Something mundane to start with: New Work is changing the entire value chain. And yes, we all know it. But what exactly does it mean for business owners?
Industry 4.0 is shaped by digitization, media mix, distant communication, generational change and hybrid work cultures. The forms and conditions of how we work have to be adapted accordingly – to a so-called VUCA-world, where we now all live. The acronym VUCA describes the four characteristics of the modern world: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.
Please note, VUCA is not a hazard, but a reality that needs to be investigated and taken action upon. VUCA brings serious changes for all companies. The following two subjects are particularly interesting and challenging at the same time – highly relevant now, and getting more relevant in the near and distant future:
1. Heterogeneous Teams
Let's take Workademy: people from many parts of the world work together. They are of different ages, different origins, with a colorful mix of preferences, skills, and mother tongues (English is the language of our internal communication).
The increasing age and origin diversity bring more different points of view, individual expectations, and values into a company – which is great! – so that management behavior must be adapted accordingly, in order to do justice to all employees.
Diversity Management is not a trend term, it's a necessity in a viable company.
Sure, team heterogeneity naturally brings challenges along with advantages, such as more possibilities and more potential. One of the challenges is: in diverse teams, there is naturally more potential for conflict. Workademy conducts conflict prevention by providing clear conflict prevention guidelines:
a. Structure – clearly clarify goals, roles, responsibilities
b. Group dynamics – discuss forms of decision-making in advance, involve all group members in the process, agree on communication rules
c. Interpersonal aspects – establish a transparent feedback culture
d. Intrapersonal aspects – communicate individual values and beliefs with one another, observe individual feelings and reaction behavior.
How do you lead heterogeneous teams properly?
First of all, by dealing with the matter. Read about it, study best practices, ask your mentors, listen to feedback. The diversity faultline can be drastically weakened by a resonant leadership style and strong diversity values. The following guidelines can be considered basic:
- Emphasize similarities over differences: communicate and agree upon a common goal and repeatedly recall it to the minds of the team members.
- Choose employees who are convinced, because the belief in diversity plays a crucial role in the team's effectiveness. Anyone who does not define diversity as a core belief should have no place in such a team or even in such a company – it's just as simple as that.
- Set a good example yourself, promote positive expirience, reflect on your own beliefs about diversity. A well-integrated feedback-culture and an open, transparent dialogue with your employees will help. Use instant feedback apps. Hire coaches. Offer communication workshops. Make it a field of priority, because it is one.
- Establish an engaging and inspiring learning culture, install knowledge management and knowledge transfer. Take care of your employees' self-growth.
2. Knowledge Transfer
In a perfect world, it would be like this: One employee learns something and all their colleagues know what they have learned right away. Or: An employee leaves the company, she is given a warm farewell ... but her knowledge remains available in the company forever. Another scenario? A customer has a question about one of your products, but doesn't even ask you because they'll find the answer on their own – the knowledge just comes to them.
Lifelong learning and further training are increasingly shaping our working life and are becoming the new standard. Knowledge generally has a faster expiry time today. New collaborative and communicative skills must be continuously developed – priorities redefined. It's also obvious that Soft Skills are becoming increasingly relevant, while AI is taking over the hard skills, thus making them replaceable.
The rapid expiration of knowledge and new job profiles make lifelong learning necessary and even indispensable for companies. Knowledge management and transfer are anchored in the Workademy's core values. With the company's own LMS, individual employees create new courses and make them accessible to everyone.
Scaling the knowledge of an individual employee is therefore possible for the entire company.
Do yourself and your company a favor and start working on your Knowledge Management right away – it's an investment you cannot afford to miss.
P.S. The answer to the VUCA world is VUCA: Vision, Understanding, Clarity, Agility.
WE HELP COMPANIES BECOME LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS
By giving them the tools to create engaging online mini-courses.
Most LMSs in the market have it wrong! They focus on having a large set of features rather than worrying about the success of the courses themselves. We are the first ones to bring a didactical approach when creating online courses, no matter the topic.