There are intense discussions as to whether companies need leadership, whether people need leadership, and even as to whether leadership doesn’t actually get in the way, reduces people’s willingness to take on responsibility and prevents people from thinking for themselves. At Movendo, we believe that it is a question of shaping leadership and sharing expectations. Perhaps it does not necessarily require a special leader, but rather the question is how leadership is organized as a function with its individual tasks in the company.
It is critical to any company's success to mould its leadership, especially in times of ever shortening innovation cycles, flexible business models and a rapidly changing market environment. In this context, leadership means creating a framework for assuming responsibility, self-organisation and creativity. Leadership can be embodied in one person or shared among many people.
At Movendo, we believe that leaders, as well as others involved in leadership, have to extend their view (in the spirit of a systemic perspective) to not only look at the performance of the individual but also to focus on shaping the framework, rules and interactions. Because there is no direct, linear influence on the behaviour of another person. Jointly developed and thus shared principles of cooperation, a consciously designed working environment in terms of systems and structures as well as an honest experience of trust and appreciation are the elements that leadership can really influence and shape.
More about our understanding of leadership can be found in the following blog post: "Leadership means actively shaping a leadership culture"
An essential task of leadership is the perceiving, addressing and adjusting of patterns. Accordingly, leadership must constantly ask the crucial questions: how can these patterns help and how can we reinforce them? What do these patterns hamper and how can we break them and establish new patterns?
It is important to observe, listen and be attentive to the interaction between people. At this point, leadership is quiet rather than loud, more receptive than broadcasting. Because interventions such as persuading and convincing are of little help in creating a shared and sustainable culture of cooperation.
In addition to observation, leadership also means acting consciously and deliberately deciding how a leader can make the greatest personal value contribution. Accordingly, it is important to ask yourself consciously and depending on the situation. Am I doing some operational work that my employees can do because there is currently a bottleneck and it needs to be done quickly? Do I tend to work at the process level and make sure that my team can do its operational work well because I bring about timely decisions and promote the existing potential for self-organization? Or do I work better at the meta-level and contribute to the rules and patterns of cooperation being jointly reflected and explicitly agreed upon.
This requires a capacity for reflection and the willingness to continue to develop, to question oneself and, of course, to consciously integrate observation and reflection time into one's own everyday leadership. Thinking and reflecting, which can be perceived as "doing nothing" from the outside, needs to be valued as a key contribution to success, because leadership in itself does not produce anything that a company can sell. However, leadership can make the key difference, so that companies can produce and sell successfully. Of course, leadership also has the responsibility of sharing these thoughts, observations and reflections with employees, thinking together about patterns, interaction and principles and involving people in the overall process. Openness, transparency and mutual trust – irrespective of hierarchical level – and an understanding of leadership that is rather more facilitative than determining are essential to this end.
For existing leadership teams who want to work together on their challenges and on specific activities, we have developed the Leadership Odyssey, a group coaching program that is geared specifically to the day-to-day life of a team.
For companies that do not want to attach leadership to individuals and hierarchical levels, we design new ways to organise the tasks of leadership in co-creation.