Key Players

... leadership on demand in the digital age

3 Trends (and their interaction) will soon endanger many first-line and middle managers’ jobs:

Artificial Intelligence, as it takes over admin work, reports, forecasts, and similar. Collaboration tools, as they facilitate project work but also capacity planning, and other areas of cooperation. And finally, self-organization, as this movements skillfully helps employees to take overactivity’s previously reserved for managers. To see how these three trends work, read my article “Alexa, What Can We Do Today?”, published in COS Journal in October 2019.

If many leadership jobs disappear, how will leadership look like on a everyday basis? My forecast is: we’ll see “Key Players”, employees who will take on leadership tasks on demand or on a temporary basis. We all know their precursors: project leaders! But there will be many more: facilitators (and Collaboration Tool Masters, as I call their digitally enhanced colleagues), internal coaches and conflict mediators, cross-links and other ambassadors, evangelists, etc. Feel free to add to the list.

Companies can either let this happen (it will) or rather proactively create Key Player positions, development programs and career paths. I a absolutely sure that for many millennials, this will be a much more attractive offer than your traditional team leader role.

Alexa, What Can We Do Today?
A side-product of writing up the “Alexa” article, the following scenes envision a number of everyday work situations as they may play out in a couple of years, discreetly enhanced by some permutations of Alexa, sometimes steered by some ‘Key Players’, and often shaped by recent ideas on self-organization.