Last week we explored what would happen if your company ran a management training initiative where the MD’s only involvement was to ok the budget, and periodically poke her head around the door to see how things were going.

In this case, the MD would end up resisting their own project.

What about the opposite scenario, where the MD is heavily involved in the management development initiative? 

Imagine you are so involved that you attend an MD-level version of the programme your people are about to attend – what would happen in that case?

First, a message would go out that this is serious. It’s not a case of the MD paying lip-service to some new training fad and then everything going back to normal, this is the new way we are going to run things.

Second, you would refine your MD-level leadership and management skills. There are areas for every MD where they can reorganise what they know to get better results. You would quickly see more time in your diary, new decisions about who is responsible for what, and greater cohesion in your team.

Third, you would begin to influence others differently.

The MD is the biggest single influence on the leadership and management culture in any business. Like the leader in a V-shaped formation of flying geese, or a shoal of fish, the MD influences the people below him/her, who influence the people below them, and so on.

If you have decided that the people below you need to become better managers, it is likely that they are not picking up and emulating some of the good things that you do. 

Or, that they are picking up and emulating some of the less useful management habits of the senior team.

Or possibly a bit of both.

What you would acquire is a way of organising your current management tool kit so that everything you do is not only effective, but also develops the leadership and management culture in the business. 

It’s one thing to be able to run good meetings. It’s something else to be able to run meetings so they become good culture.

Quite likely you are already well down the track towards thinking strategically, taking strong decisions, delivering to target, governing change, developing the business and so on. Now you would do all of these things, and more, so that they are not only effective in themselves, but also so that they create the culture you require.

You would be creating common management DNA for your company.

The benefits?

One of the greatest benefits is perhaps the most intangible. One MD famously said to us, “it’s just nicer to come into work every morning.”
 
No wonder the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recently found that:
 
 
A single point improvement in management practices (rated on a five-point scale) is associated with the same increase in output as a 25% increase in the labour force or a 65% percent increase in invested capital. 
 
 
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