Monday, 30 July 2007

The Leadership Pipeline - Further reflections

The Leadership Pipeline (Charan, Drotter & Noel) describes a very linear process of a 'straight' pipe from 'Managing Self' to 'Enterprise Manager'

So can this book help guide L&D professional supporting:

* Player Coaches
* Managers who both 'Manage Manager' and are 'Functional Manager'
* Manager who are 'Functional Managers' but through large spans of control are not 'Managers of Managers'

I think the short answer to this is Yes, however it misses an opportunity to explore the implications in any depth.

So for example - if someone is promoted to a 'Functional Manager' role, what is specific to this role is a significant jump in requiring to demonstrate 'Business Acumen' and expertise in 'Executing Business Strategy'

This promotion may also be associated with introducing at least two layers of management betwwen the post holder and 'individual contributors' .. or if a very flat organisation, there may only be one layer.

Hence: I believe there could be merit in separating out any training and coaching on new 'Communication' skills that are key for 'Managers of Managers' - this part of the menu being added only if the two transitions coincide.

Put simply - I feel there could be merit in mapping transitions based on business role (individual, manager, leader, executive etc); and overlaying a parallel pipeline based on layers of the organisation (individual, manager, manager of managers, leaders of managers-of-managers etc).

Each transition will be a blend of the two pathways - but without the assumptions that every organisation fits (GEs) 7 layers.