I would like to reflect on what the future looks like for the individual manager of tomorrow. The trends described are already in vogue. Today, if you are struggling with these issues, you may be able to stumble along as there are many people in the same boat as you, the world over.

Be warned that in the unforgiving future, you simply have to be tops in meeting these challenges.

I shall simply call them the “musts” for the Manager of the Future:-

  1. Managing On The Move: Your office is where you are.Your “office” is what lies between your ears. Whether you are commuting, going out of town or are away from your desk, you still need to be on top of your job. Handling large amounts of data, juggling many activities with varying degrees of priority and still smiling at the end of it all takes its toll- but needs to be done.
  2. Virtual Teams : You will see far more of WAH (Working at Home ) or WFH (Working from Home). Your team and associates are likely to be scattered across different locations, within and outside your city, often in cities across the globe. In a client company, a manager spoke of managing a project out of Bengaluru ( Bangalore) for a client in Europe with parts of his team in North America, South East Asia (other than India) and Australia. Managing virtual teams calls for a new set of skills.
  3. Collaborations: While there will be intense competition, there will also be the need for greater collaboration- with suppliers, business associates, global partners. Not just speaking different languages but having differing agendas and priorities. Managing these relationships in a collaborative way is the first step.
  4. Global Outlook: Looking beyond our traditional markets and traditional products, as we seek to do business all over the world, we need a global perspective. This includes but is not restricted to an appreciation of differing work and social cultures. It includes having a macro perspective of the business flow from you to your customer in the shape, form and price which he/she asks for.
  5. Knowledge Intensive: There is no substitute for mastering the demands made by rapid changes- in economic factors, in customer requirements and in organisation building. You need to be great in knowledge pertaining to your area of expertise.
  6. Technology Savvy: Be it your means of travel, of communicating, of information processing- you simply must be comfortable with the latest in technology. In keeping with the theme of doing things yourself, there is no choice but to very being comfortable with the gizmos you use.
  7. Customer Driven: This is one historical trend that won’t change. The customer will always be more demanding, more conscious of convenience and more conscious of time. If you don’t meet the customers needs, there are half a dozen others who will !

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This is the 106 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success