Why do middle managers feel like the meat in a baloney sandwich?

I often write about the profit-purpose continuum - a phenomenon of transitioning government-funded models towards individualised services.


At one extreme, think about purpose-driven missionaries who selflessly volunteer in war zones. At the other end, think about greedy corporates whose behaviour deliberately destroys people’s lives in the name of profit (e.g. Banking Royal Commission).


Somewhere on that continuum is your organisation.


Service providers become more commercial because they have to.


Who do you think cops it in the process?


Yes, it’s the middle managers. They know all too well they are the meat in a sub-culture sandwich.


Navigating a Board’s financial decree versus front-liners believing it's a tragic "numbers game" is not easy. After all, people's personal identity is at stake when money comes first.


When sub-cultures collide, the PRESSURE is enormous for middle managers:


- burnout,

- resentment,

- work-cover claims and

- more turnover.


If your Board doesn’t quite recognise sub-cultures exist, then I ask “How many slices of bologna did you want?”.


You might as well add some extra mayo to make your sandwich tolerable.