Middle managers are the fundamental link joining an organization’s strategies to the people and projects needed to produce results. They are the folks in the middle who see and manage how various parts of the enterprise work. It’s a big and often underestimated responsibility.
What the typical middle manager’s role might look like this. In the top portion of the figure, various concerns converge and compete for a middle manager’s time and attention. These concerns include a broad range of tasks such as planning, goal setting, performance management, problem solving, process improvement, relationship building, analysis, communication updates, budgeting, and decision making. Barriers and mucky-muck can block these items from getting the time and consideration they deserve.
The funnel represents the distillation process that middle managers must use to decide how they will spend time and complete their work. Middle managers are like a corporate funnel, interpreting and translating strategies, needs, and choices so their teams can perform. They practice techniques and make decisions that influence results. Ineffective work practices and a preponderance of barriers can combine to slow output to a trickle.
High-impact middle management helps middle managers deal with daily tasks and strategic demands while providing tools to reduce barriers to productivity. Middle management areas of concern that high-impact middle management addresses include
paradigms that best serve execution and results
fostering collaboration to improve results and efficiency
determining team performance
goal setting for peak performance
dealing with daily obstacles to results
removing factors that limit throughput
process alignment techniques
performance management techniques
skills for coaching others
using the High-Impact Middle Management System to improve results
honing middle management skills to build your career.