Eileen Mandir

Leader as Servant? - Exploring Futures of Leadership

2021-03 • Organizational Design, Interior Design, Service Design, Leadership
Cover photo
Concept for service that matches leaders to teams


We find ourselves in times of hyper-change, in which many businesses face the constant challenge of matching the speed of the market in form of shorter release cycles, delivery timelines, or product life-cycles. This is why many companies are shifting their workforce to agile product development with self-organized interdisciplinary teams and flat hierarchies. In this operational model, the role and expectations of leaders are shifting from being the decision-taker to being the care-taker. However, the reason number one for employee engagement seems to remain the satisfaction with leadership. How can we better understand the needs of employees and leaders in this new form of collaboration? What are the key tasks and interactions of both? How might we design for better servant leadership?

In this course, students are asked to ideate solutions, services, offers for leaders and their employees in an agile organization. What services might we design to solve the current pain points or unleash untapped potential? What formats or artifacts – workshops, online platforms, apps, card games, role plays, campaigns, interventions, exhibitions etc. – might be the best and sustainable way to enable leadership development?

HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd
Master Strategic, 2. Semester
Spring 2021
Dr. Eileen Mandir, Christoph Rauscher (Guest Critique), Stephan Rein (Guest Critique)
Yvonne Bahmer, Michelle Bauch, Isabel Dittrich, Mona Freudenberger, Marie Gemmerich, Jan Herok, Ines Labus, Marianna Lewandowski, Lennart Ellis Schnur, Sophie Throm, Felix Tischmacher, Franziska Wolf

Selected student projects