Will Sr. Managers Change? LO7265

Brock Vodden (brock.vodden@odyssey.on.ca)
Tue, 7 May 1996 09:42:04 -0400

Replying to LO6977 --

Virginia wrote:

>I'd like to foot stomp the point a few of us made--how are tomorrow's
>senior managers/leaders being trained today?

The typical curriculum for senior managers is as follows:

3 to 15 years apprenticeship rising through the management ranks
(Preferably, these years should be spent in "our" company or at least in
"our" industry, to avoid contamination by unfamiliar ideas.)
The objective of this apprenticeship program is
- to learn by rote how we have always done everything and always will
- to learn what aspects of management are really important to this
organization, and even more important than that:
- to learn what aspects of management are unimportant to this organization,
aspects which you will dutifully ignore.
- learn to apply the principles you learned in preparing for your first
career to solve complex management problems. It'll be difficult in most
cases, but what else can you do when you have no education for this new
career in which you find yourself.

Occasional attendance at half-day or two-day seminars dealing only with
the topics that the company feels are really important. (Attend no more
than one seminar on any given topic in order to avoid being deeply
affected by the content to the point where you might actually want to
change something here.)

Read industry journals
Read only those journals that relate to our primary technology -- making of
widgets -- Always avoid those topics which we know are irrelevant.

End of curriculum

Apart from the very small number of organizations that select and develop
highly educated leaders:
The norm is for companies to be very demanding in terms of education levels
of entry level personnel.
Normally, no value is placed on management education in hiring or promoting
senior managers.

Executive teams are typically missing at least two critical competencies
(often many more), that are required to operate effectively. Each
competency blindspot at the executive level radiates out into the
organization causing problems, lost opportunities, waste, excessive costs,

In most cases, these organizations are unaware of the missing pieces, so
take no compensating action. The result ranges from significant loss of
productivity to bankruptcy.



Brock Vodden Vodden Consulting Business Process Improvement "Where People and Systems Meet" brock.vodden@odyssey.on.ca

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>