I see middle managers are getting hit yet again, this time in McKinsey Quarterly as ‘innovation blockers‘.
It seems to be forgotten that middle managers have the additional rather boring but important role of actually running the business that generates the cash flow that funds innovation. This is the group that actually knows how things work, as compared with juniors who only see their own function and seniors who move on every couple of years so never get to really understand anything.
With no organizational slack and perpetual pressure to hit targets with ever lower costs, they often don’t have time even to do that essential job properly, let alone contribute to innovation.
And too often, their ideas for innovation have been ignored for years.