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Leadership 4.0: Invent and let invent

Published: · Last updated: · 1 min reading time

Digitalization fundamentally changes our lives: for education as raw material, we now have the most potent extraction tower imaginable: an internet-enabled computer. With our smartphones, we can access the “knowledge of the world” at any time and communicate worldwide.

The author Dr. Andrea Rösinger is Co-CEO and CTO of the smart factory specialist FORCAM


It is said: “Management is to make people work.” But in the digital age: managers must keep companies agile and adaptable. Digitalization is also a catalyst for more skilled jobs and more self-determined work in the professional world. IT professionals are being courted, both women and men. They want to communicate at eye level and work self-determined in hierarchy-free teams. At the same time, data science specialists are driving the age of learning systems in almost all industries, and machines are taking on increasingly complex tasks with AI algorithms.

Managers must provide answers to these developments, especially in uncertain times. According to Deborah Ancona of the MIT Leadership Center in the USA, Leadership 4.0 should promote the adaptability and creativity of an organization. The scientist gives four tips:

  • Sense-making: keeping the organization flexible and adaptable to changing markets; encouraging creativity and cooperation at all levels
  • Relating: communicate constantly and openly, be visible, reassure, and convey urgency so that no one loses focus
  • Giving vision (Visioning): a compelling vision and clear values for the whole organization; addressing challenges with a ‘we’ mentality
  • Invent and let invent (Inventing): be creative yourself and allow innovations; allow employees to break conventions with their ideas

Leaders who enable creative and autonomous work create an organization that becomes a learning, adaptive system on its own – with the best qualities of people: togetherness, motivation, courage, and enjoyment of new things.

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