The boss of the future: Working in the background, democratically selected, and 30 percent likely to be a woman

What difference does successful management make today? How has corporate management developed over time? And how will it evolve in the future? We have tried to find answers to these questions. While some of the answers might make us smile, we are absolutely convinced about certain trends that are in evidence right now and that in the future will grow even stronger. The result is the following infographic: The Boss of the Future.


The boss of the future: rethinking corporate culture

The success factors of a modern leadership culture.

The digital age is creating challenges for managers that are different from those seen in the previous century. That management urgently needs to change is a point on which everyone agrees. Such a change is only possible, however, if corporate culture also changes. For example, managers will need to act as coordinators, pulling all of the threads together in the background and ensuring effective cooperation between their employees. But this won’t work if we continue to expect management to require superhero-like qualities—an unrealistic expectation based on strict hierarchies and egocentric tendencies with which most managers are still trying to comply. This is just one example that shows how radically we need to change our perceptions. Our infographic shows several others.


Which trends currently stand out and how will they develop further?

A glimpse into the crystal ball: what management could—or rather should—look like

Of course, we can’t know exactly how the pay gap between men and women is likely to evolve in the future or the impact of measures such as quotas for women in executive roles. But certain trends are evident. And even more important, perhaps, is our vision of the workplace of the future, something we’ve represented in visual form. We are agreed, for instance, that there will be a greater need for the managers of the future to work part-time. Another trend involves the increasing popularity of home office working. As a result, women will increasingly benefit from better opportunities to move into management positions, opportunities that they’re sure to exploit. This is because women’s careers are disproportionately affected by their parenting role, so that many are concerned about coping with the significant challenges involved in combining a management position with their family life. Along the way, the pay gap between men and women is sure to get ever smaller, as women increasingly prove to employers that their contribution is just as valuable as that of their male colleagues. Their demands for fair pay are therefore very likely to be fulfilled.


Newcomers and early retirees: the coming and going of the CEOs

The old stagers and young bloods of the CEO world.

There are some CEOs who are virtually household names. Right now, for example, rarely a day passes in which Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk aren’t mentioned in the press. Eventually, though, even their time in the limelight will pass, as they make way for the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs with an even broader and more expansive vision. We’ve been looking around to see which CEOs might soon be toppled from their throne and which people are likely to take up the reins of leadership. We’ve underpinned our assessment with some extremely likely scenarios, such as the probable restructuring of Shell’s product portfolio around renewable energy sources. What’s more, we wouldn’t hesitate to include our very own CEO in the process, since at Haufe we’ve long known that there’s no shame in giving way to a successor when the time is right—around 2030, if our infographic is to be believed.


The history of employee-centered leadership and its visionaries.

The history of good leadership: learning from the best

We’re not the first and we won’t be the last to be persuaded of the virtues of more agile management. The history of employee-centered business management, in fact, dates back to the very start of the Industrial Revolution and transports us on an inspiring story of impressive visionaries who were far ahead of their time. Every decade is characterized by a number of great minds, not least in the management field: From Henry Ford and Peter F. Drucker to Ricardo Semler, we’ve been inspired by major pioneers and their ideas. Their examples inspire us to strive towards visionary thinking ourselves and to implement methods that appear ahead of our own time. One such is the democratic way in which we select our managers.

What will the managers of the future look like in your view? And how long will it take for those managers to appear in the workplace? Feel free to join in the discussion.


Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

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