In order to sustain the business operations in a competitive environment, a company requires to have sound strategies for marketing, communication, research and development, sales, social responsibility and of course in managing the workforce. This calls for an effective management development plan for running the organization. In today’s competitive environment such management is being used as a tool by many international organizations.
The workforce is one of the key stakeholders in the business, requiring fullest attention. Managing other operations and activities become far more convenient if a company is able to have a pool of talented and motivated workforce. Out of this pool future leader/s are groomed by a far sighted leadership under the management succession plan. Terry & Franklin (1994) defined management as ‘a distinct process consisting of activities of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling performed to determine and accomplish stated objectives with the use of human beings and other resources’. For this process to remain in tune with contemporary times, future leaders hold the key, provided the existing is able to bestow full faith and due responsibilities on these managers.
Summary of the case
In this case Legacy Health Systems is undergoing through a crucial transition period when John G. King has already announced his decision of quitting two years in advance, which gives Legacy Health Systems to plan for the future CEO, team leaders and composition of the team for different tasks. King has brought about many constructive changes in the process of management at Legacy, with encouraging results.
The utility of such an approach is clear to everyone in the hierarchy, which makes the job of selecting future leaders much easier. A team of senior managers lead by Bob Pallari is already being groomed for the job. Unlike the uncertain times during the early 1990s when John took over, Bob’s task seems to be clearly cut out. What he has to make sure that the continuity is retained and Legacy maintains the competitiveness and quality standards which is now being known for.
Bob has the added advantage of being in the company of a successful CEO John King, who has learnt from his mistakes like putting similar efforts in developing medical leadership and management leadership. He is sure to pass on these words of wisdom on to Bob who is sure to capitalize on it in due course. Bob is supposed to provide a leadership which can motivate others around to work to their potential.
Management Development Plan
Howard Good (2006), the former president of Highland Central School Board in Highland, N.Y., says, “Being board president brings power and prestige, but you must inspire and help others to be successful”. A team leader therefore plays the central role in making or breaking the team. It is the team leader who can synergize the efforts or just wither away the advantage, with his actions. A team leader is supposed to delegate the powers and responsibilities amongst his/ her team mates, inspire the team members by being an example and motivate his team with appropriate motivating factors.
Therefore, a plan for future always involves a farsightedness based on the wisdom of the existing top management and levels of motivation amongst the middle level management and workers. While planning for a long term what we also need to keep in mind is the kinds of uncertainties that we could come across. Terry (1994) says that competence for a managerial job is the product of both inherited and acquired qualities. Therefore the team leader has to be a good learner, so that he can capitalize on the stronger points of the team while trying to minimize the effects of weaker points. Key components of a successful management development plan are;
Understanding of the concept of ‘leadership’:
Satisfaction amongst the workforce
Sincerity and commitment of the existing leadership
Encouragement being provided to the future leaders
Grooming of leadership skills in the hierarchy
We are aware that all these traits cannot be developed overnight; therefore in my institution I will surely plan for such a scenario well in advance, Like John has done for Legacy. With such a plan in operation I will have to make sure that I am able to inculcate a sense of belongingness and team spirit amongst the section leaders and workers from different departments. To ensure the support and cooperation from the workforce, I will plan out operations in such a manner that I am able to;
Elicit the contribution from all concerned: This includes assigning suitable tasks to competent people while training and developing others to further excel. A team leader has to be a good coach as well. He is supposed to impart the basic working principles amongst his team members. But he must not take this job so seriously that he starts interrupting the team members for each and every task. This results in undue interference in routine functioning of the team. Therefore I will take due care that I am not seen as ‘keeping a watchful eye’ on everybody all the time and suspecting the team members without any valid reason.
Organize the team members by assigning them the responsibilities: A chain is said to be as strong as the weakest link in it. A team is also composed of a number of people with differing abilities, qualification and motivation levels. A cohesive team of highly motivated and well organized members can certainly do wonders for the growth of the organization. I know a team leader has to be an initiator. Therefore the leader must be able to take a lead in defining the work environment and team spirit. Therefore, I will put great emphasis on this aspect as well.
Develop an information system for monitoring and coordination activities: Monitoring, Controlling and feedback are very important to take any corrective course of action, if required. While on the one hand such a mechanism helps in ascertaining the success or failure of the policies being implemented from time to time, it also helps in making sure that the workforce realizes the importance of such initiatives.
I understand leadership qualities can help a person in bringing excellence to any kind of job, be it the job of an ordinary salesman, a production manager or the General Manager. Therefore, I will surely not block my view while searching for future leaders, because we need good leaders at many places in the organization. I will keep an eye on to the last man in my institution for such leadership qualities. But of course in order to look for a person to head the organization or department, I will have to look for adequate levels of qualification and experience in the hierarchy.
As for the external versus internal debate, I feel if we could prepare an internal candidate for the leadership responsibility, then he/she would be the best option, as the organization and its functioning is known to that person. The person knows others in the organization and having earned the confidence of the industry all this while, the confidence level of the person will be high enough. But, today we are living in a competitive era and the changes in market dynamics, technology etc. have the potential to alter the calculations of anybody. Therefore, I will surely keep an eye on the outside worlds as well, and just in case the circumstances necessitate, I will not shy away from using suitable external resources as well.
Terry, George R. and Franklin Stephen G. (1994). Principles of management. Richard D. Irwin Inc. USA.
Good, Howard (2006). Leader of the Pack. American School Board Journal, xx 2006.