A system integrator drives independent component subsystems into a coherent and functioning whole. The emphasis here is on the word independent. I posit that in many industries, the art of managing is becoming more like the role of a system integrator working with subcontractors. I believe that this inevitable trend has long term repercussions about training managers.
Here are two major reasons why managers will become system integrators:
1) The dwindling long term commitment between employer and staff.
Since many organizations can no longer offer their employees any stability nor take care of their staffs’ needs, employees are loyal first and foremost to themselves & their ability to be survive economically, wherever they work-with no specific loyalty to anything except their ability to make a living.
2) The political zoo that develops when jobs are scarce.
The work place has become a political zoo because of the scarcity of jobs. Employees act as sub contractors as opposed to members of a coherent integrated team, to secure their own survival. No one wants to be indispensable.
True, consultants and HR are pushing employee engagement programs; however the prognosis for employees becoming altruistically engaged is low. As employees focus on their own survival, they become less engaged with the company’s survival. They focus on their own personal survival.
Pretending that employee engagement is the issue is dysfunctional.
Developing managers is not about engaging employees as much as how to structure and manage work as a system integrator.
Preparing managers to be effective system integrators is far more effective than traditional managerial training which deals with solving yesterday’s problems.
Here are a few elements which may be included in refocusing the managerial role to that of system integrator
1) More “contract” based interaction and ways of payment
2) Emphasis on very detailed planning
3) Less to no everyday power
4) Contractor can and does choose to cop out so there are “alternative sources”
5) Make and buy decisions.
Follow me @AllonShevat