What creates work related stress?


This is a part of an article in 5 parts, taking you through the physics of stress, and how to prevent it. You can start reading here – or go to one of the below sections to dig deeper into each element.


Losing an employee to a long sick-leave due to chronic stress is exactly that: losing. As employer we lose the people and the competences, and as humans and seen from society, we burn out people.

How much a person can handle is individual, but it is known, that combining stressors – as we call the factors that causes stress – increases the risk of getting ill with chronic stress.

But what are the stressors at work? Can we identify what factors in combination or alone would eventually lead to chronic stress? And if we can, is it then evident how to eliminate them? (mere…)

Robo-boss: Hell or help?

(Photo by Siyan Ren via Unsplash.)


So the robo-boss is coming. The name “robo-boss” alone sets the tone of a bad, controlling, surveying, 1984 George Orwell-esque manager. But is it really that bad? Will automation be hell or help? 

  1. Employees prefer an unbiased computer over their current leader, study finds
  2. In 2018, 3 mill. employees will be supervised by a “robo-boss”, Gartner predicts
  3. It’s against the law in EU to make fully automated decisions on personal matters

Let’s walk though these 3 aspects, to show how automation changes work and sets new demands for leadership. Spoiler alert:

  • Automation will support you, your employees, and your leader
  • The future of leadership is about fairness and happiness at work

… but read on below 🙂


Responsive Leadership – a guide

(Photo: Drew Patrick Miller via Unsplash)


So, the world is changing ever faster.

A line of megatrends (including disruptive technology) is driving business forward, and forcing new behavior into organizations, leaders, and employees.

This requires:

  • Holism – A new holistic approach to strategy, leadership, and people, with an updated mindset and skillset for you and your leaders.
  • Responsiveness – Trimming and redefining your organization and culture to respond fast enough.
  • Entrepreneurship – A redesign of the way you organize work, constant innovation, internal startups, and a portfolio approach

These slides walk you through the three focus areas, to give you guidance on how to approach it – and on how to create the right mix of the components.

Feel free to download them and share them with your colleagues.




How transparent should I be?

“I understand that leadership requires transparency, but how do I do that? And should I be open about everything?”

Here’s a guide to transparency

Step 1: Co-create and publish a list of transparency rules (see below)
Step 2: Be transparent about your transparency
Step 3: Adjust as the culture evolves

Sometimes employees have the feeling, that the management just wrote a number (“the target is 14!”) on the inside of a glass cube, and all the employees can do is stand on the other side and see the number (“14!”). They cannot get an explanation, or a dialogue on how the number was derived. They feel alienated.You as a leader should strive to avoid this distance between management and employee.


The thing about purpose

One of the predominant things, that everybody agrees on when discussing how organizations should evolve to handle disruption or what elements a workplace that attract and retain both millennials and the other indispensable talents, is purpose. It has to make sense.

The good old and often quite hollow mission and vision statements like the one below – that perhaps made the eyes wet on top management, but that nobody on factory floor ever related to – will be replaced by purpose statements. And for a good reason.

Our Vision is to be the global company most admired for its people, partnership and performance.
– Fortune 500 company

Getting and staying crisp on WHY we are doing the stuff we do (thanks, Simon Sinek), has a remarkable and measurable impact on both employee engagement and motivation – and on profit.


Leadership FAQ: What is the new role of the manager?


“So, now we’re doing a transformation to a new culture and embracing Future Of Work. We’re empowering employees and involving them. We’re rolling out Agile and we have self-organizing teams. What’s left for me as a manager, or VP? What’s my role?”

Good question. And one that I hear a lot.

Your new role consists of these elements:

  1. Coaching and mentoring, using your emotional intelligence and experience
  2. Being strategic, thinking as an entrepreneur, working ON “your business”
  3. White space management, i.e. maneuvering the areas in your organization “where rules are vague, authority is fuzzy, budgets are nonexistent, and strategy is unclear”

It’s important that you co-create this role together with your managers, your peers, and your employees. You’ll be making a mistake, if you just apply this structure blindly to your organization without adjusting each piece of the puzzle. Ownership and commitment comes via involvement and influence. (mere…)