Thoughts About Improving Management Training and Development Programs

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    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

    Management educators, writers, and leaders all assert that leading and managing an organization will only get more complex and challenging in the future. Therefore, management development programs must evolve to become even more accessible and relevant. Look for these future enhancements to management training and development programs in universities, colleges, and training centers.

    Future management training and development programs will:

    1. Include more courses about methods of organization development.
      This topic will include understanding various typical problems
      that occur in organizations, how to diagnose them, the variety
      of interventions to solve the problems, evaluating the interventions
      and adjusting policies and procedures to avoid the problems in
      the future. (There’s a growing body of information in this
    2. Involve well beyond Fortune 500 companies when designing
      Input to programs design will include leaders who are representative
      of a broad range of organizations, including small businesses and
      non-profit. These organizations are at the forefront of commerce
      and progress in our society — yet many cannot afford necessary
      means to leadership development.
    3. Pilot methods to make management development programs
      more accessible
      For example, two introductory or foundation courses will be held
      at a lower tuition rate, rather than one highly abstract course
      at a higher rate. With wise use of adjuncts or community faculty
      (and there are many available), two courses need not cost twice
      as much as one.
    4. Keep experienced-based expertise to complement academic
      The use of adjuncts or community faculty brings in experienced-based
      the perspective that strongly complements academic expertise, resulting
      in meaningful courses which remain state-of-the-art, yet grounded
      in the day-to-day realities of running an organization. Word
      quickly spreads among learners about truly meaningful courses,
      which, in turn, provokes strong demand for the courses along
      with long-lasting stature and credibility for the school.
    5. Go beyond theory and competencies-based models to pilot
      more ongoing, process-oriented, and reflective approaches
      These approaches reflect the realities of running an organization
      while developing the reflective skills to “learn how to
      learn.” They spawn the dialogue necessary to retain any
      sense of meaning in today’s chaotic and complex world of
      management. They also spawn the support necessary for learners
      to actually apply what they learn.
    6. Exploit the leverage in leadership development to be gained
      from piloting self-organized groups of learners
      These groups provide highly accessible means to ongoing support,
      complex problem-solving, and continuous learning. These groups
      can be spawned at low-cost and produce a high volume of “grassroots”
      development “courses” where leaders are taught how
      to help each other. These groups can complement traditional classroom-based
      training methods; they need not replace them.
    7. Pilot means to address increasing burnout and cynicism
      in leaders
      Management development does not occur in a safe vacuum devoid
      of the challenges of self-management. Burnout and cynicism are
      not addressed through intellectual rigor — addressing both require
      highly accessible and ongoing forums for venting, dialogue and
    8. Develop evaluation methods to be based more on indicators
      of effectiveness in learners’ organizations and less on
      learners’ reactions to courses
      Learners are increasingly skeptical of the explosion of seminars
      and workshops that promise a great deal, but leave their students
      temporarily feeling good. Learners, trainers, and developers need
      a great deal of help now to learn how to separate style from
    9. Recognize the value of ongoing support to learners and
      Particularly in today’s rapidly changing world, it can be tremendously
      stressful to lead or manage an organization. In these times of
      stress, it’s often quite difficult to intellectually grasp a
      a vast array of intellectual information, store it away for later
      reference, know when to retrieve it, and then readily apply it
      to the current major challenge in the workplace. A strong foundation
      of ongoing support can help learners and leaders to keep an open
      mind to new information, explore various new values and viewpoints,
      and then have the courage to apply this new information in the
      workplace. This strong foundation of ongoing support is every
      bit as much a piece of training and development as is a new binder
      of new information in a course.

    Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Management Development

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