If you ask someone to describe the job of manager, they are probably going to talk about someone who is remote from the people they manage, with a higher level of skill and knowledge, who issues instructions to the people in their team.
It is a stereotypical view that probably has its roots in the command and control management cultures of the industrial era.
Now, we are in a much more technological age, fewer people are working in production environments out on the shop floor, with a manager sitting in an office up on high.
Today a manager is more likely to be sitting in an open plan office along side his team.
Instead of manual skills that team are likely to possess of professional knowledge and know exactly what needs to be done without being told.
The problem is that although the workers have moved into the technological era, many managers even those with no experience of the old industrial era are still managing and indeed being taught to manage in ways that are more appropriate to that bygone time than the working environments of today.
How should we manage an increasingly professionalised workforce?
It is a question that Professor Laura Empson of London’s Cass Business School and Harvard Law School has tried to answer in her book Leading Professionals Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas.
Perhaps the best way to learn how to manage professionals is to look at how successful professional services companies manage their workforces, which are, by definition, made up of mainly professionals?
This is exactly what Ms Empson did.
To create her book, she conducted intensive research, which was funded by Great Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council, into how to lead professional firms, like law offices, and other complex organizations, like hospitals and universities.
The result is a book that includes the findings from interviews with over 500 professionals in 16 countries, it is packed with citations, and analysis that details in what is effectively a multi-layered guide to how managers could achieve success as the leader of professionals.
Work Place Learning Centre is pleased to be able to include this book in the series of free summaries we are able to offer.
From this free book summary, you will learn:
- Why leading professionals is so difficult,
- What constitutes a “leadership constellation” and
- What 10 paradoxes confront leaders of professionals.
Use this link to download the free book summary of Leading Professionals Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas
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