Training the Trainers

This article is written based on the request of forum members.

The world is changing rapidly to such an extent that it is becoming crucial for the top level managers to constantly upgrade their skills and review their actions

The organizational ladder of positions and designations is a tricky affair. At the bottom, the urge to climb up is so strong that the lessons of the journey are often hurriedly missed. Once up there, the senior managers at their wits end realize that a lot of these missed lessons could actually solve at least some of their issues. A paradox arises because these are the same lessons that become outdated at the blink of an eye, these days.

The top management provides direction to the entire organization, ensuring smooth sailing through stormy business conditions. Training senior managers in innovation can be the key drivers to face challenges of any degree. In global knowledge economy, a CEO should strive to create a culture of innovation for the company and ensure that it trickles down the bottom.

Whereas the lower level managers can contribute through incremental innovation in terms of better products and processes, the top management should gear itself up for radical transformation having important consequences for the industry as a whole. Suppose you gain an edge in floppy technology and the net day the pen drive hits the market. Tackling such business uncertainly requires a CEO to develop an entrepreneurial approach.

Someone at the top should also know how to build up a flow of creativity without demanding immediate results. To create a coherent business structure, first balance the right hemisphere of your brain with the left.

It is one thing to teach a beginner and another to teach an achiever already at a certain platform. Challenges of training the higher management differ enormously in terms of content and method, form those adopted for lower levels. As people grow up the ladder, they need to hone strategic skills such as decision making, influential leadership, working in a global culture and driving change. On the other hand, lead managers need to be trained in tactical aspects like the process of becoming a manager handling change, allocating resources or resolving conflicts. Difficulty arises at the top where the managers need to develop holistically, for instance, skills such as the art of delegation. They ultimately propel a company.

Senior manager’s especially in the IT sector to avoid getting caught up in the daily grind of technical tasks require a unique three layer approach combining the self, the peers and the subordinates.

In the above context of trained technical aspects siblings should not be working together. The assumption is that we are talking about a professionally run organization and not a family concern: issues relating to objective decisions may arise if the other sibling is getting impacted, especially where one sibling is senior to the other one. Even with complete objectively, it may be difficult for the junior sibling to generate a feeling of trust among peers as there would always be issues raised. Both will have to go on holidays on the same dates in case of family events and they can’t make excuses of the same.

Siblings working together might result in conflict in both professional and personal life and lack of professional privacy is quite likely to impact the relationship. As for the workplace, it may result in providing enough fodder for gossip within the organization which will be very counter productive.

Despite the fact that in all likelihood, the sibling of a current employee would be suitable for your organization, the downside of reduced productivity due to constant engagement among siblings, collaboration against fellow employees in office politics etc would make one seriously question such a hiring decision, especially in a small/ medium sized organization.

Siblings tend to know each other well and are well versed with each other’s strengths, weaknesses, moods and reactions. This trait could prove to be very useful for them at work, especially when they function together in a team, at the same level or at different levels. In most professionally run organizations, siblings working together should not have any issues, it should be just like any other two people working in the organization. But, it is preferable for them not to work together and be in different parts of the organization; this would take away any opportunity to create resentments amongst other employees and for the siblings to co-ordinate any team fraud, etc., having said that siblings work together in family businesses all the time and make it work through good mediation, equal opportunities, rewards and family ties.

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