31.10.2020

 

One learning format is currently enjoying increasing popularity. It is a short term learning design that can be easily integrated into the daily routine of every person. By leaning on a time slot that is set anyway. The lunch break. With a sandwich or salad, some content and sharing. The Lunch & Learn is ready. And Lunch & Learns, they rock.

Micro Learning is on the move

The days when learning in business was primarily done in a group in the seminar room or alone in front of the computer are gone. Where you had to “cut out” days or hours to learn new things, to get inspiration or to optimize your own behavior. Today learning is different. For example in small bites, so-called Learning Nuggets. Small learning units for in between. They can be “nibbled on” in the process. They are assigned to microlearning, one of the current trends in qualification. Just like the Lunch & Learns, which rock.

Sharing turns out to be the new learning

Another trend that is just beginning to take off is learning through sharing. The sharing of knowledge and experience among people. In your own company or/and beyond your own organization, e.g. in topic communities. The advantage of this “learning format” is that knowledge shared by people who belong to an identical context is usually practical and immediately applicable. In addition, sharing one’s own experiences with interested parties is usually experienced as an appreciation. And this form of learning has yet another advantage: it is free of charge and available in a variety of ways. That rocks. Like Lunch & Learns, by the way, they rock, too.

Not to forget, the Social Workspace Learning

According to the 70:20:10 model, learning today and tomorrow takes place primarily at the workplace and in collaboration. In the ideal case as Social Workspace Learning, i.e. with a focus on social learning, i.e. learning in exchange with others. And that in a timely manner, when learning needs arise. Companies would do well to consider this demand for learning of their employees. And to offer suitable formats. Like Lunch & Learns, for example, which then rock.

Lunch & Learns offer everything in one format

What exactly is this dream format that rocks like that? Well, it’s basically a joint lunch with a guided exchange on a topic. Salmon roll meets super food salad, so to speak. And there is something to that. After all, food is an essential part of this setting. And so is showing what’s on your plate at the moment. Usually this is one of the openers for a Lunch & Learn, especially when it is done virtually. In this format treffen (meet), from three to X are people who belong to an organization or feel connected to a certain topic. around lunchtime, usually for 1-2 hours. Rather shorter than longer. And during this time they exchange ideas on a specific topic or question that is important to everyone. A teaser and/or (several) impulse “lecture” can introduce the topic and a facilitator should set the framework and accompany the group. It is then crucial that those present enter into dialogue with each other and share their voices and views, contribute their experience and hear other perspectives. This is where the design is needed and the “good” questions from the facilitator. Ideally, the exchange takes place in small groups of 3-4 people. This ensures that everyone can make a contribution and thus be heard. The best way is to invite people to the peer work in live format and virtually. At the end there should be a “harvesting“. What was in it for the individual(s)? What can be taken away? What should be tried out?

Lunch & Learns that rock

And here are a few tips from the treasure chest of the facilitator for the Lunch & Learns that rock

  • Short and crisp
  • Opener, where everybody has a say or shows an activity
  • Attractive teaser (video, mini-key note, message from an expert, provocation, etc.)
  • 2-3 sharingrounds with different conversation partners
  • Questions that stimulate a deeper exchange
  • 1-2 energizers
  • Space for harvesting and transfer

Lunch & Learns have an addictive potential. I promise. We at TCJG are happy to share our experience with this format.

27.08.2020

 

Whenever transformation is involved, it is stated that a mindset refraim has a key role to play. Many initiatives threaten to fail because people remain in their old “patterns” instead of opening up to the new. Even the best chains of argumentation are of no use. And even horror scenarios or idealized visions of the future miss their target alone. Time to reflect on a very old format and its power – the effectiveness of the circle.

The failure of transformation

Each and everyone is currently engaged in primarily digital transformation. However, many are apparently not making much progress in this area, and it can be often heard  that they are “lagging behind”. Transformation initiatives often drag on for years and seem to be stagnating.

According to the study Shifthappens 2020, two out of every three initiatives fail. If one follows the many analyses and studies that examine this, the disruptive factors are usually the classics of change management: lack of vision or future prospects, too many activities at once and the resulting sand dune effect, incorrect planning, lack of support from promoters.

And above all a culture shock. Whereas in the past, classic silos, services according  to instructions mentality and cascade goals were required, collaboration, self-organization and iterations are now suddenly on the agenda. A 360-degree turn, so to speak, with a clear panoramic view. A bit much at once, for one or the other.

The importance of communication

Communication is one of the central success factors for successful change, which is a transformation. Even if the holistic version of the Change. Lack of communication leads to resistance. And this makes the entire transformation process slack. Helpful communication, in turn, takes the players on the road, involves them, and ensures integration. So far so good. Has been understood.

But what kind of communication should inspire the transformation? Nicely designed slides with many good arguments. The arguments that are plausible to the creator of the slides. Optimized to the point that they convince every member of the steering committee and beyond.

It obviously does not work. This kind of communication does not seem to bring people into effectiveness and action. Rather, it seems to make them persevere. Otherwise, many transformations would not be where they are.

A question of the mindset

It is really not about communication. It is only a means to an end. It wants to move. To bring people into thinking. Change perspectives. Broaden perspectives. Create desires. Arouse interest in co-design.

It’s more a matter of stimulating the mindset to change. To expand it, to move it out of its rigid corset and comfort zone and to go on a journey of discovery.

And this is certainly not possible with a plausible set of slides. But maybe with good stories. Not with one but with many. Maybe with analogies and personal experiences. And with individual wishes and desires. And with the medium of emotion instead of reason.

The effectiveness of the Circle

And this is where the Circle comes into play. A circle is a conversation circle, which allows to reach deeper levels of communication. In literature several names are used for this circle, e.g. Communication Circle or Talking Circle.

The Circle is a “learning format” that is still actively used by many indigenous people today. For the development of their children or to make decisions for example. It has been used as a method of organizational development and facilitation in recent years for organizations and companies and can work true miracles.

For a circle, a group of people (approx. 6-30+) comes together, whose connection consists in answering a common question. These groups sit together in a closed circle.
This can take place around a table or in an open circle of chairs.
The question for a circle is published for all to see.
A talking stick is used, which moves from group member to group member. It can either be passed on directly when a group member has spoken, or it can first be moved back to the center and then picked up by the next member who wants to contribute.

The effectiveness of the circle can be traced back to the setting, but above all to its principles.
Each member speaks in turn and has the right to speak as long as he or she sees it as appropriate and holds the speaking stick in his or her hands.
There is no external dialogue in the sense of questions or debates, but rather contribution after contribution. Sometimes with reference to previous speakers, sometimes without.
Once the circle is complete, it begins all over again.

An accompanying facilitator can at this point set a short summary of the preliminary round or a focus e.g. with reference to the initial question.
In this way, up to four rounds (depending on the size of the group) can take place. Then the facilitator closes the circle.

The Magic of the Circle

The principles of this format allow the minds of all participants to come to rest and listen to each other more and more intensively. Since an answer cannot/should not be given immediately, the attention remains with what has been said. From different perspectives and aspects, a new and extended  view of things crystallizes in small steps. In mini-steps your own mindset changes. By themselves. On the basis of a diverse view, but with your own thoughts and feelings. This is sustainable and works. This is how action is planned.

Interesting is the effectiveness of the Circle. It works through itself. Change happens. Just like that. Without chains of argumentation. Without logic. From within itself. How magical.

To everyone’s satisfaction, by the way. It is astonishing. Everything important comes up. Represented by all. Thus a wonderful example of self-organization and collaboration is created. And thus changing culture. In every circle.

Circles also have success factors

Two factors are crucial to the effectiveness of the Circle.

First is this: the question. It needs to be carefully chosen and well formulated to reach everyone and to raise the potential inherent in the community. Ideally, it should be formulated in several iterations together with representatives of the Circle and the facilitator.

Then the attitude of the facilitator. No, a facilitator is not a moderator. Rather, it is a person who unintentionally shapes the room and “holds” it, i.e. ensures that the Circle process runs smoothly and in accordance with the principles. This is a very special art that needs to be learned.

 

You use the effectiveness of the Circle to make Mindset Refraim.
With us it goes well.

 

25.07.2020

 

Things have got to change. The classic management structures no longer reflect the zeitgeist. For years now, one new management model has been chasing the next, countless “recommendations” are being made as to how an ideal manager should be “knitted” and there are also no shortages of alternative solutions at organizational level. More self-responsibility and self-efficacy is the credo. More self-leadership, in other words.

But how does leadership lead to a leader-shift?

It’s up to the executives…

Currently, in times of  home office and emerging smart work, they are once again under real criticism, the managers. They cannot allow a liberalisation of the world of work. And they fear an erosion of power and influence. They do not know how to manage their team remotely. Managers simply want to have everything under control. In general, they do not trust. And the current situation makes this really clear.

So say the statements of countless articles, studies and voices of the public. And yes, this certainly applies to some managers as well.

At the moment, it is also time to break the lance for the “entire population of managers”. Many representatives I have met in my role as a coach over the past years have their hearts in the right place. And a mindset that deserves recognition. Many have approached their task with idealism and a large number of innovative ideas. They have put a lot of strength and energy into their role. Many have braced themselves against windmills. And some have also failed because of it. Or have decided to go into adaptation in order to “survive” in the system. Which is also simply human.

Or the organizations …

It is worth taking a look at this very system or organization or company. Although “purpose” and “self-organization“, “agility” and “flat hierarchies” are on everyone’s lips, we are still far from realizing these ideas. Home office – yes of course, this is the new work format that will have to be taken into account more and more in the future. And Scrum & Co – has already been implemented where it makes sense.

However, most organizations are still classically in silos organized and the executive is more the manager than the leader. He or she is measured by numbers and results. Perhaps a human-KPI will also play a role at times. One under 10. The team is just a side issue. And for the individual there is the annual meeting. Personal aspects can be discussed there. If it weren’t for these annoying employee surveys and mood barometers, everything would actually be fine.

Especially since almost all of the organization’s managers have already completed the workshop series on “New Leadership”, “Agile Methods” and not to forget “Digital Transformation”. So now, anyone should be able to lead in the zeitgeist and according to the current conditions.

And the employees…

Let’s assume that we would change this term to “co-creators”. That would make a huge difference. First of all, the term “work” per se is not really the “burner”. And secondly, the question of how “added value” will be created in companies in the future is exactly that. It Is “worked off” or “co-created”.

This is primarily a mindset question again, which then triggers consistent follow-up considerations.

If one thinks of this in “work” and thus in a Tayloristic world view, there may be good reasons for structuring, placing orders and controlling. For those concerned, this is then “annoying”, often stressful and limited but also familiar and within “9 to 5” and their own “comfort zone” (if one can speak of comfort here).

One thinks that in “creation” then everything changes. First the own inner attitude. Then you have to change to selfresponsibility, self-expression and self-management. Then there is no one left to say where things go, that is taken over by oneself. And then it is presented and discussed in dialogue. Then mistakes are on the agenda and failure becomes an everyday part of your own actions. Then freedom becomes tangible. And consequence too. Then the comfort zone is shifted towards the growth zone.

From Leadership to Leader-shift

Assuming we are serious about organizational and leadership change – which is probably essential – it would be advisable to use the window of opportunity opened by COVID 19 to implement the change. Then it would make sense to consistently pursue the path we have taken toward liberalizing “work”.

However, a few essential aspects should not be overlooked. The mindset-shift must accompany the structural change. It is not enough to implement “Smart Work”. The people in the organisation should also be willing and able to act as “co-creators”. Their contribution would be to take over self-management in their professional activities and thus contribute their part to the leader-shift. This is something that first needs to be learned.

Parallel to this, managers would have the task of enabling more people to take the step out of the comfort zone and into the learning and growth zone. To trust them, to encourage them, to accompany them, to create a suitable framework, but also to demand the shift again and again. This is certainly for one or the other a sustainable change of his or her own role. And that also needs support, e.g. through coaching.

Above all, however, recognition within the own organisation. If leadership performance continues to be measured according to the classic model and only with the previous KPIs, this will not work.

Instead, there should be a clear separation between added value and results (management) and the empowerment and effectiveness of the individual (leadership).

Here, the Shared LeaderShift model is recommended as a pragmatic approach.

Leadership is needed for the change from leadership to leadership shift. On the way to an increasingly self-organizing system in which human, especially emotional and creative competence, as well as artificial intelligence co-create and shape the future.

22.05.2020 For many, almost 10 weeks of Working@Home are now behind us. Some helpful routines have been formed in the meantime, new tools and efficient working techniques have been learned and the state of emergency has created a strange, new everyday life. And yet now comes a dry spell. This way of working is reaching its limits. Colleagues are missed more, the spatial separation of our life areas is painfully missing. The urge back to the “workplace” is felt everywhere. Just in case it goes on like this for a few more days or weeks or if Working@Home becomes firmly established again: Here are a few tips from companies, freelancers and bloggers on how home office works.

The workplace

“As you’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it,” says the people. This applies not only to the choice of mattress, but also to the choice of a suitable workplace. Depending upon the possibilities of the own home naturally. Ideal is a delimited area with table and ergonomic chair with lateral light and a clean working environment. This prevents distractions. For those who do not have a home office, order helps. Please put away everything that is not needed for working. Sometimes a visual change, such as a cloth, can also help, giving the table a new appearance and the head a new way to switch to work mode. For days when you need special motivation, a small bouquet of flowers or a motivating picture next to the laptop may also help. The phenomenon that the outside can influence the inside and vice versa is not unknown. Everybody knows that in a suit or evening dress you move and behave differently than in a jogging suit. How was it with the control and the jogging pants, dear Karl Lagerfeld? And that brings us straight to the second tip: the clothing.

The clothes

It is best to choose exactly the same clothes that you would wear in the office. Those who usually dress more casually in jeans and polo shirt or sweater will keep that in mind. In other industries, a shirt or blouse may also be appropriate. Shoes can also help to switch to “work mode”. The posture is immediately more upright and the head gets the impulse to switch to “work mode”. Also, one performs better during (many) video conferences.

The structure

Working@Home lacks a spatial structure and a clear separation of living areas. This makes it all the more important to be well organized in terms of time. On some days fixed appointments from outside help, such as video calls, remote workshops, jour-fixed appointments with the boss, team or customers. If this framework is missing, it is a good idea to create a fixed rhythm. Those who have fixed reachability from their company are usually sitting at their desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached. After that is “end of work”. How meaningful these rules are is debatable. This varies depending on the business model and type of person. After all, there are many studies on the different daily and working rhythms of people. In science, a distinction is made between larks, owls or other types. An added value offered by the home office is certainly to be able to better accommodate individual inclinations. Why not go to the virtual school with the children for an hour in the morning, as is currently required? But then in the evening between 19.00-20.00 o’clock again process the e-mails. Current collaboration platforms provide excellent support for this. It is easy to leave a message there when a person is “on” or “off”.

The breaks

Breaks are especially important in the home office. Various researches have come to the conclusion that breaks are creative and efficient. After about 90 minutes our brain is exhausted and needs a short break. After about 4 hours, a longer break is recommended. The eyes are also grateful for a screen break. Don’t forget to move, another tip – all experts agree on this. Not only that especially people who are on the move in creative professions often describe the phenomenon, the best ideas would come in the shower, during sports or while sleeping. Every person has the natural need to move. With Working@Home and the maximum between the kitchen and bedroom, this can be clearly neglected. Little rituals can help here, such as stretching from the “desk” every time you get up or circling your shoulders after every “call”.

The Mental Hygiene

The right mindset is the key to success, experts today also agree on this. Especially in the home office, self-management, motivation and self-discipline are the decisive success factors. Here it comes again and again to overlapping of the different roles and areas of life. So it’s good to always be clear about what’s coming up and what’s not. What is allowed is what helps. Some people find 5 minutes of morning meditation helpful, others use visualizations, to-do lists or the handwritten marker on the kitchen door. It is recommended to take a short break to realign yourself and to reprioritize if necessary. And above all, to allow yourself to take time off from family and work at home, as well as “doing nothing” just for yourself.

The future of Working@Home

At present, no one can predict how Corona will change our working world. Digitization has already gained momentum. So has creativity, solidarity and openness to New Work. Steve Galveski describes five different stages of remote work on Medium.com. From stage 1 “Non-Deliberate Action” to stage 5 the “Nirvana”, in which the virtual office no longer tries to copy the physical office, but defines its own rules through clever use and thus becomes more productive. Well, we´ll see. In any case, it’s a good idea to take a look at how Working@Home works sustainably. From now on it is part of it.

 

17.04.2020

 

Countless studies show that companies in this country are lagging in digitisation. Above all, the development of digital skills for many people is not progressing as quickly as expected. What is needed now is a speed up. There is a solution: Hybrid Discovery (HD) Workshops from TCJG

There are many offers for the development of digital competence

 It cannot be said that there is a lack of initiatives and concepts or even measures to develop digital literacy. Never has the range of online and face-to-face training courses been as extensive as it is today. Obviously with a continuing upward trend. Today, private individuals can choose from a wide variety of learning formats. Meanwhile, e-learning is becoming more and more clever, with and without gamification elements, videos in explanatory or teaching mode, learning trips in peers with direct access to well-sorted content, hosted on platforms of varying attractiveness. In addition, there are in-house training courses of various kinds, in which digitalisation is still “trained” in live formats. Or one can find really great staged presence Future Learning Labs.

By the way: We have been looking around here and there over the last few months and are happy to share our experiences.

And yet CEOs of companies complain that a sustainable change in the behaviour of many people falls short of expectations and of necessity. In fact, knowledge in the field of digitization is often already available, but it is hardly ever applied.

Let’s think of Corona as an opportunity

The current challenge that is illustrated in connection with “Corona” makes it clear: it would be beneficial for people to be fit in and with digital forms of work. As a result of “Corona”, entire workforces may be forced to work from their home office at short notice. This can go well and minimize the expected economic damage. All that is required is that everyone is suitably qualified and motivated.

In this respect, we can also see “Corona” as an opportunity and driver in the development of digital competence. What could be postponed for a long time now creates a concrete pressure to act. Digital, networked collaboration.

In change management, one would say that the sense of urgency” is now becoming visible. This is one of the success factors for successful change. As a rule, digitalization is defined as a central strategic field in companies today. It can therefore be assumed that a pronounced digital competence also pays off on a powerful vision. A further success factor. Nothing stands in the way of change. Now it is simply a matter of doing the new.

Use the opportunity to speed up digital competence

The time is now to take the implementation of digital work seriously. From the current need to maintain more virtual than F2F contacts, the quick win can now emerge to strengthen the competence of digital working and learning through a targeted offer of suitable and inspiring formats. This initially includes the consistent implementation of well-structured conference calls via Skype, teams, WebEx, GoToMeting or zoom. And certainly, also the increased use of document sharing e.g. via SharePoint or GoogleDrive, should be mentioned here.

However, the TCJG format of the HD (Hybrid Discovery) workshops goes far beyond this. These are 0.5 – 2 day hybrid workshops in the area of Learning & Development. On various topics, such as communication, self-organization, sharing & collaboration and others. In these primarily virtual workshops, presence units are integrated into the participant’s workplace. This format provides for learning and collaboration in a virtual group, but at the same time ensures that social workspace learning takes place in real time. The basics of didactics (sensitization, information, practice/application and transfer) are considered as well as a high experience value and fun factor.

Really good reasons for HD (Hybrid Discovery) workshops

This format cleverly combines the introduction of people to digital tools and their natural application or use. In teams or alternative systems, people simply work. Playful moderation is achieved by changing various tools and these are immediately applied. Whether it is tandem work in a team call, small group work in the break out rooms of zoom or a joint brainstorming using a worksheet in OneNote. To name just a few examples of the MS Office 365 world. Then you don’t need your own MS Office 365 user training anymore. In the workshop the tools are simply used on an ongoing basis.

Not to forget your own mobile phone, which uses a (secure) messenger to control mini work phases or breaks, to deliver work orders or to play back work results from the workplace to the virtual group via audio/video recording.

And this is only the added value in the area of virtual media competence. Above all, it is also worth mentioning the development of the participants’ ability to work collaboratively and to share knowledge or experience at the workplace. By means of these workshops, a contribution can also be made to the development of cross-functional networks or new relationships can be created across silos. Participants are encouraged to set up a space at their workplace where they visualize the results of their work developed in the virtual group. This space remains available after the virtual workshop and serves as a tool for implementing the learning content.

Finally: without much thought or discussion, digital work becomes normal and self-evident with this format. An incidental speed up of digital competence.

What does it take? A laptop, a mobile device and a human being.

We do the rest, or we show you how to do it.

HD Workshops from TCJG – Speed up!

Please feel free to contact us.

 

What does “leadership begins with the self” mean? Leadership is primarily understood as leadership of employees or leadership of an organisation – using different techniques and methods. Sometimes the spot is on management, sometimes the ideas of leadership are focused. After all, these task are traditionally allocated to a manager. And when taking care of these tasks, he or she can fall back on countless ideas and approaches as to how these can be managed. Leadership begins with the employee or with the task or with governance. Why then focusing on the Self when it comes to leadership?

A completely different understanding of leadership

Let’s say leadership starts with the self. Then leadership would no longer be limited to the role of a leader. Actually, everybody would be a leader. Leadership would be embedded in the self. And if everybody leads him/herself, why do we need leaders after all? Then leadership in the best sense would be provided by everyone, driven by self-organisation. For this, a suitable culture with suitable principles and the most necessary norms is required. Besides that, a powerful purpose and a shining North Star is desirable. By the way, this has already been described by Charles Manz and Henry Sims in “Superleadership“.

Admittedly an ideal image, in the best case a target image. Until then there will still be leaders on the road and for them there are good reasons to start leading the self. Namely to be able to consciously shape certain parts of their own personality and thus their own effectiveness.

Self knowledge – a basic requirement for people in leadership

In fact, a precise knowledge of one’s self is not as common among managers as one might expect. In any case, in qualifications or management audits, it becomes apparent regularly that the image of others differs considerably from the self-image. It is therefore not easy for (prospective) managers to name or assess their motivation, competence or factual and emotional impact.

The perception named here corresponds with statements from employee satisfaction surveys or commitment studies, which make it clear that employees accuse their managers of not being authentic, too power-related or not close enough. When managers are confronted with these statements, it is often very surprising to see how they are perceived. Since this view does not correspond at all with their own assessment.

Now, however, a deeper self-knowledge can be seen as a basic requirement in working with other people. In order to avoid projections or to recognize counter-projections, to differentiate hypotheses from reality and in the sense of a safe assessment of situations and possible de-escalation of conflicts, a precise self-perception is essential.

Working on one’s own self-awareness is thus a first leadership task for managers. Feedback from colleagues/friends, reflection with a coach and participation in appropriate qualifications are suitable support in this respect. The topic is just getting hip. Currently, there are also a lot of offers on the market. Here for example an offer from TCJG.

Good leadership is a question of attitude

Self-management also means being aware of one’s own attitude in leadership and to maintain a reflected approach to it. This means knowing your personal values, beliefs and needs. And to understand these as the foundation for one’s own leadership actions.

In his book “Haltung entscheidet” Martin Permantier offers to differentiate between attitudes in six different clusters and follows as far as possible the Spiral Dynamics approach or Ken Wilber’s reflections on memes. An analysis of one’s own attitude by means of the classification presented in the book also helps to better understand and align one’s own actions. One’s individual attitude forges best – oneself and the team.

The examination of one’s own attitude should be a further matter of course for managers, just like self-knowledge. Only those who can clearly name their attitude are in a good position to check whether it fits in with the corporate culture or whether “forced adjustments” need to be made, which are then perceived by the environment as inauthentic or manipulative.

At the same time, the attitude shapes the role model demanded by the manager. Authenticity will only be perceived if attitude is repeatedly experienced in coherent action.

Then it is also reliable to follow traditional or always new leadership models. Whether they are called “Servant Leadership” or “Human Leadership”, “Connected Leadership” or “Agile Leadership”. If one’s own attitude represents the spirit of the organization in which the leader works and if one’s own heart sets the pace, there is no need for static guidelines from the model catalogue.

Updating knowledge about innovation is of course something else. It is indispensable. But not only for managers.

Self-management wants to be practised

When self-knowledge is acquired and one’s own attitude is reflected upon, then there is still the behavioural level. If you know what makes you “tick” and what impacts your own actions and if your own effect can be described and there is awareness of how your own behaviour shapes the culture in the team, then you can proactively shape your actions consciously.

This is at first a question of will, in the sense of what I want to contribute to, my own purpose, which describes why I stand up every day as a leader. Then there is the ability, that describes how I will act, how I express what I want to get my team to do, how I go about designing. And then there is action, that shows what I do exactly, when and how often, in order to put will and ability into action.

While the purpose is best identified and formulated in peace, stillness and with some distance, the development and expansion of skills and procedures and, above all, consistent action is a longer process that usually takes place in iterations. Thus, an intention is followed by a period of experimentation and then again and again by practice. Until doing becomes a habit. On the way, discipline is usually required, as it is known from sports. Practice again and again, do not give up. Somehow this is like training for a marathon.

Resilience can’t hurt. Setbacks are part of it, especially when disturbances come from outside. A conflict situation within the team, a new supervisor, pressure from sales numbers.

Tips to ensure that leadership starts with the self

With a powerful driver, your own purpose backing you up and a goal of where you and your team should go, it will be easier to stay on the learning path.

It is proven to be a good idea to visualize both. In other words, to create a picture of one’s own “what for” and the desired result (vision) in one’s head or even on paper.

Rituals can be used for the daily behavioural routine. Just as you go jogging every day, for example, each day can begin with 15-20 minutes of reflection and alignment. Or one day a month can be scheduled for the “self”. Very important on the learning journey to oneself/with oneself are feedback sessions to check if the intended effect is achieved. Regular lunches with colleagues or employees can be helpful to allow space for this.

Becoming a manager is certainly not always easy, being a manager is a challenge, especially a manager who fills his role with charisma. As surveys show us again and again, it is more or less easy to master this challenge.

Those who are more successful are either natural talents or they have set out on their own journey to become themselves. An exciting journey by the way. And a rewarding one. Because leadership starts with the self.

 

Would you like to shape that?

This is something we´re good at.

 

Learning Journeys are a journey into the world of new learning. They comprehensively reform the personnel and organizational development process and combine many innovative and modern learning concepts of tomorrow – today. We have also embarked on a journey to take a look behind the scenes of the “Learning Journey” format: Come with us!

The first stage of the Learning Journey of learning

Everybody who has pressed the school desk, or the lecture hall knows this: One speaks monotonously and unagitated in the style of a frontally reader and the other listeners find it difficult to follow or even keep their eyes open. The frontal lecture was gradually replaced by a seminar, a workshop or interactive training. However, although interaction and direct participation made time pass faster, a sobering realization remained: only certain competences can be imparted through such formats, they cost a lot of resources and actually only make sense if the entire group of participants starts from scratch (or another common starting point).

In times of fast-moving change and constant adaptation, it was not far from the idea to digitise these formats because of the high commitment of resources. Webinars, podcasts or virtual classroom trainings were expected to increase efficiency in learning – after all, participants no longer had to travel to get in touch with learning. Unfortunately, these concepts soon reached their limits. A lack of individual consideration, external employment, of topic transfer and technical challenges added to the already known difficulties. The problem that curricular learning is only partially effective with heterogeneous levels of knowledge was not tackled in the first place. Not to mention the sustainability of learning.

The alternative route also had its pitfalls

At the same time, the realisation developed that knowledge content and skills in particular do not have to be acquired in presence or interpersonal interaction. e-Learning was born as a virtual brother to the good old textbook. Worldwide and at any time access to the learning content, learning on demand thus. And all you need is access to the internet. Many companies invested horrendous sums to implement their own e-learning concept in their in-house Learning Management System (LMS). Of course, with excitingly prepared and as interactive and multimedia as possible content.

The problem? The laboriously created content is always obsolete and outdated after a short time. In addition, it is often not so easy for employees to find “just in time” and “tailor-made” answers to everyday questions in the e-learning tools. Changes are usually time-consuming and costly, especially if an external service provider is involved. In addition, it quickly made the rounds that knowledge competences are only part of the necessary tools for people – primarily it is also about ability (application competences) and will (attitude competences, the much-quoted mindset). And that is where e-learning has its limits.

What is a Learning Journey now?

A smart combination of the two approaches, digital and analogue learning. And this on a temporary basis, from 12 weeks to 24 months or more, depending on the topic.

The topics can range from a limited field (e.g. “communication”) to a holistic program (e.g. “leadership development”). The concept of the Learning Journey makes it possible to design different learning architectures.

Learning Journeys solve the problem of previous learning by combining the advantages of individual successful formats and principles. These are workplace-based learning journeys that provide individual and multi-method learning nuggets and at the same time enable collaboration with other learners as well as experiential learning. They take into account interindividual differences in knowledge, ability and willingness and accompany learners on their individual learning path in a maximum of self-determination. Thus, they consider fundamental motivation principles.

 

Guide to the next stage of the Journey of Learning

Learning journeys of the current zeitgeist combine personnel and organisational development. What starts with an individual learning path and the development of individual employees can, of course, be rolled out to the entire organisation and has an influence on the working and learning climate, cooperation and networking within the organisation and, of course, on innovation and creativity. And last but not least, the added value of the entire company.

Such a journey follows clear principles. It is subject to a closed time frame, combines several formats in a blended learning approach and is set up as a workspace learning format. Employees should no longer learn instead of working; they should rather learn at work and in their own company. However, this also means being able to learn practical applications, knowledge and certain skills on demand. Learning in itself follows thereby the 70:20:10 principle, which proceeds from the assumption that in approximately

– 70% of our learning through own experiences through challenges and tasks

– 20% of our learning through exchange and collaboration and advice from others

– and 10% of our learning takes place through classical further education and training measures.

The different learning levels can be translated to different components of Learning Journeys. Jennings and Wargnier already suggested ways to apply this in their further development of the 70:20:10 approach.

These principles apply to the learning of the individual as well as to the learning of the organisation.

 

How exactly does a Learning Journey look like?

Ideally, a Learning Journey starts with a “kick-off” and ends with a “final event”. After all, achievements must be “celebrated”, online or offline. Within this framework, the development path for gaining learning experience at the workplace is accompanied by Community Learning as well as on- and off-site workshops. Collaborative learning takes place throughout the learning group and in peer groups. Virtual or live. Supported by small learning assignments and the provision of user-generated content. Learning experience is also acquired through e-learning content, practical projects at the workplace or, for example, excursions. Ideally, learners can decide for themselves which nuggets they want to work on and when. The individual learning experience can optionally be reflected by process-accompanying coaching. The duration of a Journey can be individually arranged. From 12 weeks with regular sprints, as is known from “Working out Loud“, to qualification trips lasting several years.

Especially compact journeys of 12 weeks have proven their worth.

And in “real” …

In theory, this sounds like a holistic and promising approach. But what can such learning journeys look like in practice?

Here are three examples:

Leadership & Management

The “Leadership & Management Programme” is an international qualification for middle management in stationary retail in the premium segment, which addresses classical and future competencies. It is a pioneer of new learning and working, which follows the principle 70:20:10 and shapes the development of a new learning culture by means of forward-looking learning formats.

Based on a competence analysis, an individual learning path (Learner Journey) is mapped for each participant, which essentially extends over approximately 24 months. Individual learning nuggets developed by the customer for this target group are available for the development of each competence. These can be worked on independently “on demand” and the acquisition of competence is proven promptly (mini test). Learning content is processed using innovative formats. These include community learning, virtual coaching, workspace learning (e-learning, practical projects), virtual classroom training and presence workshops. The Learning Journey starts with a future conference and a development centre, is mapped via a credit point system and ends with a graduation event. Each participant then remains a member of the leadership community, which functions as a supporting pillar of the Learning Organization.

Multipliers Fitness

Multipliers are people who pass on knowledge to others in the company. With their help all participants of a company can be reached when it comes to “Future Fitness”. But first the multipliers must achieve “Future Readiness”.

And this is how it works, for example:

The Community Learning Platform provides participants with initial information about the program. They then take part in a three-day on-site workshop, a discovery centre to determine their individual qualification needs, receive individual feedback and complete their first learning nuggets. The learners then embark on their individual learning path, which consists of self-directed learning units flanked by virtual classroom training and, on demand, on-site workshops. At the same time, each multiplier develops its own case with a qualification unit containing innovative media and formats and iterated with the peer group. The final part is a two-day future workshop with a deep dive into innovative qualification formats and a training centre in which the individual cases are “tested”.

What Learning Journeys can do

Learning Journeys can help to transform a company into a Learning Organization. They inspire collaboration and exchange as well as cross-departmental and interdisciplinary networking. They are clearly more than highly effective learning, development and qualification measures. The implementation of Learning Journeys lays the foundation for a new learning culture within the organization. They act as a grassroots movement of knowledge sharing through collaboration and user-generated content.

This enables the entire organisation to be innovative, creative and able to connect to the challenges of the future.

 

What exactly does “Triple A” has to do with fainting? And what about Mindset First?

AAA(+) could become the magic formula for changing individual attitudes in thinking, feeling and motivation. It could be the key to overcoming powerlessness and power in interpersonal relationships and organizations and to a completely new encounter with ourselves and with other people. And this creates added value for all sides.

Triple A is a seal of quality

Let us first take a closer look at AAA. Triple A is a measure of quality that reflects the quality of a product, a service or the strength of an organisation (see e.g. rating with banks or companies). This rating expresses that it is the highest possible quality. This creates trust and security for the observer.

Admittedly, Triple A is rather rare today. Too many disturbing factors and influences must be considered and “dilute” the result. Some are to be arranged, others rather not.

AAA is rather to be understood as the desired target state, more like a northern star.

Triple A in the sense of the mindset

The named descriptions of  “Triple A” also applies well to the interpretation of AAA, which is taken up here with a view to a “Zeitgeist” or “spirit of the time” mindset. Triple A as a measure of quality and as a desirable target state. A yardstick for oneself, for one’s personal inner attitude and one’s own framework of action. A mindset that shapes one’s own behaviour in a self-determined and sustainable way.

And a mindset in which each A stands for a focus: Attentiveness, Attention and Alignment.

With AAA to a new mindset

Attentiveness

Attentiveness or so to say mindfulness is currently a “buzzword” and a product that is marketed in numerous workshops and in literature. That’s why it’s even more important to be careful with it. What does “attentiveness” mean?

To be present in the “here and now”, not only physically, but above all mentally. Not to be flooded and “disturbed” by the many offers and stimuli, but to concentrate completely on the one moment, what is now. And thereby its uniqueness notice, recognize and evenly? Respect? Completely without an evaluation, only observing. This is a challenge that usually needs to be mastered.

A Master of Mindfulness is gifted with the gift of being in contact with her-/himself and her/his own thinking, feeling and wanting. And to be able to lead oneself.

Attention

Today we encounter attention mainly negatively attributed, e.g. as attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. The human being seems to lose the ability to focus on something or a person over a certain period. This is questionable, because then there is no more immersion in the depth and then topics are no longer really penetrated. With the downside that there is no natural feeling of security. Rather it remains gladly with unchecked assumptions or superficially developed evaluations.

If the art of attention is mastered, true understanding can arise instead. This leads to encounters that today are called “at eye level”.

Alignment

Alignment means knowing one’s direction and using it as an inner guideline. To know the way intuitively and to give orientation. To be clear and unequivocal in one’s own actions, not to be nervous or arbitrary.

And thus, a reliable quantity for oneself and others. Even in times of upheaval, as they exist today.

If alignment is practised, a high degree of clarity and waste is avoided.

The concentration on the AAA leads to becoming aware of oneself and its value, to understand that others also have their self and value and to bring oneself into action in the sense of a co-creation. So, to become collaboratively self-effective.

And this is exactly what corresponds to the mindset of the future.

What’s this got to do with powerlessness?

In fact, in everyday working life today, powerlessness or actions that are motivated by having the power are the order of the day. In many companies, managers are still perceived as acting powerfully. They are said not to trust their employees, but to dominate them and not to give them the freedom they need. Power-oriented people are said to want to control and influence others. That leads naturally to resistance, since self-efficacy goes here at the expense of a third.

And the same is true of powerlessness. Already in the childhood and youth many humans make the experience that they are limited in their natural drive for action and in their self-efficacy. Instead of having to follow what third parties (teachers, parents, etc.) tell them. Punishment and reward systems that are highly manipulative are often used. At some point the urge to express oneself is not enough. The individual feels powerless and/or adapts in order to be the person exercising power later.

Until then, these are often the employees who feel powerless and in turn “feed” the existing power structures.

Powerlessness and power are two sides of the same coin, the play money of a monopoly, which should now be replaced promptly.

With the Triple A Mindset this is possible. With the practice of attentiveness, attention and alignment that lead to authenticity and autonomy. Making faint superfluous.

Rethink leadership? Nowadays one often hears that leadership needs to be rethought. Why should we do that? Hasn’t been enough already thought about leadership, experimented enough, modelled enough? In the meantime, there is a multi-faceted multitude of new approaches to leadership, from Servant to Human, from Connected to Mindful Leadership. The idea of collegial leadership […]

Leadership in its present form no longer seems to work. Looking at the level of employee leadership, none of the leadership models of the recent past can currently secure a sustainable place on the podium. Probably also because leadership appears more comprehensively for managers. They are currently usually strategists, managers and leaders and today also innovators and change agents in one person.

The excessive demands are not far away. At the same time, the needs of employees fall by the wayside. It can’t, probably won’t stay that way. So where will leadership develop into?

How leadership still shows itself today

Today we often still meet executives who have learned their trade in the big schools of management and leadership, whether in St. Gallen or Harvard or … and have practiced over many years with sometimes more, sometimes less success. They are still involved in classic line or matrix structures, usually in a double mission as managers and leaders.

Mostly measured by the results that can best be expressed in hard figures – whether these are figures related to production or sales of products and services or figures that reflect the satisfaction of customers or the team.

At the same time, however, there is an increasing demand in these areas: to give meaning to one’s own actions and those of the team or to make them visible, to discover and develop talents and to see and enable each individual team member. And, last but not least, make sure that the processes are adapted to an ever-increasing dynamism and at the same time are already being acted on using scrum & Co agile.

And how leadership is lived at the moment

Sometimes we meet completely different managers in the here and now. Those who grew up in the last named “school”. They have learned from the outset not to think and act in long, medium and short-term planning cycles but rather in backlogs and sprints.

They have always been project orientated, are at home in the agile manifesto and are well aware of the importance of customer centricity. Team spirit is their elixir. Managers who do not distinguish between entrepreneurs and leaders. Their names are different. They name themselves owner or master and they are part of the team. In their understanding, it is also the group that counts, less the individual and his needs and development.

As a rule, however, these “managers” don’t really find their place in the classic silos and have a great deal of difficulty with the required “management-suitable” slide flows, the benefits of which they don’t see at all.

Managers are increasingly in question

Let’s face it, being an executive today is far from desirable. One of the named types is torn between the different requirements and expectations, even today driven by the classic pattern of goal achievement in time. The growing demands of a changing workforce, be it Generation X or Generation Y and Z, are increasingly demanding.

In fact, employee retention figures today are often not good, as the latest Gallup Engagement Index shows. This is a trend that is continuing and is exerting even more pressure on managers who are already working hard. The most questioned one is the direct manager, who is unable to live up to the expectations of his employees.

On the other hand, if one asks managers what they see as the reason why “leadership is less and less successful”, one hears of a lack of concentration, a rapid flood of stimuli, generally lower competence set-ups, especially in a dynamic environment and fear of making decisions. Or from a reluctance to face change, a so-called “fixed mindset” of the older generation of employees.

Together with the colleague who comes from an agile childhood, the manager outlined here increasingly experiences emotional overload reactions. Even if for different reasons. Both are not happy in the current structure and have a rather manageable happiness index.

Leadership does (not) meet the expectations of employees

And they’re not alone. If we change perspectives, we can draw an even more critical picture on the employee side.

Even if employees show themselves slightly more satisfied with an agile manager. All in all, however, the leader doesn’t really come off well. Only the fun and joy factor is usually rated a little higher in this management concept.

If one asks the employees, however, their subjective view is that they learn too little personally, are not sufficiently empowered and are not appreciated by their superiors. Or that there is a lack of responsiveness to their individual needs, such as reconciling work and family life or dealing with the increasing dynamics of work. Many employees today have the impression that they are not developing fast enough or are not able to contribute their talents. They do not feel sufficiently informed and not sufficiently perceived as human beings. In their eyes, individual support should be given even more weight.

Instead, they experience that their supervisor measures and aligns them by numbers, at least in the classical structure. Too little work is done in a team and that motivation often suffers from a feeling of pressure.

New leadership concepts alone do not solve the central challenge

The attempts to solve these challenges with approaches such as Transformational Leadership” or more recently “Servant Leadership” have not yet led to a lasting change in the situation.

They subjectively generate more happiness in the individual and thus make a significant contribution on the way to a more humane working environment. With this kind of leadership, the fulfillment of the expectations of the employees is better secured than with conventional formats.

However, the actual challenge is not solved in this way – the combination of the requirements of promotion and demand bundled in one person at the same time. Whether on the part of the manager or that of the employee, a bottleneck always arises. How authentic and unconditional is promotion if at the same time the focus is on output? And where will the individual contribute his or her energy when numbers and people compete?

And then there was something else – the customer

To make it round. We haven’t even talked about the third in the alliance, the internal or external customer yet. The customer, of whom we know that his expectations are mutating by leaps and bounds. The fact that he is becoming more and more “unpredictable” or demands to be analyzed very precisely, observed and understood.

To create products and services that uniquely live up to customer’s wishes is the aim. To establish wow-experiences and fulfil customer needs, even if the customer is not aware of these yet.

No, the customer no longer deviates from his expectations and requirements. On the contrary. He experiences confirmation in the fact that the fulfillment of his concerns has the highest attention. Many machines and systems are finding it easier and easier to identify customer needs in time and propose suitable solutions at the same time.

In order to always be up to date here and to meet this pressure of expectation appropriately, it is imperative to give the customer’s voice a greater hearing in a timely manner and to prioritize his point of view.

Where is leadership heading?

“Leadership” in the sense of a healthy and sustainable organization can and should therefore be viewed from three perspectives: employee, customer, performance. The competences required to cope with the tasks in the respective dimensions are very different.

Ideally, the potpourri of skills required can hardly be provided by one person alone. Not only because this is an enormous demand on the skills profile of a single person. Rather it is for the high-level personnel itself, above all even more for coworkers, a difficult balancing act to present themselves in contradictory roles authentically.

How credible is a person who, at the same moment, makes a claim for excellent quality that is justified from the customer’s point of view and demands its implementation from the employee, whom he should simultaneously develop and promote in his role as a promoter?

People at all levels of organizations are increasingly exposed to this dilemma. Which voice should be followed? How passionately can a point of view be represented? How authentic or manipulative is a leader in the eyes of an employee? And, what should the employee orientate himself to? Today the demand for excellence and quality? And tomorrow to be encouraged to build on individual strengths?

Another dilemma arising from this management model is talent development. Should a manager, who today is still primarily measured by performance records, report his real high potentials in talent pools and thereby bear the risk of suffering a loss of competence in the team? A real conflict.

Quite apart from the fact that leadership is transferred to the shoulders of the team in the medium term, current theories of organizational development are believed.

And what if we simply rethink that?

We are currently working on what this might look like in concrete terms. Today, tomorrow and beyond.

More about that in another blog.

Virtual coaching claims an increasingly important role in the context of modern qualification concepts. Why is coaching so important in tomorrow’s learning? Does coaching over the telephone or the Internet have any effect and if so, how does it work?

The learning of the future – different formats and methods

The demands on modern and innovative learning concepts are enormous. A wide range of skills needs to be developed in a varied and efficient way. At best, the learning formats should be effective, sustainable and up-to-date. In addition to increasing knowledge, the focus is and will be on developing mindsets or attitudes and sustained learning transfer. Working on our own attitudes is rather difficult, as this requires actively working on some of our deep convictions.

Each learning format has a different focus. E-learning primarily addresses the development of knowledge competencies. Classical classroom workshops or trainings focus more on the application of knowledge. Community learning is intended to ensure that knowledge is shared more effectively within the group and that an exchange of experience and collegial supervision take place. It makes a significant contribution to ensuring the transfer and integration of what has been learned into everyday life.

Aim and effectiveness of e-Coaching

And what is the significance of (virtual) coaching? It is the ideal format to activate the volition of a learner. But it is about more than just motivation. Coaching can develop personality, stimulate self-reflection or encourage a change of attitude. It is also an excellent choice for flexible learning support.

As part of Future Learning , coaching usually takes place virtually, i.e. via telephone or video conference. Thus, compact coaching sessions offer a way to maintain an ongoing coaching schedule over time regardless of distance, eliminating the need to travel. This makes virtual coaching extremely time and cost efficient. This, in turn, facilitates real long-term support for any learner.

Is virtual coaching effective at all? We have known for some time that coaching in itself is effective (Grover & Furnham, 2016). Also virtual or telephone coaching has an effect. According to current studies, there are no significant deviations compared to live coaching (Jones, Woods & Guillaume, 2015).

So it is no small wonder that this qualification format is more and more en vogue.

Fields of application and effect mechanisms of online coaching

When can virtual coaching be used?

It is always the format of choice when the focus is on supporting qualification programmes that are designed for the longer term development of individual learners. As this case shows, the coach acts as a link between the learner and his learning progress. It is the go-to method when learner and coach are spatially separated and regular live sessions cannot be realised.

In principle, coaching, even in virtual format, can be applied to these topics:

  • Process monitoring and process reflection
  • Target definition and target-process evaluation
  • Self-reflection and reflection on content
  • Review of competences and learning objectives
  • Development of learning successes and fields of development
  • Introduction of, implementation of and support for exercises
  • Personality development
  • Mindset Change, work on attitude and volition

Virtual coaching has a similar effect as a face-to-face format. Through the working relationship, empathy, esteem and increasing trust, learners can usually get involved with the content and development steps can be experienced. Structuring the process, asking questions and discussing exercises, goals or own topics leads to reflection and a deeper processing. The resources of the learners are usually strengthened. In addition, positive effects on a variety of psychological factors such as self-efficacy can be demonstrated.

Virtual coaching has proven to be particularly beneficial when coach and coachèe meet in person at the beginning. Although this is not absolutely necessary for the success of the coaching, it is certainly an excellent support.

Of essential importance is that the coach is experienced or suitably qualified in virtual work. Implementing coaching effectively via computers is an art of its own that needs to be practiced. After all, two levels of communication are severely restricted, body language and mood/atmosphere. This means that the linguistic design of the process is of even greater importance, as is the case in coaching anyway.

Virtual coaching – the heart of Future Learning

The importance of coaching for FutureLlearning will certainly continue to grow as it supports learners in two different ways:

  • Continuous monitoring of the individual learning process: In regular “coach calls” learners can clarify questions, structure their individual development process or check competence development. In a digitalised programme, coaching takes over what digitalised tests, artificial intelligence or e-learning cannot yet do.
  • Personal accompaniment of the human being: However, in an optimally designed and efficient qualification programme, people usually seek personal relationships and contact. Reflection and appreciation can hardly be experienced through the web. This social part of the development work can only take place in a person to person connection.

Virtual coaching thus combines economy and efficiency with the human component in the learning of the future. Attitudes and mindsets can thus be successfully addressed and developed.

Also worth reading in this context could be our Blog Coaching – a powerful instrument of individual change.

This blog was written by Nicklas Kinder, who is currently writing his dissertation on the topic “Coaching” at the University of Salzburg.

“Uploading” enables shaping the future

The term “Uploading” originally comes from Otto Scharmer and his Theory U. “Uploading” describes the conducive attitude and suitable behaviour of each individual in order to shape their own circumstances and future. With an understanding of “Open Mind”, “Open Heart” and “Open Will”, people act consciously and autonomously. He sees himself as a proactive and constructive co-creator of a community. It makes a meaningful, value-creating and sustainable contribution to organizations and society. The meaning of “Uploading” can be understood as an individual creating his or her own substantial contribution and bringing it into the system. The individual thinks, feels and acts on its own and makes this output available to others. Based on its own free will and for the good of themselves and others. That is courageous. This is how the future is co-created.

“No, like this” and “Wow, so” seem en vogue today

Uploading” thus stands in contrast to “downloading”, which is also described by Otto Scharmer. It is about the ongoing reproduction of information already available. Regardless of whether this information is evaluated positively or critically. “No, like this” and “Wow, so” are two sides of the same coin. They express the individual’s actions, which are more owed to the swarm. One joins a trend or a group and follows this view. This has little to do with a reflected individual view and design. Rather, one remains true to oneself and one’s mindset, reinforcing it again and again.

As soon as an individual, a group or an organization shows its edge, i.e. its own point of view, the feedback is not long in coming. Towards the one extreme as well as the other. If the Positioning meets the zeitgeist, it can lead to countless likes and a quantum leap in followers in no time at all. Conversely, countless platforms invite you to give room to your own displeasure, which can quickly grow into shitstorms and hate triads. The more populist the tone, the better. Sometimes the content is no longer important. What this overshooting behaviour does to us as society is another completely different subject.

Co-creation begins by leading yourself

Admittedly, in our world today, every day a whole series of themes become visible that give cause to marvel or to shake one’s head. At the same time, one could be distracted or standardized every minute. Push notifications, Alexa, messenger services, social media and many more try their best to win over our attention. It is a huge challenge to resist.

The daily dynamics, the exponentially developing flood of information and the much-mentioned digital transformation challenge us beyond measure. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things or to form one’s own picture. We are increasingly reaching our limits. It seems tempting to join “like-minded people”, to have a pre-selection of information made, to follow the chosen swarm. And thus, to put one’s own thinking, feeling and acting back.

But how much of a human being does then remain? Is this still worthy of human beings? Or is it more like being a machine?

If we want to keep being human (s), it is advisable to become stronger and more conscious to become a co-creator again. And to shape our own future proactively. Use your own potential and create added value. To express oneself, in coordination with the expression of others.

Otto Scharmers supports “Uploading”.
With the aim of “Presencing”, i.e. to “be present” as a human being and to help co-creating.

First of all, this means to lead oneself.
To do so, the following first steps are recommended:

  • Check your own “downloading” status and make a conscious decision to change
  • Consciously “switch off” disturbances and create more time to be mindful with yourself
  • Consciously form one’s own opinion and use a variety of sources of information for this purpose
  • Give space to personal intuition and learn to listen to it

To do so, techniques for the development of mindfulness (such as mindfulness-based stress reduction) can be a great support.

 

A Company Future Journey is a very familiar topic for us. Since our foundation, “The Company Journey Guides” have accompanied people and organizations in a variety of ways on their journey of finding an identity, cultural design, reorientation of business models as well as working and learning formats.
We know about the power of a vision and have learned to appreciate and prioritize the value of a purpose. We have often been able to experience how individuals and teams regain their full strength when the meaning of their own actions becomes clear, or how each of their strengths can be brought to bear. Sometimes we have even experienced a silence which occurs when it becomes clear how personal values and needs are in line with those of the organisation.
And yes, we have also gained experience with the fact that every change is gladly repressed and rejected initially before the path through resistance leads the way to shaping the new.

Departure – every beginning is hard

At the beginning of this year we set off on our own journey again. Our experiences during our projects gave us the courage and drive to start our own TCJG Company Future Journey.
It was easy to set off so far, questioning everything and verifying its future sense and suitability.
At the same time there were doubts and appeasements. Everything is actually (still) going well. And we have enough to do. Why should we now expose ourselves to a “pupation”? Especially since we know that our journey will lead through the four fields of the Change House (Claes F. Janssen). Defensiveness and resistance need to be expected along the way.
Things became turbulent right at the beginning. At first, we didn’t agree, neither about our departure nor about the direction. Leaving our comfort zone, even if it was just mentally, caused stress.
At the same time, it became obvious: now is the right time to leave. There was already a big crack in the cocoon. And a butterfly was waiting for us.

Start with the WHY

Following the principles of Simon Sinek , the first part of our journey led us to the WHY, the description of our Purpose.
Along this way we first dealt intensively with our past, our achievements and effectiveness. We reviewed our values and the motives for our actions. We found that our: values (mindfulness, truthfulness, sustainability) still remain valid.
At the same time, we analysed our strengths and identified what makes us unique.

We then asked ourselves what really mattered to us. Then we quickly agreed: human beings. And their unique and unmistakable contribution to shaping a company’s future.
We had already arrived at the “Purpose” and the caterpillar had hatched.

Taking time during the HOW

The short rest at our Purpose made it clear to us how invigorating it is for the entire team and it therefore was a real pleasure to continue our journey. Very quickly, the “Silver Line” on the horizon became clear. That’s where we should be heading. We empower people and organizations to shape their future and actively contribute to making this possible. WOW!

During our HOW, the development of the Governance and the Guiding Principles then again became somewhat bumpy. This is exactly where it comes down to business if you are to take this journey seriously. How exactly would we like to offer our services? What unites us in this regards? What don’t we want any longer, even though it is well familiar to us and makes us feel safe? What do we stand up for with all our strength and also ready to go the extra mile? What can our customers rely on? When do we say yes and when no?

That was really challenging and sent our team through another new process. Frankly, the doubts and concerns came back. And not everyone was always happy. Especially since it became clear that certain beloved habits would not continue to travel with us.

The result were eight Guiding Principles and four areas, of how we work. And now we are really happy with them. We have set them as a measure for ourselves and thus become effective accordingly.

We have learned: Allow enough time with the HOW. It just takes time. Well, caterpillars, just the same, take their time and move slowly.

Arriving at the WHAT via our customers

Before we actually turned off to the “WHAT”, we took a long detour via our customers. Following the principles of design thinking, we first wanted to find out and understand what they exactly need and what their concerns might be. Where do they see added value and why would they need our support at all?

We created personas for this purpose and looked at the world from their perspective. This was a very enlightening process that we can recommend to every organization and every team. We then carried out a Customer Value Proposition for these personas and were able to sharpen our HOW once again.

Then came the exciting moment: matching the focus of our customers with our core competencies and strengths. And four new and inspiring business areas emerged from this: Mindset first, Leadership? – Leader-Shift!, Zeitgeist L&OD and Hero Customer.

Now is the time to make them come to life. We already possess a certain amount of services and product offerings for these areas from our past and will contribute them accordingly. Others are currently under development, following the DT principles of iteration with our customers. There is still a long way to go. Consequently, our Company Future Journey will continue even further.

Some of our previous services also had to be left behind. They simply no longer have a place in our new travel baggage. We’ve already said goodbye to some of them, while for others this process is still outstanding. This is of course a little bit sad.

And yet: the butterfly is now unfolding its wings. It is magnificent and multi-faceted. And it is the future.

Your Customer is King

“I need to tell you something! You cannot believe how I was treated during my last vacation! I felt like a king” A friend of mine said that to me a few weeks ago and he recalled vividly his experiences from his last summer vacation with his wife on a stunning island in Thailand. I knew that they spent their honeymoon in an exclusive hotel three years ago and wanted to revive these wonderful moments last summer. He told me when they arrived in the hotel, a surprise followed the next. At first, they were greeted by name by the bellboy upon arrival. Then, the receptionist informed them that she already reserved their favourite table on the gallery if they decide to have dinner in the hotel’s own restaurant. When they entered their hotel room, they found two freshly squeezed juices and a hand-written card saying: “Welcome back! We prepared your favourite juices for your sense of well-being. Enjoy!” In fact, those juices were exactly the ones both preferred during their last stay three years ago. My friend was totally overwhelmed, not only by such a high degree of appreciation but also by the surprising effect.

The Needs of the Customer at the Centre of your Consideration

In theory those experiences are described with the term Customer Experience (CX) and are an essential part of a customer-centric approach. Customer Centricity means that the customer is at the centre of all considerations. Critical minds might note that Customer Centricity is only a new way of describing the familiar concept “Customer is king”. In fact, a customer-centric design and marketing approach for products and services goes far beyond a simple customer-oriented method. Customer Orientation itself focuses mainly on customer satisfaction, whereas, a customer-centric approach tries to identify the customers’ needs (a feeling that is rooted in a sense of shortage) beforehand and align the design around the identified needs. This means that products and services are not only designed to best match customer wishes but rather generate greater added value by fulfilling the needs of the customer. This could even generate a demand for innovative products that customers were not aware of in the first place. A popular example is the Apple iPad. The action camera GoPro was originally developed as gadget for ambitious surfer that wanted to record their surf ride. However, in no time the small and solid camera induced a huge demand to record and share leisure activities even if they were not truly ambitious per se.

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos names Customer Centricity as Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for his company:

„The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth‘s most customer-centric company”.

Currently, Jeff Bezos tries various innovative solutions for distribution and logistics (such as drone delivery) to reach the customers in their living environment and ease the buying process. The current strategic focus shows clearly that a customer-centric approach is derived from three main dimensions: Customer Value, Customer Experience and Customer Lifecycle.

Ask yourself the following questions: What explicit value does the product offer for my customer, beyond a simple product advantage? Where and how could we create individual customer experiences? How does the customer lifecycle for my product look like? That means: What are the Customer Touchpoints (all potential spots to get in contact with the customer)? Starting from an initial contact until a follow-up after a purchase. Combining these dimensions shows how experience and added value are interlinked across all potential touchpoints.

Implementation of a Customer-Centric Approach

Many companies transform their processes with a focus on extensive Customer Centricity (follow the links below). Showrooms are restructured radically („Audi City“ in Berlin), virtual 24/7 chat platforms (Vodafone) are established and emotional marketing campaigns are launched (TD Bank). However, the return is often not reasonable in relation to expensive initiatives. Costs can be identified clearly but short- or mid-term results cannot be traced back solely to the initiative. Therefore, it is important to present a viable business case.

A success criterion for developing customer-centric initiatives is a customer-driven investigation of needs. In the course of agile development, innovative methods such as Design Thinking proved itself when it comes to exploring the living environment of the customers. Ideas for target-oriented products and services are developed, based on numerous observations, customer interviews and a detailed analysis. The resulting product ideas are iterated in various cycles and further developed with customers. The concluding product is then tested by selected customers and the feedback is considered to create the final product.

Design Thinking – a Helpful Method to Create New Ideas for Customer Centricity

We use Design Thinking across industries in organisations as well as in retail to put employees in the shoes of their customers and let them experience the world around them from a client’s perspective. For this, the employees see through the eyes of sample personas with typical characteristics of their customers and go on a customer journey to explore comparable brands and products. Alternatively, the customer could be involved right at the beginning to co-create ideas and being asked about their needs.

We repeatedly face the challenge in the service industry that a customer-centric service behaviour requires a mindset change. It is about a true interest in the person and not only in the customer. It is about putting the customer in the centre, about empathetic listening and an intrinsic disposition to think beyond standards and create individual solutions. Customer experiences do not necessarily require efforts in monetary form such as gifts or give-aways. Extraordinary experiences are rather about authentic attention, individual solutions and the surprising effect. One of my favourite examples for this is the famous Hotel Group Ritz Carlton. A little boy forgot his plush toy “Joshie, the giraffe” in one of its hotels. The hotel returned the toy by post but attached a series of photographs that pictured how “Joshie” spent his last days at the hotel. The pictures showed “Joshie” relaxing in the spa, working in the office and sunbathing by the pool… (see link below). In summary: Customer Centricity is an attitude, not a tool.

My friend experienced that attitude during his vacation at the honeymoon hotel and told me recently that a stay at “his” hotel is already in plan.

 

Get inspired by a few examples of extraordinary customer experiences:

#10: Ritz-Carlton Helps with Joshie’s Extended Vacation

Customer Experience at TD Bank

Customer Centricity at Vodafone

McKinsey about added value through Customer Journeys

Good old times

Times are long gone when established trainer personalities with a main competence in classical methods were amused when hearing the term “e-learning”. To be honest, I belonged to that guild when virtual learning emerged around 15 years ago and learning modules were just as unattractive as boring. The competence to enable learning was reserved to trainers and instructor-led trainings (ILT). Content was merely provided in live trainings – ranging from sensitisation for topics through required knowledge to appropriate behaviour. Preferably, during two consecutive days at a decent meeting venue with the usual convenience. Huge slide flows were often presented until even the last participant dropped off. That pattern was pricey, intense and inefficient. Would the term “learning journey” already have existed, most probably we would have understood a multi-layer training programme such as a curriculum.

Today, e-learning is a key player

Meanwhile, e-learning has gained momentum and conquered its territory. Today, not only formats and content editing are diverse and interesting but also experts such as FKC design highly attractive layouts for the content. E-learning fits for capacity building of some competences better as it is a more efficient and more effective solution. Especially when it comes to acquiring knowledge and related fields of application, e-learning is an established resource. Smart e-learning modules are far more convenient to provide content and support individual knowledge build-up than seminars or self-study programmes such as PDF’s can do. E-learning also contributes remarkably to preparation and follow-up of classical and even new, innovative modules such as workshops and e-coaching. Besides that, it can be used as learning companion, e.g. as self-guiding eBooks.

Learning Journeys and Learner‘s Journeys

At TCJG e-learning is a solid part when learning journeys are designed. At the same time, we understand e-learning as a component of a learning journey that is supplied by a variety of different formats. Let’s have a look at the term “Learning Journey”. What do we understand by this? Currently, the term “journey” is used massively, e.g. in “Customer Journey” or “Employee Journey” and defines the individual path of a person towards his “goal” (respectively, the satisfaction of his own personal needs). In this light, a Learning Journey is the path of a learner towards the build-up of single or multiple competences. The Journey can be guided by topics (e.g. leadership) or it can be highly individualised. The latter would focus on a continuous build-up of a diverse and individual competence profile.

Characteristics of contemporary Learning Journeys

Thus, Learning Journeys can be understood as individual learning paths that offer various learning modules or smaller learning nuggets that are entirely aligned towards the achievement of a goal. Single components are built on one another or complement and support each other. Excellent Learning Journeys should offer a variation to daily operations, diverse ways of activation and unexpected surprises. They do not follow a certain standard but are rather individual and can be shaped by the learner himself. Despite all individualisation, my team and I always get inspired by a didactic core principle when creating new Learning Journeys. The following steps are verified to sustain learning. First, the learner always gets into contact with the related topic. This is best done on an emotional basis to sensitise the learner (e.g. via a video) and next, offer selected input for the rational mind (e.g. via an e-learning sequence). After that, the emotional and cognitive input can be experienced and the capacity to act is revealed (e.g. via a Live Workshop). Finally, we highlight the added value by inspiring the learner to transfer the gained knowledge and capability into his daily routine and plan the application of new knowledge and skills precisely. Today, essential components of Learning Journeys are, beside mentioned diverse formats, learning communities and peer work as well as the use of learning companions such as the eBook or an e(Coach). In addition, user generated content is currently indispensable.

Outlook into the future of learning and Learner’s Journeys

Learning Journeys are currently in a transformation process, too. Recently, Micro Teaching suppressed current learning formats (even around e-learning) progressively and even the Learning Journey is subject to pressure to adapt. Obviously, trends direct the development away from self-contained learning units, such as WBT’s, towards smallest learning nuggets. The nuggets are available at any time, always accessible and expandable via user-generated content that can be compiled individually in a personalised playlist. What would the established trainer guild respond to all of this…   Links/Sources: Learning Journey

Learning Journeys – SlideShare

Different types of Learning Journeys

 

The right mixture makes the difference

Maybe you remember it from your own past – the teacher is holding a detailed monologue in front of the class while the first student doesn’t listen anymore, the second doesn’t understand a word and the third is already one step ahead. If your teacher had adopted the method of Blended Learning he would still have the first student’s attention by using small, relevant learning nuggets. Student number 2 would have found all incomprehensible terms quickly via useful keywording. And student number 3 would be working and exercising on his individual learning path. The teacher in front would turn into an accompanying coach who assists in learning, motivates the group, encourages interaction within the group and actively supports practical applications. Of course, this situation is shown a bit exaggerated. But it puts the benefits of Blended Learning straight to the point.

Individual learning paths

How does this work? And what exactly is Blended Learning? The meaning of the word “blended” already indicates a “mixture”. An appropriate and useful mix means not only to learn digitally and virtually but additionally in live and in presence. It means self-determined learning but not left alone and in constant contact with coach and peer group. The underlying theory of learning of moderate constructivism assumes that best learning results incur by following your own interests and individual requirements – with a coach constantly by your side who accompanies your self-determined learning. “Moderate” constructivism (i.e. Roche, Jörg 2008 – Handbuch Mediendidaktik) is a development of the constructivist learning theory. While the learner is running into the risk of being overwhelmed by only self-directed learning and might get lost on his learning path, the moderate version ensures that support and suggestions are given and includes the attendance of the coach. Digital self-learning tools are hip – if used correctly they are certainly useful for some particular learning goals. But studies have repeatedly shown that the motivation may weaken quickly while sitting alone in front of the computer or swiping on the smartphone. The motivational involvement in a group, which meets live and at fixed times, helps to get on with the goal and to pursue on a long-term basis. Pure knowledge, as well as individual strengths and weaknesses, can be well identified digitally: Adaptive systems analyze the individual learning needs and assimilate accordingly. Simulations can be very close to reality. But the best ‘skill’ training takes place in situations when practice comes as close as possible to reality. This includes an authentic setting in an authentic situation of where I want to apply my skills in reality afterwards. This also is the idea of the “70-20-10” rule – usually 70 percent of skills emerge from practical experience on the job, 20 percent from interactions with others and only 10 percent from formal learning situations.  

Explanation of the 70-20-10 rule

 

Development of individual learning modules/paths

To transfer blended learning into your work life the following applies: The learning content results out of the employees’ competence profile. This content is individually matched with learning modules/paths. To grab and keep the attention and to ensure the optimum use during day-to-day-business, the modules/paths contain small learning units. The so-called learning nuggets include a short video with short questions for example. All learning modules/paths embed constant exchange possibilities with the coach and peer group, live workshops and practical projects.

The best of two worlds

Blended learning thus combines the best of two worlds which are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement each other didactically combined: the world of e-learning and the world of presence learning. It’s like the perfect “blend” of a latte macchiato: The foam of milk should not be missed but the espresso is a definite must for the freshness.

Internal corporate social network? Today this does not stand for social exchange with our network of colleagues at the coffee machine. “A “social network” is a dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.” That´s the definition found on Wikipedia – in a way a social network itself.

Social Networks have become the prevailing exchange medium for every day communication. If Facebook were a country with 1.44 billion members, it would have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country in 2015. People follow topics they are interested in on Twitter, discussions take place in internet forums, information is accessed via digital knowledge database. At the same time the use of social media becomes more and more intuitive and can be easily integrated in one’s everyday life – at any time from everywhere, accessible via app on your smartphone or tablet.

An increasing number of cooperations use social networks and media, however, predominantly when it comes to external communication. Companies find suitable candidates for open positions via LinkedIn. Commercials posted on YouTube and Facebook reach a much higher number of views than TV commercials – at a global level without additional effort or expense. Opinions users blog about a brand or product influence the corporate image as people trust the “customer experience” of peers much more than advertisement.

It’s time to use these concepts for internal corporate communication as well! More and more corporate social networks are being developed to ensure exactly this for the employees within a company: The feeling of being part of a global online-community, an equal amongst peers at every hour of the day.

But why is this important? And why is traditional communication through e-mail or via bulletin board simply not enough anymore?

Social networks build on mutuality and exchange. Essential for that is the development and maintenance of relationships between companies and their employees as well as amongst the latter. Through online-communities, we break traditional hierarchies, everyone is equally important, everyone has a say. This strengthens the feeling of belonging, the corporate identity.

Social networks foster cooperation and collaboration and encourage peer-learning. No expert in the office? No problem! The corporate chat allows exchange with colleagues in China, Brazil or the conference building next door. Through integrated forums we are able to post open questions that reach all employees – hidden expertise, that individuals have so far kept to themselves, comes to light. The collective intelligence of a company is activated as employees solve problems together.

Social networks save and secure information in a sustainable manner. A new dimension of knowledge management evolves. Instead of replying to e-mails with the same question over and over again, the expert posts his answer via internal blog or on the corporate Wiki. This saves time and capacity and preserves information over time. Thus new employees can access the information even when the expert leaves the company. Further, employees can deepen knowledge according to their needs by following additional links, videos or podcasts posted on the network. As a result the self-management of every individual is enhanced.

Social networks are up-to-date, intuitive and globally applicable. And: Generation Y and Z already consider the times of e-mail passé!

Have a look at why that is not necessarily a change for the worst in this video on “E-mail trees”Video E-mail trees

In addition, this video by Erik Qualman, the bestselling author of Socialnomics, as well as Digital Leader and What Happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, provides more interesting facts on social media and social networkingVideo Social Media Revolution

While sometimes the solution to a specific work-related problem is obvious for external observers, the directly affected person might stand in his own way. He might not gain access to the right solution. Good advice or technical instructions are not of any help. Often facts are known, but cannot be utilized.

A clear case for coaching. Working on a solution starts with the analysis and clarification of the coachee’s concerns. Customized and focused. The key competency of the coach is to listen closely, to read nuances between the lines and to ask the right questions in order to disclose the key issue.

Then the coachee’s goal is identified. What would it look like if the situation or problem would have been solved already? Usually the coachee is capable of describing the goal and to capture it in an image. The coachee draws strength from this image, it gives him wings. Then, the path towards the goal has to be sketched, building the framework which leads towards departure . On the way it might be helpful to hand refreshments, to install safety nets, to reduce the risk of falling or relapse. And to make sure the coachee does not lose his courage. As soon as first milestones have been achieved and the remaining path towards reaching the final goal looks clear, it is the coach’s time to leave.

That is it for the process. Essentially coaching enables new links inside the client’s mind to gain access to solutions already known. After all, the coachee is the only one who knows best what fits him right. Although he might not immediatly know that he is already knowing it.

The movie below brings some inspiration on the topic coaching:

Coaching Explain Movie

A company’s success depends largely on the competence and commitment of its employees. However, qualified personnel selection and development is challenging. Basis of a systematic personnel development process is the personnel diagnostics. It serves as a tool to identify the potential of its employees and determine individual developmental needs.

Goals and Tasks of Personnel Diagnostics

Personnel diagnostics provides critical impulses to increase the success of organizations. Firstly, it helps to minimize the risk of ill placed personnel. Here, it performs a central role in the recruitment process. Secondly, personnel diagnostics plays a role in identifying high potentials and ensuring the professional success of individual staff members. Differentiated competence analysis ensure that a fit between person and function is guaranteed and that individual skills are developed and modified in accordance to job requirements.

Diagnostic Methods in HR Development

There is a wide range of different diagnostic instruments and procedures, by which the suitability within an internal selection process can be found, individual SWOT profiles can be created, and qualification requirements can be analysed. Typical processes are, for example, simulation -based methods, biography – oriented methods, intelligence and personality tests, as well as interviews.

The Assessment Center (AC) is one of the most popular and most commonly used methods, although its predictive capability has continually decreased in recent years. This is mainly because redundant and standardized exercises are used. The AC is a multiple diagnostic method that combines various partial procedures. For potential diagnosis within organizations, the promotable potential AC and the HR development AC are used.

Diagnostic methods absolutely must meet certain quality criteria. Particular attention should be paid to the qualification of the persons involved. Assessor training, applying the principle of multiple-assessor verification as well as the rotation of the assessors are therefore essential components. Finally, utilized instruments should be able to precisely measure the criteria.

To increase the informative value of the assessment center for an organization it is essential to firstly develop an organization and function specific competence profile and to apply it in the competence assessment. Secondly, the methods and exercises used in the AC must be aligned to the everyday work life of the participant with practical relevance.

Individual assessments / human audit methods have become particularly popular in recent years because they allow a greater individualization and e.g. allow cross-cultural aspects to be considered.

Trends and Challenges

Globalization and the associated increase in collaboration in international teams and projects, alongside the high volatility in the markets also require appropriate adjustments on a diagnostic level. „Working across borders ” is no longer the exception but the rule and requires the promotion of multinational diagnostics.

Individual values diagnostics also continues to gain in importance.

At the same time, virtualization is progressing and calls for appropriate adaptation in the personnel diagnostics space.

In recent years, a strong increase of online testing method could be observed. The online utilization of IQ tests, knowledge tests, personality tests or case studies enables the measurement of processing and response times, adaptation of tasks of previous test performance, as well as an interactive design. So-called self-assessments guide participants through the work environment on a virtual plane. Online method thus not only examine knowledge, but inform people. Therewith, self-selection can be leveraged.

Some skills (e.g. knowledge) may be transferred more efficiently and more cost-effectively through virtual channels than through in-class lectures. In other cases, personal contact is essential for an accurate diagnosis and cannot be replaced by e.g. videoconferences or calls.


Personnel Diagnostics at TCJG

TCJG utilizes personal diagnostic instruments in the development and promotion of people. Therefore, often use „Management Audits” not only for pure location determination but also as a means to derive development plans.

We also offer individual concepts and solutions for junior development programs. To identify talents and their potential we run programs such as the „Talent Development Workshop“ (support assessment for junior staff, as individual or group process). This gives us a good foundation to accompany these people on their way to leadership positions.

A special TCJG offer in personnel diagnostics is that of individual values analysis. This instrument is especially valuable for organizations concerned with brand engagement and cultural change.

Submitted by our blogger Kristina Ressler

Be it personal or professional environments. Via classic channels such as movies or TV. Or mobile on-the-go, via tablet, cell phone etc:

A flood of video content accompanies us on our daily movements. In the field of training and higher professional qualification film has also long established itself as a learning medium.

Here, film itself plays only a small part in the overall context of so-called blended learning. It is yet to be seen in what way and to what integrative overall concept the medium of film will find its application in the field of learning 2.0.

Triggering emotions, increasing motivation. Depicting processes and content precisely. Completely individualized, practical and location independent. These are the classic core competencies of the established teaching video. But even here, the digital future has already arrived, enabling the learner to experience virtual environments via Augmented Reality. Hot topics here are Stereo 3D, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. These developments are supported by social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Co., which complement the interactivity of the content further. A huge range of variably usable tools are emerging, which offer the chance to expand learning 2.0 to a new level in the near future. But there exists the danger of getting lost in the maze of new media and losing focus on the topic of learning. Therefore, it is all the more important to integrate the films as a meaningful part in a modular and holistic learning path structure.

In addition, learning as we know it has been under scrutiny for a while now. As part of an innovative, free and global learning culture, the internet as a platform hosts numerous so-called MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses). They provide freely accessible teaching content. In most cases, content is delivered on the basis of video production in a variety of formats. Lifelong learning is therefore open to the public and completely independent of institutions such as schools and universities.

An interesting and entertaining contribution to the topic of future learning, offered from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), a published and animated speach from Sir Ken Robinson in 2008:
Ted Talk Ken Robinson

Another very humorous TED Talk by Salman Khan tells the story of a now highly successful, non-profit e-learning platform, the Khan Academy:
Ted Talk Salman Khan

One example of a MOOC e-learning platform is Iversity:
www.iversity.org

A powerful video content creation software (with a free trial) is Videoscribe:
www.videoscribe.co

Todays world grows ever more global and ever more digital. This entails great changes for the organization of work places as well as for society. The way people collaborate, share knowledge, acquire skills and learn continuously changes. People desire a flexible working environment and to be able decide themselves when and where to do what. Anywhere and anytime is the motto.

This also applies to learning. The future of learning is social, mobile, anywhere and anytime. Research shows that more than 80% of learning happens informally. This represents a great challenge for companies as how to design a work place that fosters and supports learning in this new way and that meets the learning needs of their employees.

Adidas is a great example for a company that took exactly the right approach. Its strategy – The New Way of Learning – brings learning back to the workplace and lets its employees equally teach and learn. Adidas provides an open and collaborative, social learning environment and creates a new culture of self-driven and life-long learning. For this, they founded the “Adidas Learning Campus” which enables its employees to decide when and where they learn, to choose what and how they learn and to network and collaborate. By creating an open and collaborative work place, Adidas has its finger on the pulse of current affairs and enables its employees to steadily learn and grow.

So, what does this mean for you or your company?

Adidas “New Way of Learning” strategy and its Learning Campus provide inspiration for how to face the challenges of the new (learning) trends. Rather than resisting change, Adidas jumped right into the wave of individualism with a collaborative spirit, inviting employees to co-create the future. They were able to take the timeless wisdom of “Everyone’s a teacher, everyone’s a learner” and apply it to the digital age. Chapeau.

The Company Journey Guides en route – our goal: the Starnberger Lake.

We circumnavigate the water, admiring the magnificent scenery and enjoying a hot, beautiful summer day – on Vespa scooters. On our trip we change the perspective to the other side. We, The Company Journey Guides, usually guides ourselves are now on a guided scooter tour around the lake and therewith are able to experience the perspective of our customers.

Enchanting scenery, beautiful insights and outlooks. Mild summer breeze. Laughter. Air. A delicious picnic. Seeking and finding guidance. Overcoming stumbling blocks in the form of manual gears and flat tires. Experiencing team work and support. Beat and happy to return.

We thoroughly enjoyed it. You need to experience it as well. We are working on it!

The new Leadership Report 2015 by Zukunftsinstitut is out! It shows the latest and most important trends for successful leadership in today’s and the future’s world of collaboration and innovation.

Today’s world is more fast-moving than ever. By planning everything precisely and in detail, companies are wasting their resources. Hence, companies have to be flexible in order to adapt to the changing conditions. That’s what the Leadership Report calls for – Organizational Agility. In this fast changing world it’s of great importance for companies to be agile and flexible and not to get lost in planning.

So what will the future for organizations and companies be like?

The future employee will be a knowledge worker who is an expert on a certain topic and works for several different companies for projects on this field. The future workforce requires a flexible organization form – a fluid organization as it is called by Zukunftsinstitut. This organization form is characterized by “open and interchangeable membranes” instead of rigid organization boundaries. The task of future leaders will therefore be to design such a workplace where employees are free to innovate and where they are emotionally connected to their task and workplace. Leaders should internalize and set an example of what makes up their company in order to be successful.

And what does this mean for you?

The future is about uniqueness and flexibility. So, stop planning, reflect on yourself and on your strengths, orientate yourself, fall into the chaos and lead!

Download the new Leadership Report by ZukunftsInstitut

Gmund, sustainability and corporate values

Surrounded by the alps and adjacent to a serene lake lies the Bavarian town „Gmund“ – and its name sake paper company. It is a family business, a paper manufactory, which has stayed true to its craft for 180 years. And this quite successfully.

Why specifically did we choose this supplier for the creation of our office equipment and not any other manufacturer?

Well, we are united by equal values ​​- sustainability, innovation and authenticity.

Like us, Gmund Paper creates its goods in Upper Bavaria and services the global market. And, like us, they do what they do with great dedication.

Gmund Paper is committed to continuous innovation – constantly developing new collections and offering innovative and customer-specific solutions. Like us. Not to mention the commitment to sustainability, minding the environment and mainly working with regional partners – without accepting compromises in beauty and goodness of their creations. Cooperating and collaborating with customers to find the best solutions and a clear commitment to the importance of learning and development. That clearly resonates with us deeply.

Check out GMUND Paper