Magazine article Training & Development Journal

Organizational Competence: It Depends on Your Staff

Magazine article Training & Development Journal

Organizational Competence: It Depends on Your Staff

Article excerpt

Organizational Competence-It Depends on Your Staff

It's one of the best kept secrets around: The competencies required of a superior training professional are precisely those skills needed by any organization's senior executives. The fact is, trainers possess excellent potential for moving into positions of significant responsibility within the organizational mainstream.

Training is a perfectly respectable and legitimate profesion unto itself and shouldn't be viewed by those within its ranks or by those outside them as a "junior job arena." Each trainer--based upon his or her preference--needs to make the conscious choice between moving up the ladder and establishing credibility as a long-term training professional.

Training professionals traditionally have ruled out the possibility of advancing to significant heights within the corporation. But this perspective is no longer legitimate. While I'm not suggesting that moving up is the only way to succeed, it certainly is one way that interested trainers should pursue. As the senior training executive, you have the power and the leverage to work with your staff to create a series of natural upward opportunities to prepare training professionals to assume roles of greater leadership and responsibility.

What the organization values

Before structuring a way up the organizational ladder, you must consider what any organization looks for when selecting a senior executive:

* a track record of successful management, including responsibility for people and for money;

* a base of excellent content knowledge;

* communication skills, including the ability to relate upward, laterally, and with subordinates within the organization, as well as the ability to release with significant external audiences;

* positive visibility within the organization, resulting at the very least in a lack of unfavorable response to a promotion of a specific individual and, if possible, applause for the decision to promote;

* positive individual presence, including the appropriate "look" and organizational behaviors;

* political awareness and competence;

* knowledge of the company.

Of these seven criteria, the first three typically serve as measurement for effective performance by candidates eligible for advancement. That is, the more effective individuals are in these areas, the more viable their preparation for advancement and the better their fit with their intended positions. The four remaining criteria fit into a category I co nsider "givens." These are skills people must have to advance in their careers but for which they don't gain any added prestige or credibility.

Before grooming training professionals for positions of increase responsibility within the organization, you must understand what the organization considers a significant benchmark in performance. Keeping in mind the above specific criteria for satisfying organizational values, you should establish ways to give subordinates valid opportunities to earn sufficient exposure in the organization for performing tasks valued by the organization. figure 1 provides a summary of organizational values and specific opportunity areas for skill development. Discussed below are specific opportunity areas within each of the identified criteria.

Management of people and

money

Responsibility successfully carried out leads to further responsibility. People who have the job of "making sure things ahppen" are graded very simply by the organization: Do things happen? Do they happen when they are supposed to happen? How effectively do they happen? Does the person in charge require undue support to make things happen? Do things happen within projected budgetary guidelines?

You must give trainers identified as "movers" within the organization opportunities to manage people and money. …

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