Servant Leadership with Low Organisational Structures

Interview in ADVOKAATTI Magazine 2/2018

Posted on

22 May

2018

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Dittmar & Indrenius > Insight > Servant Leadership with Low Organisational Structures

Our Managing Partner, Anders Carlberg, was interviewed in the Finnish Bar Association’s ADVOKAATTI Magazine 2/2018 in an article “Servant Leadership – to Lead Others You Must Serve Others”. Below is a translated excerpt of the article.

In the 2018 Great Place to Work® Finland Survey D&I landed the fourth place of all medium sized firms. The Managing Partner, Anders Carlberg, is proud of the achievement.

“It is a big deal for us. Everything begins from a business culture in which we guide people towards a common goal. Top-down commanding does not work. We strive to introduce some of the best practices of various fields to our operations. We follow the example of successful companies, such as software houses. Above all else, practicing law is a team effort. Furthermore, the nature of the work resembles the work of software houses to a great extent”, Carlberg notes.

According to him, leadership is a combination of listening, dialog, communication and explaining your actions and opinions. Leading professionals is more of a sparring experience and more inspiring than commanding.

“Hierarcy hinders learning. Better results are achieved with low organisation structures for they enable people to use all of their resources.”

“We believe, that leadership is not based on rank. For example, I can be a part of a team led by someone else.”

Carlberg has worked for Dittmar & Indrenius for 20 years and witnessed the changing of the field. Before law firms were highly hierarchical, chain-like or pyramidal organisations. Today, law firms resemble more closely an ameba, which can adapt itself in accordance with each situation. “We do not have strict manager-employee relationships. Instead, we work in ever changing teams that are combined of people with necessary skills and interests.”

“It has been studied that hierarchy hinders learning. Better results are achieved with low organisation structures, for they enable people to use all of their resources. Our task is to offer and create arenas in which experts of various field can exchange their thoughts.”

Carlberg points out, that sometimes it can feel like commanding is the fastest way to get a person from A to B, but this is not the case. “It is my job to get people excited about their work and to encourage them to operate in a self-directed and appropriate manner. It is always rewarding when this happens.”

According to Carlberg, leading should be seen as a service occupation. One way of leading does not suit for all. For example, a 24-year-old novice needs to be lead in a different way than a veteran who has worked for years in the company.

“A leader’s job is to remove obstacles and facilitate working.”

Self-management is also an essential skill in an autonomous working environment. Everyone should be able to lead and manage their own work. Leading and leadership has been developed at Dittmar & Indrenius by offering various expert viewpoints of leading. “Our common ways of thinking and leading have been built through conversations. Individuals have also attended Harvard’s leadership courses and trainings.”

“In order to become a great leader, one must have self-awareness, humility and a willingness to explore the outside world and different ways of leading”, Carlberg lists. His own leadership style is constantly evolving.

“I aspire to be a facilitator. Others can evaluate if I have succeeded.”

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