Out with the old in with the new?
Management has certainly come a long way since its creation and has evolved a lot throughout its lifetime. Created as a tool to make factories more efficient and more productive, it has become something very different these days. Many even argue that the classic way of management is dead and has been replaced by something else, something more inclusive and open-minded.
The classic way could be briefly described as hierarchical and controlling. The presence of layers ranging from top and upper management, all the way down to middle and lower management. Each layer micromanaging their teams and reporting to their superior. All this communication requiring paperwork, reports and meetings. In this management system, everything moves and adapts very slowly and these days exists less and less as companies try to evolve into a flat hierarchy.
The new norm
Flat organisational charts where almost everybody is on the same line.
This allows for faster communication and adaptation of ideas. A flat hierarchy is often accompanied by a new way of working, like more open areas that allow for easier interaction between everyone in the company. Working on having an open and inclusive company culture, flexible work hours, working from home and closing the distance between employee and boss are all part and implementations of this management style.
Since a few years there is a new style of management that has come up and has shown a new way of tackling business. This new style asks of the manager to be working for their team, not the other way around. The task of the manager is to empower his team, both on an individual level and on a team level. Giving their teams the tools and the support to propel the business forward in a way that they themselves would never be able to do when micromanaging. On top of this there is a high level of transparency so that everyone sees and knows where the team is heading.
The implementation of independent teams is something we have seen in a flat hierarchy but it really comes to fruition in this new style of management. Teams only report the biggest developments on their project and only ask the manager when they actually need help or expertise.
Of course the management style will still be largely dependent on what kind of company it is and what the culture within that company is like. But the world we live in today is moving fast, so it will become crucial to adapt your management style to keep up with that speed!
Written by: Matthieu Van Der Poorten.