Digital manager for uncertain times

The lockdown related to the coronavirus pandemic not only paralyzed the labor market and contributed to the economic slowdown, and in the long term even to the economic crisis. The isolation forced us to remodel and re-evaluate how and under what conditions we work. Experts agree that the freezing of the economy will undoubtedly accelerate the digital transformation. Managers, among others, will have to deal with the new situation.

The digitization of an organization entails a number of changes. It is related not only to dynamic technological development, but also to the evolution of competences and tasks of individual employees or major changes at the managerial level, also in small and medium-sized enterprises. In the current situation, changing the operating model of individual teams has become quite natural, and many leaders have realized that to do their job well and do their job well, you don’t need to spend time on the premises. Managers had to trust their employees more and organize their work in such a way that in the digital environment the team would not lose efficiency, effectiveness or quality. On the other hand, artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly important role, offering opportunities that cannot be ignored.

Digital manager – who is?

When discussing the future of managers and their role, it is worth considering: who exactly is a manager? According to one definition, he is a person in the organization responsible for the performance of the team’s tasks. The manager’s goal is to increase the efficiency of work by applying appropriate methods of managing people.

– The contemporary leader, who has faced dynamic change, faces many challenges and it is not only about technological challenges. We must remember that his competences should focus on employee, team and communication management, but also strategic management or self management. On each of these levels, in recent years there have been – and will be – changes that will require more or less advanced changes, requiring updating of one’s knowledge and development of competences. In the context of employee management, processes such as recruitment and dismissal, implementation and adaptation of new employees, their development and evaluation of their work, clear goal formulation, providing employees with feedback, as well as controlling and monitoring their work, are extremely important. In the age of digital transformation, it may be particularly important to understand the essence and potential added value of machine learning models and, more generally, artificial intelligence. It is worth looking for answers to the questions about what task can be entrusted to a machine and replace a human with it? How to manage an employee who has been replaced? How to develop a business case for a solution? – explains dr hab. Andrzej Wodecki, lecturer at the Business School of the Warsaw University of Technology and the content supervisor of the MBA Digital Transformation program.

Communication becomes a challenge

Difficulties facing the manager also relate to the broadly understood team management, and thus – to communication. It is a series of activities such as conducting off-line and on-line meetings, listening to employees, managing a dispersed team, i.e. working remotely and stationary, coping with crisis situations appropriately, but above all skilful communication of information more and more difficulties. – A good leader should be able to deal with the implementation of current tasks, while focusing on the strategy and long-term goals. The problem of differences and communication difficulties between the generations is also becoming more and more important: people who are just entering the labor market and experienced employees with many years of experience, extensive experience, but also their own habits. There are a lot of questions: what is important for young people, what motivates them, how do they build their reputation and how do they communicate? Understanding this, we improve the team’s performance – adds the expert.

Self-management is the key

The information overload in which we live and which seems inevitable has made the desirable trait for a leader not so much to absorb as much information as possible, but perhaps above all to skillfully filter and use it optimally.
– To simplify things, a good manager should not know what he should be doing, but on the contrary: know what not to do and what information to discard. No less a challenge in the era of the aforementioned information overload is managing oneself in time, with the use of many already available IT tools. It should be remembered that in addition to skilful use of digital resources, a competent manager should also demonstrate creativity, for example in solving organizational problems or proposing new methods aimed at improving the work of the team or employee development – sums up Dr. Andrzej Wodecki.



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Mariusz Jaroń