How an article over 15 years old in Fortune magazine is still relevant in describing the world of Big Business

I read this article in 1995:

PLANNING A CAREER IN A WORLD WITHOUT MANAGERS THE OLD CAREER TRACK? OBLITERATED, AS YOU KNOW. BUT VISIBLE IN THE RUBBLE IS A NEW WAY TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CAREER. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS–AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. – March 20, 1995

Back then, this was all new, or seemed to for me, even though I had been working over 10 years at the time. When I first started working, you had the staff and the staff had a manager (boss). It was highly hierarchical and not very fluid. Then the new “world without managers” came along, and it has been that way since.

There are still people who don’t see this is how the world of large organizations work (or should work). But when you look at people who work in big business, the article says you have four roles: top executives, followed by resource providers, project managers, and the talent. I would add a fifth role: sales person. The execs set the direction, the sales people sell the talent, the resource providers and project managers care and feed the talent. That’s it. If you work for a large company, you are one of these. You might say: oh no, I am the manager/director/associate VP of XYZ. But if you look at what you are doing, chances are you focused mostly on doing one of those roles.

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