Societies and their markets have become highlydynamic and unstable. Everything is becoming more complex, many things change dramatically in a very short time. This is called “disruption”. In order not to waste their own potential through cumbersome work processes, more and more companies are becoming more agile. They have understood how to react faster to changing situations, how to manage crises, how to question rigid workflows. Leadership can no longer be a distribution of commands, but must instead take on a creative role. Leadership has to build human relationships.
Managers mean well: clear directions, strict guidelines, exact specifications. Even in companies that call themselves flat hierarchies, there are often unreasonably powerful “strings” that managers or steering committees use to control their employees. But new positions are purposefully filled with competent, hungry people. If a department head allows more self-organization, unexpected potential is often set free. Employees are grateful for trust and responsibility. The human factor is in focus, a company can only become agile if it stops pulling on limiting strings everywhere. Agility is the answer to rapid change.
What are the Strings that Limit Agility?
Things that we are forced to do we do less efficiently than things we want to do. When managers release pressure and create a positive corporate culture, employees work more independently and handle complex work in teams. The difficulties summarised under VUCA can only be tackled with “soft values” not found in a balance sheet. Then the ‘hard’ key figures will add up again.