Companion Channel Episodes Leadership


– and sometimes luck! –
Have you asked yourself how a transformational change can be successful? Adaptability and agility are key competencies to successfully navigate companies in dynamic markets – that is easy to say, but what does that mean? Let’s find out…

3 superpowers are needed – VISION, COURAGE & GRIT.

Super-Power 1 – Vision 
Prof. Kruse once described the difference between managers and entrepreneurs.  

Managers invest energy to stabilize systems: e.g., they extinguish fire, optimize processes, implement operating systems, and thus ensure that companies generate and improve profit. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are sparklers who start fires: They have a clear vision, and they invest energy in processes whose success they do not yet know – this is called entrepreneurial risk. And risk always has a price – in the worst-case failure – but at least the price is that the organization is no longer as efficient in the transition phase (transformation). In the best case the company is even more successful than ever before. Therefore, entrepreneurs consciously accept the abandonment of stable systems. That is why sometimes managers do not like entrepreneurs and vice versa. 

Successful entrepreneurs always observe the market quite well, because if they send their companies into an unstable phase, then the new stable phase should always focus on market needs. So, entrepreneurship means to perfect market perception in such a way that changes do not take place aimlessly but at least within scope of market needs to end up in a success story. 

Super-Power 2 – Courage 
The issue is that these entrepreneurial success stories can only be told after they have happened – never in advance! Looking back as outsiders we rarely see the pain of transition! Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos are current examples of entrepreneurial superheroes. But both are successful only because they had the courage to go into the pain of transition, which in retrospect we no longer see. This pain is usually a mixture of uncertainty, setbacks, and resistance of people. 

This finally leads to… 

Super-Power 3 – Grit 
The concept of grit was presented at an official TED conference by Angela Lee Duckworth – a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. 
Grit is passion & perseverance. People are perseverant when they finish what they have started and when they do not let setbacks throw them off track. Passion means that someone sticks to goals once they have been set. Do not constantly change them, but pursue them, sometimes for years. Those who manage to do both, i.e., are “gritty,” are successful. 

The bad news at the end: It´s good to have people with the 3 superpowers mentioned above to successfully drive change – but not enough. Since transformational changes cannot be won by superheroes alone, it is good to form a guiding coalition – people you can trust and rely on, people with a high level of motivation & ownership to lead the change.  

Otherwise, the only thing that helps is: good luck! 

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