Johannes Gotsmy, MAS, MA
Austrian Experts Group on Business Mediation EGWIME
The leading mediator – the mediating leader?
Mediation seems to be a skill for experts, primarily external ones. Does it make sense to think in terms of mediation also when it comes to leadership?
Regarding information it was easy in former times to monitor the flow. Bottom upwise information was centralised at the head. Commands were given top down – through this natural monopoly of information more or less unchallenged. Thus the head could keep his crew under control quite comfortably.
The overwhelming availability of all kinds of information, running horizontically and not vertically any longer, killed the head´s power merely on beeing the physical meeting point of information. This fractal allocation increased creativity and speed in developing new ideas. And it superseded the position of anyone collecting and distributing information.
How to react? Trying to block the progress and lead a fight against information flow on the employee´s level obviously is a Don Quichotesque fight against wind mills. Not to mention all the drawbacks coming along with this behavior. So how to define the character of leadership regarding the role of information?
At this point the mediative approach comes into play. Not only skills and knowledge are widely spread, all the information is decentralised. So it requires someone to gather, organise and structure – without feeling obliged to put one´s stamp on the result. That way the cumulative knowledge can be utilized at full extent. But, someone may object, letting all the ideas sprawl will lead to anything but a goal-driven clear result.
True in many cases. Therefore a distinctive leader´s role is required. Leading various people with different perspectives, a bunch of ideas and quite often contradictory interests without killing creativity or hindering really good results – that´s what mediative skills are for. The mediative approach guarantees the best of the worlds the employees or any other stakeholders live in – thus creating solutions which really hit the center of the target.
Ing. Leon Pogrzebacz, MSc.
Four most important success factors in communication for startups
The thriving founder scene of the last two decades lead to the development of a lot of new concepts like "Agile", "Scrum", "Lean Startup" and "Business Model Canvas", to name but a view.
Focusing in this article on the concepts of "Agile" and "Lean Startup" we can see the common denominator of both being the "moving target". Both the agile manifesto's postulate "to welcome changing environment" as well as the lean startup's credo "fail often, fail fast, fail cheap" do not fit well with the basic need of control of the people involved.
When people lack the feeling of being in control of their environment, they can fall into stress or depression and develop diseases. The WHO lists the following organizational risk factors amongst others: Degree of involvement in decision making, employee recognition, decision-making autonomy and relationships.
The infographic below shows the four most important rules for startup communication, which were compiled from the insights of many successful leaders of startups and when you check them, you will see that they are in line with the WHO findings.
Building a communication culture for startups should be an active process rather then happening by chance. According to forbes the average return on collaboration is four times the initial investment. Consultants associated with the ExpertsGroup BusinessMediation of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (EG WiMe der WKO) have different backgrounds - there you will find the right expert for your situation.
For further free information register on www.zankapfel2016.at for the BusinessMediation-Day on April 27th 3 p.m. at WKO.