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An Uncertain Future

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger

The predicted post coronavirus economic crisis coupled with the continued uncertainty of Brexit means the message is going out management posts will be cut, hierarchies will be flattened, more will have to be done with less, services will have to be delivered in different ways.

Whilst your organisation may continue to function with fewer managers are you confident that the remaining managers can inspire staff when services are being cut and staff made redundant? Do your managers have the negotiating and influencing skills to get people to work in different ways? Delivering more with less will require innovation, are your managers innovative? Partnerships will be threatened as budgets are tightened can your managers maintain good relationships when partners retreat to core business? Flatter management structures will mean greater spans of management control can your managers manage across traditional service boundaries, can they manage services they don’t have a back ground in, and can they cope with not knowing the detail?

To deliver in a harsher post pandemic climate all managers will need good people management skills that is the ability to inspire people, a willingness to take responsibility, the ability to challenge appropriately and the confidence to let people get on with it.

Now all managers are expected to demonstrate leadership skills not just senior managers

If management isn’t what it was pre coronavirus what is it? What are organisations looking for in their managers and what type of manager do you want to be? The answer to these questions lies in the gap between the management theories taught on formal management courses and the training provided to managers in using their organisations HR Policies.

Increasingly all managers are expected to be strategic and see the bigger picture. All managers are expected to recognise the need for and the value of working in partnership .All managers are required to be good at managing people as well as hitting performance targets and keeping within budget. But manager’s work in organisations and organisations have their own ways of doing things. Managers who ignore this risk being labelled a square peg in a round hole. Managers who fight it risk being labelled part of the awkward squad. This explains why some talented managers don’t progress. This also explains why someone of modest talents can rise so far so quickly.

The culture of an organisation changes sometimes in response to a change at the top, sometimes in response to external factors – the competition/market or in this case a pandemic. Management development is no longer seen in most organisations as simply equipping competent professionals with a narrow range of management skills, but is instead part of developing the organisation, making it more flexible and responsive and better able to adjust quickly and smoothly to the dramatic changes in the post pandemic world.

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