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10/06/2020

Leadership and work

Monika Kolb

How do you think we will live, work and shape economic policy in the new 20s? It is important to bear in mind when considering these questions: nothing is fixed. Yes, we carry the past with us. But the history of the 2020s has not yet been written. 

It is up to us how we shape it. 

Our working reality has changed profoundly in recent years. This is largely driven by innovations in technology and business. Robotics, artificial intelligence and automation are likely to cover almost all occupational groups and create an entirely new system of working and economic activity. New forms of work are already possible: home office, co-working spaces, meeting in virtual rooms. Compulsory presence in the central office for knowledge-based jobs seems almost obsolete. Technical innovations may also make the principle of wage labour and permanent employment superfluous, and many intermediate forms between employee and self-employed work have already emerged. The idea of being trained in a profession and being able to practise it for a lifetime in a socially insured employment relationship with an employer is already outdated. 

Many jobs are carried out in teams with a changing composition of internal and external experts, who often only communicate virtually. This also leads to the end of a hierarchical and power-based management culture. 

What is already reality and everyday life for some is still dreams of the future for other employees and employers. 

On the one hand, there is a huge discrepancy between the possibilities of the new forms of work, the demands of employees on the world of work, work regulations and the everyday working life in organisations. 

On the other hand, enabling flexible forms of work, intercultural and transdisciplinary cooperation, strong self-organisation and self-directed learning are becoming important prerequisites for successful companies. 

This new flexible and fluid form of working naturally requires an adjustment of labour policy, but also a new management culture and good education. 

What is needed are social and organisational innovations that correspond to the new realities. 

The central issues are therefore

1.)  How can we organise work and especially leadership in an innovative way to actively shape present and future changes?

2.)  How can we organise education and especially continuing vocational training in a way that is flexible, self-directed and responsive to needs?

We ask both questions here and look forward to shaping the future together with you. 

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