Getting started in the working world 4.0

Good leadership skills as part of a modern corporate culture form the basis for success. In an interview, we asked Andy Tonazzi directly: What skills are required of management personnel and what role do employees themselves play in terms of leadership culture?

Mr Tonazzi, what characterises good and contemporary leadership?

Andy Tonazzi: I don't claim to be an expert and can only outline my own view here. But in my experience, good leadership today more than ever means being able to deal with constant change. To do this, a good leader needs a distinct ability for self-reflection: to constantly readjust to constantly changing situations and to constantly develop oneself further.


Again and again, the topic of hierarchies is discussed in the context of leadership. How do you handle this at konplan?

A.T.: At konplan we act and organize in a very project-oriented way. Therefore our management structures are very flat, with all the advantages and disadvantages. We can offer our employees short decision making processes and exciting technical and project management tasks. However, we do not have the classic career paths in line management as the other companies claim.

konplan is a fast growing and dynamic company. How do you make sure that the management continues to succeed or that the corresponding structures grow with it?

A.T.: That is indeed very demanding. The anchor, or in other words "the roots", lie in the culture. But culture should not be seen as something static or something that needs to be preserved. Culture, too, evolves with each newcomer to the company. This dynamic has remained part of our culture. And despite all the numbers, data and facts, in the end it's always about people - our employees, our customers and partners.


How do you pick up your employees when changes occur?

A.T.: At best, we try to involve them in shaping change. For example, our new office is being designed by a team from all divisions. Our processes are improved by project managers and developers as well as by members of the management or people responsible for HR or finance.

It is important that we as a company are aware of the need for change. This is not always easy, no matter at which level of the company. Today we welcome new talents to the team who did not notice us a few years ago. On the other hand, great people have also left us because they were able to take on new, more suitable challenges elsewhere.


Keyword agility or agile leadership: Do you regularly question management style and structures?

A.T.: "Agility" sometimes makes a lot of promises that are difficult to keep in retrospect. You have to be careful. Does agility fit in with your own corporate culture? Does the Leadership Team exemplify this agility, or are they mostly "administrators"? For me, however, agile leadership is basically about remaining flexible and approaching the long-term goals in regular, manageable steps. A regular exchange with the employees works much better than one or two "appraisal interviews" per year, for example.

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