THE MAK'ED TEAMTHE MAK'ED TEAM

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Project insights: Development of a franchise system for further education academies

Project insights: Development of a franchise system for further education academies

One of our new projects started on September 1! Actually, it is a project that is very close to our hearts. In recent months, we have put a lot of time and effort into the preparation of this project.

But what’s behind it?

We have developed a franchise product, namely a standardized ‘Training Academy’ business, which is designed for markets in less industrialized countries. As a franchise partner, you can run this type of academy under the name ‘CAR’ED – Center for Education and Development’. You will then receive a package of training programs, a corporate structure, templates, logos, and sales and marketing concepts developed by us. On September 1, the first pilot started in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where the first CAR’ED Center was opened, offering seminars and qualifications aimed at young people, and people in regional areas as well as in production and sales. This also includes individual coaching sessions or group trainings designed to support people and organizations in reaching their long-term goals.

Due to the existing structure, the products and knowledge of the market and customers, the Haiti-based center has rapidly gained momentum. Special customer training courses have already started. The center posted a course calendar with all training course dates and new instructors joined the pool of CAR’ED certified trainers. The center is becoming more and more popular throughout Haiti. Close support of the franchise partners, especially in the early stages of the implementation, ensures high quality in terms of customer service as well as trainers and seminars. We can’t wait to see how the whole thing is going to evolve over the coming months!

It is planned to open further centers with franchise partners in the coming year. We are already in touch with a number of potential franchisees interested in setting up training academies in their countries (e.g. in Ghana, Kenya and Peru).

Every single project is the perfect combination of heart, soul and passion. What is so special about this concept is the fact that it is one of our own projects which pools the expertise of our entire team. Be it the cooperation with our franchise partners or the seminars that we conduct – the response has been overwhelmingly positive since project kick-off. It is great to see how quickly skills and potentials can be developed – the passion of each seminar attendee for learning fuels the passion for our work.

 

Author: THE MAK’ED TEAM Germany

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

MOVERS and SHAKERS wanted!

 

MOVERS and SHAKERS wanted!

  • You’re full of ideas and energy
  • You think that everything is possible and sometimes you also like to turn things upside down
  • You want to leave your fingermarks – on society, people and institutions
  • You want to implement your ideas in projects
  • You have an “entrepreneurial spirit”

 

THE MAK’ED TEAM is a globally operating network of extremely dynamic women that are full of great ideas. They work closely together in the field of education and knowledge management as well as human resources and organizational development.

Our world has changed dramatically through digitization, affecting our work and jobs, but also our needs in terms of knowledge and education. This is why we need people from different sectors who are able to critically question the establishment, to turn things upside down and come up with innovative solutions. We at THE MAK’ED TEAM drive change and shape the future through innovative and creative ideas as well as concepts, training and personnel development – digital media always included.

As MOVERS and SHAKERS we actively support private and public sector institutions in their development and change processes and accompany them throughout the implementation process. These solutions are developed together with the institutions and adapted to their culture. Based on our hands-on approach, they are then successfully implemented with the help of our talented, driven and dedicated team. In recent years, each of us has gained in-depth expertise in international projects with different institutions. At the same time, we continue to work both as individual MOVERS and SHAKERS and as a TEAM around the world.

We are MOVERS and SHAKERS who want to initiate and drive change and development – with passion and boldness. Our activities shall have a lasting effect on society, people and institutions.

 

What do we offer?

  • Close collaboration with a dynamic and established network functioning as sparring and project partner
  • A platform that allows you to implement your ideas
  • Open-mindedness towards innovative and creative ideas
  • Internationality, acting and thinking without being constrained by spatial limits

 

Interested in becoming one of our MOVERS and SHAKERS? Simply contact us by sending an e-mail to info@the-maked-team.com

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Does chaos stand for flexibility?

Does chaos stand for flexibility?

Again and again, one reads that institutions, their managers and employees need to be able to react flexibly to today’s rapidly changing environment in order to remain competitive. And this is actually what flexibility is all about. It’s the ability to move quickly and easily. The better you know yourself, the easier it is to be flexible. For companies, this means that they must be able to react to and deal with unforeseen events quickly –  if this seems necessary or is deliberately wanted.

However, some of the managing directors or managers, that I work with, often tell me on the first day of our common project that I will have to show a high level of flexibility when working with them. By the way, I think that you won’t have to ask someone who has worked for a longer period of time in less developed countries to demonstrate a certain degree of flexibility. In these countries, you will always create several alternative plans in order to be able to react to unforeseen events quickly and easily. But let’s come back to the managers who need a very flexible environment… After a few hours or days of working with them, I have the impression that they tend to use the term “flexibility” instead of “chaos” in order to present something in a more positive way or to their own benefit. Chaos refers to a state of complete disorder and confusion. It is thus almost the opposite of flexibility. Managers who are chaotic are neither capable of managing their time and resources, nor willing or able to work on the basis of processes or structures. A chaotic management style means that managers allocate tasks to their team members at short notice, they don’t know much about efficiency and the workflows within their teams are never the same. So, I would like to take this opportunity to urge those so-called “flexible” managers to start working on themselves in order to avoid further destruction! Because the chaos they create has nothing to do with flexibility. Their chaos will definitely harm the organization: Unsatisfied staff, inefficient processes, low productivity and introvert communication are caused by a lack of processes and structures that are either missing or are simply not applied – through this inward-looking focus the company will lose touch with the outside world and major unforeseen changes. Changes that you will only be able to cope with when you’re flexible.

I always compare this to a huge cruise ship: the ship and its crew will not be able to react to unforeseen incidents without the perfect interplay between planning, processes, structures and the observance of all rules and directions by the crew that also has to carry out the required tasks. In the case of an unforeseen event (e.g. a massive iceberg along the route), everything must run like clockwork.  That’s the only way how a huge cruise ship can avoid a collision and prevent sinking. So, flexibility does not mean chaos. On the contrary, chaos prevents flexibility. And it thus also prevents organizations from operating in today’s increasingly uncertain and fast-changing environments in a fast, agile and focused manner.

 

Author: Ann-Katrin Hardenberg, THE MAK’ED TEAM

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Personal goals that can change your life…

Personal goals that can change your life…

It is always good to look back and see how far we have come, especially at the beginning of the year. But above all it is a good time to set goals for the year ahead. And here it is not about New Year’s resolutions like “I’d like to eat less chocolate or exercise more”! This is about specific and measurable targets. How far do you want to come?  What actually do you want to develop, improve or change this year? What does it need to achieve these goals?

In recent years, I have not met too many people who have set very specific goals for themselves. Most of them let life go by as it comes. However, when you set personal goals, it will actually help you to work on them, to pursue and reach them. Whether you want to obtain a PhD degree until your 40s, to publish a book, move to your favorite city or find a specific job at the company of your choice – all these objectives, even the least important ones, need to be prepared in order to be able to implement and reach them. If you do not plan the necessary steps in a timely and consistent fashion, you will have to admit in the end that you have not achieved the goal(s) you set for the year.

Your goals may even be a little bit crazy. Start dreaming! And try to make your dreams come true. If you feel that a year is too long or short for achieving your goals, simply define shorter-term or longer-term objectives. The important thing is that you always follow them and stay focused.

So, take a quiet moment for yourself and write down a handful of objectives for 2017! Otherwise, time simply goes by and someday you’ll wake up and realize that you have not reached your personal goals. Some people would use the term ‘lost years’… although this is certainly not entirely true…

 

Author: Ann-Katrin Hardenberg, THE MAK’ED TEAM

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Dissolve the Personnel Department – Introduce Organizational Development!

Dissolve the Personnel Department – Introduce Organizational Development!

In recent months, we have been following a company where we have been impressed by how engaged the company’s CEO is, how he blogged and posted on internal social media every day. Every day you could see where he was going, what topics concerned him, and what was going through his head. In addition, he posted articles from various media channels about the topics of leadership, management, corporate culture, change management, and work – most of these set in the context of his own company. We were enthusiastic!

What gave us the most pause, however were three things – whereby the third point in particular caused us to reflect and discuss:

  1. There were no real reactions from the thousands of employees worldwide.
  2. Many employees told us that they did not read what he wrote.
  3. Why are such articles and posts written by the CEO and not by the Personnel Department? Or why, at least, is HR not visible behind the posts?

We kept returning to this last point. What kind of role does HR play at most companies and what kind of role should HR play? HR must redesign itself from scratch. Administration of personnel data is one part, personnel development is another, of course – both are very important, but still not enough. Especially given current changes with digitalization, changed ways of working, agile project management methods, and mobility, HR must regard itself as an organizational developer, as well as a consultant, mentor, and coach for work and leadership methods. HR must take on the role of a designer. This designing should make active changes in structures, communication, and ways of working. Such changes might include:

  • Transformation of the organization to flat hierarchies,
  • Deployment of community managers at the company to network with one another,
  • Complementing of workspaces with lounges, outdoor benches, and creative spaces,
  • Communication via internal social media about leadership, new work methods, change management, and trends,
  • Additional training and coaching about topics such as design thinking, agile project management, leadership of mobile teams.

It’s good to note that these are just our ideas and they could be delved into in more depth. What we want to make clear here is that we have reached a point where organizations and the ways in which they work have changed so drastically that HR must play its role as expert in the HUMAN area at the organization and incorporate itself proactively. These are such expansive topics that HR must now become involved proactively in the company’s organizational development and take on responsibility for this. A personnel management department must now transform itself into an organizational management department. Today’s personnel professionals should no longer fear employees and try to make everything right for everybody. No, they should appear with confidence and take changes in hand. And here the focus is not just on theories and concepts – no, here doers are called for!

Posts and blogs by the CEO like the ones mentioned above should in the future be made by the personnel management department, possibly together with the CEO.

 

Author: THE MAK’ED TEAM

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Vision Forum – Dare to try something new! Mistakes allowed!

Vision Forum – Dare to try something new! Mistakes allowed!

Do our tables, windows and wallpaper actually need an IP address? This is one of the questions asked by Sven Gábor Jánszky (trend researcher, organizer of the annual Future Congress and Executive Director of the 2b AHEAD ThinkTanks) in his presentation on “Future Paths 2025” at the Vision Forum. For the two-day conference at the Allianz Forum in Berlin experts from industry, academia and non-profit organizations came together to debate over the topic “Innovation Valley instead of Industry 4.0 – technical, digital and social aspects”. Valentina Kerst (Managing Director of the strategic Internet consulting firm topiclodge) gave participants a picture of the “current state” in Germany. The outlook there could be more optimistic. On a digital level, Germany lacks structures in politics and administration to take advantage of digitization. On a technical level, the country simply lacks the infrastructure. There are still regions in Germany, mainly in rural areas, where no high speed Internet is available. In the worldwide digital infrastructure ranking, Germany comes in 25th place. The country also needs to invest in the digital education of children. On a social level, Mr Jánszky predicted that cohabitation and relationships would change, with a shift of physical proximity to relational proximity created via social networks. There would also be a shift in trust that is built on relationships towards trust that is built on met expectations.

How come Germany is so far behind when it comes to digitization? The conference speakers agreed that the reason lies in Germany’s tendency to hold on to the old tried and tested. Moreover, many businesses underestimate the impact of digitization as a process of social transformation. Leadership, for example, needs to be rethought or even redesigned. Executives should see themselves as talent scouts, coaches, and mentors. They are responsible for attracting young talented people, retaining them in the company and thus driving innovation. Associate Professor Dr. Andreas Boes (Director of the Munich Center of Internet Research) and Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Jansen (Head of the Centers for Philanthropy & Civil Society, Karlsruhe Karlshochschule), who conducted research in Silicon Valley, reported that this technology hub clearly illustrates how important it is to create corporate cultures that allow their staff to make mistakes – because you learn from them. A number of best practice examples showed that this is also possible in Germany and Switzerland. Major organizations such as Triumph, Wittenstein AG and Haufe-umantis AG have introduced alternative management concepts as part of their corporate culture. Flexitime schemes and innovative leadership strategies are part of their new approaches that prove to be very successful. Be it schools, businesses or social institutions – during these two days, it became clear to me that it is all about boosting potential. Consequently, we have to break patterns in terms of roles, formats, skills – i.e. we need to think outside the box. This requires courage on the part of each manager and indeed, each person. How else can you stay innovative in terms of technology, digitization and society?

Sven Gábor Jánszky concluded his lecture by using a nice image. He suggested that we should think of our ideas as a fleet of ships. In a fleet, there are small rooms that are protected and at the same time, there is room for maneuver allowing us to create new spaces. A good chance for change!

 

Author: Silke Funk – THE MAK’ED TEAM

 

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

How are hierarchies in an enterprise related to the dynamism?

How are hierarchies in an enterprise related to the dynamism?

Within the last months we had the possibility getting an insight into various enterprises: from start-up companies up to international groups – every size was included. What we have noticed: there are still companies very hierarchically organized. And there it doesn’t play any role whether it is a small start-up company with five employees or an internationally operating one.

Strong hierarchies in an enterprise are mostly connected to a certain management style. From top to button much is kept under surveillance, decisions must be made with several levels of hierarchy, the confidence towards the employees is fragile and faults are not permitted. Innovation and creativity are already nipped in the bud through this. Moreover, strong hierarchies have also to do with a need for reputation and recognition of every single manager. The fear of the failure in front of the boss leads to a fear of letting things go and towards over-controlling: confidence is good (however only in low extents), control is better. The managers want to show that they have everything under control – but with that they crush independent thinking of the employees, the independent search for solutions and also the desire standing behind the company and their products. One just works! And the manager’s fear of faults is automatically passed on the team.

This can be frequently observed very well with new employees. They often considered for a long time whether they start with the new enterprise. Finally, they made the decision for it as they felt this new task and function exciting and challenging, and because they would like to bring themselves into the company with their experiences and knowledge to jointly advance the apparently interesting new employer. The motivation goes steadily down within the first months until at the end the new employee then is at the low motivation level of the remaining colleagues. Working to rule.

Striving for reputation is a very strong factor for strong hierarchies in enterprises. Very often this can be found in old, long established companies – more often also in rural areas than in cities. To be seen and to make something of oneself has an importance in rural areas, and this very often over generations. A visible career only can be made in enterprises where a strong hierarchy exists. At certain hierarchy levels there are still the special boni in many of these enterprises, such as the company car. But also young PHDs who then set up their own company instead of starting their career as professor bring in the strict hierarchies with the rigid employee management and paying homage of the “colonel” to parts of the start-up world.

It is our observation again and again: steep hierarchies in enterprises definitely slow down dynamics, innovations and creativity. The energy of the employees is lost on long marathons of taking decisions and coordination – but also the independence of the employees to express criticism and to take on responsibility. Reduce the hierarchies in your enterprise and let room for autonomy and making faults. Let your employees arise and leave your “motherhood” behind. Also your employees must find their own solutions and learn by faults. And one is certain: they will grow on it!

 

THE MAK’ED TEAM, Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

 

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Educational Revolution! Working 4.0! Digital Transformation!

Educational Revolution! Working 4.0! Digital Transformation!

The digitalization is rolling like an avalanche through the industrial countries at the moment. Everything is absorbed and changes the complete environment or society through this. This digitalization, the so-called digital transformation or also revolution, running through our country – for my taste actually much too slow – changes us and our complete culture. The culture of work, of collaboration as well as also of development and education. Hierarchies get flatter in enterprises, agile management and development methods are introduced, employees are regarded as a partner on the same eye-level, as a team member with a lots of autonomy. Employees cannot squeeze the responsibility to bosses now any more – now everybody is responsible to take his/her part into the company and society. More flexible work with regard to place and time, open and flatter structures? Yes! But only for a more independent and with more sole responsibility way of working.

Firm structures will be less in future. Within few years there shall be only 40% of steady employments. The employee of the future, but also already of today, works in different projects once as freelancer, once in a steady employment position. Flexible, open, independent, availabe – from sluggish “arm chair potatoes” to agile laptop porter. Absolute mobility, consuming ecologically, analyzing critically, participating, lifelong learning – these are only some of the new guidelines which become naturalized due to the avalanche.

But what does lifelong learning mean? My grandfather has anyway always said the quotation of Laozi to us: “Learning is like rowing upstream; not to advance is to drop back.”. And at his times the digitalization hadn’t yet dragged the avalanche along. But through the fast changes, mainly through the digitalization and the connected new technologies, it is not anymore possible to stop with learning. Otherwise the stream carries one away and one goes down in the society. But lifelong learning says now as well that one has the responsibility for the further education of one’s own, for continuing the education, for the informal and formal learning and for collecting of knowledge in his own hands. One can’t anymore push this responsibility away. Why should an enterprise be interested to pay for your further education if you only support the company’s core team for one project?

But this self-responsibility for knowledge and learning draws a much bigger circle: to the beginnings of learning, to schools. Education and the understanding of it must fundamentally change. Not only, that new subjects must be imported into the teaching curriculums and the teacher-training in principle must change. No! Children must already learn in schools how they take on responsibility for themselves, for accumulating knowledge and for their learning. Already today students go on youtube in the afternoon to get explanations of theories and possible solutions if they haven’t understood this in the lesson in the morning. And this must be extended. How does one become a lifelong learner, how does one accumulate expert knowledge and how does one use this most efficiently to further develop products innovatively or to push developments?

Today’s StartUp scene already exemplifies it a little how the future will be. More and more companies follow this way. Because they must. Let’s infect now from the revolution, let’s change and form our culture. It is one of the most thrilling times with great and long-lasting changes – it is exciting to be able to experience this.

 

THE MAK’ED TEAM, Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Digital Media Competence – or how to miss the boat

Digital Media Competence – or how to miss the boat

Much is reported and discussed lately over the so-called digital media and the competence connected to that. But what is standing behind it? What is part of the digital media and what kind of competence one must acquire?

By the far-reaching development in the area of digitalization, also the different kinds of media digitally used have changed enormously within the last few years. If these were only computer-assisted media, such as internet, emails or eLearning, at the beginning, the mobile supported media also were included primarily by tablets and mobile phones within the last couple of years. Additional media like videos, music, webinar tools or social media like facebook, twitter, whatsApp & co were included. Digital is equal to internet based as the data are transmitted in digital form.

And which competences in regards to digital media one should be able to use nowadays both in the private and in the professional life? Besides the writing and handling of emails, of course the search via internet services as google is part of today as much as making and loading videos and music, taking part at virtual meetings or trainings via webinar software, chatting and spreading of news via the different channels of the social media. In the different professional sectors there are respectively additional competences with digital media.

If one takes the education sector as an example, nowadays teachers, trainers and lecturers should know how to include digital media in the educational concept – and thus not only in the use of one’s own but also for the use of the students or training participants. New alternatives have arisen with the digital media to accompany and to support optimally the learning process for the learners. Moreover, these can also increasingly take on the responsibility for their own learning, to process and pass on knowledge with these media. Additionally, digital media pave the way to be able to tailor individual learning to the needs of the single learner regarding content, ways and learning methods. Christian Lindner, the chairman of the German party FDP, has once used a beautiful comparison for this. By the digitalization we promote the taxi principle and no more the bus principle – every person can be picked up there where he/she just stands with his/her knowledge and development. In the long run this promotes a more efficient and more chance suitable education.

But in education should one completely only teach and learn now with digital methods? No! And here are all stakeholders of the education system in demand: education experts, teachers and persons from different professional sectors. A clever overlapping is asked here by analogously and digitally learning or teaching. Only by the mixture of analogous and digital methods the learning transfer and therefore learning new competences are also secured.

Digital media aren’t a short-term trend which will pull past us! They are in the meantime part of everyday life of all sections of the population, an extended possibility to access information and knowledge, as well as to communicate and to participate with other parts of the society in an at the same time more informal and more direct way.

Digital media competence must be learned, however. And this includes in no case only the technical use of digital learning material, but also acquiring competences for a self-determined and critical as well as a productive and creative handling with digital media. This media competence can be learned! Therefore, I advise you, in case it still haven’t happened, urgently: beam yourself finally into the digital age – otherwise this will be no longer necessary for you sometime!

 

Author: Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Digital Transformation in Human Resources

Digital Transformation in Human Resources

A digital transformation doesn’t contain the use of digital technologies in the first step but the development of a strategy, which contains infrastructure, organization models and the quality of the management. In the meantime, the digital transformation should have arrived everywhere. Also in the HR (Human Resources) department, at least in the use of language and the expectations to this. One is covered with lecture invitations, seminar offers, newsletter and blog entries about the topic digitalization, primarily also in the area “learning & development”.

The HR managers surely heard about this topic and eventually they were also already invited to a presentation about this topic. But how far did they actually already engage with the topic? There is a new study about the topic digitalization, which was carried out by Bitkom and Kienbaum and says that the digitalization isn’t behind in the HR branch further than in other departments.

My experiences are differently. Unlike the study, unfortunately, within the last months, I could observe that digitalization and HR management are lived apparently very far away of each other. A HR management tool was only recently implemented in many enterprises but hardly included software for staff development, social media for employer branding and the recruiting of new staff, or even a strategy for employee further education based on a blended learning concept (combination of classroom training, mentoring, e-learning, videos as well as other digital studying media). But why?

On the one hand, in many cases this certainly is connected to the general company strategy, in which the digital transformation is not yet or just partly included. Primarily medium-sized enterprises often have difficulties in the area. On the other hand, it is however related to the HR managers themselves and the structure in the HR department of companies.

When looking at the background of HR managers one will state that most of them have made the classical education or studies in HR and additionally there are some psychologists. But there is almost nobody entering HR departments from a different educational background. The question one needs to ask now is why? Persons who have a sense for people were in demand in this area for years. People with empathy, coaching or psychology background were and are asked to provide their knowledge or experiences within this area. And this is completely right! But within all this years, it was forgotten that technical understanding and know-how is equally needed in this field of work. The todays HR departments not only need persons with a feeling for people but also persons with knowledge in marketing, IT or educational management.

Until today many HR departments are looking for new staff in a classic way. But is their communication actually focused on their target groups and appeals the communication channel to the right person so that they desire to work for this company? Here I would like to refer to the keyword “employer branding”. A job advertisement today is much more than it was 20 years ago and for that for example knowledge of marketing is needed in the HR department. Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Xing or LinkedIn must be target groups focused integrated – and this with a strategy. But then, why are so few HR managers active within social media, a medium to come directly into contact with people? Is this a fear of digital media or is it simply the feeling that they don’t know exactly what they shall or must do with it? And how can one take this fear away from them?

At the moment there are lots of topics concerning digital transformation coming up to HR managers and if they don’t hurry up to learn and alter their work, they are taken off soon. And this does not only include the introduction of digital media in work processes of the HR department but also the transformation of the company culture to today’s working world which has changed strongly by digitalization. This can contain, for example:

  • the introduction of new working time and place of work models, as, through the digitalization, employees need more liberty in the organization of their work;
  • playing a part in the development of new organizational structures towards flatter hierarchies;
  • the support at the change of management styles to an outcome-oriented style of management with more confidence towards the employee, less control and more right in helping to shape;
  • the management of “virtual” teams which must be led from distance as they work at different places around the world;
  • the introduction of digital tools for managing the well-directed and efficient development of employees;
  • the development and use of digital media for studying for employees in form of a knowledge database;
  • the introduction of an internal social media tool for the employees i.e. to exchange fast and uncomplicated specific questions concerning work content related topics.

The digital transformation makes work more exciting! It is an opportunity for every HR manager to get out of the corner of the employee administration and to become shapers of the enterprise and actual developers of the employees. I can just recommend to everyone in the HR branch: lose the shyness about digitalization and get active fast!

Author: Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

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Project insights: Development of a franchise system for further education academies
MOVERS and SHAKERS wanted!
Does chaos stand for flexibility?
Personal goals that can change your life…
Dissolve the Personnel Department – Introduce Organizational Development!
Vision Forum – Dare to try something new! Mistakes allowed!
How are hierarchies in an enterprise related to the dynamism?
Educational Revolution! Working 4.0! Digital Transformation!
Digital Media Competence – or how to miss the boat
Digital Transformation in Human Resources