Management Tips Harvard Business Review Pdf Free Download – Summary. In recent decades, sweeping reengineering, digitization, and agile initiatives — and more recently, the shift to remote work — have dramatically transformed the work of managers. The change came along three dimensions: power, skills and structure. Managers must now think about making their teams successful, rather than serving them; coaching performance rather than task monitoring; and water in fast-changing, high-fluid environments. These changes heaped more responsibility on managers and required them to demonstrate new capabilities. Research shows that most managers struggle to keep up. A crisis is looming, said Gerson, the company’s former human resources director, and Gratton, a professor at the London Business School. Some organizations, however, are trying to rethink the role of managers. This article looks at three – Standard Chartered, IBM and Telstra – that have helped managers develop new skills, reverse systems and processes to better support their work, and even radically redefine managerial responsibilities to meet the new priorities of the era.
Managers are the lifeblood of organizations. In recent decades, as the workplace has changed, they’ve been asked to take on new responsibilities and demonstrate new skills – and they’re struggling to cope. This threatens productivity, employee well-being and brand reputation.
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The change came along three dimensions: power (managers need to think about making teams successful, not being served by them); skills (they are expected to coach performance, not supervise tasks); and structure (they must lead in liquid environments).
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We must do everything we can to help managers adapt. The three companies featured in this article have intentionally — and successfully — transformed the role of manager to better meet the demands of 21st century work.
Jennifer stares at her feedback report and wonders how she got to this point. How could a veteran like her, someone who was once hailed as manager of the year, receive such negative reviews? She used to enjoy her role, but now everything is out of control. Her work is so constantly being reshaped – by comprehensive process reengineering, digitization and agile initiatives, and more recently by remote work – that she always feels at least one step behind.
The amount of change that has happened in the last few years is enormous. The management layer above her has been eliminated, doubling her team, with almost half of the people on it now working on the cross-divisional projects she leads
Managers. She and her team used to meet in her office to review progress, but now she doesn’t have an office, and if she wants to know how her people are doing, she has to join their stand-ups, which makes her feel more like an observer than their boss. She is no longer in touch with how everyone is doing, yet has the same set of HR responsibilities as before: providing performance feedback, adjusting salaries, hiring and firing, engaging in career discussions.
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Not only that, but she is being asked to take on even more. As her company is rapidly digitizing, for example, she is responsible for improving the technical skills of her staff. This makes her uncomfortable because she feels like a threat to many members of her team. When she talks to them about it, she’s expected to show an endless amount of empathy—something that’s never been her strong suit. She should look for diverse talent and create a climate of psychological safety while shrinking the unit. She understands why all these things are important, but they’re not what she signed up for when she became a manager, and she’s just not sure she has the emotional energy to deal with them.
What happened to the stable, well-defined job she was so good at for so long? What happened to the power and status that came with that job? Is
Issue? Is it simply no longer able to keep up with the demands of an evolving workplace? Is she now part of the “frozen middle” — the much-maligned layer of management that hinders change rather than enabling it?
Jennifer – made up of several real people we’ve met in our work – has no answers to these questions. All she knows is that she is frustrated, unhappy and overwhelmed.
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One of us, Linda, is an academic researcher and corporate consultant, and the other, Diana, was chief human resources officer at IBM (in which she still owns stock) until her recent retirement. In those roles, we closely observed the change in the manager’s job, and we can report that a crisis is looming.
The signs are everywhere. In 2021, when we asked executives from 60 companies around the world how their managers were doing, we got unanimous reports of frustration and burnout. Similarly, when research firm Gartner asked 75 HR leaders from companies around the world how their managers were doing, 68% said they were very satisfied. However, according to Gartner, only 14% of those companies have taken steps to help ease the burden on their managers.
The problem is not difficult to diagnose. The traditional role of manager evolved in the hierarchical workplaces of the Industrial Age, but in our fluid, flatter, post-industrial age, the role is beginning to look archaic.
The irony is that we actually need leaders of great people more than ever. Microsoft has found, for example, that when managers help teams prioritize, nurture their culture, and support work-life balance, employees feel more connected and positive about their work. Consulting house O.C. Tanner also found that weekly one-on-one conversations with managers during uncertain times lead to a 54% increase in engagement, a 31% increase in productivity, a 15% decrease in burnout, and a 16% decrease in employee depression. Meanwhile, according to McKinsey, a good relationship with their managers is a major factor in employees’ job satisfaction, which in turn is the second most important determinant of their overall well-being.
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Conversely, bad managers can significantly hurt retention and engagement: 75 percent of participants in a McKinsey survey said the most stressful aspect of their job was their immediate boss. As the saying goes, people join companies and leave their managers.
Something is clearly broken. If managers remain essential, but their traditional role is outdated, then it’s clearly time for a change.
In this article, we will argue for redefining and even splitting the role, rather than simply continuing to let it develop, a potentially costly and disastrous course of action. But first let’s take a brief look at the waves of innovation that have brought us to this crisis point.
It started around 1990 and lasted until the early 2000s. He focused on eliminating bureaucracy and increasing operational efficiency. With the help of consulting firms, which have developed practices related to this type of work, companies have globalized and outsourced their processes, flattened their hierarchies, and in many cases put their remaining managers in “player coaching” roles that required them to take over work tasks. These changes reduced costs, but also made life much more difficult for managers. They now had broader responsibilities and significantly larger teams to oversee, and were also expected to devote themselves personally to projects and clients.
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It arrived around 2010. It was promising in that it democratized access to both information and people, but in doing so it undermined traditional sources of managerial power. CEOs and other senior executives can now communicate directly with the entire workforce, share strategies, priorities and important updates and respond to issues. No longer a necessary part of the information loop, managers began to feel a loss of power, control, and status.
We have been closely watching the change in the manager’s job and can report that a crisis is looming. The signs are everywhere.
And process changes, which companies began to adopt in the mid-to-late 2010s. It aimed to shorten timelines and turbocharge innovation by leveraging internal marketplaces across organizations to match skills to work and rapidly assemble project teams as needed. As a result, managers began to lose touch with their reports, who now spent much of their time under the rotating supervision of project managers to whom they were temporarily assigned. And because candidates could be matched against openings online, managers lost the power and authority associated with brokering career opportunities for their people.
Finally, the fourth wave arrived in 2020 with the pandemic, when companies and employees were forced to embrace the opportunities
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This was a turning point. It dramatically changed how and where work was done. When employees were no longer tied to a physical workplace, managers lost the close control they previously had over employee performance and behavior—and employees began to realize that they could use a wider range of work options, far beyond commuting distance. homes. These changes were liberating, but they placed an even greater burden on managers—who were now also expected to cultivate the empathetic relationships that would enable them to hire and retain the people they supervised.
In shifting power, managers need to think about making teams successful, not serving them. In changing skills, they are expected to coach performance rather than supervise tasks; and in structural displacement, they must lead the way in more fluid environments.
These changes empowered the employees, which of course a
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