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Developing General Managers up to Directors


I have been asked to put together a development programme for the most senior level of 'management' (essentially those reporting to Directors) in a company. One objective is to develop them such that they will be able to operate at Director level.

I am interested in any info or leads on where I might investigate the gap, and hence the development needs, between operating as a 'General Manager' and a Director.
Geoff Roberts

8 Responses

  1. Directors
    The main difference is a legal one in terms of responsibilities and in terms of skill sets; the leadership and strategic qualities that underpin excellent directors.
    ‘General’ management is not a concept that exists in many thriving companies as specialism is required at even a junior level. This can be broad in terms of either operational or strategic in classification but a senior manager awaiting board level duties will need to have a background of leadership to survive. A clear concept of the requirements of company law and how it relates to board level members is essential.
    We hope this helps as a starting point.

    Training By Design Global Ltd

  2. Board responsibilities
    I have a list of the tasks to be expected of any board that focuses on 4 areas:
    1. vision, mission and values
    2. strategy and structure
    3. delegation to management
    4. responsibility to shareholders and other interested parties.
    This may be one level higher than the directors you are working with, but if you are going to develop them for what lies ahead…
    Feel free to e-mail me with an address if you want a copy [email protected]

  3. Beyond Vision
    These comments are true to the mark, but there is an extension to ‘Vision’ that is a directorial essential – creativity. Not the creativity that we associate with artists, but that lateral-logical-imaginative quality that keeps a business ahead of the competition.

    Oh yes – you can’t teach good instincts, but you CAN teach people to recognise when they don’t have them.

  4. Developing General Managers
    We recently conducted a survey of 100 clients to investigate this issue. If you would like a copy of the feedback please let me know and I can forward a copy to you.

    Bridget Walford

  5. Arian Associates Ltd
    Suggest you obtain a copy of the NVQ Standards for Level 5 in Operations Management & Stratgic Management.
    It will give you a good benchmark to work from.

    As experienced Management Development Practitioners contact us if you need any help.

    email arianassociates@lineone,net

  6. Look at the IOD
    Have you contacted the Institute of Directors? I think that they looked at this issue in the past and have some views as the differences. Also they do have some director development programmes and you might found those a useful catalyst for ideas. SHL also have a Directors Development Audit. Jenny

  7. Developing Senior Managers
    Hi Geoff,
    Having been charged with a similar objective a little while ago, in a £2bn t/o business, it became apparent that understanding the differences between the Director and Senior Manager role was really understood and appreciated. It was also critical that the Senior Managers fully understood and agreed with the areas requiring development. To help them, 360 degree feedback tools were used extensively, along with some coaching to help them with Personal Development Planning. Skills development sessions were then designed to meet their needs.

    ‘e’ mail me if you want to know more on [email protected]


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