New Skills for Managers and E-Management

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In today’s rapidly changing business environment, driven by digital transformation, managers need to develop new skills to effectively lead their teams.

These skills are fundamental to navigating the complexities of modern workplaces and meeting the expectations of employees.

The New Skills for Managers: The Fundamentals

Management in the company is the cornerstone of its transformation under the impact of digitalization. In a world undergoing profound changes, the new manager must consistently resort to three resources: ethics, humility, and creativity.

Ethics and Benevolence

Today’s manager must prioritize listening and offer reformulation to validate the level of understanding during an exchange. This benevolent interaction should be non-judgmental, akin to the values employed in coaching. The goal is to guide teams in understanding the significance of their actions.

The manager should also embrace paradoxes, as seen in systemic approaches, which is an effective posture for fostering change. They must guide and direct their teams while allowing them to act independently.

Furthermore, the manager must be capable of making decisive and sometimes radical decisions when necessary. As a wise leader, they should gradually empower their teams, respecting their individual paces.

In a cohesive approach, the 21st-century manager ensures no one is left behind. They encourage honesty and openness and often use humor.

Applied to e-management: The manager utilizes digital tools daily, establishing governance to ensure proper use of these tools, leading by example.

Humility

The new manager knows how to put their ego aside, understanding that the primary objective is the success of the team, which in turn reflects positively on them. As issues and situations become increasingly complex, the “augmented manager” acknowledges that the work achieved is the result of collective effort.

In line with this stance, they assist their team when necessary and forgo privileges their status might offer.

Finally, they understand they don’t need to master or control everything.

Applied to e-management: The manager accepts not always being the most advanced user of digital tools, allowing team members to take the lead in certain areas while actively using these channels to communicate and work with the team. They are aware of the limitations of the digital tools they use.

Creativity

Creativity is crucial for inventing the future. The manager must create environments conducive to innovation, paying attention to the working conditions of their teams, including workspace design.

Workspaces should facilitate both convivial and creative exchanges at times, allow for focused work requiring concentration, and enable confidential discussions.

One of the new talents of a manager is the ability to redefine problems to approach them collectively and creatively. Leveraging intuition to find the best combinations between needs, current practices, and team receptivity to new approaches is also a skill to develop and implement.

Applied to e-management: The manager is capable of inventing new ways of working with digital tools’ social functions to meet the collaboration, information, communication, and knowledge management needs of their teams, in coordination with other departments or external stakeholders (suppliers, clients, administrations).

The Ideal New Skills for Managers

To complement these themes, here are some key skills necessary for the workforce of 2023. We focus mainly on soft skills, as they are the hardest to model and essential for transformation.

Cultivating Social Intelligence

More so in the future than today, the ability to connect deeply and directly with others to sense and stimulate reactions and interactions—emotional and social intelligence—will continue to give humans a significant comparative advantage over even the most sophisticated machines.

Sharpening Cross-Cultural Skills

What makes a group eminently intelligent is the diversity of its composition. Thus, the ability to interact with different cultures, mindsets, generations, and skills will make each of us more effective in a group, enhancing overall performance.

Developing Recursive Thinking

Skills that involve statistical analysis or quantitative reasoning will be increasingly valued as systems generate more data to process. However, workers must still act without data, maintaining a holistic view of situations.

Being Agile with New Media

The ability to critically develop and evaluate content using new media and optimize their use will become crucial for effective communication.

Practicing Transdisciplinarity

Understanding concepts from disciplines outside one’s daily practice will be essential for navigating complexity.

Considering Workplaces

The physical environment shapes our cognitive approach. Workers must identify the thinking mode needed for different tasks and adjust their workspace to enhance their ability to achieve these goals.

Managing Cognitive Load

The ability to filter essential information and understand how to maximize cognitive function will grow in importance. Practices like social filtering, tagging, categorizing, and adding metadata help elevate quality information above ambient noise.

Being Agile in Virtual Collaboration

Connective technologies facilitate remote work but also require new skills, such as engaging and motivating geographically dispersed teams.

For example, gaming provides resources like immediate feedback, clear objectives, and a list of graduated challenges. Microblogging and social networks create a sense of proximity and belonging.

Evolving the Managerial Culture

Action proposals can be segmented along two axes: targeting high-level executives versus other managers or new hires, and those implemented globally and voluntarily versus those developing locally or based on individual motivations.

Regardless of the actions taken, this transformation must first dismantle false ideas and common misconceptions about social media and collaborative tools in the company. Then, it should build usage, behaviors, and soft skills aligned with the company’s challenges.

Conclusion

These new skills complement the basic skills required for traditional management and enable managers to adapt to the evolving demands and challenges of the modern professional world.

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