“93% of respondents said that low levels of management skills are having a direct impact on their business achieving its goals.” This is one conclusion from a report by the Institute of Leadership and Management looking at how businesses are investing their talent pipeline.
“Developing the core skills of communication, people management, organisation and planning will prepare people for management. For senior leaders, financial acumen and strategic thinking suddenly become more important. Smart organisations will develop these skills in their managers as they progress.”
The key question is how you achieve that. The concept of ‘suddenly’ having access to a whole new capability is clearly not possible. The answer may be a combination of knowledge acquisition and practical application. Commercial businesses exist to make money for their shareholders, government and local authorities have to ensure that they use the revenue generated to best effect and the charitable sector has to generate revenue to fulfill its charitable objectives. So money runs through all our businesses.
If that is so, from the earliest days, all employees should know how they play their part in fulfilling their objectives and how those objectives merge to fulfill the financial objectives of the organisation. Giving them a basic level of financial understanding early in their career will enable them to make appropriate financial decisions, constructively challenge decisions and look for improvements to systems.
With their financial antennae now tuned in to this area they can grow their skill through increasing exposure through putting together capex applications, constructing a budget, reviewing management accounts or negotiating terms and conditions with a new supplier or customer.
Regular exposure to the financial dynamics of our businesses and with increasing personal application, we will grow this essential skill in our future leaders.
ML&C is an ILM accredited centre and we run programmes at Level 3 and 5. These are targeted at delivering the right blend of skills development for your future leaders.
Find the full report at http://www.i-l-m.com/research-and-comment.aspx