Alexander Trost Vice President HR Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific
Firstly, I would see management development as a process rather than a programme. Programmes have fancy names, are launched with a big bang – yet more often than not achieve little long term concrete outcomes. Processes on the other hand have a clear input and defined output. For this, a management development process framework should be in place that clearly defines for instance desired management competencies with a forward looking perspective.
In other words, which new knowledge, skills and values will you need from your management to be successful in business at a three to five year horizon? In this management development process framework, development approaches, avenues and contents should be closely linked to succession planning.
Secondly, I would suggest to look at executives (or I prefer to say specialists), managers and leaders not in a way as if they were three different persons, but rather, three different roles taken by the same person – just at different values over time and in different situations.
With this mind shift, you will treat a fresh graduate, who is mainly hired for her or his special knowledge, also as a leader, for example in the form of a thought leader who brings fresh ideas to the table. A leader on the other hand, would still have a duty as specialist, sharing her or his experience and expertise.
Several great CEOs in history have shown us impressively how top leaders can still be hands-on specialists. In the same way, specialists nowadays already have clear leadership qualities. Hence, there can be a lot of development nurtured from within the company, which is more genuine and sustainable than intended quick wins through external development programmes.
Last but not least, one should clearly define the role of the employee, the respective manager as well as HR in this development process. While the HR folks are mainly held responsible for the overall success, they should provide the infrastructure (tools and systems) in line with the company strategy, facilitate the process and give advice and recommendations.