Mehr als digitale Prozesse: Transformation und Agilität im Mittelstand

Zwei gesicherte Kletterer an einer Kletterwand
Agil und wendig in schwierigem Umfeld

In vielen mittelständischen Unternehmen ist die digitale Transformation ein strategisch relevantes Thema. Trotzdem fühlt sich eine beträchtliche Anzahl allenfalls als Mitläufer. Die Mehrheit realisiert die sich schnell wandelnden Rahmenbedingungen, doch Pläne den Herausforderungen zu begegnen, existieren allenfalls auf dem Papier oder werden in der Umsetzung durch begrenzte finanzielle und personelle Ressourcen häufig behindert. Dabei plagen und fordern auch die meisten Mittelständler ein immer dynamischer und unsicherer  werdendes Unternehmensumfeld: Produktzyklen, die sich ständig verkürzen, Wertschöpfungsketten, die immer globaler werden  und ein Markt- und Konsumentenverhalten, das immer unberechenbarer wird. Die Digitalisierung gilt als Treiber, aber auch als  Problemlöser. Bei den Unternehmen,  die sich aktuell in einem Transformationsprozess befinden, steht neben der administrativen Optimierung die digitale Vernetzung innerhalb der Wertschöpfungsketten im Vordergrund. Die Entwicklung neuer Produktionsformen oder gar Geschäftsmodelle spielt eine vorerst noch nachgeordnete Rolle.

Doch wirksame Transformation beinhaltet nicht nur die Anpassung digitaler Infra- und Prozessstrukturen. Wer Innovation zulassen will, kann dies nicht innerhalb der klassischen Organisationsstrukturen. Es  bedarf durchlässiger Hierarchien, verfügbaren Wissens  und „atmender“ Systeme und Verfahren, die schnell und flexibel Veränderungen im Markt aufnehmen und darauf adäquat reagieren können. Mitarbeiter müssen den Mut und die Möglichkeit haben, aktiv individuelle Lösungen an der direkten Kontaktstelle zum Kunden zu entwickeln, anstatt auf zentrale Vorgaben zu warten oder durch zu viel Kontrolle gelähmt zu werden.

Doch genau darin tut sich der Mittelstand schwer. Wenige Unternehmen sind bereit, ihre Strukturen zu verändern und den Mitarbeitern kreative Freiräume einräumen. Noch sind Kooperationen mit externen Institutionen oder der Zugriff auf externe Expertise eher die Ausnahme als die Regel.

Dabei findet Agilität als vielpropagierter Managementansatz im Mittelstand viel Zuspruch. Wer möchte nicht in einem dynamischen Umfeld flink und wendig reagieren können?  Doch wer auf eine agile Organisation setzt, muss die Grundlagen der bisherigen Zusammenarbeit in Frage stellen und  sich mit neuen Organisations- und Kommunikationskonzepten auseinandersetzen:

Organisation

Aufgrund sich ständig ändernder Einflüsse und wechselnder Anforderungen werden zukünftige Unternehmensziele immer undeutlicher. Agile Organisationen  verinnerlichen, dass bei einer ungewissen Zukunft die Handlungsfähigkeit oberstes Ziel sein muss und es gelingt ihnen mit unscharfen Richtungsbestimmungen zu arbeiten. Die Mitarbeiter sind in der Lage diese Einflüsse  auszuhalten und sich ihnen immer wieder selbständig anzupassen. Für Unternehmen bedeutet dies, sowohl innerhalb als auch außerhalb des Unternehmens Netzwerkstrukturen zu entwickeln, die auf Transparenz und Selbstverantwortung basieren.

Kultur

Agile Unternehmen setzen auf eine Kultur der experimentellen  Zukunftsorientierung. Dies funktioniert nur, wenn die Mitarbeiter die Möglichkeit und den Willen haben, sich in einen steten Reflexionsprozess einzubringen. Ziel ist es, sich als Unternehmen immer wieder selbständig anzupassen, ohne die eigene Identität aufzugeben. Das Bewusstsein um die eigenen Stärken  und das Wissen, dass Entwicklungsfähigkeit zu den wichtigen Kernkompetenzen eines Unternehmens gehört, sind hierbei wichtige Fixpunkte.

Wissen

Der systematischen Gestaltung von Wissensflüssen kommt auf dem Weg zur Agilität eine entscheidende Rolle zu. Exklusives Expertenwissen wird zukünftig nicht mehr maßgeblich sein. Das Wissen entsteht innerhalb von Netzwerkstrukturen, die durch die Aktivitäten der Mitarbeiter getragen werden. Sie teilen Wissen über die Unternehmensgrenzen  hinweg und pflegen so Innovationsprozesse mit wesentlichen Stakeholdern. Kunden werden von Beginn an in die Produktentwicklung eingebunden, um ein kontinuierliches Feedback und einen sofortigen Lerntransfer zu garantieren.

Kommunikation

Kommunikation spielt in allen Schlüsselbereichen der digitalen Transformation eine entscheidende Rolle. Sie sollte in Hinblick auf Agilitätsanforderungen organisiert werden. Auch mittelständische Unternehmen werden zukünftig nicht ohne schnelle und flexible Kommunikationsnetzwerke auskommen, die in ständigem Austausch mit der Umwelt stehen und relevante Veränderungen antizipieren. Doch dabei geht es nicht nur um Schnittstellen, wie sie zum Beispiel durch Social Media installiert werden können. Es geht vielmehr um Inhalte und Botschaften. In das Unternehmen hinein muss Kommunikation den Mitarbeitern Orientierungssicherheit  und Sinn vermitteln.  Sie muss die Mitarbeiter in die Lage versetzen,  sich organisationalen Veränderungen immer wieder anzupassen, ohne dabei die Identität und grundsätzliche Ausrichtung des Unternehmens aus dem Auge zu verlieren. Es gilt agile Handlungsprinzipien deutlich zu machen, damit Mitarbeiter sich selbstgesteuert einer beziehungsorientierten Kunden‐ und Stakeholderkommunikation widmen können.

Mehr als digitale Prozesse: Transformation und Agilität im Mittelstand

149 thoughts on “Mehr als digitale Prozesse: Transformation und Agilität im Mittelstand

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