MMA Germany
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MMA Germany

MMA Impact Germany: New Work Needs New Leadership Skills

The world of business has been transformed through a rapidly diversifying workforce, the sweeping digitalisation of virtually every workplace system, and more recently, the implementation of flexible, remote work due to the global pandemic. It’s all part of the New Work. What does this mean to leaders of marketing organisations? What new skills must these managers develop to achieve leadership success — and how can companies and professional networks support them in building these skills?

Lisa Steinhauer, Area Marketing Manager for BMW; and Jenny Gruner, VP Global Digital Marketing for Hapag-Lloyd, recently helped to answer these important questions at MMA IMPACT Germany 2022, a virtual conference for marketing leadership presented by the MMA Germany and sponsored by Meta, Mission Female, and Adzine.

In a panel session called New Work Needs New Leadership Skills, moderated by Ceretai Managing Director Meike Arendt, both Steinhauer and Gruner discussed how the role of marketing management is changing in the era of New Work. As with all content from MMA Impact Germany, the session is now available for viewing online.

Viewing Diversity Through Lenses of Culture and Expertise

Steinhauer encouraged managers to embrace diversity — both in terms of culture and disciplinary knowledge — not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes sense from a business perspective. Within her group at BMW, she said, “we have people that come not from an engineer path, or from a marketing path, but from a totally different study field. I like to have a diverse field of team members, because I think it’s important if you want to actually understand your customer.”

Focusing on Empowering and Inspiring Change

According to Gruner, managers must learn to let go of hierarchical thinking and a focus on the expansion of power. Instead, they must adopt a mindset to inspire and facilitate change. In the coming years, she said, “managers will play more of an orienting, company-networking role than before. It doesn’t mean that leadership is becoming obsolete, but managers must increasingly allow autonomy. They’re still responsible for defining goals and results, but at the same time, they have to hand over the control of the implementation.”

Advice for Managers: Experiment, Listen, and Learn

Steinhauer and Gruner each offered some valuable career tips for marketing managers who are navigating this world of New Work. “Leave your comfort zone,” Steinhauer advised. “If you want to develop your career, do something which you didn’t do the last 10 years with your team. And listen. If you have a new job, do a 100-days’ listening period. Check in on what [the various stakeholders] are doing, and then improve and change.”

Gruner encouraged managers to “try out new ways of leadership, with a build-measure-learn approach. You will grow constantly and become a better leader. And ask for feedback. Ask your employees, ask your boss, look for a mentor [so that] you can constantly grow.”

For more insights, view the full session below and subscribe for more content like this.

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MMA Germany

MMA Germany

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Mobile Marketing Association's German Local Council strives to stimulate the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies in the country.