New Work Hogan Assessments

New Work? More than ever! On the relevance of self-organization, agility and strategic self-awareness.


From outrage to insight: How a New Work conference fundamentally altered the perspective of a leadership coach. The significance of complex challenges in today's economy, the role of Hogan Assessments, and the evolution of modern corporate leadership.

At RELEVANT, our core team collaborates with a close circle of selected consultants. With guest posts from our colleagues like this one, we would like to express the diversity, joy and competence in the service delivery of our extended team.

By Ellen Herb, Learning & Development, Berlin

In 2016, I attended a New Work conference where the VP of one of Germany’s largest media groups told a large audience that transforming a company to digitalization would not work with the established management. As a leadership coach, consultant and trainer, I was so upset that I started to look intensively at New Work, self-organized teams and agile methods. “What does all this have to do with each other? Why the hype? Why now? And why, for crying out loud not with the existing leadership cadre?” My outrage and questions led me to various meet ups, interviews, workshops, conferences and technical literature. Little by little, I understood the connections and why it is vitally important that the business community and its decision-makers deal with these buzzwords.

A multi-year learning journey is difficult to summarize on one page, so let’s start with one key from a large set of keys to understanding: the difference between linear and complex relationships.

The difference between linear, complicated, and complex relationships is so important because it should be the starting point for leaders to decide how to get good results. While simple and complicated problems can be solved on their own or through expertise, i.e. experience, one decision maker is enough, it is completely different when the issue is complex. Complexity means, among other things, not knowing components of the problem, of the issue, and not being able to supplement them with existing knowledge. Instead of knowing, we are challenged to research, from multi-perspectives, cross-functionally, in a culture characterized by systemic feed-forward, question- and error-friendliness. This is the only way to deal with complex problems.

At the same time, complexity is only one of the types of being that currently describe our reality. We have also been experiencing increasing volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity for some time now. Taken together, they form the acronym VUCA, which I myself am almost sick of hearing, but quite obviously we have not listened often enough to the significance it has for our economy and society.

Because now Corona is showing itself to be the great VUCA practice test for all of us – even for those who previously did not want to believe in the necessity of addressing New Work, self-organization and agility.

The thinking and approaches behind it provide us with the tools to tackle complex problems together in times of not knowing. This requires many experts and managers to lead and cooperate differently, to learn new things, and to consciously turn away from previous ways of behaving and thinking. Not because their experience and expertise are no longer worth anything. They still are! Rather, it is a matter of analyzing ways of thinking and expanding one’s own spectrum of behavior. A fundamental prerequisite for all people who want to take the path to self-organization and agility is self-reflection. Self-leadership is the prerequisite for leading others and, especially for many leaders, letting others lead in new forms of work.

In my practice, Hogan Assessments are the tool to reflect with executives how they are positioned inwardly and what new ways they can go in the reality that since Corona now demands us to act differently. In working with the Hogan Assessment, it is possible both to appreciate the previous set of attitudes, perceptions and behaviors and to classify them in terms of their effectiveness, as well as to find further, new ways for personal leadership behavior in order to be able to continue to act effectively. For many of my clients, strategic self-awareness and coaching serve them in building and expanding their self-leadership competencies as a compass in times when there is otherwise little clarity. Therefore, I claim that the necessary digital transformation can very well work with the “old leadership” if they are willing to be the change themselves; and this of course applies to the same extent to every cohort and every generation – to all those who want to lead.

At RELEVANT, we have been using Hogan Assessments every day for years in the selection and development of people and organizations. Hogan is the world’s leading provider of research-based assessment solutions. RELEVANT helps organizations use Hogan personality diagnostics to reduce turnover and increase productivity by hiring the right people, developing key talent, and identifying leadership potential. Talk to us. We’re just an email or phone call away.

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