Techniques of Executive Development
On-The-Job Techniques of Executive Development
Coaching is an activity of guiding a manager by a senior one. A senior manager must play an active role in guiding and teaching skills. He tells him how to do a job and corrects the errors. A senior manager is referred to as a coach. So coach makes an analysis of trainee’s work performance and tries to improve it with suitable guidance. He renders advice, criticizes, makes necessary suggestions and gives directions to the trainee executive for his growth and development. This is a method of learning by doing.
A feedback is also taken by the coach. The coach must be a good teacher. The coach may divert the trainee executive from routine work and assign him to handle some complex problem and observe his performance. This technique suffers from limitations that there is heavy dependence on the coach and there developed a tendency to make present executive styles as central. This will not give way to new and developed managerial styles and practices in the organisation. The trainee executive acquires the skills and knowledge to perform a job and also acquire the teaching or coaching ability.
The job rotation is a very good method of transforming a functional specialist into a generalist executive. The job rotation refers to transfer of managers from one job to another or from one department to another or from one section to another in a planned mariner. The transferred executive to new job has to assume the full responsibility and duty. The object is to broaden the outlook and acquire the diverse skills and knowledge needed to perform the various jobs in the organisation. The manager will learn new ideas and gain new information underlying various jobs.
It will motivate him and help him acquire comprehensive knowledge and skills. He will understand others difficulties and realize the circumstances under which his colleagues are working. It will free him from the monotony of working in the same position. Job rotation may be horizontal or vertical. The horizontal job rotation is a lateral transfer while vertical is a promotion. Many organisations in India use job rotation technique to impart multiple skills to their executives.
The job rotation imparts multiple skills and broadens the outlook of trainee executive. It increases the knowledge and skills of performing various jobs in the organisation and aids executive to gain in experience. This technique is not cost effective. On the new assignment the manager may commit mistakes which add to costs.
It is a development technique to prepare a manager for taking over the charge of his senior after his retirement, transfer, promotion or death. This technique provides an equally competent successor to a senior manager who is currently holding the post. The executive who is understudy acts as assistant to the superior executive whom he will succeed.
The senior executive teaches him all the skills and imparts complete knowledge for the performance of the job and gives him a feel of what his job is. The understudy is developed in all respects such as decision making, leading, problem solving etc.
The senior managers realize that unless they develop their subordinates, they would not get promotion. Under these circumstances they prepare their subordinates for taking over their charge. The understudy is given an opportunity to see the job in toto in absence of senior manager who is on leave. Only a care is taken by the under study that the decision making in critical matter is delayed and is left to the manager currently holding the post.
Multiple management is also known as committee management, under this technique a committee consisting of some managers is formed and given an assignment to study the company problems and to make advice or give recommendations to the top management.
These committees are usually formed with the junior executives. They study the problem and find out alternate solutions, discuss them and arrive at a final decision. The appointment of managers to the committees facilitates their exposure to the organisation and widens their outlook and provides them with an excellent opportunity to develop them by acquiring knowledge of different aspects relating to business and industry and to interact with the group. This method is cost effective and develops a junior executive within a short period of time.
Off-the-Job Techniques of Executive Development
1. Sensitivity Training:
This is the technique of bringing about a change in behaviour of the executives through group processes. According to Edwin B. Flippo the objective of this technique is the “development of awareness of and sensitivity to behavioural patterns of one self and others.”
This technique is also referred to as laboratory training. The trainee executives participate and influence each other through unstructured group interaction. The participants here are provided open environment where they discuss freely among themselves.
The environment is created by a professional behaviour list. They openly express their ideas, concepts, attitudes and get opportunity to know about themselves and the impact of their behaviour on their fellow participants. This technique helps in creating mutual trust and respect.
It thus develops managerial sensitivity. It develops team spirit. This technique is regularly used by some of the Indian companies. This method helps in creating a sense of respect for others and their thoughts, tolerance, improve listening skills, remove prejudices create understanding, increase awareness of their own behaviour.
2. Case Study:
Under this technique the cases based on actual business situations are prepared and given to the trainee managers for discussion and arriving at a proper decision. Managers are given opportunity to find out the latent problems and suggest alternatives to tackle them. The selection of the best-alternative solution trainees have to suggest. This technique helps in improving the decision-making skills by making analytical judgment. Case study was made popular at the Harvard Business School.
3. Simulation Exercises:
Simulations are popular techniques of management development. In this technique a duplicate work situation similar to the actual job situation is created and the trainee is given a particular role to find out solutions to the problem and take decision. He gets a feedback of his performance. It sharpens the decision making quality of the trainee. It is a costly method of management development.
4. Management Games:
Under these techniques the trainee executives are divided into rival groups assuming the management of simulated companies. Each rival group has to discuss a given subject relating to production, marketing, pricing etc. and arrive at a decision. The groups react to the decision of each other. They get immediate feedback on their performance. This technique helps in building team spirit among executives. This is followed in many Indian companies.
5. Managerial Grid:
It is a multi-phased programme ranging from three to five years. It improves managerial skills, intergroup relations and develops leadership styles.
6. Role Playing:
It is also a simulated exercise. The participants have to assume a role of a person in the simulated situation. They have to react to one another in the similar manner as they would be doing a job as manager in real situation. Participants are given a list of learning points which they have to use during executive subordinate encounter. They can take the help of videos for improvement in management skills. Through this technique the human relations skills, marketing and sales management, interviewing skills are acquired.
7. Incident Method:
Under this technique the incidents based on real situations are prepared. Each participant is asked to study the incident and make decisions. Afterward, the group of participants makes discussion and arrives at a decision. This method develops the intellectual level, judgment of the participant. This technique was developed by Paul Pigors.
8. In Basket Method:
Under this method a basket containing various kinds of correspondences such as reports, letters, replies, applications each involving some problems is given to the trainee and within a specified time limit he has to sort out all the correspondence by passing orders, recommendations, delegating authority to his subordinates and distributing work etc. This resembles to real life situation. Through this method trainee learns the decision-making abilities. This is less expensive method.
Under this technique a group of executives meet as per plan and discuss a problem of common interest. The members of the group learn through others viewpoint and develop their knowledge by comparing their opinion with others. It is the most effective method when a problem is to be analyzed and tested through different angles or viewpoints.
The conference has a leader who leads the discussion and takes due care that the participating members are not moving away from the main problem under discussion. The executives learn how to motivate people through discussion. Every participant is given an opportunity to express his opinion freely. This is a very common method of developing executives.
It is very popular and simple method. The concepts, ideas, theories, principles are explained through lectures. The speaker is an expert who collects the material and delivers a lecture to the trainee executives. It is a direct, time saving, low in cost method of explaining and presenting a viewpoint on any problem or subject to the trainees.
11. Programmes by Academic Institution:
Some academic institutions and universities run management courses. They include degree as well as short term diploma courses. These institutions also hold conferences, seminars, workshops, lecture series and other related programmes which help in management development. The effectiveness of these programmes depends upon their quality, response from the companies and implementation.
Organisations can sponsor their executives to join these courses. Besides these academic institutions, All India Management Association also conducts some management courses for company executives, hold seminars and conferences regularly.
12. Transactional Analysis:
The transactional analysis (TA) is an attempt to understand and analyze the trainee’s personality through the communicative interaction. The interaction between individual human being is viewed as transactions, for instance, “I will do this for you and you do that for me.”
TA holds the view that the human personality is constituted by three ego states i.e., parent, child and adult. All these three ego states are reflected in his personality when he communicates with others. Parent state is reflected when he behaves and interacts like a parent and offers “do’s” and “don’ts” e.g. Do this, Don’t delegate authority to him etc.
Parent state reflects dominance. An individual reflects a child state when his interaction is characterized by an impulse that is natural. An individual reflects his adult mode or state when his interactions are rational.
The transactional analysis aims at liberating the adult from the parent and child state. The adult state is rational and deals with reality. It collects information and see reasons and takes decisions. Adult behaviour and interactions are expected from executives and managers who are decision makers. Transactional analysis is an important psychiatric technique for executive development of recent origin used by many organisations.