Every manager is having a midlife crisis

The writer is an associate professor of organisational behaviour at Insead

Until the start out of this year, the potential of function was the major aim of the academics, consultants and executives whose business enterprise it is to make financially rewarding predictions. The century of management seemed previous. Some lamented the lack of new management theories. Other folks noticed that the bureaucracies of the 20th century, whose existence depended on supervisors, ended up providing way to tech platforms that experienced minimal use for them. Algorithms ended up superior at coordinating people platforms’ loosely affiliated and widely distributed staff. The robots ended up gradually coming for managers’ places of work. Only tech-savvy leaders would endure.

Then the virus arrived, and all that potential seemed to get there at the moment. The pandemic turned out to be a boon for that new breed of tech leaders and their platforms, turning them from

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