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The trainers

These trends are emerging on the HR horizon

Leadership and martial arts


Many of our connections who have never had anything to do with martial arts think that the topic of Budo is far away from the topic of leadership or personal development.

Like Dagmar , with whom I had a nice chat about the similarities between visual and martial arts.


Just pronouncing the word “FIGHT” mostly leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. It is a word that recalls negative associations.

However, consciously or unconsciously, we use the vocabulary of combat every day.

Don’t we also talk in the office in terms of losers and winners, competitors, power struggles or strategy?

From this point of view, struggle is nothing else than confronting the small and large daily challenges in life. Struggle is actually one of the basic constants of human history.


Success, whether on the battlefield or in business, is ultimately determined by leadership . Preparation, communication, motivation and execution clearly play an essential role, but what determines the course and the results upfront is the “general” or the manager with the right strategy.


Sun Tzu wrote more than 2500 years ago:

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting “.

According to Sun Tzu, the ideal commander wins the war before the battle begins. This means developing and working on leadership skills:



👉 Anyone who wants to move up to a managerial position should constantly develop and cultivate their leadership skills.

👉A manager gains a decisive strategic advantage when they succeed in positioning their own organization in such a way that it becomes “invincible”: flexible and adaptable, able to react quickly and efficiently to changes in any situation.


Given these prerequisites, how is your strategy planning for the coming year going?

What is emerging on the HR horizon? What are the trends? Where can your company take a strategic position when there is so much uncertainty? Where are your chances? What are you going to do next?


As a line or HR manager, you are probably asking yourself especially this question now that the end of the year is approaching: what priorities should you set in order to lead the company and your workforce successfully into the future?


Resources management is a key success criterion, so take a closer look.


# 1 – Begin by assessing your own resources


The daily “struggle” during the pandemic has taken a lot of strength, many managers are drained. They had to learn and dive in a new dimension of leadership, coming to terms with the fact that employees were not always within their reach – outside the usual working space and time. The middle management had to struggle between the expectations of their own managers and the expectations of the employees.

Remote leadership is demanding, requires trust, very good communication skills and a regular team exchange so that the team spirit lasts. Managers are faced with the challenge of keeping track of roles and tasks without losing sight of business goals. Are you also feeling drained?



🥊Where do you find support yourself as a manager? What do you need to cultivate your own leadership skills?

🥊Where can you draw energy from?

🥊 How do you communicate with your employees via the digital channels? How much closeness and connection have you achieved?

🥊What are your expectations?

🥊do you feel you are a good role model?

🥊How do you get feedback?



# 2 – Define your HR strategy by understanding, anticipating and embracing change


The changes in corporate governance will become even more apparent in the coming months. How do you want to deal with your staff / your most important resource?



These HR trends stand out:


➡️ Hybrid working models


Although many executives are still against home office regulations and were pleading for returning to the office, many employees have now got used to the flexible working hours and want to maintain the flexibility they have gained. With or without being force by corona regulations.


➡️ Office for socialization and as innovation hub


Regardless of the chosen work model, the office will become more of a meeting place to exchange ideas, connect and meet – not necessarily as a place where individuals carry out their tasks.



➡️ Health management in the company



Some people find it difficult to organize themselves in the home office and find a structure in such a way that breaks, nutrition and rest time are clearly regulated. Some others lose their efficiency or miss direct exchange, others again can better focus but lose sight of the team. Some managers are overwhelmed by the situation themselves; they give up and quit. The merging of work and private life (work-life blend) therefore highlights once more the topic of health management within the companies. The challenge is to provide the right support to employees based on their life situations and needs, so that they can be productive while staying healthy and balanced.



➡️ Agile corporate structures


Many companies should be inspired by startups and say goodbye to rigid processes and hierarchies. These would enable them to increase agility, adaptability, resilience and innovation and therefore to solve problems faster, especially under time pressure or under rapidly changing circumstances.


➡️ Diversity


Demographically, the workforce in a company will be more and more diverse.

In the coexistence of different generations and in a multicultural environment, it is important to recognize that different perspectives and approaches are not only possible, but also fruitful. Only a good teamwork brings eventually the best achievements. This happens in corporate cultures that are open and that consider each employee with appreciation and respect; It happens in companies who dare to do things differently from what they have always known. This type of culture fosters constructive relationships and trust.



➡️ Blended and just-on-time learning solutions


Different needs require a different understanding of training and development. There will only be a one-fits-all solution for certain topics. However, new learning formats are getting more and more popular because they are just as flexible as the working models. We are talking about blended or just in time learning solutions:


With a combination of online and face-to-face components, blended learning enables flexible learning to be carried out at your own pace. Whereas just-on-time learning enables needs-based training and can be applied for individual learning, exactly when it is needed.




The hybrid working models that companies were force to introduce due to the pandemic, are now established. Employees are asking to institutionalize them and integrate into their contractual framework. Regular time and fix location are not relevant in several functions any longer.


However, this brings up further issues /challenges that companies need to address and cope with:


👉The merging of work and private life (work-life blend) brings the focus on health management

👉Transparent, targeted communication: Providing employees with the right information at the right time so that they don’t lose track of the information overload

👉Simplify structures, say goodbye to rigid processes and hierarchies and promote properties such as agility, adaptability, resilience and innovation

👉 Spread lived and not just proclaimed diversity

👉 Enable blended and just-on-time learning solutions


If you as a manager are overwhelmed by the demanding times and evolution of your role, you might want to consider requesting support: too many other thoughts in your day-to-day operations divert attention from strategic planning and taking care of your resources.

For the coming year, however, your job to make decisions, endure resistance and make assumptions for the new financial year is now.


As a sparring partner, we are happy to assist you with the wisdom of martial arts, so that you can be a key driver of change and make things happen.


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