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Frode Hvaring
Interview  | 

“We can learn from millennials that hierarchy is not key to getting things done – passion, challenge, and collaboration work better.”


Frode Hvaring
Managing Partner

“We can learn from millennials that hierarchy is not key to getting things done – passion, challenge, and collaboration work better.”

Frode Hvaring, international Leadership and Human Resources expert is Keynote speaker at the upcoming Salon RH Suisse. In the interview he talks about good leadership skills and describes the mindset as well as the leadership qualities of “millennials”. Find out why he recommends any 50+ leader to spend a day with one of them!

In your conference you will be talking about the “identity-kit of the future leader”. In your opinion, what are the main characteristics of good leadership?

A good leader needs a combination of skills. In my experience, the most critical skill is adaptability.

Too often we see leaders copy-paste experience: They want to repeat or to impose their previous success recipe. This is fundamentally short-term thinking and not future-proof.

By listening, adapting, customizing, consulting others and using actionable data, the modern leader can get much better results, which are sustainable, pertinent and above all fit to the specific context.

Some other positive characteristics may therefore be: digitally literate, culturally savvy, ability to spot other people’s talent and achieve results through collaboration, being intellectually humble and curious.

And finally, leaders who have a good balance, self-awareness and ability to learn from feedback are better than those not gifted with these qualities.

How would you describe the mindset of today’s younger generation that will one day become our future leaders? What do they expect?

The era of vertical leadership is over. As my students say: the organization should not be a pyramid, it needs to be a pizza:  Flat, lots of different ingredients, easy  to move, and it leaves a good taste in your mouth!

The era of “my career” is also fading out. Time horizon is shorter, people now think more in terms of projects, not careers; in terms of skills, not jobs; with focus on customer value, not on the perfect process to produce it.

The 25-35 year olds therefore expect clear talk, zero patronizing and high technological awareness.

And of course they expect to be promoted very fast because they know they are so damned good.

Which leadership qualities do “millennials” have and what can we learn from them?

We can learn from millennials that hierarchy is not key to getting things done – passion, challenge, and collaboration work better. We can also learn that borders are a relative concept: national borders but also private/professional life borders are “not cool”, organizational borders (silos) are stupid etc.

I can advise any 50+ leader to spend a day with a millennial who observes her/him and gives candid feedback at the end of the day: she/he would learn tons of new things and could quickly improve productivity.

As talent is going global: How much importance do you attribute to the “cultural intelligence” of a leader?

I would start with a question: how many people in Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich or Lugano do NOT meet people from other cultures in a normal day? Switzerland lives from its capacity of interacting with other countries and has a real competitive edge in leveraging cultural diversity. This is what Cultural intelligence (or Cultural Quotient, CQ) is about: operating effectively with other cultures.

Every internationally minded company should know how culturally intelligent its next leaders are. We need to factor CQ into our Leadership Models. It’s a real advantage in business. Because any population prefers to do business with those who best respect, understand and apply their culture.

That’s what I teach my students: be culturally intelligent and you can lead successfully, everywhere!

Are you curious ? Then don't miss Frode Hvaring's lecture on "Identity-kit of the future Leader" from 1.45 pm to 2.15 pm in Forum 1 of the Salon RH Suisse 2018.

About Frode Hvaring:

Frode Hvaring is an international Leadership, Human Resources and Cultures expert.

As Managing Partner of Newind, he advises and coaches companies and individuals on future-proof Leadership and HR, Digital Transformation, Cross-Cultural effectiveness and Smart-sizing/Upscaling.

Frode teaches Business Strategy and Leadership, Multicultural Management and International Human Resources in primary Swiss and French business schools, and is a frequent speaker and facilitator in events, debates and conferences.

Previously, Frode held various COO and Global Head of HR roles in Swiss employers’ association; Credit Suisse, Caterpillar and EBU-Eurovision (among others). He today leverages his experiences in Boards and Advisory Boards, in Switzerland and abroad, and in his role as the Chairman of the International Geneva Executives Forum.

E-Mail: hvaring@newind.ch
LinkedIn: in/hvaring
Twitter: @fhvaring
Web: www.newind.xyz

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