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Integrating management development


This feature was contributed by Joe Scott, Sales & Business Development Manager at John Seymour Associates.

For organisations that haven’t seen the light, management development could well be the first stage in losing their employees. It is a great way for people to prepare themselves for their next career move (both internally and externally).

So am I saying they shouldn’t be trained? Of course not. What I will say is the management development has four wheels- and if any one wheel comes off, it will be a bumpy road to have the benefits of any such training:

1. Training needs to have a ‘behavioural’ element i.e. people learn ‘how’ to do something different. And of course this is where much management development ends.

2. It also needs to have a ‘psychological’ element i.e. how people think and feel about what they do. For instance, if someone learns how to do appraisals better, but thinks they are a waste of time then they may never happen.

3. It is even more likely that another wheel will come off. And this is when there is a lack of integration of the training into the culture. Not even the espoused ‘vision’ kind of culture, but culture of the very department or team that the manager is working within. There is no point in having a management development programme that empowers people if their dogmatic line manager refuses to listen to their views.

4. The wheel that is so often bouncing down the management development road is the lack of ‘system’ appreciation. If there isn’t, for example, a suitable career path that allows the manager to move up the ladder then the type of training given needs to take this into account. You can end up with such great managers that the only step they can take is to a different organisation.

It is increasingly becoming known that the ‘four wheels’ that I have outlined are in fact the four management theories that we use: behavioural; psychological; cultural; and systems. Whatever programme is put in place needs an equal awareness of the current state of play of these within the organisation, where they want to get to, and how this programme will help them get there.

Whether you are a trainer or a training purchaser, consider the merits of this approach. In essence, a trainer cannot exist without the training purchaser- the better results we can all get, the more success we all achieve.

©John Seymour Associates 2003


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