The knowledge economy is a curious thing.
We all talk about it and indeed, we live it- every day of our lives. However, the repercussions of such an economy are barely understood.
That’s not because of any lack of trying but because it’s relatively a nascent model of economy- kick started by the advent of the internet which democratised knowledge. This means that the historic data we need to compare our present state with inside the knowledge economy is limited.
This in turn results in skewed perception of many important aspects of the economy. This is true with regard to organizations as well.
The old role of leaders conflicts with their new role in the knowledge economy
The altered role of managers and leaders in the knowledge economy
A crucial aspect in which there seems to be confusion in the knowledge economy is regarding the manager’s role in an organization.
Thanks to technology, collaboration has become smoother and in many ways, more fruitful.
Exchange of information could happen between change agents without the need of an intermediary. There needn’t be a manager to oversee this. Also, if there are stumbling blocks in the course of a project, thanks to such collaborations, chances are that the change agents themselves may come up with the necessary solutions to clear whatever bottleneck is preventing the progress of the project. In fact, as many managers in the corporate sector could tell you, such instances are all too common in the modern workplace.
In fact, not only is it more common, such a work culture is actively encouraged in the workplace. After all, empowering the workforce to be more independently adept is an accepted mode of functioning for modern businesses.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. Indeed, change agents should be encouraged to upskill themselves and tackle problems independently.
However, an unfortunate tendency that’s seen as an offshoot of such an approach is to undermine the importance of managers in the organization.
A manager or leader has significance for one major reasons, which we would look into now.
True Personal Vision
True personal vision is the vision which is innate to oneself and could be found in one’s own self and nowhere else. It is also what differentiates an average leader from a terrific one.
The vision acts as a navigating point or a destination towards which the organization could keep moving. You could think of it as a reliable light tower which guides the ship safely to the shore. By that same analogy, if the leader hasn’t realised his or her True Personal Vision, he wouldn’t be able to guide the team towards a desired result, or rather the optimal result.
The leader’s True Personal Vision could be considered as the board in which many other ideas necessary for the functioning of the organization could be assembled. Whenever an idea is proposed, you could judge it against the vision to see if it has any resonance.
If it does, even if some practical issues prevent you from implementing the idea at the present moment, you could mark it as important and save it for a later date when the resources are available.
On the other hand, if the idea wouldn’t help achieving the True Personal Vision in any way, one could easily dismiss it without spending too much time on it. This brings two major advantages to the organization: one is that it expedites decision making process on a daily basis, the other is that it would help make the right decisions.
Of course, for all these things to happen, the manager or leader should have realized his or her True Personal Vision.
Vision- inspired leadership
What this shows is that in the knowledge economy, the role of the manager is not to get involved with the everyday functioning of the team members but to allow them more independence. They should be encouraged to come up with ideas to tackle problems and innovate to thrive in the knowledge economy. But it’s the manager or leader who should make judgements on these- and that makes the manager an irreplaceable part of the organization.
Now that we have talked about the important of True Personal Vision in an organization, how could one realize it? The modern day distractions are too many that they effectively obscure your vision from yourself.
Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos+Agility which helps individuals realize their True Personal Vision. Developed based on 25 years of business consultancy experience, TVL enlists some of the best leadership coaches to help guide you to your True Personal Vision.