Personal Development As Strategic Manager

Personal skills are vital in creating a roadmap for the company: setting direction, defining the route, drawing a clear picture of the destination, and identifying the progress checkpoints along the way to achieve strategic ambitions. Changing the strategy can sometimes result in confusion, multiple directions, and depleted resources. According to Michael Porter, “Strategy must have continuity.

Analyse the strategic direction of the organisation

Today much has changed-the economy, the availability of funding, and the attractiveness of new business ventures. Yet, many businesses still operate without a clear sense of strategic direction. Whether it is a small or large company, strategic planning is essential for a good business.

Strategic planning, when integrated into the company’s culture, operational plans, performance and management systems, provides a clear sense of direction to the organization. What is more strategic planning can help to evaluate new business opportunities and allocate resources.

Elements of successful strategic planning include:

Where do you want to go?

Vision: future position of the company

Mission: purpose of the company

Values: company’s core beliefs and its alignment and support with the vision and mission

Industry trends: What is happening now, and what does the future look like?

Value proposition: Why the customer should buy the company’s products or use its services

Competitive analysis: What makes the company unique?

SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?

Strategic objectives: strategic initiatives that will have the the company to reach its vision

How to get there?

Goal setting: specific company’s objectives toward achieving the strategy

Department goals

Action steps: Different activities that need to occur to achieve goals


Evaluate the strategic skills required of the leader to achieve the strategic ambitions

A leader should

Understand his / her own needs and characteristics.

Understand the needs of each participant of the group and to treat each individual with respect.

The following skills are needed to achieve strategic ambitions.

Knowing and using the resources of the group

Resources also include people, because people have knowledge (what a person learns through familiarity or experience) and skills (ability to use what you know).

A leader should:

Understand the purpose and resources of participating organization.

Include participants in program capability inventory.

Find out about post participants’ skills, interests, and resources.


Skills in getting information:

Pay attention and listen carefully.

Make notes and sketches.

Ask questions and repeat the understanding of what was said.

Skills in giving information:

Be sure others are listening before speaking.

Speak slowly and clearly.

Draw diagrams, if needed. Ask those receiving information to take notes.

Encourage questions.


Planning playes an important part.

The following is a simple process for planning:

Consider the task and objectives.

Consider the resources: equipment, knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Consider alternatives. Brainstorm.

Reach a decision, evaluating each option.

Write the plan and review it.

Execute and evaluate the plan.

Controlling group performance

A group works together best when everybody is headed in the same direction.

Continually observe the group. Know what is happening and the attitude of the group.

Make instructions clear and pertinent.

Pitch in and help when necessary.

Quickly deal with disruption.


Evaluating helps measure the performance of a group in getting a job done and working together. It suggests ways in which the group can improve its performance.

Setting the example

Setting the example is the most important leadership skill and an effective way to show others the proper way to conduct themselves. What is more, it is even more effective than verbal communication.


Counselling is important to

• help people solve problems

• encourage or reassure

• reach the potential

Representing the group

The leader represents the post in two situations:

• Without consultation-when he or she does not have the opportunity to consult with post officers about a decision

• With consultation-when he or she can meet with post officers about the issue.

Effective teaching

Effective teaching is a process to increase the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the group and its participants. For teaching to be effective, learning must take place.

Assess the relationship between existing, required and future skills to achieve the strategic ambitions

Skills that need some development

• Communicating

• Decision-making

• Leadership

• Prioritising

• Valuing and Supporting Others

• Motivating

• Analysing

• Delegating

• Reporting

In order to be truly successful in these areas, one may need to brush up on some skills and get some advice on how to go about the following actions.

Encourage innovation in business

Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:

ensure that there is a well-communicated innovation strategy that fits with the overall vision of the business

motivate people across the business to identify ideas for new products or services

ensure that resources are made available for idea generation, development and testing

evaluate business cases and plans, approve those that appear viable and monitor their progress

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In order to improve in this area, advice may be needed on:

how to develop a business strategy for innovation and communicate it across the business

methods for identifying and pursuing opportunities to work in partnership with external experts

Plan change

Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:

assess the gap between the current and required future state of procedures, systems, structures and roles

assess the risks and benefits associated with the strategies and plans and develop contingency arrangements

make sure the plans include short-term “wins” as well as longer-term deliverables

In order to improve in this area, some advice may be needed on:

the main models and methods for managing change effectively

effective planning techniques

Lead change

Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:

communicate the vision of the future, the reasons for the change and the benefits to everyone involved

make sure the people responsible for planning and implementing change understand their responsibilities

set and prioritise objectives for the change

In order to improve in this area, some advice is required on:

the main models and methods for leading organisational change and their strengths and weaknesses

principles and application of risk assessment

Manage a programme of projects

Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:

make sure everyone involved is clear about how the programme links to strategic targets

take account of all essential needs and translate strategic targets into practical, efficient and effective actions

make sure everyone involved understands the critical aspects of the programme

make recommendations in areas for improvement

In order to improve in this area, some advice is needed on:

the difference between project and programme management and the role of a programme manager

principles, processes, tools and techniques for managing programmes

how to assess and manage risk

how to manage change within projects and programmes

Implement change

Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:

create a vision of where this area is going, together with supportive objectives and operational plans

communicate regularly, making use of a range of different communication methods

develop a range of leadership styles and apply them to appropriate situations and people

In order to improve in this area, you may want to get some advice on:

how to create a compelling vision for an area of responsibility

a range of different leadership styles and communication methods

how to get and make use of feedback from people on your leadership performance

A feedforward and feedback framework for analysing existing, required and future skill competencies and development needs of the staff is demonstrated in the flowchart format.

A Feedforward and feedback framework for analysing the skills competences and development needs of the staff

Figure 1. Source:

LO2. Be able to manage personal leadership development to support achievement of strategic ambitions

2.1 Discuss the opportunities to support leadership development

Leadership development programmes and opportunities

There are many different sources of information and advice to help improve the leadership and management skills in business.

Train to Gain: Leadership and Management Advisory Service: This innovative Leadership and Management programme will help to equip leaders with the skills to become a more effective leader. A leadership and management adviser will help to diagnose the skills needs and those of management team and individual development plans.

LEAD: Is a 10 month leadership programme designed specifically for owner-managers of businesses with less than 20 employees. The programme works by taking a practical approach to both the development of the business and personal development of the owner-manager.

High Growth Coaching Programme: The High Growth programme is a three year business coaching initiative aimed at ‘high growth’ businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Mentoring Programme: Mentoring offers business owners, leaders and managers the chance to develop and fully realise their potential through a long term mentoring relationship.

Networking: This is another important type of skill development for business owners and directors. A wide variety of business networks exists – including those for new businesses, young owners and women owners.

2.2 Construct a personal development plan to direct leadership development

A persona development plan may include the following steps.

Step 1-Individual preparation/self-assessment

Step 2-Clear vision

Step 3-Got Goals!

Step 4-Action plan way to success

Step 5-Communicate the plan

Step 6-Monitor progress

The action plan involves:





Encourage innovation in business

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Plan change

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Lead change

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Complete within 6 months


Manage a programme of projects

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Complete within 9 months


Implement change

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Complete within 12 months

To help ensure success of business, a company owner needs to have a broad range of skills relating to management and leadership.

2.3 Devise an implementation process for the development plan

Figure 2 Source:

In order to achieve the desired result and to reach organisational goals, there is a need to have a strategy to implement the personal development plan. Some strategies will help to get started when implementing personal development plan.

The first thing that needs to be done in a personal development plan is:

Setting aa goal. Once thea goal is set, brainstorming allthen the reasons with the benefits for the individual and the company should follow why we want to achieve that particular goal and how it will benefit the individual and the company.

Identifying obstacle to the goal that will help chart out steps to overcome the obstacles.

Having smaller daily goals that can help achieving long term goal. The more specific daily goals are, the easier it will be to accomplish them.

Charting out the easiest route to reach that goal.

Focusing on personal development plan will help achieving the long term goal.

Having realistic and achievable goal.


1. Define what is to be achieved through PDP

2. Use subject benchmarks, professional body guidelines to determine the desired outcomes.

3. Audit existing provision against agreed outcomes

4 Identify any gaps in planning, reflection, key/professional skills or cognate knowledge

5 Consider how gaps could be filled and by whom. As far as possible aim to build the respective planning, reflection and core into existing activities e.g. projects, dissertations etc.

6. Decide how to engage all the members of the team meaningfully in the process e.g.

Will it be a condition of progress?

Will it be assessed? If so what will be assessed?

Will it be a requirement for mentoring meetings?

Will it be left entirely up to them whether or not they do it?

LO3. Be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the leadership development plan

3.1 Assess the achievement of outcomes of the plan against original objectives

At a minimum, assessment plans must include the six components listed below.

1. Examination of objectives

2. Identification of Goals

3. Assessment Mechanism

4. Record Keeping

5. Validation of Indicators

6. Evaluation and Continuous Program Improvement

3.2 Evaluate the impact of the achievement of objectives on strategic ambitions

Many governments, institutions and project managers are reluctant to carry out impact evaluations because they are expensive, time consuming and technically complex. Many evaluations have also been criticised because the results come too late, do not answer the right questions, or were not carried out with sufficient analytical rigour. However with proper and early planning, the support of policy makers, and a relatively small investment, a rigorous evaluation can be very powerful in assessing the appropriateness and effectiveness of programmes (Baker, 2000).

The Strategic Impact Assessment Process The effectiveness of development, depends as much on the effectiveness of its assessment process as it does on the quality of data, assessment methods and analysis, which it uses. The role of each stage in this process includes screening; scoping; impact assessment; options analysis; decision-making and implementation; and monitoring, evaluation and post-auditing. The role of consultation and inter-agency co-ordination, throughout the process, is highlighted. The contribution, which screening and scoping, in particular, can play, in promoting cost-effectiveness within the process is also emphasised.

Assessment Approaches and Methods This section reviews various approaches and methods which are likely to be helpful in undertaking development. The review covers: the use of screening lists; the specification of base-line conditions; the use of causal chain analysis; the definition and use of indicators; option analysis methods; and approaches to monitoring, evaluation and post-auditing. In each case, emphasis is placed on the selection and practical application of cost-effective assessment methods.

3.3 Review and update the leadership development plan

Best Practices in Leadership Development. This may include formal development program, 360-degree feedback, executive coaching, job assignments, mentoring, networks, reflection, action learning, and outdoor challenges.

Many leadership development initiatives combine two or more of the above practices.

Evaluation as an Imperative. Best-practice organizations often attempt to assess the impact of leadership development; however, many of these efforts are informal (i.e., non-rigorous).

Employee satisfaction surveys, as well as participants’ reactions to development programs, are the most frequently cited procedures for evaluating leadership development outcomes. Relatively few companies have documented significant improvements in individuals’ skills or behaviours, or organizational profitability, associated with a leadership development process.

Best Practice Principles. The most important principle in successful leadership development efforts is the presence of an influential champion. Leadership development must become a systemic process, not an event. Effective leadership development practices are tied to specific business imperatives. Leadership development is an investment in the future and it is important to recognize that it may take years before dividends are realized.

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LO4. Be able to promote a healthy and safe environment that supports a culture of quality

4.1 Assess the impact of corporate and individual health and safety responsibilities on the organisation

Health and Safety responsibilities within an organisation play a major role in corporate and individual. The impact this has on an organisation may vary from organisation based on the organisations corporate objectives these are as follows:-

Develop managers and where appropriate other employees, in achieving suitable levels of competence to enable them to fully recognise and manage the health and safety risks associated with the work activities under their control – in a proactive rather than reactive manner.

Do more to address the emerging and new work related ‘health and wellbeing’ issues to better recognise that well being initiatives are different to traditional ‘safety’ interventions.

Review interventions continually to ensure best practice.

Acknowledge health, safety and wellbeing as an integral management function in a modern and dynamic public sector organisation

Establish influential champions of health, safety and well being at Council, Corporate and Departmental Management Team levels.

Develop the relationship between health safety and wellbeing, the Corporate Risk Management Group and insurance.

Through the new health and safety management development programmes all Managers need to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees

Each department has a nominated Health & Safety Manager and it is their responsibility to ensure the department’s activities are carried out and conducted in a safe manner through appropriate training, monitoring and feedback.

It is the responsibility of each Health & Safety Manager to ensure senior management is kept fully informed of all aspects of health and safety on a need to know basis. The Health & Safety Managers are also required to produce an annual report for their senior management identifying the arrangements that need to be put in place including training to ensure the service activity areas comply with the policy and that employees and others using or coming onto or into service activity areas do so in the knowledge that it is a safe working environment.

4.2 Estimate an organisational culture of quality on the achievement of strategic ambitions

Quality management programs have been extensively applied around the world, as companies seek to attain and sustain a competitive advantage.

Six Sigma is the newest quality management program which helps companies increase both customer satisfaction and financial benefits (Breyfogle, Cupello, and Meadows, 2001; Pyzdek, 1999; Snee, 1999; Tennant, 2001).This quality program seeks to find and eliminate causes of defects or mistakes in business processes by focusing on outputs that are important to customers (Antony and Craig Fergusson, 2004; Snee, 2000).

Organizational culture has been recognized as one major factor or challenge to the Six Sigma implementation (Antony and Banuelas, 2002; Coronado and Antony, 2002; Kwak and Anbari, 2004) and is viewed as the pattern of values, beliefs, and assumptions shared by members in an organization, which are perceived by the organization as the valid, correct way to solve problems (Sigler and Pearson, 2000; Schein, 1985, 1992). These shared values, beliefs, and assumptions in the organization bind its employees together and become the manner or strategies through which the organization achieves its goals (Marcoulides and Heck, 4 1993).

In the context of quality management, the values and beliefs underlying an organization’s culture are able to shape its philosophy and policies of managing business, which in turn influence the development of the organization’s quality management practices (Waldman, 1993). The role that culture plays in influencing an organization’s level of quality management practices has received attention in the literature (e.g., Buch and Rivers, 2001; Klein, Masi, and Weidner, 1995; Zeitz, Johannesson, and Ritchie, 1997).

Workforce management emphasizes the organizational and people side of quality management and uses a variety of techniques to facilitate changes, such as employee participation in decisions, employee recognition, teamwork, and the use of effective communications to create an awareness of organizational goals (Kaynak, 2003).

Considering the different features of the quality practices, it is very possible that cultural characteristics that support a certain type of quality practice differ from those cultural characteristics that support other types of quality practices.


“Strategic management is an ongoing process that evaluates and controls the business and the industries in which the company is involved; assesses its competitors and sets goals and strategies to meet all existing and potential competitors; and then reassesses each strategy annually or quarterly to determine how it has been implemented and whether it has succeeded or needs replacement by a new strategy to meet changed circumstances, new technology, new competitors, a new economic environment., or a new social, financial, or political environment.” (Lamb, 1984)

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