Today's complex and fluid business environments call for a new approach to leadership. Modern business managers need the hard skills to drive growth and profit and the soft skills to get the best out of their people. They must embrace the values of inclusion and diversity, welcome change and a cooperative approach to business strategy, and have the tech skills to leverage the latest digital technologies and practices.

So to help you better understand the challenges of leading in the 21st-century, here are five new management trends you need to know about - and one innovative business school where students gain the management knowledge and skills to launch leadership careers.

Real people management

Digital technologies powered by artificial intelligence are automating many admin-based managerial tasks. Mundane (and time-consuming) responsibilities like scheduling, approving expense reports, and monitoring reports will all be handed over to the machines.

Automation is freeing up management time and resources, giving leaders an opportunity to do some real people management. Automating many of their daily duties could even transform what we mean when we talk about managers in the workplace. With all that extra time and emotional energy to dedicate to their people, managers could become more like coaches, guides, or mentors.

Employee welfare and mental health support

The British Mental Health Foundation survey found that 38% of workers fear that revealing a mental health problem at work would jeopardize their career. In other words, far too many people still suffer in silence.

Thankfully, businesses are starting to give employee mental health support the attention it deserves. The days of buttoning up your emotions and 'just getting on with it' are long gone. And good riddance to them.

Today's modern workplace encourages openness, meaningful dialogue, and professional relationships based on trust and mutual understanding. Managers must be open to this new style of people management if they want to get the best from themselves and their people. It requires a high level of emotional intelligence, excellent listening skills, and empathy. Most importantly, it demands a genuine desire to help everybody reach their full potential.

Horizontal management structure

Hierarchies will always be an essential component of a successful business, especially when making high-level strategic decisions.

But down on the ground, it's time we flattened that outdated management structure. Today's businesses need to be fluid, dynamic, and agile. And that requires the diversity of opinion and collaborative approach that you can't get from a rigid top-down structure where one person has the final word.

'Flatter' management structures facilitate better conversations, increase employee engagement, and foster an inclusive and forward-thinking culture that's more likely to implement successful business transformation strategies.

Hybrid management

Hybrid roles require hybrid management styles. When you enter business management in the future, it's highly likely you will be responsible for people working in the office, at home, or a mixture of both.

You could even be managing staff who are 100% remote and based in other countries (and timezones). As you can imagine, this requires serious organizational skills on your part. But in return, you widen your potential talent pool. Remote hybrid working means you can hire the best people from almost anywhere in the world. It's the perfect opportunity to build a real dream team.

Embracing change

A new generation is about to enter the workforce. Known as Generation Z (or post-Millennials or iGen), it’s the most racially diverse and best-educated generation of all time. These tech-savvy, value-driven youngsters want more than just a decent job with excellent benefits. Instead, they're motivated by socially conscious companies driving positive change.

This means many companies and managers are having to adapt their corporate culture to attract top young talent. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, "Diversity is the watchword for Gen Z. It matters to them through many dimensions. Gen Z is the most likely generation to have individuals identifying as non-binary/third gender. As a result, companies need to represent and empower the full spectrum of 21st-century individuality. Those that do are much more likely to diversify their talent pipelines."

How can you become a modern business leader?

The two-year MSc in Management - European Triple Degree - Grande Ecole from emlyon business school is the ideal qualification for future business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Run in partnership with the Lancaster University Management School and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, this innovative and flexible master’s degree is designed to help you understand the complexities of leadership in international business environments.

Managers and entrepreneurs

Year 1 focuses on developing your core business and management skills, giving you a solid foundation to transition to more specialized areas of study in year 2. In year 2, students choose from specialization areas covering the most important topics and developments in today's business world. Become an expert in Corporate Finance; Marketing; Organization, Change and Strategy; Corporate Development; or Digital Business, Innovation and Management. All modules are taught in English.

In both years you have the exciting opportunity of a six-month internship at a leading company or business organization anywhere in the world. This is your chance to apply classroom theory to real-world situations, giving you the hands-on skills and confidence to land a professional business role after graduation.

The MSc in Management from emlyon business school promises graduates a three-pronged advantage in starting their international business careers.

Specialization: Tailor your course to learn the skills you need to land that dream job. At the same time, the core business modules will prepare you for management roles in a wide range of businesses and organizations.

Leadership: The course is delivered by business experts and innovators with decades of leadership experience. They'll show you exactly what it takes to become an effective 21st-century business leader.

Triangle of excellence: Three leading European business and management education institutions joined forces to deliver the MSc in Management. Studied in France, Germany, or the UK, program provides a truly unique, diverse, and international learning environment.

Ahmed, a 27-year-old MSc in Management student from Pakistan, says of the MSc in Management, "I found the perfect program. It allows students to pave their own path, choosing courses that match career goals. And the internship is a big factor. Knowing I'm gaining some work experience convinces me that this is the right program."

Sophie Long, who moved from New Mexico, USA, to study for the MSc in Management European Triple Degree at the Lyon campus in France, adds, "This program offered the best ratio of work experience to teaching. I wanted to study in a diverse, international environment, and you get that here thanks to the three schools working together."

"And I'd never studied business before, so the first year sounded right for me. I took classes in everything, from accounting to marketing. They gave me the confidence to explore my interests and pursue something interesting for my internship."

The MSc in Management - European Triple Degree - Grande Ecole is now open to students with a bachelor's degree in any subject! Click here to start your application today for the 2023 intake.

Article written in association with emlyon business school.