“There’s no comfortable way out of your comfort zone.”
– Paul John Moscatello
Traditional hierarchical management has its pressures, but it is a system built around the comfortable path for managers. In the golden goose school of management, life for managers is easier. They have the expertise, they make the decisions and they have the authority. Employees have narrow tasks to fill in tightly measured roles. Compliance is valued over the dangerous unreliability of commitment.
When we move to the future of work as managers we experience new discomfort. The network has a view and capabilities we can only influence. Autonomy and experimentation further break down the predictable nature of a manager’s role. Leadership is expected of everyone and managers play roles as change agents, coaches, facilitators and capability builders demanding far more individual level of support than the routine orientation of traditional management. Transparency changes the nature of decision making, expertise and the exercise of power. There’s more information and more people with a view.
The future of work is going to demand new skills of managers. Learning new skills is always uncomfortable. New skills only develop outside the comfort zone through practice.
If the last few years of business have taught us anything, it is that clinging to comfort in the face of change is not a viable strategy. All managers need to be exploring the uncomfortable future that is the future of work.