Tuesday, 5 February 2013

'Manager' - Not Just a Job Title

The posts you read on this blog are mostly about projects, the way an organisations DNA must change if it wants what it says it does, and the challenge of balancing the business drivers for that change with the dynamics of those on the receiving end of it. 

Balancing all this takes a combination of leadership and management. Without leadership people won’t have direction or guidance, and without management the company has no clue whether they’ve achieved the desired result or not. A company can be as inclusive as it likes, empower its employees, and push the boundaries of innovation but…  if it has people filling roles entitled ‘manager’ without knowing how to manage, it’s got a problem.

From executive level to daily ops, from programmes of multi-million dollar/pound/euro proportions to projects with miniscule budgets, the ability to manage is critical. Yet ‘management’ seems to have been pushed into the background. Execs that give a damn may now been seen as abdicating responsibility as, unwilling to deal with conflict or with bigger fish to fry, they look to their direct reports to pick up the slack. Middle management may be more concerned with keeping the peace rather than making those tough decisions and taking the necessary action to effect change.

How did this happen? Why has it happened? There is a multitude of reasons and of course gazillions of books written on the subject. Because there’s no single reason and rather than discussing the why’s and wherefore’s, let’s take a look at options for re-establishing an equilibrium for ‘manager’.