HRHeadStart #65: Building Better Managers; Zone of Genius
The Talent Agenda
For over a century, the approach to people management has been hierarchical and it continues to be so in many places. It made sense as long as the organization worked in a linear fashion and through functional specialization. Today, the internal and external boundaries of the organization are getting blurred. The expectations of customers, employees and other stakeholders are shifting. This warrants a shift in the organization’s structure, skills and managerial power dynamics too.
Consider managers. They have been through overwhelming change in the wake of digitalization, demands for organizational agility and the post-pandemic future of work. But the question remains if we have invested adequately in upgrading the managerial infrastructure of the organization.
Managers can’t do it all without the right support. In this piece, you can learn about how companies like Standard Chartered, IBM and Telstra are innovating in this area. I particularly liked the experiment at Telstra, where they split the role of the manager into two i.e. every employee now has dual managers: a Leader of Work and a Leader of People.
What’s super interesting is that the company drastically reduced the number of organizational layers to three and that these two types of managers are on an equal footing - they have the same pay ranges and they participate as equals in the senior leadership team.
There are things at work which make the best use of your time and talent. These are things that draw your unique talents, create meaningful work experiences for you and set you up on the path to growth and happiness. But how do you get there? The framework below might help:
So, as you progress in your career, ask yourself: In what areas do I need to build competence today? What are areas that can be ditched (because they don't add enough value) or delegated (because someone else is better suited)? What do I enjoy most in the areas I excel in? What work do I do that doesn't feel like work?
Your end results are dependent on how you iterate.