Flat organizations, part of the Pancake Revolution (got the patent pending) that we have gone through, trimming management layers and getting very very very agile, have a geographical problem. The (corporate) ladder has become a small kitchen stool so the way up is very limited.
Clever consultants and academics said that this was very good because then people could progress, develop and advance in the company transversally, horizontally. But some forgot to build the bridge between the silos so there is no way to go sideways without a pilot license and a parachute.
No way up, no ladder, and no bridge sideways, it feels lonely and frustrating. Having a map of the opportunities would help. Where to go, if I have reached a level with no prospects above? But we forgot the maps as well.
Then we tell people that they should be very happy for their role in the pancake. And by the way, we are installing self-management by decree, isn’t fascinating? How wonderful to live in these times.
I’ve seen many scratching their heads and wondering if this is a sort of fools day joke, or indeed it is so sexy that they should feel incapacitated to see the beauty of that Nirvana: self management, no up, no right, no left, and same salary. Come on! What a treat!
My forecast is that we will be going backwards a bit, rediscovering that those middle managers were not, after all, the waste of space and time that we thought. That when they left the company, so the company could be a pancake instead of a soufflé, they took with them their relationships, a very, very small detail.
Self Management Pancakes are great. But without any syrup at all? Hola Crazy!
PS. I have written before about self-management being an inevitable trend, that the train had left the station. But in any case I did not mention the destination. But mea culpa anyway.