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Transformation Year 2020: What’s Next?

Professor Claudia Peus, Vice President for Talent Management and Diversity at TUM and Professor for Research and Science Management at TUM School of Management // Photo: Astrid Eckert / TUM

2020 is on the home stretch. But this great digital upheaval is only just beginning. Although digitalization has gained massive momentum in the face of the pandemic, the pace must now be maintained or even accelerated. Having established new structures that have made it possible to manage and work from home in large parts of the global economy, forward-looking companies are now fine-tuning product and service innovations and digitizing their business models in order to remain competitive in 2021 and beyond. Against this background, modern executives who can lead at the interface of management and technology are increasingly in demand.

Accordingly, we at TUM School of Management have also understood the disruptive potential of the Corona crisis as an opportunity for our own digital change and the driving force behind innovation in teaching within our Executive & Professional Education programs. After all, the transformation not only offers effective protection against the spread of COVID-19 – it is also our most important tool for breaking new ground in the education sector and arming tomorrow’s C-Levels for the technological and economic challenges that lie ahead. In our Recap 2020, Professor Claudia Peus, Vice President for Talent Management and Diversity at TUM and Professor for Research and Science Management at TUM School of Management, explains why we need strong networks and to keep educating next-generation leaders with an inner compass of values.

Like so many of the inevitable things that people shy away from, a digital transformation becomes easier once you really commit to it. Prof. Peus believes that the year 2020 has made this clear: “More and more managers are associating positive effects with digital change – be it with regard to society, Germany as a business location, the working world, their own company or themselves. According to a study conducted by TUM in cooperation with the Values Commission, 87.9 percent of those surveyed now see digital change as an opportunity for our economy. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of around ten percent.”

According to Prof. Peus, the task now is to translate this optimism into concrete action and to drive forward the transformation process in close cooperation between science and business. For our Executive MBA programs, in particular, this means not only providing application-oriented management knowledge, but also insights into scientific developments. “I believe that among the greatest challenges for executives are the ability to understand the latest technological developments, their impact on their own business, and to critically evaluate information. This is the only way to lead responsibly and effectively even in times of crisis.”

Responsibility is particularly important when dealing with innovation in the field of robotics, machine learning and virtual reality. After all, digital leadership cannot be thought of without considering basic human needs and a corresponding understanding of ethics. Therefore, participants of our Executive MBA programs are also challenged to reflect on their values and articulate them clearly. “Digitalization offers almost unlimited potential. This makes it all the more important that managers have an inner compass of values to guide them”, Prof. Peus emphasizes.

Just as essential is the willingness for lifelong learning. After all, the demands of working life are constantly changing due to the ongoing digitalization. Against this background, Prof. Peus adds, providers of continuing education will be even more strongly challenged in the future to develop customer-oriented products very quickly: “The trend is towards short and interdisciplinary topics and new formats. In terms of content, virtual and digital leadership are in high demand, but also areas that clearly bridge management knowledge and technology skills – topics that are an essential part of our Certificate Programs & Customized Programs,” she affirms. “One example of this is our “BIM Professional” Certificate, in which participants are introduced to an innovative method for designing, building, and managing buildings based on a digital semantic 3D model.”

2021 promises to be another challenging year for education and business. In order to make even better use of the opportunities offered by digitalization, the TUM is already working on the further development of new digital methods: “We are already using ‘digital coaches’ to support our participants in achieving individual goals as well as virtual reality to make different situations tangible and to test reaction possibilities. We will continue to expand this area and also intensify the interaction with robots in our programs – taking into account our compass of values,” explains Prof. Peus. Ultimately, she adds, the upcoming hurdles can only be successfully overcome with the appropriate education and attitude. Because “if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

The post Transformation Year 2020: What’s Next? appeared first on Technical University of Munich – School of Management.

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