biggest issue facing management today is 'change'.
No real surprise there! After
all, management is about change: both change in the small sense,
such as new requirements, missing resources, errors, unexpected
situations etc.; and change in the big sense, such as market
movements, economic shifts, new technology and legislation.
Management is about change, both
macro and micro, and about adjusting the organisation to handle
the repercussions as best it can.
Without some degree of change, management becomes superfluous.
So where is the problem?
The problem is the ever increasing
rate of change, the levels of complexity that are inherent within
it, and the increasing expectations
generated because of it. The nature of change is itself changing
(please click on the hotlinks above to understand this further)
and this is generating an unparalleled increase in the management
At the same time, the numbers
of management in many industries are declining. Years of delayering
and the pursuit of the 'lean' organisation have ensured that
most staff are now focused almost exclusively on productive effort.
But the organism that is most highly adapted and efficient to
one situation is also the organism that is least able to evolve
- it is the organism that is most vulnerable to changes in the
environment. And the environment is changing - it is changing
The answer, however, is not to
reinstate layers of bureaucratic paper shufflers (delayering
has a lot to be thanked for in this regard). The answer is to
better recognise management as the agent of change, rather than
as simply an unavoidable overhead, and to better equip it for
this role. And that means the professional nature of the role
of management needs to be better understood.
In the next
section we look at some of the concepts of professionalism,
and the opportunities that this presents to management.
to 'Management Issues'
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confused direction: Exploring the consistency in your organisation's
impoverished management practice