Leadership in a Complex World: Ethics, Technical Challenges, and Harnessing Generational Diversity
Effective leadership requires navigating a diverse range of challenges, from ethical dilemmas to technical complexities, intergenerational dynamics, or embracing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Navigating this complexity requires leaders to possess a deep understanding of their own values, adapt their strategies to evolving circumstances, and foster an inclusive and collaborative environment. Effective leadership is not just about making decisions, but about inspiring and empowering individuals to reach their full potential.
This issue of the Leadership BRIEFs explores critical aspects of leadership: ethics in technology management, technical maturity in R&D projects, and generational collaboration. Karl Arunksi emphasizes the need for self-reflection and ethical decision-making that aligns personal values with established project rules. Sebastian Engell and Svetlana Klessova highlight the importance of anticipating effort increases as technology matures through different stages, aiding project managers in effective R&D project management. Johannes Kern challenges generational stereotypes, advocating for alternative segmentation models to recognize individuality and promote cross-generational collaboration. Sabine Baumann examines the potential and challenges of implementing AI technologies, providing guidance for leaders to prepare their organizations for a future-ready approach. These Leadership BRIEFS collectively underline the multifaceted challenges leaders face and provide valuable insights for navigating ethics, technical complexity, and fostering inclusive work environments. Leaders who embrace these insights will enhance their decision-making, optimize project management, and cultivate effective and inclusive leadership.
The TEMS Leadership BRIEFS are a free membership benefit for all TEMS members. If you would like to contribute to the IEEE TEMS Leadership BRIEFS please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do hope this issue of the IEEE TEMS Leadership BRIEFS provides you with new ideas and actionable insights. Embrace the challenges, adapt your strategies, and lead with purpose. It’s you who empowers your team members to flourish and thrive.
Sabine Baumann, Editor-in-Chief
In this Issue
Karl Arunski – Ethics in Technology Management: When the Situation is “Yes, but…”
Professionals in technology management can face ethical challenges in situations where established project rules conflict with their personal values. In this Leadership BRIEF Karl Arunski introduces the perspectives of Lawrence Kohlberg, Robert Kegan, and Rushworth Kidder on moral reasoning, highlighting the need for self-reflection and careful decision-making that takes into account societal rules, personal values, and the well-being of those involved. The BRIEF emphasizes the importance of ethical introspection for technology and engineering managers in order to demonstrate leadership and make decisions that align with their values.
Sebastian Engell and Svetlana Klessova – Climbing up the Ladder: How does Effort Increase with Technical Maturity in R&D Projects?
Part 1: The TRL Scale: The Ladder to Climb
Research and development (R&D) projects develop technologies into marketable products or operational systems, but many projects fail due to technical challenges, inadequate ROI projections, or lack of user acceptance. Sebastian Engell and Svetlana Klessova discuss the process of technical maturity in R&D projects, focusing on the concept of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). Their Leadership BRIEF presents a refined TRL scale and highlights the importance of anticipating the increase in efforts as a technology progresses through different TRL stages, providing project managers with a framework for monitoring and managing R&D projects effectively. This Leadership BRIEF is the first of a two-part series. Part 2 (to be published in Issue 7) introduces a scoring system to estimate required resources and to compare performance of similar projects based on relative average efforts.
Johannes Kern – Unveiling the Truth: Debunking Generational Myths with Effective Segmentation
The concept of distinct generational traits has regained significant attention through discussions on how leaders should accommodate Generation Z (gen Z) specifics. In his Leadership BRIEF Johannes Kern questions the reliability of generational research, particularly regarding Gen Z. He suggests using alternative segmentation models like psychographics and geodemographics to understand diverse preferences. The focus is on recognizing individuality, flexibility, and promoting cross-generational collaboration in the workplace.
Sabine Baumann – Building a Future-Ready Organization: The Role of AI for Technology Company Leaders
For leaders in technology industries, embracing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is vital for staying ahead of the competition in a rapidly evolving landscape. AI transforms all functional areas from supply chain to production to marketing, promising increased efficiency and improved customer experiences. However, it is extremely crucial to address concerns and misconceptions surrounding AI to effectively harness its benefits and inspire confidence among employees. This Leadership BRIEFs explores potentials and challenges of employing AI technologies and gives advice how leaders can prepare their organization to make it future-ready.