Useful navigation in VUCA times

By VUCA Blog

Management 4.0 and sensible navigation in VUCA times
Charles Handy, the acknowledged social philosopher and management thinker, put it even more clearly in his keynote speech when he spoke of the rethinkable sequence of key factors for the success of a company: People, profit and passion. They're all important but so too is the order. So it can be concluded that traditional management has been reaching its limits for some years now. Yet even today, many managers still follow the beliefs that have been helpful for decades. The dominant factor is still the sometimes insufficiently reflected self-image of knowing what to do. And this is based on old experiences and "best practice" from the times of Industry 3.0, often without having a better understanding of what is really going on in the company - and, looking beyond the horizon - in the respective environment and the business world. At this point, I always like to quote Klaus Doppler, who beautifully illustrated in my OE training, "that there are managers who still fetch cows from the ice even when there are no more cows or ice".

In summary, detailed and relevant knowledge about the state of one's own organisation is often missing. There is a lack of information about where a successful intervention can start. Bad experiences with ineffective changes usually dominate, leadership achieves the unneeded effect and is often a signal of missed implementation.

"Management 4.0" needs approaches for dealing with the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (= VUCA) requirements.
It is important to combine the old, tried and tested with the new, not to deny the right to analogueisation in the course of digitalisation, and to give the not yet thought and considered space for discourse.
I venture the thesis that Charles Handy's above-mentioned order has even changed by another effect in the last five years. If we look at the interplay of sometimes five generations under one corporate roof (from the founder, via the baby boomer to generations X,Y and Z), it becomes clear that "Passion" seems to move at least to second place in the list. If this English term is translated as "passion", other contextual factors enter into the successful interaction of people. Namely "sense" or "motivation" or "wanting".

The "why?" and the "how?" outrank the "what?"!
This is where "old teaching" meets the new approaches. Factors that are in turn maximally touched upon or rudimentarily considered in current management practices. What can this teach us? If you look on Wikipedia for "The Titanic", you will read: "Its name stands for serious accidents and the uncontrollability of nature through technical achievements." So what could be more obvious than to focus your attention on what you have influence on? And this still includes the dialogue from person to person and the interest in others!


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