Changes in technology are putting pressure on the fundamental design of organisations, and the way people are managed: not just the processes for organising people, but the leadership styles too.
People work virtually, remotely, in flexible, multiple teams, in matrix structures, in flat hierarchies, in partnerships, and across boundaries. This is driving a new kind of organisation where few managers have direct line of sight over the work their people carry out, many manage multiple teams, or have too many direct reports and too little time to pay them the attention that they require, plus some of the functions under their control are performed by people who work for outsourced or other partners over whom they have no formal authority. Moreover, managers are under pressure from all directions: increase sales, bring in new business, drive innovation and so on, all while the costs of failure or of missing opportunity get higher.
The ‘people management’ role of the manager is becoming impossible, yet we still find organisations using traditional processes designed for linear management structures. This creates a ‘feedback vacuum’ for so many people who find they have no one close enough to them, or with enough time to provide the feedback and development support that we know leads to engagement. All else might change, but the need employees have for someone who is interested in their development, and gives them feedback and recognition remains.
Another problem we find is that managers are finding it hard to move away from ‘command and control styles.’ This particularly creates problems when they must deal with people who are not their direct employees, but work for joint venture or partner companies. But regular employees too no longer respond well to ‘command and control.’ They prefer more nuanced styles that empower them to do things their own way, and with freedom and autonomy.
At Scala, we have been designing processes that revolve around important concepts for:
Shared Management and Self-Management
Shared management replaces line management and splits people management responsibilities across different people, such as business leaders, project leaders, coaches, mentors, or ‘performance facilitators.’ It places individuals at the centre, and gives them the tools and the freedom to self-manage their performance and their development. It places the onus on individuals to obtain feedback on performance from multiple sources, but ensures there is someone -a facilitator- to provide them with support and challenge and align their performance goals and their development with organisational needs. It uses assessment methodology to provide essential objective data for workforce and succession planning.
Shared management and self-management are not radical new ideas. For many organisations, this requires tweaking existing processes, reframing thinking, and creating greater consistency.
Come and talk to us – and create the organisation of tomorrow.