For the most part, I believe organizations have subscribed to the “do the job then get the job” philosophy. Employees are given responsibilities in stages. Then, after demonstrating competence, they are promoted to the official role. We can debate whether it’s right or wrong all day. That’s not the point of the post. The bottom line…it’s happens…a lot.
An important piece to that philosophy is to recognize when employees are being groomed for additional responsibilities and need some training or skill building in order to become effective. It’s one thing to teach someone how to complete a report and transition responsibility for producing that report to them. It’s another when an employee needs to gain skills in how to coach an employee’s performance as part of their supervisory role.
Traditionally, a new supervisor would participate in some sort of management skills training program or leadership development program to gain those necessary skills. And, ideally, that would occur before a supervisor takes on the role. So they get the opportunity to practice the skill in a “safe” environment before they have to use it for the first time.
In the last IBM CEO Study, the concept of “leading while learning” was mentioned. It’s the idea of being prepared to constantly reinvent yourself as the fast-paced business world changes. It’s also about learning from your existing network as a piece of that reinvention .
Very interesting concept because it poses so many questions.
Does this mean companies will flip the practice and employees will “get the job then do the job”?
How does this impact training and development for the purposes of replacement planning and succession planning?
Or do the same rules still apply and the concept of leading while learning only applies to subsequent changes?
Maybe the idea of leading while learning is tied to corporate culture. I wonder if there’s any data to suggest how high-performing organizations view the training/responsibility dynamic and which comes first – getting the training or getting the job?
At some point, businesses will need to decide the relationship between when an employee gets responsibility for a task and when they get training for it. It has a strong business implication.1