Unbossing is one of the possible responses to agility in leadership. This can help leadership in a VUCA world.

Unfortunately, we have encountered the issue more often.New Work, Digital Leader, Servant Leadership. Everything was there once and was put adacta again. Now Novartis has been taking a run at it since last year.

What Novartis says about it: We want to develop inclusive leaders who are self-aware and able to empower their teams by creating clarity and accountability, removing barriers, and empowering and supporting others to reach their full potential.

CEO Vasant Narasimhan has called for “unbossing” throughout the organization. The term “unboss” is a term from the book of the same name by Lars Kolind and Jacob Bøtter. At Novartis, this means: Leadership is evaluated by superiors, peers and “subordinates” in terms of their leadership behaviors. Assessments include how inspiring the leader is or how open he or she is to new ideas and, of course, how much “unbossed” the leadership behavior is. The findings serve as the basis for an individual development plan to become an unbossed leader.

For the company and its HR department, this means moving away from fixed hierarchy structures to a collaborative leadership style that focuses on making sense of work and developing teams and talent. Responsibilities are carried out by teams. Information is no longer a means of power. By loosening rigid structures and strict boundaries between managers and employees, space is created for independent thinking and working. Organization is understood as an organism.

Today we have already gone a good way in the substructure of companies, the question remains, what does the management do with it? How should it develop?