Management Development – Cost or Investment? Either way it’s expensive!

Management Development – Cost or Investment? Either way it’s expensive!

By Kate Hennig, Director.

If you are “running a management development programme” by squeezing some budget from equity partners who spend that begrudgingly? Then you are not alone.

Despite the professional services marketplace being battered by soaring salary costs as people move and a lack of available staff, it is tough to identify what actually works when it comes to “investing in your people”.

Certainly, a glossy brochure and an offsite usually do not cut the mustard, yet we all need to make staff ‘sticky’ and engaged. But the puzzle is just like economics – it is easy to find the mistakes when you have spent the money!

Your ‘people’ are not your greatest asset – by and large, they are your biggest headache! A handful of good people might be your best asset, but you need to keep them long enough to entice them further into the business. The impact that management has on organisational performance cannot be understated. But does management training actually fix this issue?

Are managers any better at managing teams afterwards, considering that the skills required are anything but ‘soft’? It is a damned sight harder to manage a hybrid team of bright people than it is to understand some corporate tax calculations!

Our clients used to suffer from the following:

  • Managers who would not have tough conversations.
  • People preferred emailing at every opportunity instead of picking up the phone.
  • An aversion to spending time with clients and discussing their real issues (not just last year’s accounts).
  • A fear of business development, resulting in missed opportunities and, worse still, poor-quality client service.
  • Junior staff learning from poor role models.

Is my firm a lost cause?

Well, that rather depends on you. Chucking money at a programme with all the right headings, such as:

  • Ensuring staff take ownership and transforming them into powerful catalysts for success.
  • Empowering your managers to become visionary leaders, exceptional communicators, and inspiring motivators.
  • Equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to take your firm into the future.

Sounds great, but actually the hard work is back in the office:

  • How do you choose to measure success when it comes to change?
  • What were your partners’ views on the outcomes they wanted – who sponsored them?
  • What did you ask them to do so that they could apply all their learning to specific clients?

The investment is not financial; it’s time. Time spent with partners understanding how managers need to change, creating a wraparound process to ensure the learning is LOCKED IN, and, most importantly, admitting that you are embarking on a programme of change that impacts culture.

Want to save time and learn how to maximise that investment?

We are specifically interested in working with firms led by people who are willing to challenge the status quo and improve performance culture. If that’s you, please get in touch to discuss how we can assist your firm in redefining a development strategy to embed learning. You can contact us via email here or call 0333 7722 061 to schedule a conversation.

Read more about our Management Development Framework here.