In the follow-up to the article “What must the good CIO be able to do today for tomorrow“, the question was asked what the management and the board of directors should do today for tomorrow. I think we should think the question bigger. On the one hand, it’s about “leadership” and on the other hand about “sustainability”.


Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.

Bill Bradley

On the other hand, the world is changing and leadership must ensure sustainability. For all managers it means dealing with their own transformation. This occupies many. New things are required: agility in cooperation, discussing and jointly deciding on conflicts of goals and values, challenging and leading people and defining and implementing values.

Leadership has long since ceased to mean command and control. It is service also known as servant leadership. The goal is to enable people to lead themselves and to be independent in the sense of the whole and thus make them successful. This change begins with the individual and his view of humanity.

Unfortunately, managers and the board of directors have too little time to deal with this and it is not often the case that the necessary change for tomorrow is “stifled” with the proven tools and experience of yesterday. There is a big difference in the implementation of agility between what an agile team does and what agile leadership should do.

The job of an agile team is to create profitable, innovative problem solutions – to develop a new product or service, design a better business process or develop advanced technology to support new offerings.

The job of an agile leader is a different one. It has the task of building and operating an agile system.

Managers of large companies are brimming with self-confidence. This is one of the qualities that helped them succeed, but the same qualities can also become a mortgage: Some believe they know more than they know; others give orders without knowing all the facts.

In an agile environment such leaders are challenged. People who work in good agile teams can give answers like this: “An interesting thesis, but we don’t know it yet. We’d like to test it first.” Or “We have tried this idea and rejected it. Here’s why.” Now how is an executive supposed to handle that? This is where the lack of time to deal with oneself and the urge to try something proven comes into play.

If you still want to try, here are five things to remember that can help:


  • From commanding to coaching.
  • From hierarchy to self-organisation and autonomy.
  • From commands to context and intention.
  • From resources to individuals and interactions.
  • From sessions to working sessions.


Give it a try.