Always more, faster and better! Such could be the motto of today’s economic players. All kinds of excesses, caused by the deviant behaviors of a few influential individuals, have disrupted the course of economic system and caused it to become erratic.
By Liliane Held-Khawam, author of the book "Management through Professional Coaching: Learning to Cope With Complexity in a Globalized Economy"
Our society, by promoting a culture of excess, gives the impression of evolving in an economic context in which growth has no limits, which of course is utterly absurd. However, the unrestrained activism of a few powerful socioeconomic players has lead a growing number of others to follow the trend and reproduce this scenario. A toxic approach to corporate management has arisen, one that is tainted with excessive ambitions and productivity demands, the abuse of power, and greed.
When the manager's professional reference framework is shattered
Work, as an economic value that generates added value, is being replaced by money, as the generator of more money. But let us make no mistake! The vast majority of the active population does not adhere to such logics, though it has to live with it on a daily basis. Such greed and deviant behaviors originate in a small number of influential decision-makers who are already getting trapped by their abuse of power and the accumulation of huge mistakes. Their only escape is to continue on the same line, hoping to survive for a few more years, months or days.
And in the meanwhile, man's fundamental reference framework is falling apart. Indeed, companies – together with their management and staff – are confronted to a globalized economy and a drastic compression of reaction times. In this situation, the risk of getting destabilized and disorganized is sharply increased, as both structures and people go through times of major upheaval.
The need to bring back the human factor to the center of corporate life
As said, today's malfunctions are caused and amplified by diverse human behaviors. As a consequence, a solution may be to directly act on people, and especially on the management. By putting too much of a stress on the importance of financial aspects, companies tend to drift away from their primary purpose, which consists in creating a group of people that will offer services to another group of people (customers). Thus, corporate life is, from the very beginning, a human story in which man - and especially managers - represent a strong reference point.
This is precisely what the Management through Professional Coaching (MPC) methodology offers to explicitate. This approach preconises to integrate human workflows into the operational and strategic management of the company's operations. Managers who use the MPC methodology rely on their charisma and dedicate time and energy to the management of their team(s). To do so, they integrate 2 tools: 1) project management (which can be adapted to any environment) and 2) business coaching (which helps valorizing everyone's competencies).
Managers thus need to improve their organization whatever the environment they evolve in (chaos, stress, insecurity…) and lead their people to do the same. They have to build a reference framework for their team members who, in turn, can replicate this approach with their own people. The construction of projects, as well as the fostering of cohesion and sharing are the cornerstones of this managerial life that is aimed at achieving economic success in a human-compatible way.
The double role of managers who apply the MPC methodology: project leader and coach
In this context of economic turmoil, managers become a reference point for both their partners and team members. They play a key-role, whether by relaying the communication from the Board to the bottom of the organization, or from the field to their own hierarchy. However, they not only play a central role in the company’s (top-down and bottom-up) vertical communication, but also in horizontal relations with their colleagues, customers and suppliers.
Managers can indeed resort to significant powers in order to mobilize, liberate and channel the company’s competencies, as their action has a direct impact on the competitiveness of both their staff members and suppliers. In the opposite, the mismanagement of one single individual can have a devastating impact on many – and even on the whole company when caused by a top manager.
In short, MPC encourages managers to simultaneously lead their professional project while coaching their people as they evolve towards the completion of their own professional mission. They do so by optimizing the use of available human and material resources, in order to ensure the successfulness and sustainability of their organization (company or group).
The bolstering of the management role as a contributor to competitiveness and thus to the company’s sustainability
Managers should develop a global vision of both the financial, technical and human resources that they are in need of, and the ones that are available to them. A prospective and optimized management of these resources will represent a winning strategy on the longer run, both in terms of efficiency and economy. The over-exploitation and consecutive exhaustion of available resources reflects a short-termist strategy that represents a danger for everyone. And yet, this type of policy is sometimes deliberately implemented.
In the MPC approach, individual competitiveness results from the combination of a person's skills and efficiency. In this equation, competencies and their development may be seen as a lever that can be operated either by managers of their staff members. Let’s also mention that this approach bolster employability.
Global project competitiveness
In the MPC approach, global competitiveness results from the combination of global competencies and cost control. In order to achieve good results in this respect, we encourage managers to:
Optimization and corporate sustainability
The aim of a global management of all resources available is to achieve long-term successfulness. This implies that managers should cultivate the company’s organizational values and culture, so as to allow both their people and projects to get deeply rooted into corporate life. To do so, they will have to develop an organizational culture that will be based on dialogue, mutual listening and respect. Such an approach will act as a natural antidote to distrust, misunderstandings, insecurity and the fears of all kinds.
In the present situation, managers play a key socioeconomic role, as they serve as a reference for their staff members. Therefore, they can contribute to reconstructing an organizational stability. Their proximity to the "rank and file" represents a major advantage in order to help employees regain a sense of being deeply rooted in corporate life. This is a major factor that may help them regain their motivation at work.
Similarly, managers contribute to bolstering employee retention by stimulating the adhesion of their partners to their projects. They develop an organizational culture that entails strong human values and in which transparence and dialogue prevail. Managers themselves act as a reference for their partners; they also lead them to find other bearings within the company, so that they may achieve autonomy.
Thus, while trying to manage their resources in an optimal way, managers can also contribute to preparing their company’s future through their day-to-day activities, by liberating both the individual and global competencies of the human factor they are in charge of. Their ability to manage efficiently and their charisma are the core assets that will allow them to contribute to the enhancement of the company’s individual and collective competitiveness.