Jan Bosch is a research center director, professor, consultant and angel investor in startups. You can contact him at jan@janbosch.com.

Opinion

Boost your digitalization: new skills

Leestijd: 3 minuten

As an engineer, I’ve often had difficulty with the somewhat touchy-feely language used in leadership literature and HR departments. Rationally, I know that humans are irrational beings that excel at post-rationalizing their decisions and actions. And to reason about our irrational or pre-rational side, we need to use language that seeks to model that part of us. It’s just that it seems so incredibly hard to operationalize and turn into action.

Having said that, over the years and while working with dozens of companies, I’ve started to develop a gut feeling about the key challenges they experience. And often, their rational, clear and explainable limitations are driven by deep patterns in their culture and the personality traits of their leaders.

In most organizations, the leadership consists of people who excelled in the technology that was important one or two decades ago. We see in automotive and other industrial companies that most senior leaders have a mechanical engineering background. Although these skills were incredibly valuable at the time and often the basis for the careers of these leaders, the education and experience come with a lens that makes people almost unconsciously reject alternative viewpoints.

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