“Middle manager.” The term evokes an image of a bureaucratic cog in a vast industrial machine, someone who is widely mocked in popular culture as clueless or heartless and more concerned with justifying their job than supporting their teams. McKinsey thought leaders Bill Schaninger, Bryan Hancock, and Emily Field say this outdated perspective needs to change. They explain that middle managers are uniquely positioned close to the ground but with a crucial connection to company strategy—enabling them to guide organizations through the current period of rapid and complex change as well as help shape the new world of work. With rich stories and cutting-edge research, Power to the Middle offers a new model for companies to change the way they hire, train, and reward their most valuable asset: managers, the true center of the organization.
Points of interest
• Important counterintuitive argument that middle managers are crucial to the future of work
• Explains and illustrates how managers can and must reimagine their roles
• Based on deep and broad McKinsey research and practice, with rich stories and data
Bill Schaninger is a Senior partner in McKinsey’s Philadelphia office. He is McKinsey’s expert on the power of culture, values, and leadership in improving business outcomes.
Bryan Hancock is a partner in McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office. He helped create McKinsey’s talent practice in 2006 and wrote an influential McKinsey report on race in the workplace.
Emily Field is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Seattle office. She helps organizations with distributed workforces deliver on their performance goals, with the role of the manager front and center.