“I see a good boss as a kind of artist agent”

“I see a good boss as a kind of artist agent”

Bosses in agile companies “A little anarchy is not bad in organizations” Flat hierarchies, more teamwork: In agile companies, the influence of managers fades. Business professor Jürgen Weibler explains why this is good. Personal: Jürgen Weibler deals with the working world of tomorrow. In an interview, the professor of business administration at the Fernuniversität Hagen explains what makes good leadership in agile organizations – and why bosses are best when they make themselves redundant. WirtschaftsWoche: Mr. Weibler, the corporate world discusses flat hierarchies and independent teamwork. Doesn’t agile work lead to anarchy? A little anarchy is not bad in organizations. This helps to break up incrustations and to be able to breathe more freely in some areas. Nevertheless: Agile work does not come overnight. In advance, certain rules are formulated on how the form of work should work. So a certain setting is set. In essence, the employees have more freedom, but still certain responsibilities. If there are no formal bosses anymore, are all team members really equal? ​​Here you have to differentiate how it looks formal and informal. Because anything can happen informally. In principle, of course, an egalitarian basic idea should prevail, which equates the individual personalities in the team. Of course, this does not mean that there is no symmetry of influence arising from experience or specific competence. That can always be the case and generally does not pose a problem. Nevertheless: One should not introduce an internal hierarchy in the team that breaks up the freedoms gained. Working without hierarchies makes everyday life pleasant, but the price is high. Decisions remain open, loudspeakers win, animal rules take the place of rules. How should you make a career there? of Konrad Fischer, Jan Guldner So clear responsibilities are a thing of the past? Exactly, sometimes the competences lie with person A, sometimes with person B. Ideally, these are distributed. We’re talking about temporary hierarchies of skills, and agile teams need a different kind of boss. What does good management look like in the year 2020? I like to see a good boss metaphorically as an impressario, a kind of artist agent who tries to take the conditions for his employees – who can definitely be seen as creative knowledge carriers design that everyone can take on roles in the team according to their strengths and develop them further. But isn’t it also necessary that a boss speaks the power word? The question is, what is the power word based on? It needs an occasion and a reason. If a boss sees a weak point in a team’s work that has so far remained hidden, he is also asked to say so. But he must also make it clear and participate in the search for a solution. If he doesn’t do that, we only have a facade of agile work that is broken open when the boss wants it to. The image of the nasty, scary boss is still firmly cemented in many minds. Why is such a manager fatal? Because it destroys motivations. Various studies have shown that the vast majority of employees like to get involved and are willing to cooperate. But you have to be a realist: It’s good if the manager manages not to demotivate his employees – and if there is more, the better.Many of the managers welcome a corporate culture that supports agile work. Don’t you make yourself superfluous with that? That would be nice! The idea of ​​leadership is not to keep others in bondage, but to further qualify people. What can be a better goal than developing someone who ends up with better skills than I currently have? How far are German companies in terms of agile work? Unfortunately, there are hardly any reliable empirical studies available. My impression from conversations with companies: More is said about it than it is done. Bosses who can’t lead – how can that happen? An author and a psychologist from the organizational consultancy provide answers: Why more women would help and why psychopaths only need to be used properly. At the Swiss software company Umantis, the employees choose their boss. How much democracy does a company need – and when could it collapse? Too much democracy would exist if the structures triggered endless loops of discussion and decisions were delayed. But also when the most qualified people do not come to management positions, but when people get there because of some kind of rope team. Where does agile work reach its limits? The limit is reached when you want to make everything fluid. You need a certain framework, a structure in which agility can be lived out. It can also be periodically reflected on and revised. But you don’t question that every day. People need a certain degree of constancy and deceleration at work. Havard economist Raghuram Rajan demonstrated years ago that a manager with ten employees looks after twice as many people as he did 30 years ago. Are opportunities for steep careers dwindling? Yes, hierarchically possible leadership positions are falling. Therefore, we can no longer define ourselves through such roles. And we have to get away from the fact that payment is linked to hierarchical positions. It must be possible to get stronger temporary surcharges when taking on additional functions in self-organized teams. Generally we have to get higher and more similar wages. The current trend is rather the opposite. In addition to teaching, Jürgen Weibler works on the Blog Leadership Insiders. It deals with questions about leadership – and what they mean in practice. Now on wiwo.de Do you want to know what drives the economy? 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