Feb 21, 2021

Management in companies: a necessary evolution 1/2

Written by Laurence

and Laurent

First published December 23, 2016

The stakes of the evolution of management in the company

Changing the relationship to power

The so-called “millenials”, born between 1980 and 2000, will represent more than 50% of the workforce in 2020. Compared to what is offered in companies today, they want more freedom, power and flexibility. They want to have exciting missions, authentic working relationships based on trust, a sufficient level of autonomy, freedom and flexibility, to be part of supportive teams where collaboration is constructive…

Who doesn’t want that?

Yet, although 85% of executives believe that evolution and innovation are key to staying competitive and attracting talented employees, today’s companies only spend about 10% of their time on it. Moreover, only 11% of the suggestions made by employees to their managers are actually taken into account. More than half of these suggestions to change the current business environment are made by millennials.

Management, and therefore leaders, need to adapt now and unleash their power: there is a serious need for humble, open and collaborative leaders. Hierarchical, pyramid-like organizations are increasingly dysfunctional in a connected, horizontal world, where everything has (re)become interdependent.

Rediscovering a sense of action: managerial innovation

Currently, when we talk about managerial innovation, it is mostly about information systems and organization. We are still on a systemic and structural approach to managerial action, whereas there is an urgent need to question again the meaning of the manager’s action. What is the basis of his function? Should it evolve towards a more collaborative principle and can it be propelled by a common, shared fundamental purpose?

Wouldn’t this be one of the main keys to the desired and desirable evolution of management in the business world?






Having a true Vision: the basis for innovation

The business world is subject to ever-increasing fracture constraints, particularly with regard to management. Indeed, tools – especially digital ones – are evolving exponentially, while managerial principles are the same as in the last century. We seem to have forgotten the very origin of the corporations: men and women coming together to undertake. It is therefore not the company that makes the men, it is the men who represent the basis of its very structure. All the corporate theorists (Frederick Winslow Taylor, Henri Fayol, Peter Ferdinand Drucker, William Edwards Deming, Robert Blake…) have not only emphasized the organizational aspects of management, but also the human and relational aspects. For them, the primary meaning of the term management is to put a house in order and make its inhabitants live in harmony.Like a number of other specialists, we must ask ourselves why the human dimension has not been integrated in the same way as the organizational dimension in French (and world) companies?

It is imperative to re-establish a balance that has long been neglected. The pressure of the fracture has become too great to be left aside now.


Avoid manager burnout

This pressure can be seen in the daily activities of decision-makers: an increasingly obvious compression of time, increasingly complex processes – particularly in trying to absorb technological change in an antediluvian substratum – increasingly delicate “management” of teams, a more and more pronounced load of infobesity, an increasingly immediate response capacity… From the point of view of individuals, it’s clear : the pressure is important, too much, and the cases of saturation, exhaustion, burn-out, depression… are more and more numerous.

In the current system, there is very little emphasis on learning to be flexible, adaptable and to take a step back. However, in a context that is now in perpetual change, where organic development is increasingly opposed to the logical structures of the traditional corporate world, these qualities have become essential.

The question now is: does the leader take the time to take the time? This is what makes all the difference between true action and reaction, between efficiency and exhaustion, between chronic uncertainty and broad vision.

The need for a genuine self-reflection to bring leadership in the digital age

Management must transform and renew itself. For this to happen, it is the individuals, the leaders, who must initiate this change. Innovation comes from the individual, because he or she is the owner of the ideas that move the world forward. In the same way, management cannot change without enlightened individuals who are as aware of themselves as they are of the challenges of the current period. Genuine reflection, deep introspection and clear Focus are now necessary to make companies evolve in the digital age.

Only leaders who know themselves well can make the crazy bets necessary today. This is the basis of breakthrough innovation, the one that can enable companies to negotiate the huge shift they have to make.

What have been the changes in management over the last 5 years?

In fact, as has been said, there have been few strategic changes in the evolution of management: the classic leadership programs, born in the American schools of the 1950s-1970s, are still offered without much variation in the grandes écoles; coaching as an aid to the individual in companies… The aid to the evolution of management has remained very limited, and above all always reproducing the same logic: rational, structural, organizational.

These approaches are becoming more and more limited, inoperative or counter-productive. We can clearly see the difficulties in integrating lasting changes into the leader’s daily functioning. The manager is always in the logic of making a mental effort to change. The digital age has brought about a revolution in thinking: it has re-emerged the obligation to use direct thinking, the so-called intuition. Its use in broad daylight still frightens most Leaders because the habit of rationality is so deeply entrenched. It is still difficult to give oneself the right to think or act differently…

From the point of view of companies, there have indeed been a few examples of released companies, but their foundation is always linked in the first place to bets that are a little crazy about their managers. These examples are still too rare to indicate a clear direction and become a real model that can be reproduced.

It is therefore certain that the way in which the elites and leaders of tomorrow are trained and supported must also evolve.







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