Originally the manager was the one who took over, the strongest but not necessarily the most intelligent or skillful. In the Middle Ages management was organized with the apprentice, the journeyman and the master, then it evolved according to the times, from the industrial revolution to the current era of hyper competition, globalization and digitalization.
Let’s not forget that it was only in the 19th century, with the 2nd industrial revolution, that hierarchical organisation developed and that this model will last practically throughout the 20th century with the development of organisation charts, titles, management control, etc.
From the 1990s onwards, the model was called into question and several catchwords appeared to indicate this desire for change: the organisation must be learning, agile, flexible, transversal, collaborative, virtual, shared but without any real managerial model appearing.
Today, what does manager mean?
normally, it is a manager who leads a team and defines the method to achieve objectives.
He must guarantee the motivation, the dynamics, the cohesion and the synergy of the teams, and make them adhere to the company’s strategy…
In short, nothing new but what skills do they need to have?
Yesterday a manager was essentially a very good business expert with organizational and leadership qualities.
Today, managers must become management experts beyond the business expertise they initially possess. They must have developed soft skills such as creativity, cognitive flexibility, empathy, emotional intelligence…
Let us take the example of technological and managerial activities which have long been opposed and antinomic and still remain as such in many sectors of activity.
A good computer engineer is an expert in his or her domain but does not necessarily have empathy, creativity and cognitive flexibility. They are called “geeks” because they are unable to integrate themselves into the corporate world, have no appetite for it and do not necessarily have the codes to interact with other departments.
It is now more important for them, in addition to their technical skills, to develop their management knowledge and soft skills in order to evolve than to be totally focused on coding or application development, which will not make them a manager.
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