Digitization can no longer be stopped, that much is certain. At the same time, the demands on managers are rising, whose particular challenge is to create new spaces and agile structures for employees in established organizational structures. In the digital age, the importance of correct and good leadership has increased significantly again. In many professional areas, the digitalization of society is now creating a model in which professional and leisure life increasingly merge. In organizations, digital and human agents are increasingly being used to share means of communication, control and coordination and to establish flat organizational structures.

Meanwhile, there are numerous new occupational groups: Digital strategists, chief digital officers, digital engagement managers, digital finance managers, digital marketing managers and digital supply chain managers. When companies are confronted with changing requirements due to digitalization and value changes, managers are challenged to review and realign their leadership actions.

In his publications, the author Dr. Wolfgang Saaman has supplemented the traditional view of corporate culture with the concept of performance culture. Performance and culture cannot be viewed independently of each other. Openness means active, transparent and hierarchically independent provision of information, agility, quick and unconventional reaction to new and unforeseen events and participation, finally initiative, voluntary participation with predominantly self-organized assumption of responsibility.

Digital transformation will lead to profound changes in business models, organizations and labor practices. Competitors and business models are emerging that were previously unthinkable. Value creation processes change radically, new trends become more and more obvious. It is already clear that power is no longer generated by a traditional hierarchy. Clear organizations will be replaced by increasingly flexible and autonomous working groups that no longer have a boss in the traditional sense of the word. Disruption is the process by which an existing business model or an entire market is completely transformed by a growing innovation. Harvard economist Clayton Christensen coined the term disruption in his book ‘The Innovators Dilemma’. Christensen reflected on Joseph Schumpeter’s model of creative destruction and described the rise and fall of business as a necessary development process.

VUCA is another term that has found its way into management in this context: today’s world is characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, four terms whose English initials describe new challenges to corporate management. VUCA is an acronym used by the American military to describe extreme conditions in Afghanistan and Iraq. This terminology resonates with a growing number of companies to meet the ever-changing challenges of politics, business, society and the environment. It helps to find and discuss systemic and behavioral errors that are characteristic of organizational failure.

One method to meet the requirements of digitization is the concept of agility. Agility is the ability of an organization to be flexible, active, adaptable and proactive in times of change and uncertainty. The concept comes from the manufacturing industry and has manifested itself in response to the slowness and bureaucracy of organizations to adapt to changing market conditions. Agile methods, which are increasingly used in software development, sometimes involve high rates of change.