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Interview of Management Development

General background information about the business

1. Could you give me some background information about your organization?
We are a software company, specialazing in banking technology, we operate in 4 centers, in NZ, Australia and philipines, we have 90% of our business in export international.

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2. How many staff dose your organization has?
We have 40 staff and all are very senior ppl who were managers but don’t want to be managers anymore.

3. How long have you worked for the organization? Who do you report to?
The business started in 1990, I was the founder of the company, pr to that I was working in the similar business for another ten years before it.

4. How do you spend a typical working day?
80% is business strategy and communications, it is talking with ppl by phone by email occationally in person with meeting. it is without geogophy I have when you came in speaking with ppl in philipines and cypruce, i had phone calls from australia i’ll have meeting around the world siting here in wellington. so 80% is meetings and typical day is 9 hours long, then the next 20% is community things. I’m going to a rotery meeting at lunch time i”m going to a school board meeting to help on one of board gavernors about local college and doing things for other people normally.

5. How much do the top managers commit to MD?
Not enough..I commit in a year to the institute of management reading management magazines discussions i go to maybe one or two conferences i read relevant articles .I suppose the equelant maybe..50 hours a year on development but i do that at my spends and our managers do it themselves I think sth that is relevant is the multi dementional manager that there’s no longer appeal manager you need to understand other things so I’m a fellow the institue of management, but I’m also a fellow of the institution of banking and finance ..so I need to matain a professional level in terms of the field which the company operate, i’m the fellow of the instituteer of computers en.. the NZ computing sociaty, so I need to understand that, and i’m a member of the institute of derictors so you find senior managers do not focus purely on the development just in management, they need to understand other things.

Yes..there’s no commitment to understand in special areas, I think it’s relevant size of the company, and the age of the company. Because we are..we’ll be going 13 years we’re small company, we assume that all our managers are senior, we don’t train them to be managers there’s no we don’t bring in some mangers are junior and teach them, these people already were senior so there’s no real MD, one person we’re going to do something in Australia but generally no.

6. What is the budget for MD? What are the MD policies in your organization?
No there’s no company budget, The policy is: do it in your own time, well , we pay the people a lot , essentially we pay the people on the top qutal of salaries in NZ and we expect them to look after themselves. So it’s an autitue that if you pay people enough and they want to performance in right level then they’re going to have spend themselves. We pay very well.

Formal development

7. Could you describe about formal MD experiences that you have had?
Alright, I have been a manager since 1980, I have progressively educated myself, I worked for a large computer company they did very little. there were some “more tribute” courses and presentation skills paticular knowledge areas relevant to the job but they didn’t do anything useful. I have done a bachelor of…I did a hornors degree in public ministration I did a MBA degree in general management during 1980′s all are on my expense part time. so I worked and studied I have kits current with the professional associations that I invole with and done their..read the materials .. so i have attended conferences be different conference I went on the institution for directors I went on a residential director’s course, essentially I have no expectation that any business will pay there’s always been something i’ve invested myself. But I got paid well after I do it. I mean I buy invesment I choose to make nobody says that..i give you the money now you go off and do this in order to mentain a high salary level a high income level it’s nessersary to be seen in md as well as professional to have the right piecesg of paper. the institution education was paid by me but I got return by making a high income is resulted. So the companies I have worked with..there’s a company on NZ called Computer consulting company, they have courses that they were tribute data bank which is a big bank ownd company ..they have banking courses but very related to what to do they also invited IBM to hold courses but in the end the major investment the real time the real game was me going to massey and doing it myself.

8. How dose the organization help you to identify development needs?

9. How helpful has the appraisal process been in defining the effectiveness of individual managers and their development needs?
It’s a very good question. The problem is this was important 10, 20 years ago but many managers have the …they have tight to the processes but they have little faith and what happened is as become more senior noboby ever dose appraisal of you so you tend not to do without those people become more theoridically it’s a good idea but the last time I had an appraisal was 1987, I’m now starting to do a appraisal of managers again. but they in a smaller organization with senior people we just don’t take it seriously enough because we have been not treated seriously over the years so doesn’t have a critical policy

10. How does the organization frequently hold the training course to develop managers? What are the kinds of training?
There’re no direct training courses for management development, however, there are opportunities or participation in key management related events. for example the …planning of the company all staff are invited…”answering a phone call from the mentor”..the participate in the planning help to understandand to this man who called the …of the …planning. So they learn how management thinks by going to structure , it’s not training. It’s not theoratical it’s pratical.
We do not have a mangement comittee have a issues leadership team which is quite different, and issues leadership means that all the senior people or even middle level who have important matters to that require collective decision they can come read the points and discuss and there are not the same people in the management group all the time is what make sense. So there’s opportunity to participate more freely and to learn organicly, to learn organicly as part of the process rather than the formal structure of th make sense

11. Will your organization pay for individual education?
Yeah but very little, in comparing to what you learn at university, working full time studying part time that’s where the most my MD has come the other way of course is the reality of working with good managers that working with good people and you learn from them and currently our company has brought in a person who’s very strong on sales management and I’m bringing him as the mentor to the company, he is the top of the field so we’re paying out a lot of money, not for a course but for him to ask the questions and give guides so it’s mentoring and our senior managers mentor the more junior managers but it’s very informal.

12. How is the formal MD useful? And what¡¯s the weakness of formal MD?
We have no formal Management development , I understand you..the weakness of the reason why we do not use formal management development is because when you employ senior people they do not give much cridebility, they think that it is too theoritical and their only interest is in the praticle application. so if I tell them we are going to do..let’s do management development they’ll laugh at me. if I have it to be in more .. and more direct and we use processes like a paticilapate .. going through a meeting specifily to our business then they learn then they do it, that’s the way they’re doing it.

13. How long the formal development process last?
14. How dose the organization evaluate the effectiveness of formal MD?
15. Can you give us some examples of managers who become more effective as a result of a management development process?
I cannot convince people to attend courses, they don’t want to. Only once.
Will I ..yes I would but the trouble the weakness was that is for me they are not senior enough it is the credibility of the lecterers doing the courses you need to put it at a level that is prove who are you dealing with. so often they are theorical or the people who are to practical senior managers a long time and their idears are not fresh so this is why a lot of managers attent to conferences people who are not purely theorytical what you do is to have the theory underneath but you don’t make it obvious you get real management examples are relevant from the people who are respected in their field.

Examples?

In our practical way they learn from our policies procedures mentoring, their improvment is by using different techniques..for example, I’m answering a question, we..it’s a very specific question but somebody said mobile commerce, we have some customers interested, so we cyclated this in several countries what do you think and they one just come back and said why are they going to mobile commerce, is it a general revenues marketing this will apply to any plan, so plically,the collective of showing idears, manages r working together to develop approches, tritigical approches that arepure manangement. If you insist to ask somebody to going to a course, to your peer or colleague, we have a very flat organization so nobody embarrase what do you think, so more from accross.

Informal development

16. How do you learn through the informal MD process?
By colleagues expressing their views in a constratrive way suggesting ideas …try something else ..and sharing exaples they have had in their experence.

17. Have you had a mentoring during the process? Coaching?
The mentor is more examples of seniors people.I’ve seen.even peers doing something right and also doing something wrong doing things wrong is extremely important because you say I’ll never do that. So mentoring assume that somebody better senior while I suggesting to was you could learn from people particular more junior than yourself and all sorts of people doing things wrong.

18. How does the mentoring or coach help others to learn more effectively from informal process?
Very informally. Sometimes they do not realize that they even are my mentor they are somebody I respect. I also have people in a informal way I went to rotary club at 12, there are very senior people 20 years my ior maybe retired, we have lunch, nothing to do with siting there as my mentor, but they want to share their experience, it’s that informal sharing their experience by example that there’s no formal relationship you are my mentor and I’m your student, it’s just that people I have shared their experience, and if you have half your brain listens, because sometimes, a little quote that maybe relevant, i mean my father and my mother they are very good mentor in business they involed, my father would argue even a stopped clock is right, at least twice a day.You can learn from everybody and everything. The weakness of mentoring is that the protertat must have a beginner’s mind. A beginner’s mind that you always able to learn.

19. Do you think challenging tasks will motivate you to learn more from informal training process?
Yes.

20. Will you be required to provide feedback during the training process? Is it 360 degree? How?
If it’s informal, there would be no requirement, the feedback, as an example to you, I remember 15 years ago, a very senior man who was the head of the bank of newzealand gave me some advise, last week over coffee, I thanked him for the advise , I told him why I disagreed with him for 15 years, but he was probably right, so the feedback is as informal, as the way mentoring goes, there’s no structure, it relates to relationship and communications.

Comments

21. How does the MD strategy integrate with the organization¡¯s strategy?
Realities are not so straightforward.
What you’re describing that is two parts, one is the style of the organization, for management development for strategy, is a mix of formal and informal, and it’s led not from the top, but it across, it allows, there’s an openess for ideas to come up, and an openess for ideas to come down. That’s why it doesn’t fit processly your questions, because reality is not so straightforward. So it’s neccersary to have some areas..or more consious management development where they are gaps. When you look at your organization’s structure, your organization’s strategy, you find that there’re areas are weakness. We have identified several and we are bringing a mentor to address one area in sales management, we need to change the culture. More often in business we talk about whether the culture is correct and how do you train to change that culture. And that is maybe we’re special? I doubt. But our major training is how to infuluance the culture and you can’t just teach people.

22. Could you provide any comments on MD?
MD needs to have a mix of formal and informal, depending on the level and the people you have to management.
I’ve described an organization that has essentially a lot of managers who don’t want to be managers any more, so it’s unusual.
But for young peoples coming through, they need to have examples to work with. They need the tools for the formal training but they also need to be have work closely with senior managers who do not have problems with ego or threat to lose their job. And what happens now is there’re more jobs disappearing, so there’re many managers are nervous, and don’t have the time, I that why you need to do your formal training and that’s great. But you need as much practical experience, and the develop of formal relationships over time people who care and who don’t always do things right. The reason I’m so concious about that is we have numrous heroes who are noted but people forget when they do something wrong. In this morning’s paper, there are two computer companies, one call compedan and another one called Jade, and they are both getting rid of many staffs, one should not just kick then in the pants, you should look at what they did wrong and why or maybe they did nothing wrong and it was just life and business. So study case studies not only a success but of why they went wrong. And often, the problem is leadership and culture. The culture wasn’t right and the leadership wasn’t right. So when you’re looking at management development, find some leaders that you like and something you hate, but they have a lot to offer. The other comment is the national bangdries are no longer relevant. So if you look at successful companies, they need to be trans-national. They need to be less interested in their own national borders and understand the ways of other world and what’s important. We work in 50 different , we have 4 bases we work in 50 different countries from here in Wellington, and that is only because of what I preferred before, a beginner’s mind. That we’re prepared to learn from in the way which their management’s done differently in other places how decisions are made differently in other places. The decision making is relevant if you try to sale if you try to work with them so you need to understand how other companies you work with how their managers think as well.

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