design is the use of all levers that optimally and sustainably promote corporate success. In order to change culture, a clear analysis of the current culture is required, on the basis of which a realistic target culture is developed.
Customer orientation as a success factor
Whoever advertises as a service provider with the quality of his products, advertises with something that is completely self-evident from the customer’s point of view when purchasing the product: high quality!
On the other hand, there is still enormous potential in the area of providing services directly to the customer.
It is becoming increasingly important to be able to make decisions together with others in such a way that optimal solutions are achieved while at the same time reducing errors and mistakes.
There is no rational objective decision. If there were, there would be nothing to decide. A decision is made by the decision maker according to important decision criteria. Subjective aspects such as expectations, interests and needs influence a decision just as much as the eagerness to make a decision and the desirable and undesirable consequences of a decision.
In addition to methods of decision making, the attitude of the decision-maker to seek to find a solution cooperatively with others plays a decisive role in the truest sense of the word.
Development of personality
Every human being is a unique individual, a personality. But what makes personality, how does it manifest itself in behaviour, in communication with others, how does it influence teams and organisations and what happens when very different people come together?
To truly understand personality and its impact on leadership, development, constructive cooperation and conflict management, it is essential to deal with this comprehensive topic. This can be done in different ways and depending on the area of application, different methods can provide support.
Leadership and Management Development
What do people expect from leadership today? How can people and result-oriented management succeed? Which leadership style is appropriate for the different situations and people in everyday life? How can you lead people remotely, virtually? What do agile working methods mean for the role of leadership? What is the understanding of leadership in different cultures? How can you learn to lead?
Conscience is the personal judgement immediately preceding an action about the responsibility of the action. The commonly used “bad conscience” follows the action and has nothing to do with responsibility at all – this usually means feelings of guilt, shame, fear or inferior value.
We regard consulting as a process. Consulting processes have a double benefit for our customers. On the one hand, we see a company, a department, a team and individuals as a social system that, through consulting, is enabled to meet future challenges independently and without outside help. On the other hand, structures, procedures and processes are questioned and, if necessary, enhanced in order to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.
We consider the people factor. Consulting without this factor will hardly be effective. Based on this background, we collaborate with our clients to elaborate solutions that correspond to their situation.
Conflict discussions are the first step to solve conflicts constructively on your own. In the next step, an external moderator (mediator) can support this.
Mindfulness can be interpreted as a specific mode of focusing attention on the here and now, on the current moment. So not to be trapped in memories or future plans or ruminations. It’s not just about concentrating on what’s happening. It’s about a changed attitude towards oneself and thus the way to shape one’s private and professional life.
Motivation refers to the entirety of all motives that lead to the willingness to act, i.e. the human striving for goals or desirable target objects based on emotional and neuronal activity.
Motivation is the direction, intensity and endurance of a willingness to behave towards or away from goals.
Occupational health management
The basis of any successful company is a motivated and healthy workforce. Occupational health management (OHM) includes “systematic and sustainable efforts to design structures and processes that promote health and to empower employees” (Expert Commission 2004). The aim is to create a healthy work environment and encourage employees to behave in a healthy manner.
Scope of Self-determination
The personal scope of self-determination consists of three dimensions,
- the diversity of tasks (suitable variety of activities)
- Possibilities for decision-making and impact (appropriate scope for discretion)
- Possibility of cooperation (suitable collaboration)
which are granted within an appropriate entrepreneurial framework. The aim is to balance the three dimensions in terms of personal stress prevention.
Professional skills, intelligence and commitment are certainly important factors for success and performance, but these alone are not enough. The changes in the modern world of work require more and more personal responsibility. This often leads to higher stress levels and a growing number of psychological diseases. The maintenance and enhancement of the ability to work are becoming increasingly important.
Supervision is used to support competence development, to clarify conflicts and problems within a team or a department in order to increase work performance and efficiency.
Team supervision focuses on the interaction between team members. The aim is to learn together, create synergy effects and elaborate solutions. Contents are e.g. teamwork, goals, processes, structures, values and culture. This also includes personal topics – these are, however, only dealt with in supervision to the extent that they particularly hinder or promote the joint collaboration process in the team.
The advantage of team supervision is that what has been learned can then be put into practice together.
A team is more than the grouping of people under a common umbrella term. What makes a team and how can I, as a manager, successfully lead and develop teams?
Leaders today have to take responsibility for more and more decisions and actions themselves. Different values – above all economic and private values, but also political, cultural and social values – compete with each other. The competition of values then leads to inner psychological tensions and conflicts (topic: work-life balance) and a lack of orientation: What should I use as a basis for my decisions?
1-2 decades ago there were almost no virtual teams. Technology, globalization, rapid market development have brought about a dramatic change in leadership and collaboration requirements. Today, most teams work partially or completely in a virtual context. Which are the factors that influence virtual management and which ones if hierarchy is not available? What skills do managers and employees need? Which tools are helpful?