Interview with Christopher Peterka (Co-Founder The HUS. Institute) about change, digital transformation and leadership.
YMAZING With the HUS Institute, you explore the transformation of the old economy into the Digital Modern era. What are the biggest challenges working with decision makers in old economy on the way to the Digital Modern era?
CHRISTOPHER PETERKA It’s a combination of a few challenges we are facing with our work. Conventionally in the economy the highest paid person’s opinion decides about the most important management issues. Even though there probably is someone with a better understanding of whatever is decided, hierarchy gets its way. In the Digital Modern era there will be a change in these practices so hierarchy isn’t more powerful than knowledge. But people are bound to their habits and if someone is calling those habits into question one tends to get suspicious.
As we really want to push for change, we experience anxiety from people. It’s the fear of change humans are known for. And as I once read: Fear is the opposite of love, where there is fear, there can be no love.
Another valid point is, that we perceive that the western society is brought up to rather have segregated lines of thoughts than a crosslinked imagination of things. As our vision is a holistic concern of many different kinds of change, we see that people are struggling to see what we see in our vision. And last but not least, probably the most “annoying” challenge is that our economy tends to have a certain tardiness – things are just not moving fast enough, even though we want them to.
How do you convince CEOs to start the digital transformation in their companies?
CHRISTOPHER PETERKA I always listen to them first. I want to get their point of view to then resolutely disagree with opinions I’m not one with. We want to actively get decision makers out of their comfort zones so there can be new ground to build on. We try to empower them to do so by proposing fresh formats for them to work with internally or setting them up with new external advisors. Also, what I came to know to be most powerful is inspiring them with positive personal experiences.
What impact has digital transformation on leadership? How will leadership change in the next years through digital transformation?
CHRISTOPHER PETERKA Human Leadership is going to heavily rely on data. I think that leaders need to understand data and the power that comes with decoding and exploiting it appropriately. Also transformative purpose has to be conveyed authentically and for that new incentives are needed. For example, we need to train resilience in permanent states of V.U.C.A. I believe that creativity in problem solution is getting more and more important.
Generally, I would say leadership has to be much more diverse on all levels: Ethnically, culturally, gender wise and transdisciplinary.
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