Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Top 10 Management Trends for 2010

The Top 10 Management Trends for 2010
By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

If you manage one person or 1,000 staff, leadership and management skills will be essential for success.

So what are the big trends likely to influence management and leadership in 2010.

Here are my insights into what the year will hold for leaders and managers.

1. Maclarity

No, this is not a Scottish whiskey. This is the ability to focus on macro or bigger picture issues with an absolute clarity of thought.

Speed of change, information overload and multiple tasks will provide major distractions for managers in 2010.

There is a trend for managers to go straight to detail or outcomes rather than spending time and energy on strategy.

Micromanaging is not the answer.

2. Outsperting

This is the strategic ability to outsource new talent, ideas and insight through engaging experts when you need them.

This could be a coach, mentor or someone with expert skill.

Usually done for a set project, challenge or problem that needs solving.

This is where managers and leaders need to be well networked, have high "social capital" and have the ability to sort the real from the flaky.

3. Paying An Environmental Dividend To Avoid Eco Debt

Stakeholders, both internal and external, will be asking managers what dividend are they paying back to the environment.

This could be providing leadership on recycling, reducing a carbon footprint or planting more trees.

This is likely to be included in formal management performance indicators for managers.

They will be judged equally on their impact on the environment as other financial, revenue or sales performances.

4. Work Life Turf Wars

We're likely to see greater tension and hence the term "turf wars" between those managers that switch off during non work hours and those that remain plugged in during week ends and holidays.

Plugged in managers, expect SMS and email requests to be responded to 24/7 no matter what time or day.

Unplugged managers, switch off their blackberries and try and keep work out of their leisure time.

These two opposing styles are wired for conflict.

The solution, work out mutually agreed ground rules and expectations.

5. Tighter Access to Capital

This is a no brainer because of the GFC. Access to money is going to be a major challenge for anyone in a management role.

6. Diverplomacy

The ability to manage diversity with diplomacy. Changing demographics will mean big changes to the workplace.

Older and experienced workers are being encouraged to stay in the workplace longer and will have portfolio twilight careers as they leverage experience and expertise into a portfolio of contract work where they can pick and choose what they want to do. They will want autonomy and don't like being told what to do by younger managers.

Immigration will continue at a faster pace and we will see greater cultural diversity within the workplace. Immigration to Australia from China has overtaken New Zealand and the UK for the first time. This trend will continue.

Future workplaces will be like working in the United Nations and be a minefield for managers who do not respect and embrace cultural diversity.

7. The "M" Word

Managers will need a deep understanding of their prospects, customers, clients and advocates. They will need to engage with customers, understand industry trends, market needs and the competitive environment they operate in.

The "M" word will be discussed more and more by Boards and "C" level executives.

While marketing budgets will be less, the ability to attract, win and retain even more profitable customers will be on the minds of most managers.

Marketing expertise will be as highly valued as financial, accounting or legal skills.

8. Innovation

Managers will be valued for their ability to create a "Culture" of innovation,

The basic skill set required: Vision; leadership; Executive support; Openness to new ideas; supportive/encouraging of innovation; commercial imperative to innovate; Flexibility.

9. Ability to Execute

That rare and treasured ability to meet milestones and deadlines. This requires the strategic commitment of resources, a mindset of continuous development and improvement of processes and systems. Benchmarking will increase because best practice evolves over time and is dynamic. A flexible and quick to move manager will be in strong demand in 2010.

10. Next Stop Asia Central

There is no doubt Asia will be the next centre of the world as power shifts from the US and Europe to "Chindia" over the next decade.

This is exciting if you are in Australia or Asia.

There's a need for truly global leaders and managers because geography will become less of a barrier in today's interconnected business world.

This is going to be deeper than knowing how to use chopsticks, drink sake and sing karaoke.

Barak Obama is an example of a global leader with a mix and depth of cultural backgrounds.