Mar 3, 2021
As massive change occurs in the workplace, so too have the concepts of “leadership” and “management” continued to evolve to adapt to the modern day. Leadership is commonly understood as the big broad strokes that paint the vision of the organization, while management is responsible for executing this vision in the day-to-day. As my former CEO described to me, the leader announces “there’s the hill we must climb,” and the managers figure out how to get there and ascend to new heights.
All of this has implications in the field of education. A company like Nokia is a cautionary tale of how even successful, entrenched companies are vulnerable due to the accelerating speed of change in technology and consumer preferences. MBA programs focus on developing leadership skills in the fast moving digital world, and how to effectively pivot the small army that is a mid to large size organization in a new direction.
At the same time, effective management has become an interesting dance: of adapting to high team turnover, open offices (some with even shared desks) and continuing shifts in strategy, while at the same time ensuring consistency, accountability, fairness and support to employees to help them, and in turn the organization, succeed. It is a play on an old song, now at a much faster cadence for today’s world.
As an educator and trainer in project management nationwide, what I see is very little curriculum covering the fundamentals of effective management at either the K-12 or post-secondary level. Yet as the remote and freelance economies continue to rise, and as small independent businesses continue to blossom, the need for even a basic understanding of how to manage - how to set expectations and then ensure they are met - will only become more critical as work teams form and re-form with greater fluidity across the globe.