:: Liquid Leadership

Management or leadership is often understood and practiced hierarchically. This structure was mainly influenced by the Catholic Church and feudalism. In short: At the top of these structures a central power authority is institutionalized. This authority gives instructions and guidelines to the affiliated levels of the hierarchical organisation. In the church it is the pope who controls his cardinals. These in turn instruct the bishops, who  are the superiors of the priests. In commercial enterprises, this cascade is formed by the CEO. It extends to the other CxOs, to the divisional and departmental managers, to the team leader.

At the end of the chain is the actual object of the control logic: the employee. Managers or executives, we use the terms synonymously, are intended to ensure the chain of command between CxO level and employee. Instructions are to be adopted and passed on to the employees. Operational details must be added and the quality and efficiency of implementation must be monitored. 

This management model has worked extremely effectively and reliably over centuries. The dynamics of change in the digitalised economic world has pushed this model to the limits of its capabilities.  

Liquid Leadership

:: Overcoming limitations

To overcome the limitations of hierarchical management structures, a fundamentally new leadership and self-understanding of managers is required. It is no longer a question of the manager, as a "higher-paid intelligence" with decision-making authority, determining, prescribing and controlling the working methods and content of employees. Organizations that increasingly take advantage of self-organized structures and forms of collaboration need a compatible management model. It must support the collaboration of employees in teams and of multiple teams in an interdisciplinary way. Control is not required.

:: Liquid Lead - die Inspiration

In essence, this is about a manager providing a low-friction collaboration structure for the self-organized team collaboration. He should identify the necessary organizational tasks and develop and implement them in dialogue with his team members. 

It is not the manager who has to think, know and decide about everything. Rather, it is he or she who makes it possible to think through, plan, implement and reflect together.

For this purpose he uses the following guiding questions, for example:

1.) Is the meaning of our work still given or do we have to adapt it to the new situation?
What agreements do we have to make among ourselves so that we are still able to act or become able to act again?

2.) What skills and knowledge do we need to build or adapt to the new situation?
What are our strategy and tactical measures for further action?

3.) What general conditions do we need to meet the defined purpose of our actions, develop our capabilities and implement the strategy?

4.) Which communication contents and channels do we have to use or establish in order to stay in exchange internally and with our environment? In what form do we coordinate our actions?

5.) With which key figures and dada can we use to measure out progress and identify the necessary need to adapt our approach or strategy?

:: Creating opportunities and organizing collaboration

The questions and the focus of the organisational approach are based on the LaCoCa model. They enable each member of the team to actively take over the identified and jointly defined management tasks and to perform them independently. In this way, the manager does not become a bottleneck or limiting factor: the quality of the implemented management tasks no longer depends on his individual abilities. Management becomes an ability or better capability of the team itself. 

This creates new opportunities for the entire team. Knowledge and talents, the know-how of the interdisciplinary networked organisation of all teams can then be activated and used. The role of the manager is not rigidly fixed on one person. The focus is always on the most suitable team member in terms of expertise or capacity and trust by its team mates. The distribution and implementation of tasks changes into a fluid state. This flexibility leads to greater self-organisation, performance and resilience of the team. 

In this completely new self-unterstanding  the manager can develop from a leader to an orienting force. In this way he or she creates his individual productive and meaningful contribution to the team success.

:: Further questions?

If you have further questions about the process models, tools and concepts of Liquid Leadership, we will be happy to support you. Simply send us a message using the contact form. 

We will get back to you as soon as possible.

© Andreas Slogar 2009 - 2020 - laCoCa™, Anatomy of agile Organisations™  are Registered Trademarks, 2017 - Imprint & Disclaimer - Data Protection German - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0