Did you ever notice that the more advanced technology your company installs, the less effective your work may become? A recent study of Accenture says 60% of new digitalization projects fail to deliver because leaders may not believe in “those human things”.

Lead-by-exampleThe industry paradigm of this Century is how to balance technology and people, or in other words, how to ensure technology development and deployment keeps pace with people actually making use of it. People have this “nasty” tendency of not doing things for company reasons but for their own. That means that leaders will need to learn to see and understand “those human things” or make room for those who are genuinely ready to help their teams accomplish THEIR dreams and goals instead of chasing their own interest. Leaders who do not understand this should consider doing something else or become ready to practice a new form of leadership. This is achievable for many by gaining self-awareness and self-knowledge, leading to empathy; understanding of and willingness to invest in Trust-based teams that make collaboration effective by inviting colleagues to try things, make mistakes and learn from them; and by building true, honest and meaningful relationships. Not all managers will be able to step up to leadership. In fact, average 25% will not and it is required to identify and remove them from the innovation mainstream as they always become blockers.


k.com_klcm_final_0These two words may seem a bit old-fashioned or even outdated. Yet people punch through contrary behaviors as Ketchum Leadership Communications Monitor 2016 shows*). Employees expect their leaders to be trustworthy! Unfortunately, 87% of employees in this global study consider their leaders to be inappropriate when it comes to taking responsibility and 75% of employees think their leaders are ineffective. This is, by all means, a global leadership crisis and we are not even talking about critical innovation projects here! This is just “business as usual”.

Employees FEEL if somebodies emotions are for real or if he or she is a fake. They know when somebody is authentic and genuine and can be trusted and only if you manage yourself to enter the still very small circle of those leaders that earn their team’s trust and respect, you will be able to become a 21st Century leader.  Everybody else will stay outside wondering why “Those Human Things” are such a problem.

André Baken

*) https://www.ketchum.com/special-report/leadership-communication-monitor-2016