Manager of the future: superhero?

We hear that the future is going to be disrupted, more complex and more volatile. How can managers respond to the challenges of a more complex world? Will it take superhuman efforts to be a manager in five, ten or fifteen years from now?


One significant aspect of the changing nature of the workforce is that teams are becoming increasingly diverse.


Managers are increasingly likely to lead a team composed of part-time, flexible workers, contractors and remote staff.


Half of all Australians now use the internet to work away from the office at some point in their week, enabled by  technology.  The pace of innovation is accelerating as the adoption of technology is speeding up. We can expect faster and more profound social and cultural change in the future.


As a result, flexibility is becoming imperative.


Previously seen as a way to keep employees happy, flexibility is now a vital and strategic business tool in organisations such as Mirvac and Telstra. Businesses seeking to win the war for talent or increase productivity will increasingly follow that lead and look to flexibility as a solution.

Unsurprisingly, Australian managers, as an example, feel unprepared to handle the challenges of the future, according to a recent study by KPMG.


In particular, they are concerned about people leadership.


Leadership is also the most significant solution to the problems of the future.


It is leaders who provide a clear vision. In an era where team members work across locations, timeframes and even time zones, teams that have a vague vision or a lack of purpose will suffer badly.


It is leaders who ensure that teams have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Without clear roles and responsibilities, confusion can set in more quickly and be destructive to the organisation’s overall performance, especially where virtual or flexible teams are involved.


It is leaders who establish a climate of positive teamwork, so that teams don’t risk losing camaraderie and a sense of belonging.


Major changes to the way we work are at our doorstep.


Fortunately, managers don’t need to be superheroes. We do, however, need to morph into leaders.


You are welcome to continue the conversation about this post on Twitter by using the hashtag #TransformedTeams.


If you like what you learned here and want to know more, request a Health Check of your teams.