UnLearning Management - short stories on modern management

Are you involved in developing aspiring managers, supporting new managers or mentoring ambitious managers?

Written by an experienced senior manager in the public sector this book explains through a series of short challenging stories what organisations are looking for in today's managers and tomorrow's senior managers.

It is hardly surprising if people are not clear about the manager's role in view of the relentless pace of change in the public sector in general and in people services in particular. A manager's professional background has become less and less relevant as spans of responsibility increase, services are grouped together in new and different arrangements and managers are required to move across client groups and service areas. Increasingly all managers are expected to be strategic and good people managers.

The material in this book can be used to help individuals gain an insight into what modern managers spend their time doing, it will help the individual determine what type of manager they want to be and help them understand what type of manager organisations are looking for.


The manager's role is constantly changing. Aspiring managers, ambitious managers and experienced managers are trying to come to terms with how their organisation is changing the role of manager. Adverts for senior management posts make it clear that an individual's professional background is irrelevant. What is required is someone with extensive experience and management skills.

Organisations in the public, voluntary and not for profit sector have moved a long way from the requirement to have an appropriate professional background and qualification, when to be a Director of Social Services you had to be a qualified social worker. Increasingly not just senior management posts, but all management posts seek individuals who are good people managers as well as good budget managers. Managers today require the experience and skill to be able to manage across traditional professional and service boundaries. Now all managers are expected to be leader's not just senior managers.

So management probably isn't what you think it is. What is it then, what are organisations looking for in their managers and what type of manager do you want to be? The answer to these questions lies in the gap between the management theories taught on formal management courses and the training provided to managers in using their organisations HR Policies.

Increasingly all managers are expected to be strategic and see the bigger picture. All managers are expected to recognise the need to and the value of working in partnership .All managers are required to be good at managing people as well as hitting performance targets and keeping within budget. But manager's work in organisations and organisations have their own ways of doing things. Managers who ignore this risk being labelled a square peg in a round hole. Managers who fight it risk being labelled part of the awkward squad. This explains why some talented managers don't progress. This also explains why someone of modest talents can rise so far so quickly.

The culture of an organisation changes sometimes in response to a change at the top, sometimes in response to external factors – the competition/market or in the case of the public sector, the Government's agenda.Management development is no longer seen in most organisations as simply equipping competent professionals with a narrow range of management skills, but is instead part of developing the organisation, making it more flexible and responsive and better able to adjust quickly and smoothly to changes in the wider world.