New Work

Ten lessons on "New Work" by Michael Trautmann

14 March 2019
CEO of Hamburg's thjnk agency draws interim balance: 100+ episodes of "On the way to New Work"

The New Work Experience (NWX19), hosted by Xing, attracted around 1,800 delegates to the Elbphilharmonie in March. Some 50 New Work pioneers and practitioners inputted their ideas for a new and better working world in keynotes, workshops and master classes. Emphasis was on new working concepts and leadership methods, flexibility, democracy and diversity. 

Michael Trautmann, founder and CEO of thjnk AG, and the entrepreneur Christoph Magnussen, have highlighted these topics in podcasts since May 2017. Representatives of politics and business such as Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer and Johann Jungwirt, CDO of Volkswagen, were invited to give their views in On the way to New Work. The focus is always on the importance and fulfilment of work. During NWX19, Trautmann summarized his top ten lessons from New Work.

1. New Work means less work to many people
Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann is considered the mastermind of the New Work movement, which he predicted during the 1980s.

2. People and businesses need a purpose
Giving meaning to your work is more important than ever. The New Work expert advises managers to own “search for meaning” first and then takes their employees along with them. 

3. The “Taylor principle” is reaching its limits. New organizational principles give the individual more responsibility 
New organisational forms instead of a traditional management hierarchy are emerging, e.g. self-organising teams (holocracy), lean management, agile working and conventional teamwork.

4. “Always on” or why we need to learn to concentrate again
In times of information overload and constant availability, Deep Work is an important skill to work free of distraction and in a focused manner.

5. The office of tomorrow must be an all-rounder, working remotely will be part of it
Whether home office or digital nomadism, remote work was and remains an important part of work 4.0.

6. Death by mail, power point, meeting? We need a new understanding of collaboration
Trautmann believes: “We should stop dealing so much with things that others want from us. To this end, he invokes the Yesterbox method by the U.S. online entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, which set asides fixed periods of time to check and answer mails.

7. Lifelong learning is changing from a buzzword to a survival strategy
Empty phrase? By no means. New Work is synonymous with lifelong learning. The willingness to constantly reinvent oneself is fundamental.

8. Artificial intelligence will have a far greater impact on the way we work than the industrial revolution had on our ancestors’ work.
Augmented Intelligence is an example – human intelligence is extended and supported by AI. By analysing big data and showing the patterns found, the technology helps, for instance, sales. Google’s online translation programme is based on AI and now works almost free of mistakes. 

9. Collaboration is the new superpower
The joint venture by Trautmann’s creative agency and the Facelift adtech company to bring social media advertising to a new level is proof. 

10. New Work is more than table football and quirky seating
Trautmann and Magnussen visited Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann, 88, the pioneer of New Work in the United States for the 100th podcast. Bergmann surmised: Work can really strengthen human beings. What does the work that we want look like? It depends on us now.”

Sources and further information

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