- Strategic thinking involves SYSTEM THINKING, reframing (e.g., positive thinking), and reflection (e.g., evaluating one’s reasoning). Strategic thinking is best enabled in unforceful leadership communities and has positive effects on information seeking behavior (Pisapia, J., 2006)
- A system thinker (as compared to a linear thinker) is able to improve the performance of a whole by not only improving its parts but by enhancing the RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE KEY PARTS systemwide.
- Often, solution approaches are rather reactive and focus on addressing symptoms rather than the underlying problems. CHANGES COMES AT THE LEVEL OF CULTURE, mindset, by regenerating MENTAL MODELS based on (self-) awareness.
- Be aware of the heuristics (“rules of thumbs”) in DECISION-MAKING STRATEGIES. For important decision, mental shortcuts may rely too heavily on limited (personally available) and representative (personal image) information.
- Although GLOBAL MOBILITY SURVEYS (BGRS, 2016) report the strategic importance of global mobility function for the competitive advantages of large organization, only 10% of the respondents answered that their company’s global mobility strategy is aligned with the broader talent agenda.
- Immersion into international assignments/expatriation may foster more deep LEARNING ABOUT THE ‘HOW’ AND ‘WHY’ of how foreign cultures on the otherwise invisible level work. This can be beneficial for individual career capital and talent retention.
- Different career trajectories (e.g., dual careers) require a more strategic ALIGNMENT OF LIFETIME STAGES AND CAREER STAGES that are integrated into the organization’s strategic direction.
- Cultural tightness (independent of nationality, culture, and legislation for gender equality), in some organizations in some countries, hinders ADVOCATING WOMEN LEADERSHIP (Toh, Leonardelli, 2013)
- REVERSE/BACKWARD MENTORING can help to bring together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience, while providing both a possibility to engage and develop (Claire, 2011).
- More PROFESSIONAL FREEDOM, MEANINGFUL WORK, and WORK-LIFE BALANCE tend to constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures. The question remains how far these can be achieved in environments of fierce competition and profit requirements.
1.Inspirational leadership is a less studied, but holistic concept that centers within the presence of a whole mind that is aware of the being and doing of the self and others.
2.As an inspirational leader who gives ideas to others, investing time and effort into self-development is vital. One can only give what’s inside of him/her.
3.The human side of leadership is fundamental for an inspirational interaction between leaders and followers.
4.The most appreciated leadership aspect is the ability to inspire. The capacity to inspire does result in high employee commitment.
5.Inspirational leaders positively influence employee characteristics, such as independent thinking and pro-activeness. These qualities not only foster innovativeness and drive business performance, but also have a positive effect on followers’ happiness at work.
6.The quest for the ‘Why,’ critical thinking, purpose, passion, and caring emotional intelligence all come from within oneself. Self-awareness and autonomy is the foundation for accessing the source of inspiration. Allow your soul to be free.
7.Authenticity is the core of inspirational leadership. Authentic behavior arises when the ‘who you are’ and the ‘what you do’ are aligned. A genuine and ethical leader differentiates between the true needs of his/her inner being as compared to the many and often conflicting demands and conditions of society.
Slides from our 80% is Psychology event, December 12th, 2018 in Tokyo.
1.It is crucial to what role models children are exposed. Babies intuitively follow the eye gaze of their mothers. Little geese adopt the first seen subject after hatching as their caregiver (so-called IMPRINTING). And imprisoned children regard the prison guards as their parents to follow.
2.Followers emulate primarily other followers, not necessarily the leader. A movement is made by courageous followers who show others how to follow too. Therefore it is essential to nurture followers.
3.To form a positive social identity (as everybody seeks to), people use self-categorization. According to SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, this risks leading to biased social comparison in which people tend to over-favorize one’s own group’s individuals’ positive characteristics while they stereotype and discriminate out-group members having mainly negative traits.
4.PROTOTYPICAL PERCEPTIONS cause people to think that the followers of the group they identify with can be persuaded by information, while out-group followers are mis-perceived as needing to be coerced by force.
5.Individuals who follow a leader against their own moral beliefs or good judgment may do so because they socially identify with the leader and consciously choose to follow his/her MORAL COMPASS.
6.Leaders in a mutually beneficial leader-follower relationship provide public goods to their followership. In return, followers voluntarily pay their costs to the leader in the form of prestige. When leaders gain more relative power, and their high status becomes less dependent on their willingness to pay the costs of benefitting followers, the SERVICE-FOR-PRESTIGE THEORY predicts that leader-follower relations will become more based on leaders’ ability to dominate and exploit.
7.In the phenomena of RECIPROCITY, we should differentiate whether it is about our genuine desire to return favors unconditionally based on feelings of thankfulness, or whether we get trapped into “marketing tricks” that let us act upon feelings of obligation and guilt.
8.A secure ATTACHMENT STYLE helps people trusting in lasting relationships, self-confidentially seeking out and providing social support that empowers themselves and colleagues alike. Insecurely attached people may cause stronger exclusion and exploitation of others.
9.Effective followers as fostered by TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP are those who are not only actively involved, but those who are also critically thinking to influence decision-making and change. Conformist followers who are not challenging the status quo contribute less to innovation and business performance improvement.
10.DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS are vital also from a business perspective because better-connected networks enable more knowledge sharing that is favorable for innovation and improves business performance, which ultimately results in increased profitability.
11.REVERSE MENTORING allows any employees to assume, (informal) leadership roles. Reverse mentoring not only promotes bi-directional knowledge exchange, but it can help isolated older leaders to enter into more egalitarian relationships as well.
12.Utilizing CONSTRUCTIVE HUMOR may be an effective leadership strategy to win trust and commitment from followers as it bridges authority gaps and encourages the both-sided expression of positive emotions even when addressing difficult matters.
Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable . In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship . Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program . Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field , a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning .
Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success
Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” (, p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE . It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions (; ). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues . Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success .
Benefits for the employees
Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills . Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built . Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds . Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas , which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations . Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is .
HR supported implementation for improved employee retention
In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% . In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees . While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors , more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them . It is essential that older leaders get the courage  to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships . Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce  through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too .
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Summary. Younger employees around the world tend to prefer more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life in their work. Asking only older senior HR managers might not provide sufficient insight into the generation Y’s thinking though. Listening directly to the younger employees is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether. The youth’s resourcefulness, e.g., in digital media, could be used for backward/reverse mentoring to engage senior management more. Offering millennials more short-term job and internship opportunities can represent a win-win situation to gain experience from both an organizational and young talent perspective. Some examples from a Chinese perspective are presented.
Work ethics and quality of life values
Many of the so-called gold-collar workers (GCW) who demonstrate qualities such as high problem-solving abilities in challenging environments but are also used to extraordinary financial compensation, started to quit their positions in prominent Chinese cities to seek improved work-life balance, including, e.g., increased learning and development opportunities . Today’s younger generations in China, while navigating the collectivist society, can also require, even from authorities, more radical openness and honesty, especially in case of perceived unfairness . Researchers found that more professional freedom, meaningful work, and work-life balance constitute job characteristics increasingly crucial as a high-level tendency across different cultures . Varying work values still need to be differentiated between even various countries in East Asia itself. For example, the Chinese tend to be more individualistic, while the Japanese are more risk-averse, and the Koreans are often found somewhat in the middle .
Insight-led Global Talent Management (GTM) and backward/reverse mentoring
Best practice Global Talent Management (GTM) in Asia is best led by insight into economic and cultural context , including the specific understanding of the youth. When re-assessing HR practices, consulting only with older senior management personnel might not provide sufficient and accurate insight into the thinking of the generation Y employees . A demographic shift also takes place in China where the proportion of the population of over sixty-five years is growing, which is resulting in a shrinking workforce with implication for how to manage the pool of younger talents . Cooperative re-negotiation of employee structures and roles within firms might be needed. The Gallup’s global employee engagement database reveals that two-thirds of Asian CEO’s are not engaged and often feel underdeveloped . Bringing together the younger generations’ digital talent and the older colleagues rich experience in a kind of backward/reverse mentoring would offer an exciting approach .
Short and long-term view for win-win situations
Millennials often plan differently for their future, meaning that they seek more short-term employment (i.e., of one to two years length) to gain experience at the beginning of their career . Consequently, talent management practices have to deal with more employee turnover. However, especially when talent acquisition is challenged due to a lack of matching organizational demand and graduate skills, short-term assignments might offer a win-win situation overall. This is the reason why both firms and candidates see internships as an ideal avenue at professional career start .
Empowering the youth
For the youth being able to bring their potential to the table, managers self-identified their central role as empowering their talents in furthering self-esteem and self-promotion capability . For GTM, listening to the younger generation and consider their expectations is vital to positively influence job satisfaction, engagement, and work performance altogether .
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