Many organizations fall into the trap of hoping to significantly transform the capabilities of their management teams solely through the use of short-term training programs. Short-term management programs are ideal for topping-up specific areas of management competence or helping orientate managers with the journey for becoming an effective manager.
It is reasonable that only so much can be achieved collectively in growing your managers’ abilities over a short period of time. Many short term programs provide an array of practical tools that can be directly applied back in the workplace. But how do these improved techniques align with the bigger picture of development within your business? It is imperative when planning management learning strategies within your organization that Senior Management look at the development needs from both a short term and a long term perspective. The short term is the need to build the awareness for immediate improvements but the long term is putting “bigger picture” change and transformation into place. Gone are the days of delivering management training for the sake of training; most organizations have dramatically cut their adhoc internal learning offer and now concentrate on learning solutions linked to workplace outputs. Learning & development practitioners are more pressured now than ever to enhance how they deliver successful management development that sustains noticeable impact within the business.
It is this need that highlights the reality that structured management development is one of the credible routes for building sustainable management capability over time. Structured development entails a longer term approach for developing managers. This strategy is profiled and positioned at senior level within an organization ensuring that managers of the target development audience are involved with the longer term objectives of the program. We find that the catalyst for change is often the formal learning part but the place where real change occurs is on the job over time. This is largely influenced by the individual’s direct line manager and environment. Connecting senior management with this development process helps define management and measurement outcomes on the job. This ensures that the program is directly connected with the business strategy and customized to the needs of the business. Through a typical process of 7 to 12 month of continuous development, managers have the opportunity to constantly refresh and apply learnings on the job. Through the various longer term management programs that I have designed both locally and internationally it becomes clear and noticeable how change has a higher success rate in a longer term format. Delegates participating in the process don’t just experience snippets of renewed focus but instead move along a journey that drives continuous, meaningful, sustainable development. So why do many organizations still continue to fall into the trap of only using short term development strategies?
This type of approach requires a strong strategic focus and an internal culture of growth and support. Building quality managers from within an organization can only be achieved through a reasonable investment in time and money. For an organization to pursue this approach they need to be able to see the return achieved through the end goal. This is to raise the level of management thinking to a point where management start taking responsibility for the growth of themselves and the business. It is this that creates the stepping stone for building the future leaders of your organization.