“A company replaced all of its managers with coaches. Employees became 20% more productive–and much happier.” (Source)
I absolutely love this idea. The problem with the traditional management model is that middle managers can’t escape from self-interest. They have to think that way if they want to climb the ladder. They have to think that way because the next middle manager up the ladder thinks that way, too.
And so on, even if they climb above the middle levels. Those who do make it carry their habits and expectations with them—all deliberately reinforced and incentivized.
Replacing middle managers with a network of coaches can break that cycle. A coach can put the employee first, optimizing the employee’s talents, interests, choices, and overall professional well-being.
It’s good for leaders, too—imagine not having to use the distribution and withholding of incentives to coordinate resources in order to achieve a desired goal. Imagine everyone in an organization treating each other as goal partners, supported by resources whose only incentives are to make that new model work effectively. A much better place to work—and to lead.