Is Middle Management Really Going Away?

Middle Managers

I had the pleasure of watching an interview with Jay Samit, CEO of SeaChange International and author of Disrupt You speak at the C-Suite Network conference a few months back. One of the more provocative predictions he made was that in 5 years, one half of all middle management jobs will be gone. Not 20 years. Not 50 years. Five.

Needless to say, the number of implications that creates are far too many to discuss here. Jeff Hayzlettthe interviewer, asked the question we were all asking ourselves — if half of all middle management is going away, what should middle managers do? Here are Samit’s 3 pieces of advice:

  • Commit to life-long learning: change is occurring so rapidly that we can’t possible know what our opportunities will be in 2 or 3 years much less 10 or 15.  By continually learning you can see what may be coming around the bend and be ready for it while those who have chosen to shut-off their learning will never know what hit them.
  • Keep an open mind: the further we go in life we can begin to assume that we know the answers and how it should work.  The truth is, without an open mind, it’s amazing how wrong you can be.
  • Invite data in:  in some circles, you hear a lot about big data.  Data comes in many forms – quantitative, qualitative, anecdotal. Data is available in so many ways, don’t be afraid to gather and use data to help inform your path and illuminate possibilities.

The quest for certainly blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”

-Erich Fromm

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