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Video: Management Gaps In Knowledge Slow Down Digital Transformation
The lack of knowledge of executives is the biggest obstacle to the digital transformation of German industry, this is definitely the conclusion of the German Industry 4.0 Index, for which 277 industrial companies and 1,000 employees in Germany were surveyed on behalf of the management consultancy Staufen. Three out of four companies complain about their managers' lack of digital know-how. This means that this value has only dropped minimally within the past twelve months. The knowledge gap needs to be closed faster than before. Superiors are urgently needed to lead their employees into the digital future.
Another result, however, is that many have not yet had a very high opinion of their superiors. 40 percent of employees state that the principle of “command and obedience” still dominates in their company. The corporate culture in Germany is therefore facing a huge challenge. “With such an authoritarian leadership style, companies are extremely poorly positioned for digital transformation. Because without a new understanding of leadership, it will be very difficult for companies to leverage the innovative potential of their employees,”says Thomas Rohrbach, Managing Director of Staufen subsidiary Digital Workx, who supports companies strategically and operationally in the digital transformation.
“Innovations also live from a climate of self-realization. Anyone who suffocates the creative germ in their own house with strong hierarchical thinking cannot expect big leaps,”continues digitization expert Rohrbach. A lack of appreciation is also unsuitable for leading employees to top performance. At first glance, it seems to look pretty good here in the German world of work: 77 percent of employees believe that they are fully respected as a human being. 71 percent consider their employer to be open to criticism. In many companies, however, this only applies to the good times. In around a third of companies, superiors misunderstand themselves in stressful situations. The majority of those surveyed assume that their line manager will pass on the pressure from the management directly to them.
Overwhelmed: Digital knowledge requires a new management style
"To be fair, it has to be said that many managers are faced with a massive challenge in building digital knowledge on the one hand and learning a new style of management on the other," comments Remco Peters, partner at Staufen AG. They have to leave their self-image, some of which has grown over the years, and develop into a mentor who inspires employees with his role model.
"Technical qualifications can be learned through further training and then also anchored in the workforce, but an innovation-friendly culture must be exemplified," says Lean Leadership Expert Peters. For this, it is also necessary for managers to act close to the added value. It no longer has to be the physical factory floor. Digital cooperation systems make it possible to stay close to your employees, regardless of location. The study can be requested from Staufen AG.
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