I received an email the other day asking me to speculate on the future of management……. That´s an interesting question. I am sure most gurus out there have their bullet lists. Here are a few of my thoughts on the topic (these are just my pea brained thoughts and not at all scientific – just what I see and feel):
1. I think there will be a reduced emphasis on managing people (what was traditionally called management) and a greater emphasis on managing the business. With layers reducing, each manager will need to get better at hiring right (made more difficult with the impending skill shortage) and establish better work environments where individuals and teams do their best work. Management is such a yucky term for an extremely important craft. I am going to toss out a few names that I think would better suit the work and importance:
Ok, those all stink too. Let me know if you think of anything better.
2. Management will become both more virtual AND more intimate. More virtual with regard to the tools we use, and more intimate with regard to the type of conversations we have. Dialogue will rule. Business travel will plummet for most middle level folks and reduce for all others.
3. The big business of high priced training programs for managers and leaders will crash. People and trainers will get materials and information from the internet, including blogs and podcasts.
4. Sadly, I do not think that B-schools will rise to the occasion and reinvent their curriculum as job requirements change. The backlash against the MBA will continue.
5. Management books will still be popular, but they will be much smaller, cheaper, and available in multiple media. The publishing industry will be slow to figure this out and so there will be tons of growth in new alternative types of publishing (this has already started).
6. The industries that will lead the way in innovative management over the next 20 years are food production and health care (and in some places, local government). Really!
7. Managers will use a blog type technology to plan and stay in touch with their team members.
8. Virtual Team Leaders will be the hot job. Industries will pop up to certify these folks and give them letters after their name. Lisa Haneberg CVTL.
9. Performance appraisals will continue to waste everyone´s time.
10. Unions may see a resurgence, but in a different form and capacity. More like industry employment associations/representatives that facilitate the global and virtual nature of the work.
What do you think the trends in management will be over the next 20 years?