A study of financial staff found that, in addition to financial leadership, strategic thinking, effective communication, and leadership were identified as critical skills.
A survey of chief information officers found that more than three-fourths believe that more widespread use of technology will require IT workers to communicate more effectively and articulately. With more frequent information exchange, skills such as communication, diplomacy, and problem solving will grow in importance.
Critical Skills Across Business Functions (Cont.)
A study of “Sales Management Competencies for the 21st Century” identified eight critical competencies for top-performing sales managers, including providing strategic vision, assembling teams of skilled employees, sharing information with employees, coaching, diagnosing performance, negotiating, and selecting high-potential employees.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Core Competency Framework identified communicating, handling personal relationships, and facilitating learning and personal improvement among the skills and competencies accounting professionals will need for success in the future.
American corporations spend more than $64 billion annually for the training of their workforces, about 85% of it in the area of management skills.
Dana Corp. requires all its employees to complete 40 hours of education each year. The company has three Dana University schools.
Merck & Co. spends 3.5% of its payroll, or about $100 million, on employee skills development programs.
Abbott Technologies provides its employees with tuition reimbursement of up to $7,000 for undergraduate studies and $9,000 for graduate studies.
General Electric spends about $1 billion annually on education and training programs.
Focus on Management: Skills Training at AT&T Wireless Services
AT&T Wireless Services is fighting to maintain its leadership in the face of intense competition and technological changes.
It uses a process called Managing Personal Growth (MPG) to help employees identify key competencies or critical skills, develop them with company resources, and translate them into decisions and actions that help the company meet its goals.
Employees must take responsibility for developing those critical skills on an ongoing basis
Once employees have gone through a process of deciding what new competencies they want to acquire, employees talk with their supervisors to develop an individual plan for their development.
Employees’ job security is grounded in what they know and the value they can create around themselves.
With 319,000 employees and 32,000 managers across six continents, IBM is one of the world’s largest businesses.
With an increasingly mobile work force, many managers supervise employees they rarely see face to face.
Some joke that IBM now stands for “I’m By Myself.”
Samuel Palmisano, IBM’s new CEO, launched a two-year program exploring the role of the manager in the 21 st century and needed management skills.
The project’s first event was “Manager Jam,” a 48-hour real-time Web event in which managers from 50 different countries swapped ideas and strategies for dealing with problems shared by all, regardless of geography.
8,100 managers logged onto the company’s intranet to participate in discussion forums.
The Need for Management Skills The Need for Management Skills Managerial Skills and Life Success Managerial Skills and Hiring Managerial Skills in the New Work Environment
Companies are hiring for skills, including management skills.
A report released in 2000 by the U.S. General Accounting Office provided succinct advice for organizations:
“ Hire, develop, and retain employees according to competencies. Identify the competencies -- knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors -- needed to achieve high performance of mission and goals, and build and sustain the organization’s talent pool through recruiting, hiring, development, and retention policies targeted at building and sustaining those competencies.”
Many companies go further, by tracking skills acquisition in their workforce and tying pay to skills attained, even if the skills are not used.
The 16 Basic Skills Employees Need (Figure 1-1)
Knowing How to Learn
Motivational Goal Setting
Personal and Career Development
Ranking of HR Managers’ Perceptions of Criteria for Evaluating Business Graduates (From Figure 1-2)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the average 22-year-old college graduate in the year 2000 would have more than eight different employers before he or she reaches the age of 32; that is a change of employers every 15 months.
Managerial Skills in the New Work Environment Demand for Managerial Skills Entrepreneurship Downsizing and Delayering Job Enrichment and Empowerment Self-Managed Work Teams Hiring for the Second Job Growth in Management Positions
Focus on Management: Hiring for Competencies at Merck
When Merck and Company needed to fill a large number of field representative positions, it decided to focus specifically on competencies.
Hiring managers were asked to identify the specific traits, skills, and behaviors most critical to job performance.
A process was then developed to screen for those competencies at various steps of candidate assessment.
Each candidate was then scored on the criteria to give a rating of his or her potential.
The process was more efficient than previous approaches, yielded greater consistency across regions, and increased diversity.
These are all skills that will serve you well in life in general.
The abilities to communicate, to interact effectively with others, to negotiate, to solve problems, to lead, to think critically, to motivate others, to listen well, to deal with conflict, and to continue learning are valuable in social relationships, making daily transactions, and leading a fulfilling life.
A wide range of studies show that success in school does almost nothing to predict subsequent career success.
It is the growing evidence of this very weak link that has led many educators and managers to call for a greater emphasis on skills in the learning process.
The authors of a major study of management education sponsored by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business concluded that, “The challenge of how to develop stronger people skills needs to be faced by both business schools … and by corporations and firms in their management development activities…”
Knowledge management efforts emphasize technology and the exchange of codified information; this does not address how the information can be used to make better decisions to enhance work-unit or organizational effectiveness.
Knowledge management tends to treat knowledge as a tangible thing, as a stock or quantity, and therefore separates knowledge as a thing from the use of the thing.
Formal systems can’t easily store or transfer tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is information that is important for doing something effectively that cannot be captured, measured, or codified by formal knowledge systems in organizations.
The people responsible for transferring and implementing knowledge management frequently do not understand the actual work being documented.
Knowledge management tends to focus on specific practices and ignore the importance of philosophy. This refers to the tendency for people to want to know “what to do” to solve problems they face in organizations. If the knowledge acquired by the manager or business professional is merely a collection of practices without a coherent, overarching philosophy, then it becomes difficult to implement these practices.
Fear fosters knowing-doing gaps . So drive out fear. Manage must create a value system, organizational culture, and policies and procedures that do not punish individuals for doing the right thing even if the results are less than optimal.
Beware of false analogies . Fight the competition, not each other. Management must promote a cooperative work environment where everyone is committed to working together to achieve the same business objectives.
Measure what matters and what can help turn knowledge into action . Management should identify a handful of critical measures of success for the organization and track them on an ongoing basis.
What leaders do, how they spend their time, and how they allocate resources, matters .
The Social Learning Perspective (Figure 1-5) Pre- Assessment Conceptual Learning, Modeling Conceptual & Behavioral Practice Life Application
The “4 A’s” of Skill Learning (Figure 1-6) Skills Assessment Skills Awareness Skills Attainment Skills Application
The first step in skill learning is to get baseline measures on important skills and to foster interest in those skills.
Skills Awareness .
This step includes discussion of important background material, such as why the topic is important, key approaches to mastering the skill, and other relevant information.
Skills Attainment .
Here, through a variety of experiential methods, you develop the skill.
Skills Application .
This final step involves life application, such as using the skills in case analyses, life situations, and field projects.
The Bottom Line: Mastering Management Skills Take Baseline (Pre-Test) Measures of the Target Skill(s) Master Content that Supports the Application of the Target Skill(s) Practice the Application of the Target Skill(s) in an Exercise or Case Study Obtain Developmental Feedback Regarding the Target Skill(s) Practice the Application of the Target Skill(s) in an Organizational Context Take Post-Test Measures of the Target Skill(s)
On Labor Day 1999 the U.S. Department of Labor issued a report titled Futurework: Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century . The report sought to outline three major challenges for the 21st century workplace and workforce:
The challenge of being skilled, not stuck in the new economy.
The challenge of flexibility and family as employers seek more flexibility to compete in the global marketplace and workers pursue more opportunities to spend time with their loved ones.
The challenge of destiny and diversity as employers hire from a more diverse pool of workers in the future.
Our management skills framework focuses on human and conceptual skills.
We classify the skills as primarily:
personal (such as self-management and critical thinking)
i nterpersonal (such as communicating and resolving conflict)
managerial (such as leading, motivating, managing teams, strategic planning, and creating a positive work culture)
The framework also considers three levels of effectiveness -- employee, work unit, and organizational.
Management Skills Framework (Figure 1-7) O R G A N I Z A T I O N Organizational Effectiveness Work Unit Effectiveness Employee Effectiveness M A N A G E R Managerial Skills Interpersonal Skills Personal Skills
Action planning refers to the process through which a manager formulates the specific steps that will be taken to address business problems and challenges.
The action plan becomes a blueprint or roadmap for actual implementation.
Guidelines for developing and implementing effective action plans include:
The process must be systematic and actively managed.
Action planning requires a “layering” approach in which action steps are translated into specific supporting actions in relation to each employee who will be involved in implementation.
There must be ongoing and systematic evaluation of the results achieved after implementation of the action plan.
The Bottom Line: Action Planning and Implementation Identify Key Problems Define Objectives Associated with Solving the Key Problems Identify Key Measures of Success for Each Objective Work with Employees to Formulate Action Steps to Achieve Each Objective Assign Responsibility for Implementing Each Action Step to a Specific Employee Clarify the Role of Each Employee in Supporting the Implementation of the Plan Provide Management Support (e.g., Direction, Budget, Training) for Employees Evaluate the Results of Implementing the Action Steps Against Your Initial Objectives Modify the Objectives or Action Steps Based on Your Evaluation
Companies are finding creative ways to develop their employees’ skills, and many are turning to literature, music, and the arts.
When management consulting firm McKinsey & Company wanted to develop its employees’ abilities to inspire, it hired outsiders to help the firm’s consultants and partners write and stage an opera in three days.
At Sears, Lockheed Martin, and Bristol Myers Squibb, a conductor and symphony orchestra rehearse Brahms to bring alive issues of leadership and teamwork for aspiring top managers.
Kodak, Arthur Anderson, and Boeing have brought in poets to foster employees’ creativity, and others are using Shakespeare’s Henry V as a case study on vision, strategy, and leadership skills.