In their research documented in ‘The Business Benefits of Management and Leadership Development’ (2012), McBain et al demonstrate that organisational performance and management abilities are clearly correlated, with effective management development linked to a 23% variance in organisational performance.
In the follow-up report, ‘The Value of Management and Leadership Qualifications’ (2012) Bradley, Woodman and Hutchings report that 90% of the managers surveyed who had undertaken a management qualification said that their performance at work had improved as a direct result and 81% said that they had been able to pass on new skills to others in the team. In terms of pay-back, 79% agreed that the resultant financial benefits for the employer outweighed the investment of time, money and effort.
All pretty impressive but what lessons can we learn from this research? One of the main lessons is surely that people do not necessarily evolve into effective managers and leaders simply because they have the most technical knowledge or because they have worked in the organisation the longest.
Good management and leadership is about values and behaviours and attitudes (as well as the technical knowledge and maybe longevity too) and, to a large extent, all of these things can be learned. But...there does need to be a process in place to facilitate this. Individuals’ learning and development must be carefully planned to ensure close alignment between organisational objectives and desired skills and competence and to ensure maximum return on investment.