A round up of news from this year’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Conference in Harrogate.
Leadership best taught at work
Business schools teach the tools of management, but not the skills of leadership, delegates at the CIPD Conference in Harrogate were told.
In a packed keynote address Charles Handy, who set up the London Business School, said that MBAs were important for teaching the business side of management but leadership was best taught on the job.
“MBA teaches you the business such as how to read an accountancy sheet (but) leadership has moved out of the classroom, and I think that’s right,” he said.
Handy said that passion was an important part of leadership. He showed some portrait photographs taken by his wife that showed three different aspects of the subject’s life, at varying depths from the camera.
Explaining the basis of the photographs Handy said: “Everyone has three people in their personalities. The biggest portrait is the biggest part of their lives and the middle is the second largest and the third is the smallest and least important.”
He encouraged delegates to think about the passions of their staff. “People should be allowed to flourish and use their talents to the full,” he added.
Handy also said it was important not to ignore staff who have a low profile, low status jobs within an organisation. He compared the job of a leader as similar to that of a conductor at an opera, with the orchestra being the low profile workers.
“Leaders are like conductors, they face the stars on the stage, but they must also lead the orchestra and pay attention to the customers which are behind them,” Handy explained.
Organisations must set tone for leadership
All successful line managers require some degree of leadership capabilities, but these leaders will not get it right unless the message of how to lead comes from the top, according to a new book published by the CIPD.
John Adair, author of ‘Effective Leadership Development’, said: “Success depends on leadership shown at every level in an organisation, therefore employers must pay careful attention when selecting and training their leaders. A person who shows leadership capabilities at one level is not always capable of exercising them at the next level – competence is a must.”
Adair suggests that organisations use the following seven key principles when developing leaders:
* A strategy for leadership development – to ensure organisations know what leadership skills are required and why.
* Selection – organisations should select managers with the potential to become good leaders and fulfil the leadership skills required.
* Training for leadership – to help managers to gain skills and become good leaders.
* A career development policy – leadership requirements will vary depending on the task and role. Therefore leadership development should be integrated closely with career development.
* Line managers as leadership mentors – new managers may benefit and excel as a leader quickly through mentoring.
* Self development – it is important to learn from actions through reflection and use of mentors.
* The strategic leader – those at the top need to understand what is required from leaders and then put it into practice themselves. If all managers and those at the top take action to develop leadership then this will become part of the culture.
Adair added: “Leadership requires more than equipping leaders or would-be leaders with knowledge and skills. The secret to becoming a successful leader is recognising the greatness that lies in others.”
Multinational corporations need global networking
Good communication and interaction between HR departments across the globe will enable multinational corporations to create a knowledge sharing culture and help them achieve best practice, according to a CIPD report.
Frances Wilson, CIPD International Manager, said: “Knowledge is power and networking plays a critical role in the creation and diffusion of knowledge. Exchanging information, knowledge and skills between HR departments across the globe will enable employers to develop good policies and appropriate practice quickly. Attention must be given to the structural and relational dimensions of these networks if they are to be used successfully and effectively.”
HR professionals move for career rewards
Almost a quarter (23%) of personnel professionals are seeking to move jobs, and 13% have changed job within the last 12 months.
The offer of an interesting, challenging and responsible role was the main attraction to their new role, according to the latest reward survey of personnel professionals from the CIPD in association with Croner Reward.
The survey, based on nearly 8,000 HR professionals in over 1,400 organisations, also finds the main reason for seeking to move jobs is lack of promotion prospects (28%).
Charles Cotton, CIPD Reward and Recognition Adviser, said: “These findings support CIPD’s HR Careers Survey which found staying in one organisation is seen as a significant barrier to career progression. It is clear that personnel professionals want a career where there is scope for development and progression, together with opportunities to fully utilise their skills.”
… But are committed to the profession
HR professionals are happy with their choice of career, and would not choose a different one if they had the chance to start all over again, according to CIPD survey.
The report, which reflects the experiences of over 1,800 HR professionals, examines HR career paths and dispels many of the negative myths that sometimes circulate within the HR profession. Eighty-one per cent of respondents said they enjoyed their jobs, and would work in HR if they had their time again.
Jessica Jarvis, CIPD Learning, Training and Development Adviser and the report’s author, said: “It sometimes seems that it is fashionable for the HR profession to indulge in doom, gloom and self-loathing. But this survey turns some of the myths on their heads. A profession where the vast majority would pick the same career path if they could start over again is a confident one that is happy with itself.”
* For more conference news go to The Couch?! team present their top 10 Harrogate give-aways.