What is a magnetic culture?
The boss as a superman or superwoman does not fit in today. The manager cannot handle the role of the problem solver, the conflict manager, or like a parent guide the organization’s employees in the right direction. It probably never worked that great, but today it is more obvious than before that it does not work at all. The digital revolution makes it impossible to keep that kind of leadership.
If you hold onto the idea of yourself as the “super boss” the risk is that others will perceive you as the significantly slower and weaker version of Clark Kent.
How do you manage the challenges of the digital revolution?
- Managing the consequences of far-reaching decentralization of decisions and powers, but at the same time ensures that deviations are avoided.
- That self-organized teams become effective with a culture that strengthens the team’s efficiency?
- A new approach in the teams that means that everyone must understand that they actually do not have a manager anymore.
- That the management itself adjusts its way of working to the consequences of digitalization?
The team becomes self-selective in a magnetic culture.
In a magnetic culture, the team becomes self-selective, we are drawn to the team because we get support when we need it and then we start to develop. We show in words and actions that we share the company’s values and help each other to stay on the right side of laws, rules, and policies. A magnetic culture gives us the balance of a decentralized organization. Clear rules are needed for how we should interact with each other and how the collaboration should function. One can say that it is freedom under responsibility that applies in a magnetic culture.
The colleagues’ task in a magnetic culture is to pay attention to the fact that everyone in the team behaves and communicates in a way that is accepted. We no longer expect the boss to react when something does not work the way it should.
In a magnetic culture, we all understand that we have different personal values and views. There is also a consideration of each one’s inner sphere and integrity. Everyone has a personal limit to what is allowed and what is not allowed in the interaction between them. It is important that we can perceive and respect each and everyone’s own integrity.
With a higher level of freedom in the work, everyone needs to take greater personal responsibility for how the culture is affected by the way we cooperate.
Our mental well-being for survival goes through the heart. Colleagues who are honest and treat others with respect and humility are people who speak to our hearts. If we choose to develop such a culture, it will have a huge impact on work performance, job satisfaction, and well-being. An openness about how we perceive each other in the team releases a force that strengthens the team.
1. First step
If you want to develop a magnetic culture, a first step can be to explore the personal values of the members of the team.
By exposing our personal values to the team, it is easier for everyone in the team to understand why we behave and communicate as we do. But it can also be a starting point for a discussion about the personal values of and if they collide with the team’s values.
It is when we move on the scale of what is acceptable behavior in relation to my colleagues’ perception and the company’s values that we encounter the problems.
2. Second step
Personal integrity is developed through openness
In the late 1990s, I collaborated with an American professor Will Schutz in one of his leadership development programs. He devoted much of his life to exploring the concept of truth, something he equated with openness. At one point I asked him if what he said was the truth at the age of seventy. He answered; “I have started to tell the truth” which indicated that it takes time to become comfortable with the truth.
Will Schutz considered truth to be about ourselves and about our fears. It is the fear of not being perceived as meaningful, competent or well-liked by others that cause us to react as if threatened when doubts arise.
If I translate his thoughts into today’s knowledge of the brain, it can help us to better self-regulate our affections. Affections are emotional reactions to something. Affections that can, if we are not aware of them, influence our communication and our behavior in an uncontrolled way.
By being aware of the values we have and being open about it, we can learn to handle our emotional reactions better. If we have the courage to follow the values we experience is true, we will strengthen our personal integrity. The team can then become a place for personal development.
Through practice, the team can gain the ability to self-regulate each other in connection with conflicts and changes.
Management’s new role
The management itself needs to develop a magnetic culture. This means a necessary cultural change for the management as well. The management needs to move from an old management system into a modern management system. It is one of the most critical points in the transition of digital culture.
Management needs to abandon its strategic position for a more physically present leadership in everyday situations.
The culture is not developed in strategic forums, it is developed together with colleagues in the actual room.
In a magnetic culture:
- The organization attracts the desired competence.
- The teams become self-regulating when it comes to emotional expressions.
- The teams become self-deciding, the individual gets power and support for their personal development.
- Both the team and the individual’s freedom Increases. There, anyone who wants to develop can become a talent.
- The willingness to take responsibility for the team increases.
- The management is present in its leadership.