LeadershipPerspectives

As our economic environment changes, so do the requirements for future-capable leadership. We are leaving behind times in which a company's ability to forecast the future was critical and entering an age in which the future can no longer be predicted.

Global linkages have become too complex, reactions take place too fast, the interaction of political and economic developments is now too surprising for us to predict the future. This situation is a fundamental dilemma for leaders: On the one hand, they recognize that even the best minds can no longer predict the future with any reasonable certainty; on the other hand, employees and citizens demand that leaders provide confidence and orientation.

Once we have given up the old conviction that we have to know better, future-capable leadership gains a new character. No longer is the focus on goal competence, but on path competence; no longer do we need knowledge about something, but the strength to design processes, give people a purpose, and create agile structures in which we can react flexibly and quickly.

Affirmed by many, implementation of this is not trivial, since we are all guided by the fundamental drive to perfect and pass on what we have experienced ourselves - and especially among those personalities whose self-confidence is great and whose opportunity to reflect on their own behavior tends to be small due to a lack of honest feedback.

For future-capable leadership, this is a vicious circle. Only those who can admit that they do not know what the future will bring can be open to the insight that their task is now to take others with them along an unknown path and not act as if they had a certainty that simply no longer exists.

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