For weeks I have been coaching executives and teams that are exposed to completely new challenges in the corona crisis. Significant signs of dissolution are now appearing almost everywhere. Many people buckle under the double burden of work and family, they are physically, emotionally and mentally at the end of their strength. For the one who still hopes that we just have to get through this virus crisis and then everything will be fine, I have bad news.
Covid-19 is just one episode compared to what’s coming. It is becoming increasingly clear: the subsequent economic crisis alone will be huge. Not to mention the climate change, which has long been noticeable in this country and will provide unimaginable changes for companies. So is digitization, which has received an additional boost from the virus crisis.
These mega topics can no longer be examined from just one perspective or limited to one area. When entire companies digitize, it affects all departments; it raises countless questions – from security issues to marketing and the supply chain. This requires managers without specialist idiots who are able to get other people on board who work in a multi-perspective and interdisciplinary manner. Our world today is already too complex for everything else – and it will always be tomorrow’s.
Who now says: But I know where to go – has already lost. If you want to be successful tomorrow, you have to be able to question what already exists – including the recipes for success to date. Especially in times of fundamental upheavals, such as we are currently experiencing, the future cannot be shaped by projecting past experiences onto tomorrow.
Nobody can handle this alone: The era of the omniscient manager who guides others in the implementation is finally over. Tomorrow’s leader is tasked with bringing together and coordinating different perspectives. It is not just about interdisciplinary thinking and multi-perspective action. Complementary personalities are also required in management teams. A manager, for example, who is more security-oriented himself, would do well to bring people to his side who think differently, are more willing to take risks, are more open, more dynamic.
Nothing against numbers, monitoring and KPIs: But managing them alone no longer works. The people we want to work with who are intrinsically motivated have different needs. They want to be seen and respected, meaning and purpose conveyed. Only managers who have personality can do that. They exemplify what is important now. And we have to train these people.
But how can I teach people to show respect for others or to grant them autonomy? Not only to use them to fulfill your own needs, but to show empathy and real interest? The answer is: not at all. There is no need for new skills that I can teach in classic training courses.