The advantages of an electronic version of these manuals
An electronic version of each book can be purchased from the publishers Russell house in the form of a PDF. This gives the organisation the right to post the material on the organisations intranet so all managers can have access to it at any time. The advantage of this is that managers whether or not part of a management development program can dip in and out of this discussion material, start to think about the issues it raises and reflect on their own practice. Those who aspire to be managers can read the material and get a better idea of what modern management is all about.
Place on the organisations intranet this material opens up the debate with in an organisation about the issues faced by managers and how the organisation expects them to respond
Using this approach and the material in these manuasl an organisation can grow the type of manager it requires despite the harsh financial climate.
The material in these manuals covers a range of management issues from changing working practices to tackling absenteeism, from challenging poor standards of work or inappropriate behavior to managing a diverse workforce and dealing with complaints of sexist behavior, racial harassment or homophobic bullying. The material covers a managers' role in recruiting and developing staff, addresses the issues around redeployment and redundancy and explores the challenges of working with in a reduced budget. In a series of short challenging articles this manual address the issues managers wrestle with daily. After each article there are questions designed to make the reader think critically about the role of a manager, how a manager's behavior affects others and what type of behavior their organisation encourages.
This material does not have to be used as part of a formal management development program. The material is versatile and can be used by an individual as a self help management development program, in which the individual is exposed to different ways of working, alternative views on the manager's role and the opportunity to reflect on how their behaviour as a manager affects others. Each section stands alone so trainers and mentors can pull out material that is relevant to the individual at any given stage in their development as a manager.
The material is equally appropriate in small, medium or large organisations. The material has been found to be most effective when it is used to promote discussion and debate to both challenge the individual and challenge the way things are done in the organisation.
At its simplest this involves individuals or groups reading an article and then using the questions at the end of each section to start a discussion. By sharing their views and experience with the group or their mentor the aim is to help managers reflect on how they manage people and what they might I do differently in the future?
Using this material in Managemenrt Learning Sets
A management learning set usually consists of ten to fifteen managers with two facilitators. Groups are more effective if they are made up of managers at the same level but from different service backgrounds and experience so for example operational managers as well as managers from finance, IT and policy. This will ensure a wide range of views and experience, it will encourage more options to be explored and it will quickly reveal that managers what ever their background face similar issues and challenges. Learning sets usually meeting over a period of months, typically a set might meet for half a day a month over a nine month period. At each meeting a participant would introduce a live management issues to the group for discussion. For example the issue might be to do with recruitment as in giving feedback to unsuccessful internal candidates, managing absenteeism or understanding what it means to be corporate.
The material in the books can be used to help individuals identify topics and it can be used to start a discussion with in the group. Individuals then share their experience. The facilitators ensure that ground rules are set and followed covering confidentiality, allowing every one to have their say and challenging appropriately. The presenting manager is asked to sum up the discussion at the end and take forward on behalf of the group any issues with senior management or HR. I have found that the learning sets are even more effective if one of the facilitators is a senior manager this allows the senior management perspective and expectations to be expressed directly rather than conveyed second hand by a trainer. This is very important if the aim is to change the existing management culture in an organisation. Senior managers also find this a good use of their time as they get lots of direct feedback about what is actually happening on the front line as opposed to having it filtered through line management.