“It is humans that make projects a success. For the InterFace AG, this is a paradigm that goes without saying and it is essential for our continued success. For the esc Solution, it means that projects have to be viewed as entities. In addition, we have to make people working in the project a success through IT project coaching. While the project coaches of esc Solutions explicitly contribute quality, the InterFace does so through its projects.”

This is how Dr. Marcus Raitner describes what combines the esc Solutions and InterFace. Both enterprises cooperate in organizing the technological IF Forum 2011.

The IF Forum 2011 will deal with Humans&Management. It is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on avril, 11st, 2011 in the Unterhaching InterFace building. All friends, customers and partners of both enterprises concerned are cordially invited. Please contact Claudia Toth for details.

Here is the agenda:

14:15 Introduction by Prof. Dr. Kathrin M. Möslein

Block 1: People in an enterprise

14:30 – 15:15 Thomas Vallon: The enterprise as a place where you can unfold?

15:15 – 16:00 Kornelia Hietmann: Profiling: Simplify your personnel decision?

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break

Block 2: Leadership and Strategy

16:30 – 17:15 Dr. Marcus Raitner/Helmut Kiermeier: Are you still doing administration, or are you already into leadership?

17:15 – 18:00 Roland Dürre: Entrepreneurial strategy – bad goals – poor strategy

18:00 – 20:00 Discussions, refreshments, beverages

We are happy to inform you that Prof. Dr. Kathrin M. Möslein agreed to do the moderation.

Here are the abstracts to the papers (as in their current form):

The enterprise as a place where you can unfold?

Thomas Vallon (InterFace AG)

Basic value orientations and assessments of the stakeholders underlie the image of an enterprise as it is made publicly visible and lived. Where they touch the management of its “human potential” – more often in actual fact than reflected -, anthropological assumptions, beliefs about the human “nature”, human potential and competence, along with controllability, are often part of the concept. The entrepreneurial organization often follows this “idea of man” to a huge extent. Depending on the individual belief, concepts of control, order or economy dominate.

With my presentation, on the other hand, I wish to outline the systemic importance of an open enterprise where the unfolding of individual potential is encouraged in the context of an “entrepreneurial anthropology”. Seen under this perspective, the enterprise as a place where you can unfold becomes a critical success factor for entrepreneurial reality. After all, we all face a future where the readiness to accept risks, the speed of change and the insecurity of decisions will increase.

Profiling: Simplify your personnel decision?

Kornelia Hietmann (esc Solutions)

It is only too natural for us to wish the individual person were easy to categorize according to a pre-set pattern in order to come to terms with the complexity of human existence. “Simplify your life!” is our motto for the personnel department. Where would we end up if we had to consider all special characteristics of a person? On the other hand, the psychologist Prof. Peter Kruse warns us: “A complicated system can be simplified by turning it trivial through sub-categorization. A complex system will be destroyed if you turn it trivial”. Using profiling instruments always means you have to do a tightrope walk along the borderline to forbidden reduction of human diversity.

Let two examples show you how profiling instruments can be used and where they clearly have their limits. The first personal experience report shows profiling as a tool for giving people new orientation after they have lost their job. In the second example, you will hear about the reactions by employees after a career model has been introduced. The self-image and the external perception do not always go together. It is the responsibility of and a challenge for the person in charge of personnel to deal with these reactions. Profiling instruments must be seen as no more than a tool. First and foremost, leadership and employee development has to happen in good conversations.

Are you still doing administration, or are you already into leadership?

Dr. Marcus Raitner and Helmut Kiermeier (esc Solutions)

Are IT projects “over-managed” and “under-led”? The popularity of Scrum and Co might well indicate: the project leader, “downgraded” to take the role of scrum master, only determines the general framework and puts obstacles out of harm’s way; then the team organizes itself. No matter if you are agile or not: project management means leadership for highly qualified personnel under difficult circumstances. You will be confronted with time and cost pressure, instability of the team and project requirements, shortage of resources, new technologies and surroundings, etc. Consequently, the focus of project management will always be on managing change.

The classic management of stability, as well as the optimization of processes, only play a minor role. What you need is leadership, not administration. Indispensable as it is in projects, the aspect of management as a leaders offering assistance gets more and more important if you are concerned with brain workers. Gone are the times of the heroic manager who had all under control; what we need now are true leaders who provide a meaningful feeling and a productive environment and who trust in their employees. Leaders who accept mistakes and learn from them. I plead for more leadership and less administration.

Entrepreneurial strategy: bad goals – poor strategy!

Roland Dürre (InterFace AG)

Can you see an enterprise as a determined machine where added value is created by “transforming input mechanically into output”? Or are enterprises rather similar to biological, mortal beings that need to be nurtured, pampered and given room to develop? Can you optimize success by introducing rational changes to entrepreneurial parameters? Or are there some other, often forgotten values?

What does an enterprise need in order to be a success? Is it really the ambitious goals, the development of a precise strategy, the minutely planned concept and the tough realization of same by a professional management that determine whether or not you are a success? Or is it more the individual story of an enterprise, its transparency and clarity, the responsible persons, the reflexive leadership, the entrepreneurial culture and the acceptance of change that shape a sustainable enterprise?

The question is: is it more important for an enterprise to think about “products and markets” or about “culture and leadership”? With this understanding, what are good goals and good strategies?

(Translated by EG)

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