There are some new business trends for the year 2020. This is the time that people start looking at things that may hit them in 2020 and they want to be ready.
Inc. magazine has a good article about what you may expect in the coming year. 8 Business Trends to Master for 2020.
In the new business world, there are many challenges to keep work forces efficient and effective.
One of the points they make is an increase in a freelance workforce. This trend could make it more difficult to get to know new workers to the depth that is necessary to take advantage of their true strengths. The tendency, in such a compressed project mentality is to be even more “Command and Control” oriented and view prospective workers by their assets only. “We need X skills to plug into this project.”
To use the M.A.G.I.C. method that I talk about in my book, The Magical Manager, it will take some discipline and forward thinking to find out the personality who will fit into a position on your team. Having shorter term employees that are project oriented or durational workers tends to put the pressure on you, as a manager, to get to know them well to find out their best fit in your project as quickly as possible.
The next point the article makes is about employees increasingly being able to work remotely, which means you may never meet them face to face.
This is a real challenge for a Magical Manager. Some projects now consist of a team of workers that are so geographically dispersed that they never actually meet each other personally. To deal with this, with the goal of bringing them together, is a challenge.
Instead of being able to meet with them individually, you will have to schedule phone calls and video calls to do the same thing. This will take more intentionality on your part as a manager. But, fortunately, video technology has progressed enough to make this almost like meetings in person.
Team-based Organizational Structures
On the surface, this kind of flexible work sounds like a very good thing. What could be better than a flexible team, where subject matter experts float in and out of a team based on what part of a project they can contribute to.
This is a nightmare waiting to happen. The whole assumption here is that people just consist of assets that contribute to the project when they are assigned a role.
In reality, this type of team structure is so much less efficient than a cohesive team of people that know each other and know each other’s strengths personally and professionally. When team members float in and out of projects just because of their skill assets, it doesn’t work. When new people are introduced constantly and temporarily to a team, there is no time to assimilate and develop relationships.
This last point of the article sounds like a dream of flexibility but will produce dysfunctional teams that cannot produce what will be expected of them. After the dust has settled on this kind of organization on a failed project, the tendency will be to look at the “assets” that were moved into and out of the project instead of the relational structure.
Don’t Accept This Mess
If you are a manager in this kind of project, you will need to resist the pressure to use this flexibility as progress.
Ask yourself these questions before instituting this kind of structure:
- Is there time for the team to really get to know all the members relationally?
- Is everyone just perceived as just a collection of assets to contribute to the project?
- What is the personal affect for team members when there is a constant influx of new people to the team?
Relationships Are Everything!
Managing in this new environment can more challenging than ever. The principles are the same as they have always been. Relationships are everything! Whatever new structure is possible with technology today can be just as damaging and inefficient as in the early industrial revolution.
Look ahead and beware of new fads just because they are possible. Do not accept the status quo on what is “in” in 2020.