Must be a CEO on LinkedIn?

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intro

Today I read an interesting article by Carmen Hentschel on LinkedIn: “How important is it for CEOs to be visible in social media? The whole thing is linked to ifs and buts, so I prefer to deal with it in a blog article instead of just in a commentary.

Does a CEO or board member have to be on LinkedIn?

This Question is objectively easy to answer: “Yes, of course”. Reasons for this are quickly counted:

In a modern world, it’s the executives who hold the brand of your company in high esteem.
Employer branding is not just a job for the human resources department, but the job of everyone in a company. Senior management in particular is called upon to set a good example.
An emotional closeness to a company is more likely to be established if everyone is reachable there. This applies not only to normal employees, but especially to senior management.
Does every CEO or board member now have to be represented on LinkedIn (Twitter, Facebook, whatever…)? The answer is not that simple. Although there are objective reasons for this (see above), there are also some against it. First and foremost, the time factor: Can an exposed person in senior management spend hours every day in social media? Is it possible to spend time on this? But it’s also a very pragmatic problem: Do I really want to spend hours as a senior manager on Twitter, LinkedIn or anything else? Can I even afford that?

The thing with authenticity

Very important: Authenticity. One sees again and again profiles of persons from the senior management, whose profiles are recognizable also for outsiders fast as agency service. However, the profiles are only effective if they are authentic.

The best examples are Tim Höttges from Telekom AG, Dieter Zetsche from Daimler, and Janina Kugel from Siemens. These people also seem to operate their social media presence themselves. The topic of authenticity is important when it comes to operating an agency: operating an agency quickly conveys a lack of authenticity. This can be counterproductive.

So if people from senior management operate social media, please do so authentically and in such a way that outsiders believe in it.

Generation Y

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Intro

Let’s start with a disclaimer: Who expects to receive a patent recipe from me, should close the article immediately again: I can’t offer a master plan either. Generational problems are becoming increasingly apparent in project work.

Generation Y

What exactly is Generation Y? Even if Wikipedia tries, I describe you as “Millenials”. Anyone who has experienced this in project work does not know how to assess this generation. On the one hand, new values are maintained: Leisure time is more important, dependence on the employer (or better the loyalty) is less and this is also expressed.

On the other hand, I personally feel (attention: empirically not proven!) that this generation is very formalistic and rule-oriented: Give a Millenial an Excellist to unhook, and sheer luck is apparent.

For me, these contrasts are completely disturbing. What is disturbing about the project work: This generation seems less solution-oriented and less pragmatic to me. If a project goes well, everything is fine. When the first disturbance occurs, the “old” are increasingly looked at.

Tolerance is required

I had to learn to handle it myself. Often one is irritated when the priorities are set differently by the Millenials. But: Is the young generation always wrong? Shouldn’t priorities be set differently? Does the client die if a release is not completed on a fixed date in line with the acquisition?

On the other hand, generation Y tolerance is also in demand: not everything that the old generation has done is really bad. This behaviour (in sum) has brought us to where we are today.

As I said before, I cannot offer a panacea. But: We were the ones who moved us forward. Generation Y are the ones who will continue it. And as I see it, not necessarily worse, only different.

Tolerance is demanded of the “old”, but also of the younger.

Tradition is not preserving the old, but preserving and transforming the good. However, we “old people” must press ahead with the transformation. The boys have yet to learn.

Digitization – Not putting everything in one pot

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intro

At present time, the term digitization is used everywhere. It is often used as a driving force. Sometimes a personal view of the status quo.

Digitization and…..

What means digitization exactly ? I do not know an exact, general and valid definition. In many cases the terms are combined (therefore it is harder to separate them in order to get a definition.

agility

Digitalization means that everything becomes “agile”? Now is the time you should take a look at the terminology. First of all, what does “agile” mean? There are two interpretations:

Agile: Simply from the Latin, in the sense of “mobile”.

Agil (2): Derived from the agile scheme: In this point AGIL is standing for the terms adaptation, goal attainment, integration and latency: This AGIL describes the system of values which depends on every organization (including companies) who is in order to their own existence.

If the term agile is used, it has to be specified, in which context it is referred to.

Diversity

It is often read that digitization will only work with the advancement of equality of all. In my view, this is a false correlation: gender equality in particular is a very important issue. Even if it remains unchanged: For new ideas and creativity it is beneficial to think about the groups and to put them together anew. From my point of view, this is a possible side condition, but not a compelling one.

New working conditions

The same applies to the topic of “NewWork”, i.e. new working conditions: It might be helpful if you want to break new ground. But in my opinion, this is not mandatory either. The best examples are American companies such as Apple and LinkedIn: These companies have a very strict hierarchical structure and therefore would be prime examples of living micromanagement.

What digitalization means

As already written, I don’t know a general definition either and I’m not here to present It. It is certain that it is not necessary when talking about technology, but when looking at entire processes from the customer’s perspective: the best example would be AirBnB or Uber: these have also started as rather bad homepages. What did they do? They took care of old processes, generated new customer benefits and took advantage of valuable margins.

For me, digitization means thinking in new concepts, questioning business processes and placing the customer benefit in the foreground and to set prioritys in this kind of direction.

The Super Bowl of Board Directors in Germany

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intro

Today I read an interesting article in the Handelsblatt: “Super election year on supervisory boards – but there is a lack of suitable experts”. That aroused my interest: A comment.

How does it look?

According to the Handelsblatt, 190 Supervisory Board positions will be filled by DAX and M-DAX companies alone in 2018. Tenor: There is a lack of experts. Is that really the case? There is a lack of supervisory boards according to the classic definition. But is the classic definition of the supervisory board what should be sought?

There are skills that are as important in the past as they are today: A supervisory board must be able to understand a balance sheet and approve the actions of the management board. Otherwise, however, the portfolio of skills that a supervisory board has to bring with it today has changed dramatically. Within the scope of digitisation, a supervisory board must have the classic skills (the selection and monitoring of the management board must be given priority), but must also be open to new ideas and approaches. This currently means: to admit errors, to experiment, to forgive a failure:

Leadership and business processes

This hurts: errors include losses and possibly short-term (up to medium-term) loss of income among stakeholders. But: We are in a state of upheaval: AirBnB is the best example to illustrate this in a striking way: AirBnB has not invented anything new (rentals are one of the oldest business models at all), but with a comparatively simple idea into an existing business model heroingegrätscht and by generation of additional customer use valuable margin picked up.

Is there a shortage of candidates? No, but you have to abandon the classical patterns of thought and look for test persons who bring along a modern composition of abilities. The focus is on skills that are related to empathy: Bringing the organisation forward, in the long term.

Shareholders also need to learn and sometimes turn a blind eye to a quarterly profit to ensure that the organisation has a long-term presence in the market. We (the German IoD) have learned this in recent years: Suddenly supervisory boards are being sought that no longer correspond to the classical networker as Achleitner or Cromme, but have different skills.

How to handle toxic Leaders

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Intro

The Digitisation  or Digital Disruption (What exactly does that mean now?) requires a rethinking of management structures. New ideas need creativity. And in order to do this, employees must be given more of them. But that also means letting go and turning away from micromanagement. For many executives, this means a change, and some of them will fail.

How to handle “toxic” Leaders

On Twitter I once asked: How should you deal with toxic executives: The micromanaging choleric man who spreads fear and terror among his co-workers. The answer I received from different quarters was clear: Disposal. But could this the right solution?

With the same implicitness as NewWork and trust is propagated, I was made clear to me: Out with such people. However, most of these executives have not earned their position because they have a bad management style, but nevertheless. This means that these people have qualifications. In addition, there is the empathy paradox: the focus is on skills that have been conditioned away in the hierarchies for years. Even if the management style is to be criticized, a new way of thinking also requires new solutions.

If I want to build a new culture of trust, a bad start is to catapult out people, who have been doing a job for years: Then don’t I lead the claim ad absurdum? Trust cannot be earned by a brutal start.

First, I need to identify these toxic executives. There are various possibilities for this (employee surveys, fluctuation measurements, etc.), but often it is enough to stay in the coffee or smoking area.

The following is the interview with the toxic leader: How can I use the human being, meaningfully and without snubbing him/her: There are solutions, often in the staff area. This is something to remember: Just because there is a lack of leadership, these people almost always have excellent skills that should be used. “Disposal” is only one last option….. which should have taken place even before the organisation had been converted and transistioned.

A credible reorganization of an organizational structure is only possible if you take all, really all, employees with you. And no one should be left behind.

Global Female Leaders 2018 – the programme for 2018

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The Event

It is our great pleasure to draw your attention to the upcoming 5th annual Global Female Leaders summit, the premier economic forum for female executives on 3rd – 5th June 2018 at the very exquisite landmark Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, Germany. At the same time, as cooperation partner of Global Female Leaders we are delighted to cordially invite you to join us and be part of this invaluable network and cutting-edge platform impacting the future.

GLOBAL FEMALE LEADERS TOPICS 2018

  • NEW WORLD ORDER & GLOBAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
  • TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES & ETHICS
  • CORPORATE LEADERSHIP & RESPONSIBLE FINANCE
  • CLIMATE CHALLENGES, ENERGY SOLUTIONS & THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY

Under the motto “The Values of Leadership in Times of Transformation, Disruption and Artificial Intelligence” they will once again gather a host of over 250 forward-thinking women across all industries and continents. This summit provides a global platform carefully designed to challenge the status quo and address the most important topics and challenges today’s business and societies are facing.

Here an example of the 2017 summit: “The Crisis of Globalisation | Executive Panel Discussion | Global Female Leaders 2017

On Sunday 3rd June 2018 in the afternoon, start your unique summit experience by joining the pre-event programme featuring ice-breaking sessions, followed by our traditional pre-event cocktail reception at the exclusive China Club Berlin – this time with a keynote by the internationally highly acclaimed Afghan entrepreneur and business woman,  Roya Mahboob. Other Speaker are from BMW, Jones Lang LaSalle, Unilever or Booking.com. The whole program is still published. Some of them:

    • The User-In-The-Loop? On our Interaction with Autonomous Agents with Prof Dr Enkelejda Kasneci
    • Boost Your Creativity – Essential Human Skills in the Age of AI and Machine Learning with Kyung H. Yoon

A whole list is available at the homepage of the global leaders.

 

Entry and billets

A small continent of cheapened cars are available by contact e.reinke@mein-aufsichtsrat.de  You can book  although your ticket about the side of the global female leaders.

Top Management: Be not afraid using Social Media

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Managers are part of the employer brand

Social media is everywhere and on everyone’s lips. However, top management executives in Germany are restrained: only a few can be found, and if so, the profiles are orphaned.

Often the argument is:”I don’t have time for that“. However, top management is the flagship of the employer and the brand that results from it.

Authenticity

When top executives are on the move in social networks, however, neither orphaned nor agency-managed profiles should be used. Interaction with other users increases on the one hand the credibility of the person behind the big name and thus gives a sympathetic aura. As a pleasant side effect, it also helps to perceive not only the pre-fabricated opinion of the management level below, but also the moods from the base. This basis is decisive for the well-being of the company. Anyone who has experienced the panic of a divisional manager when he has to face the board knows how many rounds the PowerPoints fly through until they are finally presented.

The easiest way to position oneself as a real person you can ask questions about is to interact with yourself. Many ways are possible, in the b2b context a start with LinkedIn could be a way. For companies, which are strong in consumer products, a start with Facebook or Instagram is although a great idea.

It works!

I do not want to give any negative examples: Unfortunately, these can be found too quickly. But authenticity can be achieved with relatively little effort (and without any agency at all): Just be there, try yourself out. One positive example for me is Janina Kugel from Siemens. This shows activities and interacts, also personally, with employees or interested parties. This will make you immediately seem likeable. But also Dieter Zetsche from Daimler, who recently pointed out the use of LinkedIn:

Zetsche auf LinkedIn

He is a so-called “influencer” on LinkedIn and regularly publishes articles there. In the interactions one can see that he is quite open to the opinions of his readers. With his carpool recruiting, he also shows that he is prepared to question the tried and tested and to commit himself to new ideas: