27.01.2022 – 15:35
Gone are the days when corporate leadership was synonymous with instructions from above. Top expert Corina Rüther knows what is important today.
Sometimes she bangs her head against the wall. Not because she impetuously wants to get her way, but because a wall spontaneously builds up in front of her. “I also encounter resistance in my work, of course, but that challenges me. Anyone can do it,” says Corina Rüther with a smile. She is one of Germany’s leading consultants when it comes to agile working in small and medium-sized companies. Your customers are the ones who have problems coping with change: that caused by digitalization, globalization and new ways of working. “The hierarchical order, in which leadership is characterized by ‘command and control’, is changing. This is difficult for many managers to accept, who do not want to give up their usual attitude. Which is also understandable from a human point of view. It was difficult for medium-sized companies for a long time very good. But now the suffering is getting bigger, something has to change,” explains the consultant.
Change management is then her job, i.e. reducing resistance, kicking stumbling blocks out of the way and changing the attitude to a forward-looking one. That’s the hardest part. “In only it can’t be done in a workshop, it takes time” The “switch in the head” also refers to personality structures that are often similar, especially among top managers: fear of insignificance, economic and thus social decline – failure does not fit “I’m the expert for dead horses that you dismount in order to saddle a new one.” This requires courage to deal with chaos, ideas, and risks – a process that ultimately turns out to be extremely fruitful for the entire company possible, but also requires patience and time.
The fish also smells from the head
Time that companies should invest so that change has a lasting effect. Corina Rüther has a nice picture for this: Instead of hitting trees with a blunt axe, you should first go back to the hut and sharpen them. Start from scratch to reach the goal in the end. With various learning projects, the Hessian approaches elementary questions with her clients. can i lead myself do i know me What kind of leader am I? “It takes a few months to let that sink in. The last step is about how employees and teams are managed properly.” Namely away from “Command and Control” to what she is herself: a coach. “When managers do their job as well as possible, they also get the best out of their teams and turn employees into comrades-in-arms,” is Rüther’s logical conclusion. The goal is formulated in the same way for everyone, determined by clarity, correct communication and defined roles.
Communication in particular is extremely important, as it often fails to get the right message across. “An exchange of e-mails can quickly escalate, but that can be avoided with a few rules,” says Rüther. The modules for her training consist of different programs, one of her favorites is LEGO® Serious Play®. That’s right, colored plastic bricks for developing soft skills, an excellent tool for Rüther. “When everyone explains to the others what they have built, even the most introverted talks,” she says of her experience. “Things come out that were buried for a long time.” Back to the beginning, back then in the children’s room.
Purpose – the magic word of business
The best reward for your work is when the “switch in your head” works and it is enthusiastically accepted. “People have already told me that they felt like they were turned inside out and back again, but that was exactly right. I’m very happy about that, because there’s a noticeable improvement.” Further development is the right keyword, because Corina Rüther has now expanded her work in detail to include that of the overarching whole: With companies, she also extracts a purpose, a meaningful purpose that everyone pursues together. “Even our way of doing business and doing business is outdated, we cannot always continue to grow and do business without considering losses. The corporate purpose is to reflect on what a company stands for or wants to stand for, what it also demonstrates in terms of social responsibility want,” explains the consultant. In this regard, the demands are also increasing among customers, whose consumer behavior is also subject to change. In the future, growth will develop less in the direction of “more” and more in the direction of “sustainable”.
For Corina Rüther, the purpose approach is the icing on the cake: “If we manage the transformation within the company and prepare the workforce for the future, it is an obvious step to do the same externally. In such a way that it also has an inward effect. Purpose creates community.” It has a magnetic effect that not only attracts the most dedicated talents, but also the most interesting partners and bravest investors. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding non-financial information about companies, and well-educated people no longer choose their employer based on salary alone. Attitude is something that Rüther likes to mention in the same breath as purpose. This stabilizes the corporate culture and promotes the joy of collective performance. Taken together, that sounds like the right, even better way. “I also think that the major upheavals are not a cloud that obscures everything. If we approach them properly, they will help us create a great future.”
Original content by: Corina Rüther, transmitted by news aktuell