We live in a dynamic, fast moving and changing world. Digitalization has already hit almost all areas of our life. How do leaders have to act in order to not get swept away by the digital disruption?
The knowledge that leading and steering companies is changing is a very essential first step. Acting according to this means to not transform oneself to a bottleneck through strict control and reporting. A system for leading and steering has to be developed that enables us to make quick decisions and to adapt quickly to changes. With that also comes the development of employees and teams towards more personal responsibility. Leadership can be spread more evenly this way. We need a strong picture of the future to not get lost in arbitrariness. Where do we want to go and why? These are the questions every leader has to ask himself. The answers to these questions will help to get orientation in a fast moving world.
Which personal traits do trainers and coaches have to have to accompany their coachees successfully in the digital transformation?
I would say, the willingness to perform self-reflection and openness for new developments are very important traits for trainers and coaches. From time to time, it is important for them to ask themselves, if their way of working still is up to date. They should know digitalization not only theoretically through books, but also practically through dealing with it. They do not have to become techies. Still, they have to understand the dynamics that come with the digitalization and how it feels to deal with it.
And in the leadership development: What leads to success here?
We as leaders are today more than ever challenged to question old patterns of thinking and acting. That requires room for irritation and reflection. It also leads away from content-stuffed and almost schoolish standard trainings. In my opinion, successful training nowadays needs mainly simulation, reflection and intensive feedback from the trainers as well as the group you are learning with.
As a second step, the learning methods matter a lot. Modern methods give leaders the opportunity to take changes actively in their practical work and to directly try them out and implement them. Method and application competence comes for a great part from trying things out. Trainings can also be a little bit like working in a laboratory. Like in a lab, you get the chance to experiment, fail and draw conclusions from it. The times of wellness-trainings with happysheets at the end are long gone in my opinion. You have to leave your comfort zone in order to realize how much you can grow and learn. Of course, fun is still allowed. 🙂
So, what can trainers and coaches do precisely to support this?
From my point of view, it is crucial that consultants, trainers and coaches use the chance to network and work together. Currently, in IT and development areas new styles of leadership are evolving because the ways of working there are changing intensively. But the need for this is also strong in other industries. Therefore, you have to look for whats already here, what could be useful and to enhance already existing parts. That works best when working cross-functional.
What are possible risks of agility in leadership?
One risk is to bring agile leadership as a quick fix into an organization. Ideally, agile leadership is used on various levels: it needs know-how, application competence and mindset – short: knowing-doing-being.
Another risk is wanting to copy an apparently successful agile way of other companies. It would be much better to first take a look at your own situation and then to identify the most important fields of action.
Sometimes, I also observe that people forget hoe they pistired their future: Why do I even need agility (regarding leadership) and how do we imgine our ideal future, if we work and act in an agile way? You need these principles to bring sense and energy into the implementation. Only then, people can deal with challenges in the daily business in a proper way. A detour is not a problem, as long as you don’t lose sight of the right direction.