Of all companies, 70-year-old German consultancy firm Kienbaum wants to prophesy how the digital leaders of the future will look like. A highly interesting question to us students of Digital Technology Management – but isn’t this just another dusty company lagging behind the ever-faster-developing business world, not knowing what they are talking about?
Not at all, proved our latest guest speaker Yvonne Balzer of Kienbaum Management Consultants with her new insights on the future of work and leading. Usually heading Kienbaum’s Digital Division in Düsseldorf, she jumped on a plane to Munich to meet us at Campus Pasing.
The digital leaders of the future
So what will the coming leaders look like?
Kienbaum says managers with combined business administration and IT knowledge have the best future prospects. Based on a survey on digitalization, they conducted a cluster analysis which resulted in 4 types of personal profiles.
Along with changing leader profiles, there is another development Kienbaum predicts: Some jobs will completely disappear while new ones will be created. Which ones are these, you ask?
Bank clerks, for instance, might disappear sooner than we think. Let’s focus on the positive side of digitalization – the new jobs! Yvonne Balzer’s Top 5 new jobs:
- Big Data Analyst: The sexiest new job, as we recently heard from our guest lecturer Anine Neumann of SHS Viveon!
- Complex Decision Support Analysts: More data – more complex decisions.
- Remote Controlled Vehicle Operator: Drones are not gonna fly themselves – or are they…
- Customer Experience Expert: True customer-centricity will become inevitable.
- Online Chaperone/ Digital Security: We want the connection, and we want the safety.
As a leading management consultancy, Kienbaum is used to giving practical recommendations. What Yvonne Balzer presented next, Kienbaum’s Digital Competency Model, is right on point for us, the digital leaders of the future. The model contains several key competences we should invest in. In the category of strategy, we should, among others, know how to develop a Digital Business Model, while the category “management” suggests knowing about Transformation Management – that’s what we learned in this semester with Prof. Sudnik during our lecture in Change Management!
The “methods” category involves knowledge about Lean Start-Up (that’s why we were required to read the book by Eric Ries for our aptitude test), Rapid Prototyping, and the Business Model Canvas.
Developing digital competencies with the business model canvas
After Yvonne Balzer’s detailed forecasts and suggestions to us, we changed roles and it was our turn to present something to our guest. The purpose of this was to develop some of the competences mentioned in Kienbaum’s Digital Competency Model.
We were supposed to step into the shoes of a chewing gum manufacturer, in particular a business developer. Consumption of chewing gum is decreasing dramatically. Our customers mention as the reasons for not chewing gum anymore that it is unhealthy, environmentally damaging and unaccepted by society.
Our task was to develop ideas for growth potential for the chewing gum market.
As we did many times before, we quickly teamed up to start brainstorming. An intense 20 minutes passed, and we had to present. It was absolutely not the first time we held a rapid ideation session like this. That being said, it still astonishes me every single time what we manage to develop in no time. We used both the Business Model Canvas and created customer personas.
Let’s come to the meat: I’ll tell you what we came up with in my group. Our solution is:
Bio-degradable natural ingredients chewing gum that can be swallowed
This product would solve all the problems mentioned above: Unhealthy, environmentally damaging and unaccepted by society. The personas we developed were:
Objective: Keep chewing, and keep the environment in mind
Pain relieved: Bad conscience when dumping chewing gum
Gain: Status symbol, being an environmental conscious person
Persona 2: 52-year-old occasionally chewing senior manager in a corporate company
Objective: Having fresh breath during conversations with coworkers and business partners
Pain relieved: Chewing gum is unaccepted -> swallow it
Gain: Fresh breath
Summarized in one sentence, Persona 1 would win, Persona 2 would win, and our chewing gum company would win! We also filled in the business model canvas which we repeatedly found very useful for our business development activities as it remembers you not to forget about important aspects of a business model.
Build your own competencies!
After we finished with presenting our business models, Yvonne Balzer gave us some more concrete suggestions on how to build our own competencies. As they are highly interesting and relevant for most of us students as well as you, that you are interested in the program, I will share some of them with you here:
- Stay abroad
- Job Rotation
- Project Work
- Knowledge-/Community Management
- Professional Integration/ Instruction/ Best Practice Learning
- Professional and method-oriented training
- Behavioural/ Personality Seminars
- E-learning/ Self-regulated learning
We loved the workshop and presentation by Yvonne Balzer and and would like to thank her for the effort to come to Munich! A great thank you also goes to our guide-by-our-side Prof. Sudnik for organizing this fun and informative event.