Are you treating middle management like mushrooms or strawberries? Part 2

StrawberriesAs discussed in Part 1 of this series of posts, we're seeing more and more that today's leaders are neglecting to develop their next tier of managers and thus failing in one of their primary duties to their organization. Today we look at how this relates to the title of these posts, and how it can be avoided.

During a Fortune Group management workshop, a disgruntled employee re-iterated an age-old sentiment, "We feel like mushrooms in here. They keep us in the dark and feed us on **** otherwise known as manure." This may sound like an extreme sentiment, to be sure. But as the links from last week's post (here and here) demonstrate, there's no doubt it continues to happen in today's business environment.

So how does this problem get fixed? Or better yet, how do we avoid it altogether?

In theory, it's an easy, straightforward answer: senior management must create a culture of inclusion, one in which middle management never feels like a mushroom. Instead, they are treated as, say, strawberries. They should receive attention, they should receive encouragement and they should receive the appropriate resources to grow... themselves, their people and the organization.

In practice, the answers to these challenges aren't always so easy to answer. Not because they're necessarily hard issues to address, but because there are so many ways to address them!

We have a few unique and innovative examples of businesses that have treated middle management like strawberries, and we'll get to those in future posts. But for now, we want to turn the floor over to you.

How can we treat middle management like strawberries? Can you cite examples that exemplify this?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

Posted: 11/10/2009 12:59:49 PM by Andy Klein | with 0 comments
Filed under: leadership
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