The Working world changes. What does that mean for Companywhat does that mean for each of us? Some thoughts about what ideas and beliefs we need to question.

Best of HR –®

Get rid of the unwritten dogmas

In order for us to be able to take advantage of the Internet and networked collaboration, it is necessary to bid farewell to the dogmas of the Protestant work ethic. Because there is in our Society these unwritten dogmas: One of them is that XNUMX% perfection is a desirable state. Another, that work is worth something only if it is hard and deprived; work must hurt. And finally, another ideal that is closely related: those who get things done immediately are considered particularly diligent - and that is also in the Eyes our society an extremely positive Matter. Our reader Wolfgang recently reminded us again when he was under a Article commented on (in his eyes) inconsistent job hoppers:

“The significant export share of the German Economy and the associated high priority of the topic `world market leadership` require a long-term occupation with a topic, also in a faster changing one World. “Long term scientific commitment” made Portugal great in the 15th and 16th centuries, and in principle this still applies today, as studies comparing successful companies with less successful ones show. From graduation to pension the same job is certainly overkill, but it takes a few years to achieve excellence in a field. The expectations of the German labor market are probably not that wrong.”

What is the Protestant work ethic?

The books on the subject (advertising)

Tip: You can also use this text as a PDF or an eCourse on the subject download. You can also find it in the shop exciting inspiration to experience your success, plus offers & news in Newsletter! (Advertising)

We owe the fact that such qualities were positively connoted at all to the ideal of the Protestant work ethic, which was described by the sociologist Max Weber, among others - and which, historically speaking, is by no means natural, but is still a fairly new phenomenon: it was Martin Luther who from the hitherto value-neutral work to a sacred one imposed by God mandatory made and declared idleness a sin. Then in the 17th and 18th centuries, following one's calling became a sacred and material duty for Puritans Success through hard work was seen as proof of God's mercy.

However, these changes were only made possible by the fundamental economic upheavals of that time: industrialization. The rapid increase in population led to an increased demand for goods that had to be served. In addition to technical progress, the optimal utilization of human labor through the centralization of work in factories and the systematic division of routine work processes, the division of labor, became necessary. the strictness required Organization and the dependency on rigid working hours was only made possible by the invention of the clock and electric light, which made it possible to work even without daylight.

The digital revolution - a historic turning point

As is well known, we are now again at a historical turning point: routine tasks are increasingly being taken over by machines and the People can and must get creative Tasks turn to Through the digital Revolution More and more professions are disappearing, as Gunther Dueck relentlessly demonstrated back in 2011 at the re:publica. Only one thing remains: rethinking, away from the Protestant work ethic, towards more creativity, cooperative working together and ultimately more joy at work. The more I deal with digital technologies, the more convinced I am that we thank you Internet, social media and mobile technologies are facing a drastic paradigm shift in society and the world of work. Because this is the only way to create the innovations that our economy so urgently needs, which our reader Wolfgang pointed out so aptly in his commentary.

The Internet, for example, offers excellent opportunities for networked cooperation, in which cooperation is also possible over large spatial distances. Like no other tool before, social media offer the opportunity to engage in non-binding communication, even over long distances Contact to stay. This is one of the reasons for the success of Facebook – whatever else one may think of the blue giant. But that's exactly the point: Many people mainly have the disadvantages in the Head. In my lectures on social media, I keep finding out how great the need for clarification is in this regard, so that the Internet is understood as a positive development.

Change is scary

Because change makes many Anxiety. In my books “Nude on the Net” and “The 110% lie” I have dealt extensively with the insecurities of employees and managers in a professional life that is rapidly changing due to digital media: Constant availability and supposed permanent communication pressure, Teamwork With spatial separation or constant distractions are stressors that directly influence the performance and thus the productivity of companies and which we have to face.

In other words, to take advantage of the Internet and networked collaboration, it is necessary to say goodbye to the dogmas of the Protestant work ethic: quite different skills are required in the digital age - and which, I will shed more light on in the second part of this article ,

To learn from mistakes

One example is how we deal with errors: Services and products have to be perfect. However, since every statement can be verified directly via the Internet, this is hardly possible anymore. Google, one of the world's most successful companies, takes a different path: new services are launched as unfinished beta versions and improved by the users. Google stands by errors, tries out publicly in a trial and error procedure - and that is precisely why it develops innovative products. This principle could become the guiding principle of a digitized corporate culture that uses failed innovations for improvements instead of denouncing them.

If you don't constantly put yourself under pressure to create something perfect, then work can Fun make. This idea seems downright outrageous to many people. But you have to have fun at work, because only motivated people Employees are able to good ideas to develop and innovate. Companies like Google have understood this and offer their employees all kinds of leisure and sports facilities.

Have fun, go on vacation and switch off

However, many people break the fun of their work themselves: I recently had that on Example from Miriam Meckel written: In the effort to be ambitious, hardworking and willing to perform - i.e. to fulfill the work ethic - many make themselves slaves to the Technology. But that's her own fault - and that's a fate she shares with many people. Because many believe that they are only willing and hardworking if they are always available.

On the other hand, those who are clever increase their reputation with occasional phases of unavailability and small time-out trips. Because if everyone can be reached at any time, it becomes a rare luxury not to have to answer constantly. And those who allow themselves the luxury of communicative absence, while at the same time being individually mobile, show: “Look, I can afford it!” Absence as a status symbol. An example: Managers who want to prove their leadership skills today go on vacation for 10 weeks – and are simply not available! Besides being that's his own Health and performance is beneficial, he shows something completely different.

Reward for not being available

Namely that he understands his job because he has organized the shop so well that it can also be done without him, while not only relaxing, but also coming up with good ideas for them Future hatches. On the other hand, a manager who is permanently stressed and is always on call has no time left for his actual management task and innovative thinking. The HarvardBusiness-Manage even recommended as a deterrent measure:

“Anytime be a manager in this period Office calls, his year-end bonus should be reduced by 20 percent. Every time an employee had to call the manager, he would be deducted 10 percent of his bonus."

Thomas Jakel also showed that constant availability is not a prerequisite for business success: Der Startups-Founder spent some time on a bike tour from Berlin to India and ran his company at the same time. Allowing yourself to make mistakes and trying things out, having fun at work and switching off again and again to regenerate - all this fits together and helps us to remain passionate and creative and to develop innovative ideas.

Top books on the subject

Read text as PDF

Acquire this text as a PDF (only for own use without passing it on according to Terms and conditions): Please send us one after purchase eMail with the desired title, we will then send the PDF to you immediately. You can also purchase text series.


Advice on success, goal achievement or marketing

You have Ask about career, Recruiting, personal development or increasing reach? Our AIAdviser helps you for 5 euros a month – free for book buyers. We offer special ones for other topics IT services

5,00 / per month   Book

Book eCourse on Demand

Up to 30 lessons with 4 learning tasks each + final lesson as a PDF download. Please send us one after purchase eMail with the desired title Alternatively, we would be happy to put your course together for you or offer you a personal, regular one eMail-Course - all further information!


Skate eBook as desired

If our store does not offer you your desired topic: We will be happy to put together a book according to your wishes and deliver it in a format of yours Choice. Please sign us after purchase