Global Forum Meet-Ups in 2018: Many Thanks

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Several meet-ups were organized between the 23rd and 24th Global Forums in Stockholm, Berlin and Cologne.
Thanks to Ingeborg Molster, Michael Diebold, Chantal Fleuret, Gunnar George, Karl-Georg Degenhardt and Wolfgang Braun. Special thanks to Jan Schwochow, CEO of Infographics, Tomas Carlsson, CEO of NCC (then of SWECO), Michael Hagemann of DPDHL, and to Hays Steilberg from Bertelsmann for hosting. Representatives from several start-ups and from large companies such as Daimler, DeLaval, DPDHL, GE, Husqvarna, IESE, Infographics, Nordea, SAP, Scandia, Seco Tools, Siemens Healthineers, Sweco, Toyota, and Vattenfall attended.

Global Forum Community Member Blogs By popular request, we are starting a Global Forum community blog. Our first contributor is Dr. Wolfgang Braun from Germany. He’ll be discussing his understanding of digital leadership based on his extensive experience and work in this area.

Yury Boshyk

Digital Leadership

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Digital is reality – and will penetrate global business with high speed of change!

With digital technologies, the task of managers becomes more complex and leaders need to learn faster than the speed of change and quickly understand the dynamics of complex organizations.
Time to adapt to productivity disruptions has been less than 100 years from agriculture to industrial automation, less than 10 years from industrial automation to digital technologies and will be less than 1 year from „Digital“ to „Data driven Business Models“. This change to “Digital Business” models will force leaders not only to adapt to Digital Technologies, they have to understand how to rapidly transform their organization to manage global teams and complex networks connected by the virtual Internet.

Too big to fail is no longer protecting corporations; we see leading industrial companies not mastering the digital transformation and are Kodak’ed, which is the acronym for digital failures!

More than 90% of Dow Jones Industrial Index companies in 1900 have not survived the year 2000. Digital business models are challenging the existing “Tayloristic” organizations and revolutionize all business processes and resource developments. Digital companies (i.e. Google, Airbnb, Uber, ebay, facebook) have started in the last 25 years as software companies and acquired a better understanding of client wishes and needs and to deliver products and services.

Industrial Internet Enterprise: Cyber Physical Systems or the Internet of Things will fundamentally change existing business processes!

Today most organizations are organized in hierarchical structures or functional teams – in digital companies, their staff work in multinational, multi functional and dynamic or agile data driven networks.
Successful software based companies usually are managed by leaders from start up businesses who build less formal employee relationships; they are based on trust, commitment and creativity. Collaboration is online using social networks; leaders must learn how to motivate and influence the digital ecosystem, finding better incentives to navigate the output of teams.

New Work and Generation X,Y,Z!

New Work places are established as digital nomads, they decide where and how they work, most digital talents create a start up to stay independent and companies have less than 5% managers for complex assignments and a need of more than 30% managers for the remaining work assignments, which are not overtaken by computers and robots. This already becomes a generation conflict, with to too many skilled workers trained for jobs a computer or robot can do better and a shortage on innovative leaders which are not educated nor trained by schools or universities for digital projects, education is changing even slower than business organizations. On an Enterprise scale the “tayloristic” force and control leadership skills should be replaced by emotional intelligence and personal empathy. Three main competencies help in the transformation:

  • Negotiation competence to handle conflict management
  • Coordination competence to empower people
  • Communication competence to moderate independent and dynamic teams

A recent McKinsey study states, that 80% of all Change Management (CM) projects have failed in business organizations. The question is: will less CM projects fail with agile or innovative Methodologies? In small teams it may work, in big organizations it may cause more resistance to change.

Learning and Reflections

The future main growth and increase in productivity in companies will come from digital business models. Organizations have to quickly assess their digital readiness, adjust their strategies to digital business models, train digital leaders, get used to complexity and transform their business processes dynamically. Digital has been around for more than 25 years and companies have not found a generic role model or learned how to respond to the digital transformation.

Digital Leaders:

There are worldwide no existing diagnostics to examine individual talents for digital transformation, they have to consider the context and the urgency for change in the organization.
Any business organization provides IT-resources, budgets, and acquires talent and infrastructure systems, addressing five Key Success Factors:

  • Relationship Management: Ability to form a high performing team and efficient communication.
  • Change Management: To manage complex projects in upgradable deliveries.
  • Systemic Management: Intelligent combination of resources and systems.
  • Reflections: Analytical assessment of team dynamics, differences, conflicts and views.
  • Innovation Management: Nurture talents and assign challenges for team spirit.

Use the following HR assessments to find out if you are prepared for digital transformation:

  1. Intelligence (IQ): Structure, Planning and Organization – existing and measurable
  2. Emotional (EQ): Empathy for individuals and teams – MBTI available, not measurable
  3. Creativity (CQ): Innovations and Talent – Neurologic (left/right brain), ECG
  4. Attraction (AQ): Charismatic and enthusiastic  – Leadership assessment, qualitative assessment
  5. Vitality (VQ): Stress resistant and Healthy – Physical Exam, psychological Exam
  6. Meaning (MQ): Sensible to make Sense – Logical- analytical- Tests, GMAT score
  7. Professional (PQ): Ethical and Integrative Management – Management Audit, 360° feedback.
    All seven HR assessments define a digital leader – to be able to lead with uncertainty.
    Megatrends in digital technologies, ecological changes, globalization, political diversity and the economic transformation require cognitive abilities, analytical skills to learn in complex environments and to have the physical and psychological strength to work self confident in dynamic fast moving projects.

Digital is reality:

  • Digital economy changes society and work relationships.
  • We have access to big data and produce more data.
  • The Internet connects physical with virtual (digital twin).
  • The Internet is an open, equal network for data exchange and access.
  • Social networks are guiding communication.
  • Digital disruption is normal.

Individual competencies for digital business models:

  • Understanding system theory and social networks.
  • Mastering theories and methodologies to act appropriately in real life situation (reflections).
  • Normative competency to self evaluate weaknesses and strengths to work with teams
  • Context sensitivity to do the right things at the right time.

The key to master digital disruption:

  • Use digital technologies, only experience will teach how to interact with new media and use it for your advantage.
  • Networking is the new form for digital organizations, do not avoid them use them.
  • Leadership has to integrate cultures, creativity to create new vision and mission for strategies.
  • Adapt your work processes – no knowledge silos, no hierarchies, integrated processes, user experience, new sales channels, and incremental benefits.
  • Digital products are never finished, start with minimal viable products.

Together these keys have an impact on product lifecycle management and speed of change.

Digital Organizations:

Business Platforms: Overall Digital projects are highly scalable, extremely flexible on customer demand and need minimal assets or capital.

Digital business models change the customer relationship and the product pricing strategies.
Product ownership will fade away and pay per use and service flat rates are preferred. The economic principles of productivity and profitability will no longer apply – there is no total cost of ownership, discounts and input / output controlling. Existing business controlling rules are misleading and digital ratios for innovation, product creation and pricing models are changing. The existing value chain is destroyed and will be reconfigured – for new client needs.

Change Management processes:
“Managers solve problems right; leaders solve the right problems” and focus on change: The classic way of management applies linear thinking in finding the problem and solving it with focus on ROI.
“Structure follows strategy” autonomously and include complexity: With Cybernetic Theories organizations are putting people in the center of their strategies and adapt them to new environments.

Cybernetic Theory: Interventions for organization development:

1. Cybernetic law: Order produces chaos.
The Value Chain will be destroyed, and can be reassembled for digital business processes.

2. Cybernetic law: Order produces order.
The Value Chain is replaced with digital Business Models forming a new supply chain.

Order produces impacts.
A complexity matrix, with driving and influencing factors addresses complexity in digital org’s.

Order produces disruption.
Complexity and change in behavior can lead to loss of control or power, managers produce wrong decisions and chaos in implementing digital solutions.

Complexity cannot be reduced in implementation!

Innovation @ work
Prof. J.van Maanen (MIT), provides diagnostic lenses for Strategic, Political and Cultural assessments to determine talents for digital organizations and influencing mechanisms for leaders.
Clayton Christensen defines 3 different approaches to disruptive innovation:

  1. Efficiency innovation, optimizes production processes to deliver higher profit margins
  2. Incremental innovation, adds features and functionalities to existing products with marginal growth.
  3. Disruptive innovation, offers complex solutions, smarter and cheaper and is the growth engine
    He advises not to transform organizations for efficiency and incremental innovations (never change a running system). For disruptive innovations a transformation is necessary.

Agile Methodologies (i.e. SCRUM) help to speed up the development process to support organizational developments, such as:

  1. Synchronization of all business platforms; leaders must be supported by top management.
  2. Establish Governance, integrate digital competencies in board and executive level positions
  3. Digital leaders, find the talents to communicate a business vision, adapt controlling for rapid change.
  4. Experts and Professionals need to be trained on agile development, methodologies (i.e. SCRUM) and software technologies.


  1. Digital Transformation: GE „building a digital corporation within the corporation.“
  2. Adaption: Google „Buy or Sell companies“
  3. Customer focus: Amazon model
  4. Disruptive competition: Apple iPhone

Action Learning addresses learning faster than the speed of change using reflections to adjust to people, technologies and processes.

Page 2 of 2

© Copyright 2019 - Global Executive Learning