This has powerful implications for female managers and the way companies are managed. One of which is what it means to consider the complete life of employees and not just their work life. Managers have to look beyond the observable portions or even the masks visible during work experiences and consider the whole person, not just the visible part.
Implications for Women in Management
People and relationships are much more strategic assets than they have been. In this world of speed, everyone, not just senior management, has to be thinking about and creating collaborative relationships.
The organizational structure from now on will be the result of relationships, not the cause of them. Many present structures reflect legacy management systems and are supported by detailed information that is largely irrelevant to managing the organization. How is a strategic concern like relationships quantified into an information system?
Networks require a different style of leadership. It stands to reason that the type of leadership that would be appropriate for a hierarchy would be inappropriate for a network. This involves a whole new paradigm in the way organizations are managed. Like Columbus, there are no maps so simply improving the existing ways of doing things will not solve the problem.
The skills required to function in this environment are the polar opposite to the competitive traits that have led to this. The demand is for those skilled in the ability to work in teams, network, work in community, and communicate well. Styles based on competitiveness, turf building and protecting are a thing of the past.
Enter the Female Manager
We are now in the era of female management. Few male managers seem to possess the relationship traits that are so important. This does not mean that males are doomed. Those who will be successful will pay more attention to how the women as a group seem to be able to work together and use that as their model. Those traits that bumped against the glass ceiling of the past are the very traits that will be keys to entry to the executive suite in the future.
Why Might this be so?
It took tens of thousands of years of selective evolution to create human traits. That surge of adrenaline felt when a loud noise goes off nearby took thousands of years to perfect. Those of who did not feel that surge when startled were not able to achieve that added boost to protect them from sudden danger. They perished and did not pass along their genes.
The profound implication is that the events that caused people to become what they are take eons to leave their imprint. Today’s competition means companies do not have those long periods of time to evolve.
A cursory history of human evolution reveals the implications for management. As people evolved, men were the hunters and the women were the gatherers. It required different sets of skills to be good at each. The women tended to the social fabric of the primitive community, helped tend to the sick, and they helped each other with the birthing and rearing of the young. They developed the skills and instincts that reflected a social world.
Men had to be quiet and territorial to be efficient hunters. They could not be successful while making noise and they certainly couldn’t allow others to be hunting in their space. To survive they had to learn to be quiet and work alone. The outcome is now groups of men are noticeably more restrained in their communications and relating than groups of women. Men are also more competitive and protective of their turf.
More Evidence from Today
This sentiment spills over into some pretty hard evidence in society. Examine the relative difference in prison populations to get a hint of which gender seems to have the more difficult time relating. On an economic basis just look at the relative differences in activity between mother’s day and father’s day; who gets the most and longest calls on their day?
Society recognizes at a deep and broad level the relationship skills of the female gender. Now it is time for companies to recognize their potential importance as managers.…