Job Swap – Act 1

Laura Davidson on Unsplash

Job Swap Luke and Theo are colleagues in a global company in heavy industry. They are in their early-50s, experienced, successful, and in leadership positions in a engineering organization. The both lead teams of roughly two hundred and fifty people. Several years ago they decided to exchange positions for one … Read more

Job Swap – Act 2

Laura Davidson on Unsplash

Speculation In the weeks leading up to the job swap, there was a fair amount of speculation, even concern, in the German organization about having Luke as their lead for a year. They feared American-style management, which they believed to be defined by micromanagement. As is often the case in … Read more

Job Swap – Act 3

Laura Davidson on Unsplash

Luke’s Year in Germany Luke was able to modify his leadership style in ways which met the needs and expectations of his German direct reports. He scheduled less staff meetings, kept them to a tighter schedule, reduced the number of participants in the meetings, and gave his team the level … Read more

Job Swap – Act 4

Laura Davidson on Unsplash

Theo’s year in the U.S. Theo‘s year in the U.S. was no less successful than Luke‘s. In the workshop I customized for him and his team it was critical that the Americans understand the German leadership logic. They discussed, debated and decided over two very full days how best to … Read more

Job Swap – Act 5

Laura Davidson on Unsplash

The Cost of Cultural Misunderstanding What if Luke and Theo had failed? What would have been the overall damage to the engineering organization had Luke and Theo failed in their leadership roles? If they had switched back after six months? If productivity in their teams had decreased by 10%? If … Read more