Global Leadership Consultants

LEADERSHIP THOUGHTS

7 Characteristics of Leadership 4.0 – What successful leaders do differently

Jan 19, 2017 | Leadership Thoughts (Blog) | 0 comments

Recently, I have received many questions of whether I could clearly differentiate traditional leadership and Leadership 4.0 (what some are calling “digital leaders”), so I am providing a short synopsis of insights and observations in context with what is perceived as a new phenomenon.

Digital technologies have disrupted everything, not only within IT, but also leadership styles and how we manage our organisations. Leaders at every tech company are not digital leaders, but it is undisputed that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are two of the best examples today. What do they have that the majority of German managers do not?

First and foremost, there is a difference in management style. Both men have the gift to inspire their employees to innovate and “hold” onto these ideas. Their acumen in applying benchmarks of digital leadership shows a fast, cross-hierarchical, cooperative, and team-oriented approach often integrating the innovation peak ideals of Silicon Valley. Above all, the personal competence, the mindset, and the application of new methods (or instruments such as “design thinking”) are crucial. There are several traits that are exhibited, ones that we also use to differentiate Leadership 4.0.

Seven things successful leaders in the digital do differently

  • Responsibility

Traditional managers clearly define responsibilities and roles; team-oriented or cross-functional tasks beyond the manager’s outlined hierarchy immediately lead to conflicts.

Digital leaders learn how to distribute tasks according to the situation and team competence, where the abilities of managers together with employees are continually linked; success means all participants contribute their competence networking intelligence.

  • Results

Traditional managers control orders, plan resources, and evaluate results (and as a rule, their own comfort zone will define the borders of a project).

Digital leaders control voting processes and discourse, evaluate tasks and results together with team members, and use resources according to potential and competence (cross-functional and cross-hierarchical); practical results are generated by integrating constant feedback between internal and external stakeholders.

  • Distribution of Information

Traditional leaders typically distribute information under an obligation to provide data in a “strategic” and piecemeal manner (embodiment of the “knowledge is power” syndrome). Freedom of information (or choice) leads to control mania.

Digital leaders create a transparent framework, counts on a “collectable debt”of self-responsibility and proactive behaviours.

  • Objectives and Assessments

Assessing the performance of employees individually in fixed cycles is within the comfort zone of a traditional manager. Situations determine the need for assessing employees and teams equally by a digital leader, with exchange/ feedback continually occurring.

  • Mistakes and Conflicts

Rules with consequences for violations avoid mistakes are the hopeful path the traditional manager takes before conflicts occur. An open atmosphere with the learning effect in errors is endorsed by digital leaders, who places the company’s own responsibility for solutions in the foreground.

  • Change

Maintaining budgets, stable quality, and minimised risks are a priority for Traditional managers, leaving little room for creativity. The energy of a digital leader sustains the high-level willingness and ability for change within the company while deliberately promoting as well as encouraging high agility between the market, customers, and employees.

  • Innovation

Creating new ideas for new products is typically extremely challenging for a traditional leader, as it does not fit the normal cycles or processes. The future is invented and designed; a digital leader knows innovations are based on a team’s focus on a common goal to make the best possible use of the abilities of each individual (Right Potential). Innovation is learnable; this is helped by transforming old structures through the use of multidisciplinary teams, flexible working environments, and creative processes.

It is all about the mindset and how we look at the world

It is more difficult to sustainably change yourself from within than learn new skills because modifications mean new thought patterns are adopted, developed as habits, and energise future actions. Sounds easy, but is not. Even using Apple shows the complexity of a digital leader’s success. A user of the online community platform Reddit asked what the CEO of Apple was doing right. Steve Wozniak answered, “Tim Cook acknowledges his employees and the customers of Apple as real people.” For Oxford Leadership, this means weQ (weQuality).

Agility is the key principle of digital leadership, relating to customer orientation and responding directly to the needs as well as desires of a target group. At the same time, Leadership 4.0 is about the involvement of employees, their individual abilities (Right Potential instead of High Potential ©), motivations, and ideas. An open, transparent, and innovative culture is the basis for high agility, rapid market adaptation, and the DNA within the digital leader.

For organisations to react more efficient to market changes, digital leaders must give much more responsibility to their teams. They allow employees a lot of freedom (and trust) in their own decisions. The co-creative fast community culture of the weQ requires a high learning flexibility of each individual as essential.

 

The future cannot be dictated from the outside; it is invented and designed from within.

AuthorChristina Boesenberg
Fellow
Germany
Profile & Contact Info

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

fifteen + nine =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Thoughts from the Blog

What is your Story? -A “happily ever after” starts with analysing your “once upon a time”

An organisation’s story can be so deeply rooted within its culture that it can determine its future, whether good or bad, and project ultimate success or failure. The old paradigm of command and control is a story crafted long ago, when authorities felt the need to control the masses. Unfortunately, this perception often still prevails in corporate cultures to this day. In organisational terms, command and control became the managerial template for leaders who believed that workers had to be controlled because they could not be trusted.

How Purpose Drives Performance in Organisations

The trend is undeniable - purpose drives performance. The idea of big businesses driven by a purpose beyond their products, profits, and ego is no longer a utopian vision - it’s becoming a reality.

7 Characteristics of Leadership 4.0 – What successful leaders do differently

Digital technologies have disrupted everything, not only within IT, but also leadership styles and how we manage our organisations. Leaders at every tech company are not digital leaders, but it is undisputed that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are two of the best examples today. What do they have that the majority of German managers do not?

3 Principles for Embracing the weQ Trend: Leadership 4.0

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.

Leadership 4.0 in the “Digital Age”

Today “Digital Leadership” is one of the latest buzzword within organisation boardrooms. But what does it mean? Essentially, it is a type of leadership that is fast-paced, cross-hierarchical, responsive, cooperative, and team-oriented.

Leadership challenges in the V.U.C.A world

One of the key failures is to lead us to find what is probable rather than what is possible. The VUCA environment means that we must focus on what is possible, rather than on what is likely to occur.

Adaptive Leadership in a Rapidly Evolving World: Leadership 4.0

The next generation of leaders will be those who can develop a common purpose, trusting people and empowering teams to act on their own initiative. Shifting the structure and mind-set of an...

4 Rules of Leading High-Performance Teams

At Oxford Leadership, we consider teams (and organisations) to be living, complex adaptive systems, and apply the knowledge we derive from the theories of complexity and chaos to our approach.

Purpose Driven Leadership for turbulent times

For approximately 20 years now,I have been involved in developing leaders, teams and even whole organisations to become more purpose-driven. What I have learnt during this time is no matter what challenges lie ahead, whether large changes, complexity or execution of strategy, the best way to start is to “humanise” organisations and not focus solely on the mechanics. The conversation has now shifted towards, “How can I contribute to the big picture?”

Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela’s Life

Nearly 20 years after the end of the brutal and racist apartheid regime, South Africa’s citizens are still searching for a new leadership model to carry forward Nelson Mandela’s ideals amid a host of mounting problems.

More Thoughts from the Blog

BBH Accelerates Growth with Oxford Leadership’s Online Program

An Innovation Journey for Lantmännen’s Executive Leadership

Self Managing Leadership® Programme Now in Digital

Leadership 4.0 – A review of the thinking

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

Leadership for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

Leadership 4.0 – The future does not need your leadership

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

What are the characteristics of high-performing team meetings?

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

Instinctive leadership – using intuitive intelligence to guide decision-making

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

Intuitive Intelligence in Leadership

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

Mastering the mystery of meetings

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...

Leadership 4.0 – A Review of the Thinking

The 4th Industrial Revolution is bringing unprecedented changes to societies and organizations throughout the world. The multiple ramifications of digitalization and the accompanying acceleration and increased complexity...
Good leaders are great storytellers. But how does storytelling play into #leadership?  A great story around an org… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1173869350178185222