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Prototype, Test, Improve – Dirk Mundorf and Markus Keller Talk to Capital About New Leadership Qualities

Under the heading “The New Art of Leadership”, German business magazine Capital took a look at the coronavirus crisis as a catalyst for a new take on leadership and spoke with managers, politicians and experts including Dirk Mundorf and Markus Keller

The crisis is driving a radical rethink in terms of supposedly proven leadership principles: “Companies will have to adopt different organizational structures in the future,” says Mundorf, who heads up the HR Practice Group for Germany at Egon Zehnder. “To be an attractive employer, companies need to invest in the appropriate entrepreneurial environment” – in terms of culture, values and new ways of working. Moreover, as HR expert Mundorf goes on to say, the coronavirus crisis is making it easier to identify those managers who “were not the best” even before the pandemic struck, “and those who are outstanding leaders.” In addition, delegation and personal responsibility are becoming more important than ever, he adds.

Markus Keller, who advises companies as a member of Egon Zehnder’s Digital, Software and Telecommunications practices, opens up another perspective: “We’re seeing more in the way of hypotheses and fewer strategic statements,” he observes. “The era of strategy is coming to an end.” In its place, he advocates greater spontaneity and willingness to embrace risk, adopting an approach based on ‘prototyping, testing and improving’ – the ground rules of agile software development.  

Talking to Capital, Keller also predicts that “We will see technologies and companies that trace their origins to these past few months.”

Dirk Mundorf and Markus Keller in “The New Art of Leadership” (Die neue Kunst der Führung), Capital, issue 08/2020, pp. 22-32 – in German only.

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