Finding your voice in the middle of an Organisation

Posted on ยท Posted in Middle Management

The other week Anthony spoke at a middle manager conference set up by one of our public sector clients. The title of the talk was: Middle Vision, redefining the role of middle managers. Anthony used as a start point some of the ideas from our recent blogs. The middle of an organisation can be a very difficult place to be, often characterised by the feeling of being stuck in the middle, neither one thing or the other. So he started by emphasising the difficulties of the role of managing in the middle, before moving on to explore the potential and power of middle managers. One area particularly struck Anthony from the presentation and from comments in the discussion sessions.

Anthony had emphasised the power of middle vision: the ability to translate and interpret organisational vision to the front line. This ability is a crucial role middle managers play, because they are far enough away from the front line to see the bigger picture, yet near enough to translate it into a tangible reality.

This we think is a distinctive voice that middle managers can have.

Finding your voice suggests:

1 Middle mangers have something valuable to say

2 That there is something distinctive in the way middle managers are able to translate and interpret organisational vision

3 A collective recognition of the value and worth, to find your voice as a group of middle managers is to find your value

4 Middle managers need to talk to each other about their sense of where the organisation is going and how that translates in to action

5 Middle managers should find the right forums in their organisation to express their voice.

In the open discussion that followed, it was interesting to hear the feedback from the tables of ideas about meeting informally and cutting across silo structures, about feeling more empowered and releasing the energy and resource they have in the middle of an organisation.

The middle of an organisation does need to be re invented and the valuable insight and ideas released and expressed: the middle needs to rediscover its voice.