lars vollmer
Dr. Lars Vollmer with his book: Back to Work

In the course of the research project, I exchanged ideas with authors and agile minds. Today I present the results of the dialogue with Dr. Lars Vollmer, who this   year   published the book: Back to Work – how to become real companies again from business theatres.

  In addition to agile companies, the conversation also deals with the so-called business theatre and the thesis: “Too little real work is done”. Read the summary of the dialogue in the following.

What are Agile Companies?

“Agility is alive,” Lars Vollmer said when asked how   agility is defined. Agile companies are therefore alive. Agile companies understand that they are in a complex environment and that there are surprises. Agile companies also represent the market in the process organization, which means that such companies do not have a pure line organization. Vollmer therefore calls on companies not to cling to the success of the last year, but to actively work on the future.

The hype around agility and digital transformation

Agility has also become a bit of hype, Vollmer admits. Many things are simply called agile and are therefore modern, Vollmer notes. Agility seems to have become almost a new word for modern. Just like the hype around digital transformation. We have been doing both for a very long time, but now literature has given it a great new coat of paint, says Vollmer. But there is one thing that comes with it:

It has never been easier than today to try out business models quickly and cheaply.

As a result, there is an explosion of business models that   is causing companies to suffer. Startups shoot like mushrooms out of the ground. In the meantime, everyone can try out it easily and cheaply.

Business Theatre

“Companies are playing work,” says Vollmer. In his book, he talks about a business theater. If we only serve the formal organisation, then we ‘play work’. There is then no living structure in the company, but a “false structure”.

Business theater is like Christmas at Grandma’s. We play the good grandson.

But it’s not easy to break out of this business theater, Says Vollmer. However, any work in this theatre is not a real job. We create reports that no one reads and completes jourfixes that do not bring any value. We optimize internal processes that do not benefit the customer or the employee. None of this is real work, says Vollmer, but we only “apparently participate in the company”.

Leadership and management

Currently, the leadership of large corporations is heavily criticized for “dishonest” behavior. Vollmer, however, asks the question: Where does this behavior come from? Why, for example, does a boss release his employees, who are not fully utilized, for another project. The answer is obvious to Vollmer: Here, the organization would punish the executive, since the employee would remain on the cost center but would no longer do any work for the department.   Vollmer criticizes   the sole focus on KPIs and processes.

Every leader acts sensibly in irrationality.

Back to work – Ways to real work

“Everyone wants to work,” Vollmer said. Companies are looking for agile employees in many job advertisements. However, Vollmer notes that the structure of many companies actually constantly reduces this agility. The employee who is approached by such a job advertisement then feels disappointed in   his expectations and quickly leaves the company or ultimately submits to his fate.

Vollmer therefore calls for the dismantling of such structures, which involve little “real work” and sees “voluntary” as an important success factor.   I would like to thank Lars Vollmer for the exciting dialogue and the time he has taken for me.

Genderhinweis: Ich habe zur leichteren Lesbarkeit die männliche Form verwendet. Sofern keine explizite Unterscheidung getroffen wird, sind daher stets sowohl Frauen, Diverse als auch Männer sowie Menschen jeder Herkunft und Nation gemeint. Lesen Sie mehr dazu.

Falls es noch Fragen gibt, können Sie mich gerne anrufen. Hierzu einfach im Buchungssystem nach einen freien Termin schauen. Ich nehme mir jeden Monat einige Stunden Zeit um mit Lesern zu interagieren.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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