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Are your managers ready for the future?
3rd October 2017 By Matt Ash, Head of Learning & Development

The pace of change in the next 30 years is set to revolutionise the way we do business. The speed that companies adjust to the changes will be the difference between success and failure. Businesses that can adapt to their environment will flourish. Those that cannot will struggle.

The change has already begun. Many firms are already transforming the way they operate. A prime example is a shift from traditionally structured hierarchies towards project-focused teams that form and disband as the business needs. These structures have proved to be more flexible and adaptable. They promote greater collaboration between teams and are capable of reacting to change faster.

Another example can be seen in how learning is supported in organisations. There has been a move from top-down information delivery to a more personalised approach. This strategy involves reducing the disruption that L&D often creates and focuses on how teams achieve success. The outcome is to enable personal ownership and support performance when it is needed most.

These changes aren't the domain of new, trendy tech disruptors. They are happening all around, and being carried out by businesses young and established alike. Markets are shifting, and every day teams are pushing boundaries to ensure they stay relevant.

New ways of working like these demand managers with strong leadership and great people skills. Managers who are capable of helping their teams adapt by creating opportunities to grow and providing ongoing support to help them succeed. They are dynamic coaches who can challenge their teams, reflect on their own skills and champion continuous improvement throughout the business.

How does your line manager population stack up? Do your managers understand what is expected of them as their world changes? Managers are regularly promoted or hired due to technical ability. People management is often seen as a secondary skill, and development in this area is often heavily under-represented.

A capability gap in this area will create an even greater risk for businesses. As teams evolve, you need managers who are capable of speeding up that process. A population of well-briefed managers with clear goals and armed with first-rate coaching skills.

Make sure your managers are ready for the future. Investing time in your managers’ people development skills will pay dividends over time. Work with them to clarify role profiles, identify what great looks like, communicate strategy, and get them practising coaching skills.

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