Let’s define organization as a group of people with shared roles and responsibilities, aiming for the same targets and led by a clear strategy and business model, tied into a structure of functions, processes and corporate culture.
This more or less well operating system now faces technological and societal challenges like advanced robotics, digitization, changing working models and job profiles, and increased global competition. Numerous studies predict a new form of cooperation between robots or ‘cobots’ and humans (in “hybrid teams”), a loss in management positions of 30-50%, a shortfall of established job profiles and professions (replaced by completely new ones) and risk management-algorithms to take real-time decisions, just to name a few.
Organizations will master these challenges only when constantly reviewing and adapting their structural set-up, ways of collaboration and decision-making processes to stay efficient. Thus, organizational performance will be more and more dependent on the ability to quickly adapt and to reinvent, with “reinventing” in a double sense: improving the status quo but also incorporating constant review and adaptation as part of the organizational DNA. This will be key to “morphing” into a structure that is the most efficient: supporting quick strategy implementation, collaborating across hierarchies and functions, quickly forming new and effective teams, integrating customers and suppliers into the value chain and getting the buy-in of every stakeholder by effectively communicating the WHERE TO and WHY.
Slightly twisting the famous Darwin quote: “It is not the strongest of organizations that survive but the most adaptable”. Able to adapt on an individual level (Micro), on team level (Macro) and on company level (Meta).
Initiating and managing organizational change will be a future leadership challenge as it will become a requisite ‘key skill’. In addition, leadership tasks will change as will our overall understanding of leadership: to live the idea of constant reinvention, organizations will strive for more delegation and participation, algorithm-based decision-making, employees working in virtual teams across hierarchies, more and effective communication and dialogue, identifying and retaining talented people… the list will be longer.
Effective leadership will be much more targeted (and evaluated) at how leaders deal with complexity and constant change and demonstrate a truly open mindset and global viewpoint. Status symbols will become less important or tangible, while the number of leadership positions in general will go down – established career-paths are no longer an option. Tougher times for experienced leaders….
In these tough times, a neutral sparring partner can help frame insights into the key issues. On an individual level, Frauke offers coaching and reflexion on topics such as:
After an initial session in which expectations are discussed and next steps defined, the following sessions can be face-to-face or by phone. Clients can choose between English or German for the coaching session.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy
For leaders in their leadership role and as members of a team, organizational change will require more understanding about team dynamics, leading or working in virtual and cross-hierarchical teams and managing own teams effectively – from so-called “soft skills” like communication and conflict resolution to “hard skills” like defining roles and responsibilities, clear target setting and consistent action.
Frauke has worked for more than 20 years in different team settings, often internationally staffed and has been consulting and training groups and teams for more than 15 years:
“Effective leadership is not about the number of people reporting to you but about the number of people following you.” Frauke Christiansen
Moving an organization to new ways of working, a new strategy or a desired new corporate culture is nothing that a single function like HR, Org Development or the Strategy Department can manage alone – this requires combined effort and commitment, especially from Senior Management which needs to successfully deliver the relevant key messages as often as required, demonstrating role model behaviour. A single “tone from the top” is no longer enough to get people’s buy-in.
Given the fact that most people have been through several, if not numerous change processes within their company, the excitement and motivation to go through another round of great announcements and poor implementation has reduced dramatically over the years….
Let’s rethink project staffing and approach: identify the people who can really help to deliver a balanced picture of the status quo, who can contribute to a solution which is not only value-adding but sustainable and let’s assume that these key people can be found everywhere in the organization. Having followed this idea and applying innovative methods for diagnosis and design, effective implementation is no longer a myth.
Running organizational assessments and designing respective change programs has been Frauke’s home turf for the past two decades. Working on meta-level project assignments will always be in a team of two or more experts from her network.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.” Socrates