Management is an essential part of professional (and even personal) life. It touches a lot of aspects of professionals daily activities.
Every manager is asking “What I am supposed to do?”
In order to answer this (complex question), we need to have an overview of classical functions and modern functions of managers.
In traditional schools of management, managers are supposed to carry out planning, organizing, leading and controlling functions.
1- Planning is concerned with setting navigation map. Managers are similar to navy captains who are responsible for steering their ships using maps and compasses. Managers set goals and directions for teams.
2- Organizing is concerned with designing organizational structures. Those structures will be responsible for executing plans. Organizations are comprising systems (arrangements of human people or non-humans). Those organizations are represented using organization charts. Those organization units are connected using processes. Those processes allocate resources (effort – time – financials – human capacity and other resources) over organization structures (or units).
3- Leading is concerned with motivating people (employees and sometimes non-employees) to achieve previously set goals through working in organization structures. Leadership is the most influential characteristic for managers. Great leaders can make great things through inspiring their employees to achieve extraordinary goals.
4- Controlling is concerned with establishing and monitoring performance standards. This includes measuring, monitoring and comparing results. Moreover, managers are responsible for taking necessary corrective actions to accomplish goals and preventive actions to avoid slippage from those goals.
Classical functions are still valid for every manager however they do not tell the whole story. Modern age carried a lot of changes such as shifts in economies from product-based to service-based economies. High competitions among companies, fast changes, and opened workplaces shifted managers from commanding employees to creating a productive and encouraging environment for those employees to encourage them achieving business goals.
This added new functions for managers for energizing, empowering, supporting, and communicating with employees.
5- Energizing is concerned with producing energy more than the consumed one. This is concerned with inspiring employees to bring out their best performance.
6- Empowering is concerned with providing employees the tools and authorities to produce great work. Managers need to unleash employees’ creativity and innovation in order to leverage their efforts toward goals.
7- Supporting is concerned with coaching employees. Managers need to be mentors, colleagues, and counselors. The term ‘boss’ should be a legacy. In order to create a supportive environment, managers need to establish a climate of open communication through the whole organization.
8- Communication became the lifeblood of every organization. Information about business needs to be communicated to concerned team in a very fast time similar to changes speed. Information about opportunities, other engagements, and changes in their jobs should be communicated in timely manner. Right information to right persons.
In future posts, we will focus on each area demonstrating methods and techniques that can be utilized. Till then wishing you good luck in management!