Interview to Cristina Spagna – From “La Repubblica Affari&Finanza” 

 

According to a research carried out by Centro Formazione Management del Terziario established in 1994 on the initiative of ManagerItalia and Confcommercio, Italy is to expect a rise in the number of upskilled managers by 2020.

 

The report underlines that the growing need for managers will be driven by the greatly complex digital organization and by the creation of new businesses. While it rings as definitely good news to the ears of current and would-be managers, it does not mean one can afford to passively watch success go past. As a matter of fact, market outlets will open up solely for professionals meeting three chief requirements: relational and negotiating skills, vision and intuition, sharing and transfer of know-how. Therefore, although digitalization paves the way to new skills, eventually only the most flexible managers will make headways.

The research also sheds light on the evolution under way in the entrepreneur-manager relationship: the former will necessarily have to stop thinking they possess all the technical skills required to ride the technological revolution; in fact the complexity of the system is going to be such that it cannot possibly be headed by a bunch of ‘almighty’ individuals alone. Which implies that, while in the near future a great many Italian entrepreneurs will stop underestimating managerial skills, there will be greater room for managers and professionals.

Pier Luigi Giacomon, chairman of Cftm, underlines the importance of coaching professionals in order for them to get ready to cope with the market changes. Their approach aims at boosting skills by promoting the on-going cultural exchange among managers from differentiated backgrounds, roles and variously sized companies. Managers and companies are to be led towards the new economy 4.0 where the digital is the tool for redefining labour organization and business models.

Manageritalia points out that the trend recorded in recent years was positive. Between 2011 and 2015 the number of managers rose by 1,2% in Italy with Lombardy having contributed a +5.2%. If we look into more recent times, it is to be noticed that while 2016 recorded a further 3% increase in the number of managers, the upswing also applies to the first quarter of 2017 (+1%). Not bad when we reckon with the sluggish economic growth affecting Italy. Mario Mantovani, vice-chairman of Manageritalia, holds the view that entrepreneurs need to rely on professionals who have skills the former lack. Even innovative start-ups finally understood that taking managers on board from the very beginning is crucial to the aim of outlining a solid growth path.

But in what way is the relationship between business owners and executives changing? Cristina SpagnaManaging Director of Kilpatrick and one of the research experts, claims that SMEs are increasingly facing the same problems as big-sized companies or multi-national corporations. Unfortunately the former are not always ready to accept the new rules dictated by the changes in the market. Assisting entrepreneurs and understanding their role in the company is the number-one challenge confronting managers today. And while this seems to be a given in today’s market, problems arise when it comes to shifting from words to deeds. A great many companies do not have an actual management in place. In this regard business owners ought to question themselves and to assess future scenarios while seeking skilled, knowledgeable professionals helping companies go international as requested by the market.