To be attractive as a company and make progress, there are some essential characteristics. Good leadership skills are the foundation for success in the modern corporate culture. We had the opportunity to speak with Andy Tonazzi, the CEO of konplan systemhaus ag, and asked him directly: What skills are required by persons in a management position and what role do the employees play when it comes to leadership culture?
Mr. Tonazzi, what characterizes good and contemporary leadership?
Andy Tonazzi: I don’t presume to be an expert and can only outline my own point of view here. From my experience, good leadership means being able to deal with constant change, even more today than ever before. A good manager needs strong self-reflection skills: To adapt to constant change and continue their own further development.
Hierarchy is a common topic in discussions about leadership. How do you handle this at konplan?
A.T.: At konplan, we are an extremely project-oriented organization. This results in a very flat management structure with all its advantages and disadvantages. We can offer our employees short decision-making paths as well as exciting specialist and project management tasks. However, we do not have the typical career paths in line management that other companies provide.
konplan is a rapidly growing and dynamic company. How do you ensure that the leadership continues to succeed, and the corresponding structures grow with it?
A.T.: This is very demanding indeed. The anchor, or in other words “the root”, is embedded in the culture. However, this does not mean that the culture is static or must be preserved. The culture is also evolving with every new member of the company. This dynamic remains part of our culture. And, despite all the numbers, data, and facts, our culture is always about the people – our employees, our customers, and our partners.
How do you motivate your employees during times of change?
A.T.: We do our best to involve them in shaping the change. For example, our new office is being designed by a team composed from all areas of the company. We improve processes by involving project managers and developers as well as top managers, HR, and Finance responsible persons.
It is important as a company that we recognize the need for change. Regardless of where you are positioned, this is not always easy. We continue to welcome new talent to the team who didn’t even notice us a few years ago. And those that leave our company have done so to pursue even greater challenges elsewhere.
Keyword agility or agile leadership: do you regularly question the leadership approach and structures?
A.T.: The word “agility” promises a lot which cannot always be delivered. You must be careful. Is agility compatible with your corporate culture? Does the leadership set an example for agility or is it mostly an expression to serve “administrators”? For me, agile leadership is about being flexible and approaching long-term goals in disciplined and manageable steps. For example, a periodic information exchange with employees works much better than the occasional or annual “employee evaluations”.
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