Let’s begin first by understanding “What do we mean by 2nd line management and why do we need them in any organization, be it a start up or SME or MNC.
The second line management “is the connection between Org. Strategy and its Execution.
A dipstick check across today’s organizations in Bangalore will give us some key pointers on the criticality of 2nd line of management. Have you ever wondered why the employee, who is developing a code at the entry level of the org. structure or who is in the shop floor, is working hard to achieve his goal? Most of us feel it is because s/he gets paid for it. However, a consistent hardworking energetic individual would need more that “gets paid for it” excuse. S/he is working towards a larger goal, of the organization and s/he has line of vision to that goal.
As an organization it is important to give direction, give employees a purpose. And this shall drive the team forward with focus and passion. This “purpose” is the umbilical code of the organization. And ownership of percolating this lies in the 2nd line of management. The 2nd line of management, spread across various verticals and horizontals, has the responsibility of passing the information and more importantly the spirit of “why are you working here”.
In organizations of 10-30 employees you often see the Founder/MD taking this ownership. He celebrates every success, takes accountability for failures, personally connects and drives his/her employees to the organization goals. However once the organization grows beyond 30, it requires a 2nd line. And hereafter, the growth of the organization is equally proportional to the growth of the 2nd line.
While companies believe they are making progress in some areas, for instance, the percentage of companies with strong role-based and experiential leadership programs grew from 9 percent last year to 20 percent this year ;many major gaps remain:-
- Only 7 percent of companies believe they are “excellent” at building Millennial leaders.
- Only 13 percent of companies report they are “excellent” at building global leaders.
- Only 14 percent of companies surveyed described themselves as “strong” at succession planning throughout the business.
Source : Deloitte University Press
Let me share few activities if done periodically can pave way for a strong 2nd line management,
- Hire/Promote right, for the potential, not on performance alone.
- Have a talent ratio in mind – for accomplishing todays tasks and for achieving tomorrow’s success
- Set clear expectations that link individual’s role goals to organization success.
- Regular feedback sessions to ensure true alignment of every individual to organization goals