Leadership is all about knowing where to go and how to get there. The organization-wide leadership principles provide orientation to help Fraunhofer managers with their duties and define what is expected of them: namely to facilitate excellence in applied research. This involves having to reconcile two opposing sets of requirements on a day-to-day basis. While managers are expected to give the teams they supervise the greatest possible freedom to develop creative and innovative ideas, they also have to ensure that these ideas can be transformed into implementable products and solutions. The scope of action granted to Fraunhofer managers is defined in the Fraunhofer leadership principles, which provide a detailed description of managers’ duties, including their share of responsibility for the organization’s operating results, appropriate management styles, and how to create a positive working atmosphere – through leadership by example and the acquisition of new skills.
Leadership following the Fraunhofer skills model reflects the requirements of these leadership principles. It defines the qualities of a competent manager in terms of leadership and management skills and self-confidence.
Management guidelines for individual institutes
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has a decentralized organizational structure. In this type of organization, there can be wide variations between one institute and another with regard to the appropriate management style. Each institute develops its own management culture, based on the everyday activities specific to that location. Consequently there is a need for supplementary guidelines that allow the general rules of the leadership principles to be applied in the context of the specific institute where they are put into practice. The Fraunhofer Executive Board has therefore recommended that each institute should formulate its own management guidelines.
Professional training for Fraunhofer managers
To help managers to assume their important responsibilities, Fraunhofer offers a wide range of further training and development opportunities. In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Academy, Fraunhofer managers can take part in basic training programs and advanced seminars and workshops that will enable them to acquire the skills required according to the management skills model. These training opportunities are supplemented by career development programs for various management levels and networking events to allow managers to exchange experience.