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Who do you want to be?

Climbing the career ladder takes more than just putting in the hours; you have to strive to grow, learn and lead in an ever-changing environment, adapting at […]

Leadership is a team sport

Some leaders are so keen to prove that they are on top that they forget the shoulders they stand on to be where they are…

Think back through […]

Manage with expertise – Expert to Leader

Expertise is valuable; being an expert, in any industry, is a goal we all share. It takes years to learn the skills, to embrace and understand every […]

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Why Can’t We Talk?

Why Can't We Talk?
Communication matters. Organisations are networks of relationships – individuals interacting in pursuit of hopefully shared goals, aims or objectives. Even departments of one must interact with others to be able to clearly identify what others require – or what they require from others – and how best this can be achieved. No desk is an island, not matter how big or deep the metaphorical moat around them might sometimes feel, but when things go wrong or mistakes are made it is common to hear ‘communication’ being singled out as the diagnosis.

But perhaps something else needs to be said here: that communication – or a lack of it – is more likely to be a symptom than a cause. Think of communication issues as the organisational equivalent of post-adolescent acne or obesity: yes, they’re something to tackle, but they have arisen for a reason. What needs to be addressed is the underlying cause, of which there could be several. The following are only a few examples – the list is potentially lengthy.

Unclear Goals or Roles

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Why measure management effectiveness?

Why measure management effectiveness?
Because it matters, of course. You’re probably familiar with a business management cliché first uttered by Peter Drucker – ‘What gets measured gets managed’ – but how to measure? The question of management effectiveness becomes more burning when you consider it in the contact of training: while a basic question – “Was is worth it, and what did it achieve?” – should matter to every organisation, few know or attempt to discover the answer.

When it comes to training evaluation, organisations hunger for evidence of two often elusive factors: return on investment (ROI), to prove that their expenditure was not wasted, and increases in productivity. Training and learning that doesn’t increase performance wastes not just money but time, energy and optimism. Despite this, many organisations limit evaluation to satisfaction scores: a record that the training took place and was ‘enjoyed’, but its impact remains elusive.

One reason that more meaning evaluation is rarely undertaken is the perception that it is difficult to do. Management performance, after all, is typically assessed using not one but a number of yardsticks: ASK’s own Management Development 360 Degree Feedback tool includes sixty individual competences. No training programme could aspire to address and improve managers’ performance in all of these, and we typically gather and facilitate feedback on the 6 – 10 competences most relevant to the scope of the training.

We use this 360 degree instrument at the beginning of our programmes as a diagnostic tool, identifying areas for personal development and providing insights that can drive self-awareness. Re-deploying it after training allows us to measure how far participants have travelled and supports future development activity, but it is also another starting point: the beginning of a measure of their effectiveness.

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