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WHAT IS THE MANAGEMENT TEAM OF THE NEW ERA?

Management team operations have undergone several changes in the past. Complex problems in working life and the world are challenging teams to re-evaluate their operations. How will the management team of the new era work when the future can no longer be anticipated and the perspectives need to be expanded from this moment on?

Management team work has long traditions. Unexpected changes and complex situations are challenging management teams to boldly re-evaluate their operations. In the face of the new era, it must be possible to rethink the ways of working, regardless of the position in the organisation.

MANAGEMENT OF A LEARNING SYSTEM

In the 1990s, Peter Senge was considered to be the strategist of the century, because he considered learning to be the most important objective, believed in a learning organisation, and influenced business practices. At that time, the business world also emphasised systems thinking which meant that every employee is part of a larger entity and thus has an impact on its operations and results. The system is dynamic in nature and in constant motion, which is why it is important for the management team to learn to understand how the system functions and how it can create favourable conditions for good development paths by acting wisely.

How can the management team have a conscious impact on the direction of constant change, even though time pressure reduces the ability to gather in traditional meetings? One way to expand the perspective of the management team’s work is to give up the idea that the management team is a regular meeting. The management team is more a dialogue that is not limited to traditional meetings. The management team is present all the time, and the significance lies in how the management team creates a shared view of the organisation and its place in the world. The need for operational meetings is, in fact, decreasing, and the need for extensive and multi-contextual discussions is increasing.

STRUCTURING FRAGMENTED INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCES

Traditionally, information and decisions are controlled in the form of documents, records and reports. By means of data management, they have been systematically saved in digital folders. Nowadays, the information contained in books is already outdated and competitors have access to it. Currently, more and more information is available to support decision-making processes. However, the challenge for the management team is that this information is, at worst, scattered across the organisation or even the world.

Structuring information and experiences and identifying the phenomena that have emerged from them have become the building blocks for decision-making in the management teams of the new era. New information comes from interpretations of visible phenomena and their interdependencies. To gather the pieces and to find links between them, we need specialists from the entire organisation and collective wisdom. The new role of the management team is to analyse interpretations and interdependencies, which means that they have to structure this information and experiences. However, the management team does not have to manage this information flow alone. Instead, working methods can also be brought up-to-date by using digital solutions, such as artificial intelligence.

SIGNIFICANT MANAGEMENT TEAM WORK

Operational hassle kills the significance of work. When we ask how the management team’s time is divided, most often the largest part of the day is spent in operational duties, while very little time is left for considering the big picture. The time to reflect, which supports learning, does not seem to be available at all. When the management team gets a better grip on the changes in the operating environment and the system’s phenomena and movements, the work of both the organisation and the management team becomes more significant. Then, it seems to become easier to find the time to work on the big picture together.

The rhythm of the external world does not depend on the management team’s calendars. This is reflected in the difficulty to find the right rhythm for face-to-face meetings.  Therefore, dialogue must be ensured in rapidly changing situations, regardless of where each person physically is. As a result, the operation of various management teams will become more digital and mobile, along with the entire working life.

DIGITAL LEAP IN DIALOGUE

The most important lessons come from experiments – by doing things differently and in an agile way – rather than from the contents being tested. This also applies to digital working methods that promote dialogue. We have gained good experiences, for example, of how briefings can be digitised, as the management team appears on everyone’s desk, regardless of where they are. The sharing of information on topical issues via videos, the digital participation of employees, information structured with the help of artificial intelligence, and the resulting dialogue have raised even major organisations’ briefings to a new level.

It is good to remember that the management team is like a large mirror for the entire organisation. When the management team selects learning as one of its goals, the entire organisation’s operations will start moving towards the same direction. In this way, the system starts to learn, and the management team begins its identity change towards the management team of the new era: the team is no longer just a handler of matters, but a builder of a reforming organisational culture, a learning system, and a digital leap promoting dialogue.

 

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