Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, member of the global CEO & Board of Directors Practice
FLC FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2016
November 23rd and 24th, 2016
LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF DIGITALIZATION
What does Meaning@Work signify?
How does the perception of meaning influence organizational performance?
How does the role of meaningful leadership change in the digital world?
A short story of Meaning@Work. Start the slide show.
01/28 Plato described man as „a being in search of meaning“. And cognitive science has confirmed: our brain is always seeking for a consistent meaning in what we perceive. Let us start our discovery for Meaning@Work.
02/28 The meaning of work is very much influenced by the Zeitgeist, the over-arching spirit of a given time. During centuries, the social origin determined the work of an individual. Families practiced one kind of work: carpenters, farmers, merchants. “Ora et labora” as a priest was a special honour.
03/28 It is relatively new that people have the freedom to choose their education and their job. For many people, this is overwhelming. There are supposedly so many opportunities. Even though private life has also gained importance, our work and profession are still central parts of our identity.
04/28 When we start professional work, we already bring with us a mind-set that has been shaped by many formative experiences. The rules and behaviours we faced when we were young significantly shape our beliefs and intents and our perception of what is meaningful or not.
05/28 What makes the search for meaning at work difficult on an individual level are unconscious principles and rules that guide our feelings and thoughts. They have become an integral part of our identity and mechanically determine our behaviour. We are so sure about certain beliefs that we do not question them at all.
06/28 As children we are influenced by the values and attitudes of our parents day by day. They might project their unfulfilled dreams onto the kids. This often leads to doubts and inner conflicts. And sometimes we just have a feeling or desire we can not explain, because we are not yet aware what it really means.
07/28 Judgements about us may become part of our self-perception. School grades make us believe what we are good at and what we are losers at. This often limits what we think we can achieve in our professional life. And it step by step reduces the meaning we expect from work.
08/28 If we are expected to choose a solid job that offers a good salary and “safe” working conditions – this may be a point in life at which rationality and concerns beat the desire to do something more meaningful.
09/28 There are three main motives that make us go to work: 1) earning money to afford other things that are meaningful to us, 2) achieving significance by having a career 3) a calling – a professional task that is meaningful to us in itself. The good thing is: it does not need to be an „either... or“ decision.
10 /28 A workplace can offer different sources of meaning. And everybody has the freedom to choose. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery stated: the meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.
11/28 In a meta-study Brent D. Rosso* et al found out four major sources of meaning at work. The first one is identification: to what extent do people understand and appreciate their contribution to the corporate vision and strategy in daily business?* Michigan University
12/28 The second source of meaning is empowerment. If people are committed to the purpose of their job, do they have the right skills and necessary competences to fulfil their tasks and reach their goals?
13/28 The third necessary source is collaboration. Meaning@work is achieved if people perceive a fair and positive interaction in heterogeneous, diverse groups that leverage on their combined knowledge and ideas.
14/28 The fourth source is the perception of impact – how people get feedback about the benefit and concrete outcome of what they do. The most effective driver of motivation is direct and personal feedback by the beneficiaries and end users.
15/28 Management sometimes has quite anachronistic ideas on how to motivate people to change. If a CEO states: „Forget the past, everything has to change here“ – he might in reality mean: everybody needs to change here – apart from myself!
16/28 Financial Targets, Key Performance Indicators, Service Level reports, big data – managers love to measure „facts & figures“. If there is too much attention on budget and target deviations, meaning might get out of sight.
17/28 Imagine you have been working for weeks to prepare a great analysis – and your boss is presenting it at a committee meeting you are not even invited to, receiving all the credit. Or your boss is introducing a new colleague as a rising star. Just two of many ways to discourage others.
18/28 Leadership can use digital means to avoid interaction: employees receive emails with top down orders to become more creative and engaged. In the intranet they may download org-handbooks and new structures – sometimes they are even invited online to participate in layoff schemes.
19/28 To create meaning, leadership needs to influence the attitudes within an organization. The fear of making mistakes is a major roadblock for purpose-driven innovation. Let`s learn from Nelson Mandela´s credo: I never lose. I either win or learn!
20/28 But does everybody need to find a deeper meaning in his daily professional task? Perhaps there are jobs that just need to be done – and some colleagues might be very happy just paying attention to the financial stuff.
21/28 People might think meaning is created by their working environment. But are colourful walls and a pinball machine really enough? Not everybody feels comfortable in a start-up environment. The secret is to match job profiles with personalities that fit.
22/28 Some leaders live in a so called „reality distortion field“. If they reach for the stars, but have no answers on how to solve existing challenges, their visions may be inspiring short term; but that meaning is destroyed when you are brought back to the reality of daily life.
23/28 Some individuals may misunderstand where to find meaning at work. They solely seek within themselves. The opposite might be true: dedicate yourself to a higher societal goal and become committed to the benefit of others – and find fulfilment in your job!
24/28 Nearly 9 out of 10 employees do not perceive their daily work as meaningful! More than half would prefer a more meaningful job to a higher salary. Leadership of „Meaning Inc“ knows: creating meaning is a strong pillar of organizational success!
25/28 One of many meaning making instruments leadership may use is Job Crafting. It gives employees the freedom and flexibility to enrich job descriptions and guidelines with their personal strengths and needs.
26/28 Meaning creators know their internal or external customer in person, are curious about their needs and concerns and take ownership to solve their problems. As a meaningful return, they get appreciation and honest feedback.
27/28 In a meaningful workplace, different departments and diverse types of people colla-borate to achieve common goals. They act in an agile and experimental way and are open to finding solutions they even might not have thought of. Just a dream?
28/28 John Quincy Adams stated 200 years ago: „If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.“ Meaning making is a valuable leadership skill needed to achieve all of these effects.
Recent research shows that:
- 87% of the workforce don't perceive their work as meaningful.
- 58% of the workforce – especially young talents – prefer a more meaningful job to a higher salary.
- 54% of the workforce see digitalization as a key driver of Meaning@Work.
- Organizations in which employees perceive Meaning@Work are more profitable (+ 21%).
Meaning@Work is an essential root cause of innovation and corporate performance. Digitalization is a massive game-changer in this context, offering huge opportunities as well as pitfalls. Through interaction with an exclusive circle of senior executives and selected young talents, our FLC 2016 speakers will discuss questions such as how to synchronize organizational performance and Meaning@Work.
Where: Future of Leadership Conference 2016 at Tutzing Castle (Evangelische Akademie Tutzing) by Lake Starnberg
When: November 23rd and 24th, 2016
Find out more below.
Conference Trailer & Insights from our Project 2016
Future of Leadership Conference
The vision of MEANING@WORK will be presented to the public for the first time at the FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE.
The Future of Leadership Conference (FLC) is an interactive English-speaking one-day Think Tank that includes powerful keynote addresses, engaging Leadership Labs and a creative Real-Life Business Simulation. Participants meet in the spirit of global citizenship to investigate and discuss fundamental topics of modern and inspiring leadership.
At the 2016 FLC, internationally renowned thought leaders, top executives and decision-makers and brilliant young minds will come together to interactively explore how the notion of “Meaning Making” impacts an organization’s success. This cross-generational and interdisciplinary group will investigate how the creation and perception of purpose in the digital age impacts future leadership across all industries, both in terms of skills and technology.
FLC 2016 SPEAKERS
We look forward to welcoming the following speakers on this year's Future of Leadership Conference.
General ret. Dr. Helge Hansen
Former supreme commander of Allied Forces Central Europe within NATO
World authority on corporate responsibility and UN Global Compact Partner
Prof. Dr. Martin Högl
Head of the Institute for Leadership & Organization, LMU Munich
Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Executive Board at SAP SE
(all statements are subject to change)
How do I create meaning as a leader?
- 08:00Registration and Breakfast
- 09:00Welcome and Interactive Experience Journey
- 09:30What is Meaning@Work? And How Does it Drive Organizational Performance?Prof. Martin Hoegl (Head of ILO, LMU Munich)
- 09:50Meaningful Leadership in Digital Times – How Digitalization Changes the Role of ManagementStefan Ries (CHRO and member of the Executive Board at SAP SE)
- 10:10Money or Meaning – Antipode or Lever of Sustainable Profitability?Panel discussion between Stefan Ries (CHRO and member of the Executive Board at SAP SE), Prof. Martin Hoegl (Head of ILO, LMU Munich) and John Elkington (world authority on corporate responsibility)
- 11:00News from the Unicorns: Build Something Meaningful – The Rise of the Mission-Driven Digital BusinessDavid Rowan (Editor-in-chief of WIRED UK)
- 11:20Is Meaning@Work a Root Cause of Digital Innovation?Panel discussion between David Rowan (WIRED UK), Timm Richter (CPO at XING) and selected young talents from CDTM and ESMT
- 12:00Idea Hack: How Can Digitalization Contribute to Meaning@Work?Senior executives will join with young talents to find and develop ideas
- 14:10Live Business Simulation: What the Hell is Meaning@Work?
- 14:50Learning from Spiritual Wisdom: What You Have to Search for to Discover MeaningFather Dr. Notker Wolf (Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation)
- 15:10Pursuit of Happiness@Work: Appropriate Leadership Goal or Wishful Thinking?Dr. N. S. Rajan (Group CHRO at Tata Sons)
- 15:30Are Meaning Makers the Better Leaders in Digital Times?Panel discussion between Dr. Christine Stimpel (Partner at Heidrick & Struggles), Gen. ret. Dr. Helge Hansen (former supreme commander of Allied Forces Central Europe within NATO) and Dr. N. S. Rajan (Group CHRO at Tata Sons)
- 16:20Meaning@Work: A Breakthrough in the Business MindsetJohn Elkington (world authority on corporate responsibility and UN Global Compact Partner)
- 16:40Leadership Labs: How to Motivate Meaning@Work?Four parallel labs in which senior executives discuss the topic with young talents
- 18:00Business to Society and Ownership Culture – Making Meaning@Work WorkJoe Kaeser (CEO of Siemens)
- 20:00Meaningful Leadership Without Any Means: How a Refugee Organization in Uganda is Transforming Its SocietyWith Benson Wereje (CEO of CIYOTA) and Bahati Kanyamanza (COO of CIYOTA)
Registration ends on Friday, 11.11.2016
The Future of Leadership Conference is an invitation-only event. If you are interested in joining the conference, please use the application form below to write us why you should be part of the FLC 2016. At the FLC 2016, we not only dedicate 1/3 of all tickets for free to hand-picked clever students from a broad variety of disciplines in their final year at university, we also reserve 15 free wild cards for exceptional and creative thinkers from the field of social and cultural work as well as arts and sports.
If you are a senior executive of your company or organization please click here to apply for a ticket.
If you've registered but did not receive our e-mail confirmation within 24 hours,
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a student in your final semester, please click here to apply for a free ticket to the FLC 2016.
Following a new old tradition we will meet at the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, a place of peace and strength next to the beautiful Lake Starnberg in the Bavarian Alps.
Participants get the chance to take a step back from day-to-day challenges, calm down and discover why and how to “Make Meaning” of their work.
Learn more about the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing:
FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP AWARD
The Future of Leadership Award was born from the conviction that breakthrough ideas driven by exceptional people sometimes really can change the world.
In an open and democratically run vote following extensive discussion of candidates, students identify each year the top 3 Thought Leaders whose ideas influenced the minds and actions of an entire generation. Like the previous years, the winner of the Future of Leadership Award will be honored at the Future of Leadership Conference gala evening.
Last year, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia was awarded this prize.
Similar to previous years, a dedicated team of FLI associates spoke with prominent and diverse thought leaders and decision-makers from industry, politics and academia to discover more concretely: What key daily practices and situations create – and on the other hand destroy – meaning and motivation in today’s organizations, particularly in the digital age?
This year, we already had the pleasure of speaking to great minds like Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, Peter Michael Senge from MIT Sloan School of Management, who is president of the Society for Organizational Learning, Martina Koederitz, CEO of IBM Germany, Prof. Götz Werner, founder and board member of the dm-drogerie markt, Yale Professor Amy Wrzesniewski, who is one of the leading global researcher on meaning, TED senior fellow and columnist at New York Times, Professor Barry Schwartz, General ret. Dr. Helge Hansen, former commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces Central Europe of the NATO, Saskia Thais Bruysten, co-founder of Yunus Social Business and Benson Wereje, former child soldier in Kongo and today social business entrepreneur striving to transform the African Society.
Prof. Amy Wrzesniewski
Professor of Organizational Behavior at Yale School of Management
Prof. Barbara Kellerman
Professor of Public Leadership at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government
Father Dr. Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation of the Order of Saint Benedict
Co-founder and CEO of CIYOTA; refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo
Prof. Peter Senge
Senior Lecturer of Behavioral and Policy Sciences at MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The intellectual input of the thought leaders provided the fundament for the interactive workshop among selected business representatives and compiled graduates and alumnis. Facilitated by the MLI Leadership Institute, they developed a common understanding of and future scenario for MEANING@WORK – LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF DIGITALIZATION. Same as every year, this workshop as central part of the research project unleashed the attending people’s knowledge-pool by an alternation of individual reflection, group breakouts, plenary discussion and voting, following a design-thinking structure.
The outcome of the Future Lab is a unique Vision of Meaning Making that features the most important levers through which leadership can influence MEANING@WORK. The findings of the participants will be documented as a remarkable learning map on Meaning Making that will be presented at the next Future of Leadership Conference in November 2016.
The FUTURE LAB on MEANING@WORK took place on January 23rd at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
The results of the FLI research project on MEANING@WORK will be presented to the public and discussed among young talent and senior representatives from the economic, public and political sector during the next Future of Leadership Conference on November 24th, 2016. This Think Tank is a unique blend of minds, representing a diversity of perspectives from all over the world, bringing the academic world and the experiences of practitioners together.