Looking at the past few years, there is no doubt that the speed and number at which unforeseen circumstances occur is increasing. Additionally, digitalization has impacted all areas of life and has received a positive boost during COVID-19. As a result, a well-known acronym in business still unfolds its power in the so-called VUCA world, a world defined by:
Digitalization magnifies the challenges in the VUCA world. the looming era of value creation, leaders and individuals need new skills and capabilities to cope with those challenges. Complexity and uncertainty, or the challenge of digitalization should not lead to the fact that individuals or companies are losing touch. The skill gap visible in companies cannot be solved by solely employing those individuals who have the required digital skills and firing those who lack them.
Digital tools, shared networking and information pools enable new ways of collaborative work. Global connectivity and fast exchange of information allows higher flexibility and easier access to information. The new decentralization of power and structures enables growth participation of employees and other stakeholders in a company and new ways of communication.
We believe: This is a great opportunity.
Digital leadership muscles and agility from companies as well as from individuals are acquired skills.
Agility is reflected in the ability of us as individuals to learn and develop ourselves. It is an attitude and a mindset driven by the willingness to grow and stay curious, asking questions and taking suitable risks. Agile leadership of companies imply to cope with disruption. Increasing project-based work forms and interdisciplinary teams are potential answers to the challenges. An agile leader is a mentor and coach in the organization and creates a surrounding of targeted controversy, transparency, trust and space, adding value to the company.
This moment marked the founding of iaak. On a sunny evening in Hamburg, the idea emerged that an organization might help to further inspire with an active approach by building a starting point to develop new skills relevant for digital transformation.
We discussed what digitalization is fueling as well as the challenges faced by individuals in their professional lives. Just take social media as an example, how often marketers commented in the advent of social communities, 'I'm too old for that, only the digital natives in marketing can create social media content for us'.
Today, the understanding of the AI-driven pattern in social media and what characterizes relevant content, has now been acquired by many, regardless of the birth year. Talking about the concept inspired other founding members, and so in 2018 the iaak - Institut für angewandte Arbeits- und Kommunikationsforschung (in English: Institute for Applied Work and Communication Research) was founded.
iaak offers solutions in three areas to build up leadership muscles, be it as a company or as an individual person: "Science & Research", "Business & Education" and "People & Society".