Management Foundations

Cover image for Management Foundations

Being a manager is fundamentally different from being an individual contributor. It’s not just a matter of greater responsibility; the nature of our work changes too. Our work becomes ensuring and enabling other people’s performance. This Program explores the core of great management to help new managers––and veteran managers looking to better understand management best practices––cultivate successful teams and thrive in today’s complex work environment.

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Program Overview

Getting better at being a manager isn’t a matter of just putting in more hours or reading books on management. Rather, it’s navigating the complexity of interpersonal dynamics and finding ways to balance structure with flexibility, strategy with execution, top-down directives and autonomy.

Whether we’re new to management altogether or just new to a role, we have to adjust quickly on the fly to the demands of the job. The experience that got us to where we are won’t necessarily guarantee success in our new role. We may find that our words and actions have a weight and importance to our colleagues that they never had before. Figuring out how to thrive in this context is not just about us; it’s about our team, and they’re counting on us. This Program is designed for any manager looking to better understand the heart of management, why it’s different from other kinds of work, and what it takes to be a good manager.

Key Questions

What are some common traps that many managers fall into?

How is trust changing in the digital world?

How should you decide what tasks to delegate, and to whom?

What does good delegation look like?

What is a leader's role in facilitating organizational learning?

What do learning-centric teams and organizations look like?

Field Manuals

The Management Foundations Program is made up of four Field Manuals (our version of an online module). Each one contains a variety of types of content and social exercises culminating in a mini-project, reflection, or debate. Each Field Manual will take you between 30-45 minutes to complete but you can jump on and off at your own pace, as often as you’d like. The deeper learning happens in the discussions with your fellow learners so be sure to check in on the conversations regularly.

  • Management

    Mastering the art of management is a lifelong pursuit. This Field Manual looks at what it means to be a good manager in a global, digital economy. It explores some common pitfalls that plague managers at all levels and helps you reflect on your own philosophy of management—whether this is your first transition into a new management role or your tenth.

  • Trust

    If your people don’t trust you and each other, nothing gets done. This Field Manual focuses on how to build and maintain trust, and the unique challenges of doing it in an era where overall levels of trust are diminishing.

  • Delegation

    The who, what, when, why, and how of delegation. This Field Manual looks at the history of delegation as a way to rethink our own practices. It repositions delegation as a way to empower team members rather than fairly distributing unpleasant busywork.

  • Learning

    Learning is at the root of our ability to adapt and thrive in today’s dynamic landscape. This Field Manual explores how to absorb new information as well as how and why to filter, categorize, and share it—so that we can cultivate a culture of learning on our teams.

Featured Voices
  • Amanda Thurston

    Partner, Prophet

  • Rich Kaplan

    General Manager of Employee Experience and HR Services and Strategic Advisory, Microsoft Alumni Network

  • Matt Burr

    CEO and Co-Founder, Nomadic Learning

  • Dr Cindy Pace

    Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, MetLife

  • Summer Davies

    Global Sr. Manager of Leadership Development, Mars

An excerpt from the Program

This animation, featured in the Management I Program, explains four unexpected behavior traps we run the risk of falling into as managers and what we might do to avoid them.