How new managers can help to lead change in an age of disruption

Equip yourself with the right skills for an uncertain world.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 04 Jun 2018

Great managers are increasingly in demand in today’s fast-paced business environment. They are expected to deal with an ever greater volumes of complex datasets - and to do so more quickly in order to get the job done.

We are living in an age where the pace of disruption is increasing, and the manager must both respond positively to changes in the marketplace and also be in a position to lead the process of change within their organisations.

According to the Project Management Institute’s 'Pulse of the Profession' report, a survey based on the views of 1,730 project management professionals globally: ‘The CEOs we spoke with marvel at the speed of transformation, saying technology changes by the hour—not by the week or month. Many added that every business in every industry is affected by disruptive technologies—forcing them to take a closer look at their market relevance.’

Many experienced managers will have experienced the effects of disruptive practices within their workspace and can draw upon decades of practical know-how. But what of new managers? How will they best approach transformation?

There are some universal qualities that make top managers (new and experienced) stand out - their attitude, energy, enthusiasm and empathy. But with speed of delivery in mind, there are quick routes for new managers to acquire the skillsets they need to thrive in the modern business environment.

Firstly, many managers at the early stages of their career will turn to PRINCE2 training in order to ensure they have a basic grasp of the practices and methodologies they need to execute and deliver tasks effectively. The PRINCE2 programme has been set up by the government and carries considerable weight through both the UK and Ireland.

Secondly, managers starting off in their careers may want to consider Agile training as an option. This type of framework is particularly useful to (but not exclusively for) managers in technology companies where the effects of disruption are felt most acutely. Agile methodologies are designed to enable a team to adapt quickly to changing scenarios and to focus on rapid execution of decisions. Agile techniques are suitable for more fluid scenarios that lack stability or where control cannot be easily exerted.

Thirdly, for those involved in leading transformation and introducing innovation within a business, it is important to consider ITIL Training as a way to ensure technology is correctly aligned with the needs of customers. This type of training will enable new managers to think strategically and to focus on leveraging maximum value for the organisation.

Fourthly, the emergence of big data and the widespread adoption of cloud computing, internet of things and artificial intelligence technologies within the business environment ultimately places an onus on managers to have a working knowledge of programming techniques. A good starting point it so go for SQL training or refresh one’s knowledge with the occasional SQL course. But do approach with colleagues for guidance on what technical skills are most relevant to your role.

There are going to be occasions (especially as a new manager), when your back is up against the wall - and you’re operating in a highly volatile environment. It’s at moments such as these that the benefits of intensive foundation training or even newly acquired technical skills can help you rise to the challenge.

Image credit: Alzay/Shutterstock

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