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Learning to manage while managing to learn

Monday, November 30, 2015 - 17:45

The pressure to achieve more with less, to produce greater results with dwindling resources is something that many managers have to deal with on a daily basis. Few understand this pressure more than those who work in the public service as budget and priorities are regularly subjected to shifting policy agendas and changes of government.

In these situations it can be difficult to consider investing scarce resources in management development, as so much of the focus is on scrambling for hard-earned wins in the short term. Getting a solid return on investment from a management development program becomes vital when your budget is stretched so it’s important to examine the exact components you need to boost the management capabilities of yourself and your team.

At AIM, we understand the need to balance the inherent differences between leadership and management functions as this will guide the development of good management education programs. 

Our research with the University of NSW (Canberra) has revealed that after years of leadership development, middle managers in the public service are screaming out for good management training. We asked over 100 middle managers across Australia about their challenges and the support they require as well as suggestions for improvements to the management education they attend.

One of the issues identified was that while leadership development is progressing, management education is lagging and a renewed focus on the soft skills of management is required to enable more effective people management. Middle managers are often technical specialists who are rewarded for their expertise with a management position but their actual management training often comes well after they’ve been buried by managerial tasks.

Management training should ideally be planned for, well before the promotion which is counter to the traditional learn-as-you-go method that public and private sector alike are fixated with. Developing the people and resource allocation skills required of a manager shouldn’t be something that happens through osmosis in the crucible of an already stretched team.

Our goal at AIM is to provide timely solutions for educating and developing the managers and leaders at every level of an organisation. We have rich 75 year history of working with the public service and the private sector to come up with innovative and customised programs that deliver real and measurable results.

A subsidiary of AIM is the Centre for Public Management (CPM) which currently operates out of Canberra, delivering management and leadership development courses to participants from all government departments and agencies. We’re excited to be launching CPM nationwide in 2015, meaning public sector managers and leaders right around Australia can now access high quality development programs that are tailored to the specific organisational needs of the public sector.

For more information on how AIM and CPM can assist in developing your team, please click here.