Did the crisis change something…

…about management and leadership styles? Or do we just continue what we’ve done before?
These questions came to my mind while wondering what to write my post about.

Then I found this interesting  article about “new” principles in management. There the author, Ms. Obmann,  points out that values such as sustainability, public spirit and fairness have regained importance after the crisis. Managers, e.g. Mr. Schwenker from Roland Berger, even participate in a campaign that embraces values like respect and responsibility, because of the re-flourishing value-based management. But is this change real or is it just for PR? 

Well, first of all, I think this question cannot be answered by simply saying either “yes” or “no”. There are companies, where this leadership style has been practiced for years, and it works fine. Götz Werner, founder of dm (a drugstore), explains in an interview that to him, a good boss is like a gardener who creates the best conditions for his seeds; i.e. a company is a platform where people can develop well. He embraces team spirit and conversational leadership at eye level and argues that neither pressure nor fear should prevail, otherwise creativity cannot exist.

In my opinion, this is a great role model. Of course, it isn’t a recipe that will work for everyone, but such a recipe doesn’t exist anyway. However, I believe, many companies are not as far as they claim to be when it comes to value-based leadership. They officially state that they have values and that their management is value-oriented, but they don’t live it (yet), because they still use the same practices as before.

This totally makes sense to me, because changing the leadership styles takes time – it doesn’t happen over night. But having the demographic change in mind and considering the prospective lack of qualified employees, the companies have to implement value-based leadership sooner or later, because the Generation Y is very value-oriented and they will be their employees. So there is still a long way to go, but I think the beginning is made 🙂

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Comments
7 Responses to “Did the crisis change something…”
  1. hem says:

    …”value based leadership” is an unclear term. Is it like “value based management” which mean profit-orientation or is about ethics and responsability? By the way: Arte has very interesting films about these topics. See: http://www.arte.tv/de/Die-Welt-verstehen/philosophie/3418540.html

  2. martinjaja says:

    Dear Katrin, thank you for the post. I think you have highlighted a really interesting as well as urgent management issue.

    The term “value based…” may be unclear as HEM states in his comment. However, this is maybe what is needed in order to satisfy the needs of all company stakeholders. With regard to “value based management” it can mean both – profit orientation and ethical responsibility. The most difficult part is, how you can achieve both goals or not?

  3. katjo2010 says:

    Thank you for your valuable comments!
    You are right, value-based leadership is an unclear term. I didn’t really think about it because to me it was clear that it meant leadership based on ETHICAL values. But considering martinjaja’s comment, it might be good, that it is open, so people think about how it could be meant. I even like that.
    But I will try to be more precise in the future.
    Thanks again 🙂

    • katjo2010 says:

      and @hem: Thank you for the interesting link!
      I watched the video and really liked the discussion about moral and ethics…most interesting to me was the interpretation of the first two photographs. I will check out the Arte films more often now 🙂

  4. thob84 says:

    Thank you very much for your insight on value based management (leadership). It is an urgent issue and well reseached in the academic field if you look up “business ethics”. There is even a whole journal about it. In addtidtion, as you stated: One thing is defining and naming values, the other is to put it into practise and live by it.

    In other words, as stated in the bible: “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

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