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What Works in Management and Leadership Education and Development Professor John G Burgoyne

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Presentation on theme: "What Works in Management and Leadership Education and Development Professor John G Burgoyne"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Works in Management and Leadership Education and Development Professor John G Burgoyne

2 Agenda What works: the conclusions Critical realist evaluation An example – developing diabetes networks references to follow

3 What works: conclusion 1 Leadership development needs to prepare people to deal with ‘wicked’ problems. The ‘context sensitive methods’ (coaching, mentoring and action learning) are best for this. See Horne and Steadman for the evidence.

4 What works: conclusion 2 Management needs to be addressed to, and addresses tamer problems, and includes the management science and evidence based decision making skills. This is to avoid turning what are tame problems into wicked ones.

5 What works: conclusion 2 cont. A degree of didactic teaching of knowledge and skills is appropriate here. Followed by practice on simulated problems

6 What works: conclusion 3 People need to learn to manage the management – leadership balance. Case studies may be useful here. See Burgoyne and Mumford on the case study method.

7 What works: conclusion 4 For corporate leadership development there is a need to consider where the leadership is that matters, so that the investment can be made in the right place.

8 What works: conclusion 4 cont. This diagramme may help:

9 What works: conclusion 4 cont. Development programmes should target social and human capital combined. Corporate programmes may do this, not necessarily deliberately. The Advanced Management Programme is a rate example in the Business School world. See Mintzberg and Gosling for account

10 What works: conclusion 4 cont. In corporate leadership development the main investment is usually in senior leaders and their likely successors. In our case studies Bernado’s was an exception: the pinch point in their business model was the leaders of their charity shops. See Burgoyne, Boydell and Pedler for report.

11 What works: conclusion 5 In a corporate setting, and for open academic programmes, attention needs to be given to the fit of the development programme with the selection of people likely to benefit and the likely future utilisation of the management and leadership talent developed.

12 What works: conclusion 5 cont. According to evolutionary psychology the will to lead is largely innate, but the ability to do it well can be learnt. See Nicholson for refs.

13 What works: conclusion 5 cont. Organisations, arguably, should only develop management and leadership talent if they do not have enough. They should check first that they are fully utilising what they have. Utilisation is achieved through correct career management, performance management and reward systems.

14 What works: conclusion 5 cont. The acquisition of leadership talent or the potential for it, its development and utilisation is called the ‘bundle thesis’ because they are like three chords in a rope each made up of strands. See Burgoyne (2010)

15 What works: conclusion 6 According to meta-reviews of evaluations of management and leadership education and development, in the Business School and corporate worlds, there are three benefits from almost all programmes, in terms of both process and outcome: Standing back from work and reflecting Networking with colleagues in similar roles Learning a few models like Porter’s five forces. See Burgoyne, Hirsh and Williams, and Hirsh, Burgoyne and Williams

16 What works: conclusion 7 Needs to fit with corporate culture, or be part of a strategy to change it:

17 What works: conclusion 8 Can benefit by developing a leadership approach that enhances organisational learning. Contrary to popular belief learning organisations can, with benefit, be hierarchical. Senior leaders need to listen to accurate information from below and use their overview to direct downwards. See Pedler, Burgoyne and Boydell, and Pedler, Boydell and Burgoyne

18 What works: conclusion 9 Should take advantage of appropriate forms of virtual learning. There is evidence that e-learning is largely used for technical skills and organisational procedures, however this may well be due to an unimaginative view of its pedagogical possibilities. Even in high tech IT firms f2f is preferred for leadership development, partly because they spend much time in front of screens already.

19 What works: conclusion 9 cont. Virtual action learning is believed to work and an increasing trend. Some believe it has positive advantages. Low tech approaches (phone and email conferences) are much preferred to hi tech ones (second life and Cisco Presence). As organisations and teams become increasingly virtual this is likely to be an increasing trend.

20 What works: conclusion 9 cont. Educational process mirrors work situations See Bowles and Gintis Virtual organisation involves virtual individual work style, internal virtual interaction and virtual relations with organisational stakeholders.

21 What works: conclusion 10 More attention needs to pay more attention to formative evaluation. So that we can improve on the understanding in the points above. See various of my publications in the references on how to do this and examples. Also Pawson for a critical realist approach to meta-analysis or systematic review as he calls it.

22 Critical realist evaluation

23 A challenge and opportunity No systematic evaluation - development as act of faith Afterthought add on evaluation Integrated evaluation built in from the beginning of development design Evaluation led development strategy and implementation See Pawson reference

24 Evaluating Action Learning: A Perspective Informed by Network and Complex Adaptive Systems Theory

25 This largely theoretical section will argue the case for the usefulness of applying network and complex adaptive systems theory to an understanding of Action Learning and the challenge it’s evaluating

26 This approach, it will be argued, is particularly helpful in the context of improving capability in dealing with wicked problems spread around complex systems and networks.

27 Network theory is the general proposition that the world can be understood as a system of nodes or links at recursive levels (individuals, groups/departments, organisations, clusters and industries etc.) and includes, but is by no means limited to, social networking.

28 Murray Sunders argues that evaluation itself can operate as ‘an island of stability in a sea of chaos’. This idea will be held in the background using this theoretical approach, as will the point that most evaluation is instrumental, about testing the achievement of aims that are assumed to be right and good, rather than testing and challenging them – supporting single loop rather than double loop learning in other words. In this part of the argument, and others, I will be building on the ideas I presented at the last conference on Critical Realism and Action Learning. See Saunders et al.

29 Amongst other things it will be argued that Action Learning can help organisations and groups, understood at networks, balance the destabilising tendencies to explosion and implosion, and, rightly used, can help prevent network distortion (over dominance of one group of stakeholders).

30 Although largely theoretical, this presentation may be illuminated by an example taken from an evaluation project on a distributed leadership development initiative with Diabetes Care Networks in the NHS and a current evaluation of customer care initiatives.

31 Critical Realism argues that the world is an open system with emergent properties Rather than the deterministic machine of the positivists Or the ungrounded shifting sea of cultural meaning of the extreme constructionists and post modernists Highly compatible with complex adaptive network system view

32 In my presentation a number of years ago and a paper subsequently published in the Action Learning Research Journal I raised the question of what exactly is carried forward, if anything, from action learning See various Burgoyne refs. below.

33 Action Learning is often judged in terms of success in dealing with the focal challenge However this really treating an action learning set as a task force The question is what is carried forward to make success in the face of the next challenge more likely

34 Possible candidates are: P that was previously Q Ability to learn – but how does this work? Confidence Familiarity with networks and, no doubt, many others

35 causes effects Relatively closed simple systems

36 causes effects Relatively complex open systems = emergent properties = unpredictable events

37 What we could look for in evaluation interviews with AL participants is the ability to read complex adaptive network systems At two levels: specific situations and the general (and generalisable) ability to do so In this case networks are events and causal links, with an eye to intended outcomes and events open to intervention Understanding mechanisms and their contextual variation

38 An example of an event chain: From an evaluation of cusomer service interventions:

39 Grading literature about this causal chain accounting

40 causes effects Hence looking for one route through this, the rest is context = emergent properties = unpredictable events

41 What else from complex adaptive network system theory? Thinking about what it takes to move to more sustainable and more desirable equilibrium states Far from equilibrium positions – the all over the hill into the next valley Can we do it? How do we spot the opportunities, the ‘tipping points’ Should we do it, morally and ethically? Are others doing it to us?

42 Which takes us on to the observation that most evaluation is instrumental, ie does it work against taken and unquestioned objectives and purposes? What about evaluating whether we are doing better things as well as doing things better? Moving to larger units of survival (Bateson) Negotiating with other stakeholders – Agonistic Liberalism (Isiah (not Irvin!) Berlin)

43 We might get quite a long way with evaluation through talking to AL participants with these kinds of interpretative frameworks in mind. But what if their ‘understanding’ is largely or partly tacit? Talk to them about their actions and help them dig into the reasons for this, ie surface tacit knowledge? Look for where things ‘come out of nowhere’? Is short term, quick cycle, action learning experimentation something to look for, and a skill learnt from AL? Looking for early signs of the effects of moves taken in situ?

44 Networks, as people and relationships, can ‘implode’ or ‘explode’ The NHS Diabetes Network example Action Learning is potentially good at balancing these two forces: bond the group within but also strengthen the links with external challenges and their stakeholders In evaluation should we look for the recognition of the need for this and skill in doing so? And distortion

45 Network Organisations and the NHS: advantages and disadvantages with special reference to Diabetes Networks Network Organisations and the NHS: advantages and disadvantages with special reference to Diabetes Networks

46 The Agenda: 1.Networks – basic concepts 2.Levels of recursiveness 3.The nature of links 4.Implosive and explosive networks 5.Transaction cost economics 6.The history of private enterprise 7.How the NHS is different 8.The diabetes care network 9.What worked 10.What can you do?

47 1: Networks – basic concepts Nodes and links Strong and weak ties Number of links from A to B

48 2: Levels of recursiveness Individuals Small groups/departments Organisations, e.g. Trust Hospitals ‘Industries’, sectors, e.g. NHS, or UK health sector including private

49 3: The nature of links Power Information Affiliation

50 4: Implosive and explosive networks Implosive: strong internal links, weak external ones – at the extreme e.g. cliques Explosive: external links stronger than internal ones, e.g. cancer, diabetes, cardio vascular?

51 5 : Transaction cost economics – three main forms of organisation Markets Hierarchies Clans/cultures

52 6: The history of private enterprise Market to hierarchy (Henry Ford) to clans/cultures (Hewlett Packard)

53 7: How the NHS is different Clan/culture (pre NHS) to hierarchy, nationalisation and to market - purchaser provider split etc. NHS now trying to get back some of the benefits of clan/culture - a good way of understanding what NHS networks are about.

54 8: The diabetes care network Tendency to explosion rather than implosion Progressed better in Scotland and Wales due to less environmental churn Effectiveness of OD help: Positive at the level of team work Not discernable at the level of QOF data

55 9: What worked Getting to know each other better Having meetings Having a chair Meetings with managed agendas Having action points

56 10: What can you do? Get to know people Balance your energy between the different professional cliques Understand the big picture Have meetings, manage the agenda and capture action points Be aware of environmental churn

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