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3 Principles for embracing the weQ trend

The sharing economy, weQ, cooperation, co-creation, and community are key principles of weQuality trends. In the midst of a social cultural change, new principles are created for our working world. The enormous upheaval is readily visible.

Digitisation has created three new facts that managers and people in leadership positions should consider:

  • Participation (weQ) is possible in a way that has never previously existed.
  • A new generation of people is becoming less and less socialized.
  • The global economy is a multi-dimensional playing field on which players and markets quickly emerge (and disappear).

How can a leadership culture look like in the weQ world of tomorrow?

From our work with decision-makers in the business world, we can confirm that the leadership culture in companies has to change; the majority of executives agree: 77 percent of executives welcome a change in their leadership culture. At the same time, however, these same leaders still believe there is a long way to go; they themselves hardly feel able to implement this new leadership culture.

With the agreement that change is necessary, the question is how? The straightforward answer is that good leadership can endure open-ended co-creative processes. As experts in management development,Oxford Leadership see three guiding principles for future learning in a management context that should be based on all the methods and tools of choice: mindfulness before abilities, focus on what works, and changing priorities.

Principle 1 – Mindsets not Skillsets

What makes leadership inefficient in today’s economy is not a lack of skills. It is the combination of a constantly changing environment coupled with a transfixed mental attitude (being trapped in non-changing thought patterns). This is a balancing act that cannot be successful. A lot of management learning has been geared to teaching or expanding skills (like active listening, giving good feedback, etc.). However, social change requires rapid personal development as teams are exposed to new ideas beyond common concepts. Challenges evolved to far exceed management “craftwork” to now encompass ideological adaptability and mental elasticity.

The co-creative community culture of the weQ takes a high learning flexibility for granted. People have to be able to adjust continuously and quickly to new things. This means a high degree of aptitude to changes. The future of learning in the economy will focus less on the expansion of skills, more on the expansion of thought and mindset.

Principle 2 – Focus on what works

Warren Buffet always tells the story about his first encounter with Bill Gates. While attending a party, everyone at their table was asked to define their one secret to success. According to Buffett, both men gave the same answer: I know how to focus on the essentials.If you look at the learning landscape in the economic environment, it is easy to see that it is not focused – especially on innovative forms of working and leadership. Many executive programs and management trainings resemble a buffet with different tools, techniques, and methods that do not really merge into common contemporary applications.

By shifting the focus to making sustainable progress, creating headway in new thinking structures, and inspiring teams to make changes together, it can make a tremendous difference for the company. However, a question still remains: What works in the context of weQ with omnipresent changes to deserve focus?

Principle 3 – Prioritise differently

When things are difficult, we cannot afford to waste time and energy. We are well advised to focus on the levers that lead us to real development. Starting in mindset, recognising the need for efficient focus, and then understanding that the networked complex world of the digital age requires more relationship management than process management brings success.People who observe their thoughts and emotions objectively without evaluation struggle to understand that they are always controlled by old patterns of thought. The brain was trained one way and will work that same way until consciously retrained. As we focus on our inner processes and reflective thinking, the more we can influence them with less energy, so more energy can be used for clarity about the present situation.

Therefore, it is recommended to first work on one’s own personality in order to be able to shape relationships – both new as well as existing ones. Time for reflection and mindfulness is the objective. Observing your own perceptions, emotions, and thoughts is recommended for our everyday hectic life.

Moving forward

Many executives and managers describe in personal talks that they find too little reflection time in the hustle and bustle of everyday life in order to think ahead. It is important to look very critically at this point: whoever cannot lead himself should not lead others.This result in “being present” with renewed clarity inside and then inevitably for the outside. That’s when the possibility to surf with the social cultural change after Peter Kruse and the upheavals take place — the IQ, then EQ, and now as a guide to the weQ.

“Freedom – both in terms of time and content – is necessary for self-reflection”

Christina Boesenberg

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