Leadership – do you know what good looks like?

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There has always been the question, are leaders born and not made?

Early thoughts suggested that the individual is more important than the situation, so if we can identify the distinguishing characteristics of successful leaders we shall have the clues to the leadership problem. Most studies single out the following traits :

– Intelligence

– Self -assurance

– Initiative

– Big picture orientation

– Good health

– Enthusiasm

– Integrity

– Courage

– Determination

– Imagination

– Faith

Good leaders usually have some or all of these traits, however possession of them does not always make a good leader, the traits are so often ill-defined as to be difficult to relate to practice.

Further studies have suggested that employees will work harder and therefore more effectively for Managers who employ given styles of leadership. The styles usually range from authoritarian to democratic.

In the extreme authoritarian style power resides with the leader, authority for decision making, arbitration, control and reward or punishment is vested in the leader who alone exercises this authority.

In the democratic style, these powers and responsibilities are shared with the group in some way or other. It is commonly assumed that people produce more under a democratic leader than under an authoritarian one

Research suggests that style alone is not the answer to effective leadership, however a more supportive style of management will lead to a higher degree of contentment and to greater involvement with the work group.

Current thinking suggests that in any situation that confronts the leader there are 3 sets of influencing factors that he/she must take into consideration :-

1. The leader – their preferred style of operating and their personal characteristics.

2. The subordinates – their preferred style of leadership in light of the situation.

3. The situation – the job in hand, its importance, its complexity and the operating environment.

The situational approach maintains that there is no such thing as the right style of leadership, but that leadership will be most effective when the requirements of the leader, the subordinates and the situation are made to “fit together”

Finally, the leader is a role model, he/she cannot avoid the role and it is vital for us to consider what forms of behaviour, what attitudes and values we represent.

At Profile H.R.D. we have supported all sizes of organisations over many years in defining and developing, in the context of delivering their business plan, what good leadership looks like.

 

Is your strategy set to succeed?

We have been involved in working with many top teams in organisation’s where they need to decide upon which business models, strategies and “best practice” frameworks are the best for them.

This new service, specifically designed as a facilitated session with the top team, enables them to align their values, vision and plans in order produce an effective implementation plan

This service is provided as an internal planning & implementation workshop for an organisation’s top management team and covers:

  • A 10 point strategic review
  • An action plan following the 10 point review
  • Managing change and the “softer” perspective
  • Key business planning tools explained
  • The work of Kotter, Senge, Mintzberg & Collins
  • The Balanced Scorecard & Dashboards
  • Managing “Emergence”

For further information, e-mail alexgallon5@gmail.com

Can your management team support engagement?

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Research by the Corporate Leadership Council suggests that manager-led actions that impact on employee engagement fall into two sets of development needs.

1. Performing a dual role

a) Managing employee work and their performance

b) Managing an employee’s relationship with their organisation

2. Possessing competencies that are proven to support employee engagement

a) Setting realistic performance expectations

b) Articulating organisational goals

c) Breaking work projects into manageable “chunks”

d) Encouraging and committing to innovation

e) Encouraging and working with the differences between people

f) Adapting to changing circumstances

g) Continuously connecting work and organisational goals

h) Accurately evaluating employee potential

This research can be vital when considering investment in your management team. It’s also vital to consider your business goals and any future changes in the organisation as these too have an impact on the competencies your managers will need to manage employees under these circumstances.

Developing a Training Strategy (using the IIP framework)

Developing a Training Strategy

Many of us, over the years, have been charged with, or in some cases, commissioned to, develop a training strategy (by definition the word “training” encompasses learning, training & development).

There is plenty of advice out there about the “what”, but little advice about the “how”. This is where a practical framework such as IIP can help us in embedding a training strategy into an organisation.

How then?

I’m grateful to CIPD for their extremely useful research, papers and tools on “aligning learning, training and development with strategic priorities” and here is where we discover that their research identifies the alignment of training as an outcome and as such should be the first step in putting together a training strategy. I have identified 5 phases for this:

Phase 1 On-going Alignment

This phase has 3 distinctive, yet linked and continuous actions:

1. on-going dialogue with a range of organisational stakeholders

2. ensuring that investment in training fits with organisational priorities

3. the delivery of cost effective training processes

What is the dialogue that we should be having? Well, the strategic expectations for training are that:

a) we deliver on-going skills development and reduce “time to competence” to provide cost effective labour.

b) we develop the capabilities in people in readiness for change

c) we deliver performance improvement at organisational, team and individual level

d) we enable talent & management development, contributing to succession planning

Phase 2 Alignment – organisational priorities

This phase essentially focuses on four questions for the most senior stakeholders:

Q1 – the high-profile activities or initiatives that senior management regard as critical for the fulfilment of organisational strategic objectives?

Q2 – any change initiatives that are taking place or are planned?

Q3 – does our performance management process reflect these needs?

Q4 – have we determined what good management will look like when managing these priorities?

Phase 3 Alignment – team/functional needs with organisational priorities

This phase essentially focuses on two questions for the line management stakeholders:

Q1 – how do you plan to ensure you have the resources to meet your team’s emerging development needs?

Q2 – does our performance management process reflect your priorities?

Q3 – with your own development in mind, do you know what good looks like

Phase 4 Alignment – individual needs with organisational priorities

This phase is about creating a dialogue opportunity with staff stakeholder groups/teams/areas to identify how effective the current training provision is in terms of how :

a) we deliver on-going skills development and reduce “time to competence” to provide cost effective labour.

b) we develop the capabilities in people in readiness for change

c) we deliver performance improvement at organisational, team and individual level

d) we enable talent & management development, contributing to succession planning

Phase 5 Training plan, budgets & evaluation

This phase consists of writing up your discussions and identifying those actions that need to be taken.

The training plan should be presented as a business or added value case.

Budgets for, and evaluation of, the training should be agreed as part of the on-going dialogue with key stakeholders.

The degree of dialogue held is to be determined by their impact on the training budget.

Evaluation opportunities can be found at the point at which, in the experiences of the stakeholders, benefits and costs can be brought together into a meaningful equation for the business.

To discuss how the IIP framework can assist you in designing people development strategies that can add real value to your organisation, e-mail alex.gallon@profilehrd.com

Thanks to Lesley

Lesley Beveridge
HR Manager

Alex was our Investors in People consultant during 2012/13 and his help, advice and unwavering support was integral to my organisation gaining IIP accreditation in December 2013. Throughout the process I found Alex to be an extremely knowledgeable, professional and personable partner and would not hesitate to recommend him to any organisation who seeks continual improvement with regard to their people policies and practices.   Lesley Beveridge, HR Manager, Watermeadow Medical

February 17, 2014, Lesley was Alex’s client

Staff Representatives Course – Testimonials

Collaboration

Hi Glen

Just a note to say how well the course run by Alex went on Thursday and Friday.

We all bonded really well and had fun along the way too with the soft skills activities and in general the whole course content.

A fantastic day and a half learning the skills that each and everyone of  us agreed that we all felt we needed. Also the start of a bonded positive thinking group.

Alex the tutor was fantastic and obviously his true professionalism shone though the whole time.

Looking forward to putting the skills to use.

Thanks for organising this essential training for us Glen.

Tony (Technical Services Representative)”

Glen

The training last week left me with confidence of the group I will be working with and the expectation that we should be able to carry out required meetings professionally .

The input from Alex was both interesting and informative showing the challenging sides of this new role.

The pace of training was delivered well and the mixture of tasks and information was for me pitched just right.

Kevin (IT & Facilities Representative)”

Employee Representative training takes centre stage

Collaboration

We were challenged to design and develop a programme that would meet the very specific needs of a group of newly appointed Employee Representatives in a very successful Theatre Group.

Testimonials to the success of the course can be found on our news pages.

The content was specifically tailored for a group that would assume responsibility for representing 350 people.

Their remit covered collective bargaining on pay and their terms and conditions of employment, as well as becoming the focal point for communication and consultation with the company and with the whole workforce.

More specifically, the content included:

– legal requirements & definitions

– staff agreements

– The role of the employee rep – knowledge, skills & behaviours

– Competition .v. Collaboration

– Negotiating styles & positioning

– Communication styles – “the platinum rule”

– Assertiveness skills & behaviours

– Contributing to meetings

– Note-taking, records & feedback to respective groups

For more information, e-mail alex.gallon@profilehrd.com