5 Ideas For Crafting A Manager

May 20, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

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The concept of leadership is always a big one in the nonprofit sector, and the facts of a looming retirement binge, as well as changes in the landscape, make the development of top-notch managers more important.

In his book “Simply Managing” Henry Mintzberg writes about efforts to help in the development of management in a variety of settings. He offers a look at the ideas that lie behind these efforts:

  • Managers, let alone leaders, cannot be created in a classroom. Management is a practice that cannot be taught as a science or a profession. Some of the best managers have never spent a day in an MBA classroom.
  • Managing is learned on the job, enhanced by a variety of experiences and challenges. The job is too nuanced, intricate and dynamic to be learned prior to practice.
  • Development programs can help managers make meaning of their experience, by encouraging them to reflect on it personally and to share it with their colleagues. The classroom is a wonderful place to enhance the comprehension and competencies of people who are already practicing management.
  • Intrinsic to this development has to be the carrying of the learning back to the workplace, for impact on the organization. A major problem with management development is that it usually happens in isolation.
  • Programs for managers need to be organized according to the nature of managing itself. This means, for example, in terms of managerial mindsets, not business functions.