How to Design Your Management Training and Development Program

Sections of this topic

    How to Design Your Management Training and Development Program

    Written by Carter
    McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC
    . Copyright; Authenticity
    Consulting, LLC

    (Note that there are separate topics about How
    to Design Your Leadership Development Program
    and How
    to Design Your Supervisor Development Program
    . Those two topics are very
    similar to this topic about management development, but with a different focus.)

    Sections of This Topic Include:

    Comprehensive, practical book by Carter McNamara


    Leadership and Supervision in Business - Book Cover

    Prepare for Your Learning and Development
    Be Sure You Know What Learning and Development Really
    Are
    Consider Two Different Approaches to Learning
    About Management

    Know How to Capture Learning from Your Activities

    Prepare for Learning About Management
    Get Acquainted With Organizational Context
    of Management

    Get Acquainted With What “Management”
    Is

    Activities for Informal Approach to Management Development

    Guidelines for Formal Approach to Management Development
    Identify Your Overall Goals
    for Program

    Determine Your Learning
    Objectives and Activities to Achieve Them

    Develop Any Materials
    You May Need

    Plan Implementation
    of Your Program

    Evaluate During and
    After Your Program

    Follow-Up After Completion
    of Your Program

    Free Basic Guide to
    Leadership and Supervision


    Prepare for Your Learning and Development

    Be Sure You Know What Learning and Development Really Are

    Most of us are so conditioned from many years in schooling that we think of
    learning and development as coming from a program in which our participation
    is graded by experts in a certain topic. As a result, many of us still miss
    numerous opportunities for our own learning and development. Perhaps one of
    the reasons is that we do not know what learning and development really is.
    So before undertaking a management development program, we should be sure that
    we know what we are talking about.

    Learning could be interpreted as new:

    1. Knowledge, which is information that is useful in accomplishing a certain
      activity that is important, for example, to solve a problem, achieve a goal
      or see a situation in entirely different light.
    2. Skills, which is the expertise — consciously or unconsciously — to continually
      use the new information to accomplish that certain activity. (Educators often
      refer to new abilities as a component of learning, but some admit that the
      difference between abilities and skills is such a fine one that it is often
      difficult to explain.)
    3. Perceptions, which are new ways of seeing a situation. (When people are
      continually stuck when trying to solve a problem or achieve a goal, it is
      often in the way that they see the situation.)

    In the field of education, development could be interpreted as the activities
    to raise the quality of performance, for example, of a person, team or organization.
    However, like learning, development is best accomplished if it is recognized
    as such. Thus, development usually requires ongoing focus and attention to the
    quality of performance, as well as the quality of the activities to raise it.

    Consider Two Different Approaches to Learning About Management

    It is important to understand the different approaches you can take in increasing
    your learning about management. Formal approaches are proactively designed in
    a comprehensive and systematic way in order to accomplish certain desired outcomes.
    Traditional classroom approaches to education have that specific form — they
    are formal approaches to learning and development.

    In contrast, informal approaches are those that occur during our typical day-to-day
    activities in life and can include, for example, reading books, having discussions
    with friends, on-the-job training and keeping a diary with thoughts about management.

    Informal
    Versus. Formal Training, Self-Directed Versus Other-Directed Training

    Know How to Capture Learning from Your Activities

    Whether in formal or informal approaches, the ongoing ability to recognize
    and capture learning is extremely important. That ability is often referred
    to as continuous learning and it is frequently mentioned in literature about
    management development (in this context, the term management is inclusive of
    leadership and supervisor development). Simply put, continuous learning is the
    ability to learn to learn.

    The key to cultivating continuous learning is the ability to continually reflect
    on your experiences and the experiences of others in your life. Reflection is
    continuously thinking about, for example, your experiences, their causes and
    effects, your role in them, if they changed you and how. It is thinking about
    how you might use those experiences and changes to enhance your life and the
    lives of others.

    If you can view your life as a “laboratory for learning program”,
    then you can continue to learn from almost everything in your life. However,
    learning is best captured if it is consciously recognized as such, for example,
    discussed with someone else or written down somewhere. Otherwise, new learning
    can easily be lost in the demands of life and work. So it is very important
    to document your learning.


    Prepare for Your Learning About Management

    Get Acquainted With Organizational Context of
    Management

    Before learning more about management, you would benefit first from becoming
    acquainted with the organizational context in which management typically occurs,
    including understanding organizations as systems, their common dimensions, what
    makes each unique, their different life cycles and different cultures.
    Organizational Structures and Design

    Get Acquainted With What “Management” Is

    Then, the next place to start learning about management is to get some sense of
    what management really is — in particular, get an impression of the areas of
    knowledge and skills recommended for effective management in organizations. Review
    the information in the Library’s topic:
    What is Management?
    How Do I Manage?


    Activities for Informal Approach to Management
    Development

    Here is but a sampling of the activities from which you could informally accomplish
    your own management development. Here is a sample learning
    journal
    that you might use to continually capture your learning.


    Consider getting assistance

    Consider these readings

    Consider practicing these management skills

    Consider workplace activities for learning

    • Start a new project , ideally a project that includes your setting
      direction and influencing others to follow that direction
    • Regularly solicit feedback from others about your management skills
    • Ask your supervisor, peers and subordinates for ideas to develop your
      management skills
    • Ask to be assigned to a management position

    Close and gaps in your work performance

    • Performance gaps are areas of knowledge and skills need to improve
      performance and are usually indicated during performance reviews with
      your supervisor. This Library topic is to a series of articles about
      managing performance, including performance gaps.
      Employee
      Performance Management


    Close any growth or opportunity gaps

    • Growth gaps are areas of knowledge and skills need to achieve a career
      goal. Opportunity gaps are areas of knowledge and skills needed to take
      advantage of an upcoming opportunity. These Library topics can help
      you think about the growth and opportunity gaps in your career.
      Career Planning

      Job
      Descriptions

    Assess your management skills

    Assess management practices in:

    Collect ideas from others

    • Ask for advice from friends, peers, your supervisors and others about
      skills in management. Ask for their opinions about your management skills.
      Try get their suggestions in terms of certain behaviors you should show.

      Getting
      and Receiving Feedback

    Reference lists of suggested competencies

    • Competencies are lists of the general abilities needed to do a certain
      job or perform a certain role. Reference the “How to” sections
      in the following Library topic:
      Various
      Competencies Needed By Management

    Reference publications about management

    • There is a vast amount of information about management and management
      skills. However, much of it is in regard to character traits that leaders
      and managers should have. When determining your program goals, translate
      these character traits to behaviors that you and others can recognize.
      Guidelines
      to Understand Literature About Leadership

    Consider other sources for learning


    Guidelines for Formal Approach to Management
    Development

    You are much more likely to develop skills in management from participating
    in a formal program approach than an informal approach. The following sections
    will guide you to develop your own complete, highly integrated and performance-oriented
    program.

    Identify Your Overall Goals for Your Program

    This section helps you identify what you want to be able to do as a result
    of implementing your program, for example, to qualify for a certain job, overcome
    a performance problem or achieve a goal in your career development plan. You
    are often better off to work towards at most two to four goals at a time, rather
    than many. There are a variety of ways to identify your program goals, depending
    on what you want to be able to accomplish from the program. The articles might
    be helpful in preparing you to identify your goals.
    Goals
    — Selecting the Training and Development Goals

    Various Ideas for Management Development Goals

    1. Do you have career plans that would require certain new management skills?
      See How to Plan
      Your Career
      .
    2. Did your previous performance review with your supervisor suggest certain
      improvements in management that you need to make? See Goal
      Setting With Employees
      .
    3. Are there certain opportunities that you could take advantage of if you
      soon developed certain new management skills? See How
      to Look for a Job
      .
    4. You might do some self-assessments to determine if there are any areas of
      management development that you might undertake. See Assessing
      Your Training Needs
      .
    5. Ask others for feedback about your management skills. See Giving
      and Receiving Feedback
      .
    6. Do you find yourself daydreaming about doing certain kinds of activities?
      See Setting
      Personal Goals
      .

    Include a Goal About Managing Yourself

    You cannot effectively manage others unless you first can effectively manage
    yourself. Consider goals from the Library’s topic of
    Personal Wellness

    List your Program Goals in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    . (This is a Microsoft
    Word document.)

    Determine Your Learning Objectives and Activities to Achieve Each

    The purpose of this section is to help you to identify the various learning
    objectives you should achieve in order to achieve your overall program goals,
    along with the activities you should undertake to achieve each objective.

    Identifying Your Learning Objectives

    Carefully consider each of your program goals. What might be the various accomplishments,
    or objectives, that must be reached in order to achieve each goal? Do not worry
    about doing all of that perfectly — objectives can be modified as you work to
    achieve each goal. Which of these objectives require learning new areas of knowledge
    or skills? These objectives are likely to become learning objectives in your program
    plan. To get a stronger sense for learning objectives, see

    Designing Training Plans and Learning Objectives
    .

    Identifying Your Learning Activities

    Learning activities are the activities you will conduct in order to achieve the
    learning objectives. The activities should accommodate your particular learning
    styles, be accessible to you and be enjoyable as well. The long list of activities
    in the above two columns might be useful, as well.

    List the Learning Objectives to Achieve Each Desired Goal in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    .

    List the Activities to Achieve Each Learning Objective in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    .

    Develop Any Materials You May Need

    Carefully think about each of the activities to achieve the learning objectives.
    Consider, for example, getting books, signing up for courses, reserving rooms
    and getting trainers.

    List the Materials You Might Need in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    .

    Plan the Implementation of Your Program

    During the implementation of your program, you want to make sure there are
    no surprises. For example, how will you make sure you understand the new information
    and materials. Will your learning be engaging and enjoyable? Will you have all
    the support you need?
    How
    Do We Ensure Implementation of Our New Plan?

    List the Key Considerations in Implementing Your Plan in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    .

    Evaluate During and After Your Program

    Evaluation includes assessing both the quality of the activities during the
    program and also whether you achieved your goals soon after the program.
    How
    Do We Evaluate Implementation and Project Results?

    List the Approach to Evaluating During and After Your Program in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    .

    Follow-Up After Completion of Your Program

    It is a major accomplishment to design and implement a management development
    program. Celebrate what you have done! Reflect on what you learned about developing
    the program — and about yourself.

    List the Key Activities After Completing Program in your Template
    for Planning Your Professional Development Program
    .


    Additional Resources in the Category of Leadership

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