Inhalt

Brave new working world

22. April 2021, Editorial

Seeing change as an opportunity - Flat hierarchies, flexible working hours and a casual dress code. Outdoor spaces, greater leeway for organising workloads, and flexibility have long-since tipped the balance when it comes to finding – and holding on to – good employees. And now after thorough road-testing during the coronavirus pandemic, home office solutions have forced many companies into a fundamental rethink

Thema:

change as an opportunity
corporate culture
homeoffice

Questions surrounding the workplace of the future are more prevalent than ever before. Today’s communication technologies, management styles and problem-solving strategies could prove to be outdated just a little further down the road. The entire world of work is in a state of flux. Right now, people are braced for an uncertain future. And the watchword on everyone’s lips is corporate culture.

Corporate culture

Corporate culture has been a decisive factor behind change processes and business transformation for a long time now. It defines how people interact with one another – covering everything from communication styles to how decisions are made and what kind of error culture a company adopts. This system of values determines the boundaries of what a company can – and can’t – achieve.

It is now high time to bid farewell to old ways of thinking based on rigid models and theories that ultimately focus on just one goal: maximising profits.

The future will be all about an inclusive management style and driving change together, and, as a result, developing a sense of working together for the common good. A modern corporate culture is characterised by the idea that not everything needs to be made faster, taller and constantly upgraded. Instead, the focus is on creating a solid basis for a thriving business. Bringing about meaningful cultural change is extremely difficult and not something that can be achieved over night.

Approaching corporate culture as a process

It takes more than simply defining values and rules, then putting them all down in writing and leaving it at that. They have to be integrated into every aspect of the company and actively engage every single employee. Lasting change only occurs if words are followed by deeds.

Chancen und auch Herausforderungen annehmen und sich darauf einlassen, die Arbeitswelt aktiv mitzugestalten. Das gilt für Unternehmen wie auch für jeden Einzelnen. 

But what is often lacking is a culture that is so deeply rooted that it allows the views and attitudes of a company’s employees to feed into the necessary changes. In many cases, companies fail to put all these changes into practice and bring them to life. And the workforce often feels like it has been overlooked.

New work with the help of new leadership

All too often, companies prefer to invest in state-of-the-art technology and new office concepts than turn their attentions to the way employees and managers work together. For change to happen, there needs to be a fresh interpretation of leadership and collaboration. In this process it is managers ­­–  or, more precisely, digital transformation leaders –who have a decisive role to play. They have to make sure employees are on board. Coaching rather than managing could make all the difference. But this calls for more than simply wearing trainers with a suit.

It is about unlocking employees’ self confidence, inspired by the notion that the best ideas win. And it shouldn’t matter who, or which department, they come from. But for this to happen, an open error and feedback culture needs to be put in place. Removing barriers between departments, positions and reporting chains is every bit as important. Instead, interdisciplinary teams need to be set up, encouraged to organise their own workloads and be given the opportunity to see projects through from start to finish.

None of this means that the new world of work should be a world without leadership. It is currently undergoing a revolution that can open up space for rebellion to spark innovation in the corporate culture. Contemporary tools obviously help employees gain the expertise they need in terms of technologies, methods, culture, mentality and behaviours. They provide the ideal reference point.

There is one point that always needs bearing in mind, though: there is no one approach that is right for everyone. Different people have different values. While undoubtedly shaped by personal factors, value systems are anchored in the wider culture that a person grows up and lives in. By taking a very close look at the different values we can form a deeper appreciation of how conflicts arise and what development opportunities are out there. It is about putting one brick on top of the next, and building that lego castle together. Inspired by corporate culture.

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