THE MAK'ED TEAMTHE 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

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

Vision Forum – Dare to try something new! Mistakes allowed!
Educational Revolution! Working 4.0! Digital Transformation!