What we've been thinking about and working on lately...

what we've been talking about

Well let's start the new year with the holy grail : how to get really high impact development at very little price? If we can solve this one in January then the rest of the year will be a piece of cake (no more cake just yet!).

I wrote about this along with a few others in the recent article published below:

Managing the middle, askGrapvine, Jan 2013 (p44-47)

In essence it is about why the middle managers don't seem to get enough development and how to solve that. My own view is that a lot of the development $'s are aimed at people in transition to senior roles, senior executives, or the precious pipeline of emerging talent. All of these are highly valuable and worthwhile investments - but it doesn't leave much change to spend on the 70% of managers who are performing solidly and making a valuable contribution.

So I believe the answer is to make it personal. By that I mean have meaningful individual development discussions, and figure out between you what a critical development experience would look like for that person. This sounds:

  1. Obvious
  2. Time consuming

However a lot of what people articulate will really help them are budget friendly solutions such as:

  • Mentoring from a senior colleague
  • Timely, honest and constructive 360 feedback
  • Having the opportunity to get engaged in important projects with exposure to senior leadership
  • The opportunity to engage with 3rd parties and develop their influencing end networking skills

The last one in particular is a definite and emerging trend and in the last 2 months alone we have agreed with John Lewis and Random House to create ways for their managers to engage with social enterprises in a win-win solution. We'll be writing more about this Enterprise programme in the future - but it doesn't necessarily need a complex programme to set these wheels in motion.

So, make this the year of meaningful 1:1s and see how much further you can make the developmental budget stretch.

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