management styles

Evolution in Management Styles and Thinking


If you are a history buff, then you’ll understand, but if you ignore history or are uninterested in progress, then you are condemned to repeat those same historical errors and debacles.  So, you’re thinking that I am cenacle, but I’d like to think I’m a realist that has lived through these various stages and am here to testify it’s all true.

The Way it Was!

Mid-20th Century (1950’s -1970’s)

  • Who cares what you think just do what I tell you.
  • My way or the highway.
  • Management by intimidation.


  • I’m OK, You’re … well, I’m not too sure.
  • I’m your buddy, buddy.
  • Management reserves the right to continue the beating until morale improves.


  • 360º evaluations (superiors, subordinates, and peers).
  • We are a team.
  • There’s no I in team.


  • This has to be a collaborative/cooperative effort.
  • If you are an operational genius, but perceived as draconian, you’re history.
  • We’ve got to do this together.

2010 and Forward

  • We must do this together as a team.
  • If your superiors, subordinates, and peers don’t all love you; you loose. Now it’s called a 360º review.
  • Give respect to get respect.
  • Involve team members so they then become partial owners.
  • Change is evolutionary not revolutionary.
  • It’s top down not bottom up.
  • You’ve got to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

The management style needs to address the key items for millennial’s.

So, going forward, with the largest generation since the Baby Boomers, the millennial’s, are a breed of their own (born between the 1980’s and 1990’s they are an instant gratification generation on steroids, mobile phones, and technology.  The following are KEY items for and about this strange generation (as researched by Forbes, Price Waterhouse, and Accenture):

  • They are job hoppers.
  • They have a short attention span, but high ambitions.
  • Mix professional and social lives.
  • Like social engagements.
  • Desirous of ongoing education (maybe Certifications/seminars), but not MBA’s.
  • Training in short bite sized segments is best.
  • Visual learning like You Tube videos is great.
  • A job pays the bills and other jobs provide creative outlets.
  • Highest ranking is: Leadership, Public Speaking, Team Management, and Self Confidence Building.
  • Positive Corporate culture is important.
  • Motivated by meaning.
  • Like switching between tasks and technology.
  • Millennial’s believe Collaborative work is Team work.

In order to manage millennial’s managers will be required to be cognizant of the preceding items and provide/allow constant feedback and provide environments to allow for multi-tasking.

In the end, like everything in life, management is an evolutionary process.  It does not remain static.  In fact, that is how project management and this website came to be.  Like the military that started with strict vertical organizations and went to small elite teams, management moved the same way.  You can often see business structure following military structure if you look for it.

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