The end of the manager

Are we seeing the end of the manager? As a specific purpose, as a power?

Have we seen a shift in balance?

Are we seeing people accepting HR management as a profession, not just a skill?

How many times have you heard, “the business won’t like”, or “the business won’t accept”?

Who is the expert? The manager?

Not any more, perhaps.

Management is not a profession, management is not a calling. Management is a hierarchical concept.

An imperfect one.

We need managers, we need management.

But should we be beholden to them?

More and more organisations are realising that you need to bring more to the table than seniority. Clearly they don’t think so.


  1. Henry · January 30, 2014

    We do need managers.

    Just about 80% fewer.

    • Neil · February 23, 2014

      You’re being a liberal conservative again, aren’t you?

  2. Meg Temple (@MegTemple) · March 14, 2014

    I just found your blog – its great! This strikes a chord with me because in my career I’ve managed teams and was pretty good at it, and loved doing it. However, over the past 10-15 years, I’ve found that during the interview/application process no one was really interested in my skills/philosophy/experience as a manager – even when interviewing for manager roles.

    No one is just a manager anymore, they have their day job and oh, btw, can you manage this team? I get that we are supposed to be “lean” and “agile” etc. but not understanding the value of the manager role in determining the success of an organization is a mistake, and making it a nice sidebar to their real jobs is short-sighted. People are given manager roles with no support, no training/mentoring, and just given the title. Some people suck at it. Some people are great at it. Most coast.

    I think it is a symptom of looking at people as widgets, the short term quarter-to-quarter thinking, and a bunch of other things that I won’t bore you with right now.

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