Middle management has been gutted like a trout since the recession started in 2008. Unfortunately, the job growth we're seeing now isn't rebuilding this class of managers: most of the new positions are at the bottom of the pyramid, primarily minimum wage and temporary jobs. In fact, out of the 260,000 jobs created in April, 60,000 came from McDonald's. The evisceration of middle management, combined with a swelling front-line work force, means that span of control is increasing. The burden placed on the remaining managers -- already stretched thin by layoffs -- will only get heavier.

This situation will challenge their ability to work effectively and execute daily, weekly, and monthly plans. And as I wrote last week, this necessitates developing clear organizational strategy; limiting the number of priorities each person is responsible for; simplifying systems and processes; establishing manageable cultural expectations; and finely honing individual skills.

Is your organization ready for this? Are you setting your middle managers -- arguably the backbone of any organization -- up for failure or success?

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