“In their book, Future Work: How Business Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work, co-authors Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson, pose this important question. Are we ready to change the way we work? They believe that the changing needs of the workforce as well as the opportunities that technology offer, necessitate a radical change the way in the way we do business if we are to be successful.
4. How does leadership and management need to change with this model?
They need to move from controlling to enabling. They need to provide people with the tools and clear objectives and trust them to get on with it in the way that works best. This is tough for a lot of managers and we give lots of guidance in the book on how to make the shift. It has to start with the leadership of the organization, and to be driven as a business strategy, otherwise it’s unlikely to be successful.”
Me: there is a need for leadership, for sure. but sometimes, the obstacles seem so stubborn to shake, akin to the ”tendances lourdes” as they say in French, which are the basic, fundamental trends or characteristics which are at once structuring and structural. It’ll be a matter of luck for a company or organization to be endowed with the leaders capable of effectuating such necessary changes as refered to in the interview
From below, newer employees from the younger generation come into the company, and rise through the ranks, but they have different assumptions in regards to relationships and networking. Control/command strikes them as…odd. Just isn’t the way they operate.
From above, the top-level managers and direction operate under the auspices of the shareholder value model of doing business which handicaps them from thinking and investing in the long-term. They react by doubling-down on the command/control side of management in order to squeeze out those margins which Institutional Investor-grade analysts urge them to achieve under pain of rating them as “sell”.
In the middle, the varying levels of empowered employees and hierarchically-recognized (middle-) managers who are more or less left to themselves to use their discernment in striking the right balance between the seemingly contradictory demands emanating from the direction and the newer employees (if not to also say already-existing colleagues & employees). The most valuable resource in this regard is their judgment and character, as opposed to the name of the school emblazoned on their MBA or BComm diplomas. Given such a state, the prospects of a company or organization will be significantly determined on the frontlines of market competition where middle management is to be found, and dependent on how they navigate such rocky waters between the Scylla of direction’s commands and the Charybdis of the Millenial employees’ claims.