Chartered Manager - Combating bad management

Managers at all levels should be encouraged to undertake workforce training as often as possible, and the economic downturn should lead to an increase in training, not a decrease. We need to train managers in how to cope better with these types of situations, and those who manage people in particular need re-educating.

Derek Little
IBM
IT

Background

Derek Little, is from Glasgow and has worked for IBM for more than 27 years in a range of roles, beginning as an engineer in 1982 and was recently appointed as a Technical Solutions Manager. Although Derek left school with no qualifications, he has devoted periods of his adult life to academic study and now holds a MA in Engineering Management and achieved his PhD in 2003. He joined the CMI, then the Institution of Industrial Managers (IIM) when he was just 21. Derek has been associated with the CMI for 30 years and is a Fellow Member and Chartered Manager, which he regards as a ‘must have' qualification for anyone in management. He is currently on the CMI Board of Trustees.

The challenge

Being a good manager has always been important to Derek. The challenge for him was how to combat bad management practices he had experienced, not only within his own organisations, but personally too. “What attracted me to joining CMI and be coming a Chartered Manager was the examples of poor management practice I had experienced in the past an d I was al so aware of some elements of poor practice within myself. I felt I could do better. ”

Goals

Derek wanted to become more confident in his management skills and competencies , and consequently able to perform better at his job. By striving for management excellence, Derek hoped to bolster his career development, giving him more flexibility to move from role to role as he progressed through the organisation, gaining greater responsibility with each move. Derek is clear greater job satisfaction through learning how to get the most from every career step was his aim, rather than becoming CEO or Vice President.

Action

Derek embarked on training and development opportunities with CMI and a number of other education providers. By studying part-time, Derek was able to manage his full-time professional career alongside his academic studies and his professional development, which included studying for several university degrees.

As a board member of a local Further Education college, Derek is very aware of the importance of management qualifications and thinks that the fact that only one in five managers in the UK are professionally qualified, needs to be addressed.

He says: “Individuals who become managers often receive in-house training, but it can be basic and isn’t refreshed as often as it should be. Managers at all levels should be encouraged to undertake workforce training as often as possible, and the economic downturn should lead to an increase in training, not a decrease. We need to train managers in how to cope better with these types of situations, and those who manage people in particular need re-educating. “Very high level qualifications are not always necessary; I have witnessed firsthand how even achieving the Introductory Diploma in management, can make a big difference to an organisation and its ability to achieve its goals.”

Results

CMI training has armed Derek with transferrable skills that he has applied to all aspects of his work. Although Derek predominantly manages processes rather than people, the management competencies required are similar and include being able to communicate the organisation’s vision and goals effectively to others and adapting to organisational change. This is crucial at IBM where technologies and processes have to be as progressive as possible to meet the ever changing demands of the global market.

Derek has worked hard to improve his competencies and skills and has been able to apply what he has learnt to his workplace throughout his career. His training with the CMI has enabled him to move easily from one type of management role to another within IBM. “Being involved with CMI has made me adaptable and able to cope with change. For example, when I moved over to IT I had no formal IT qualifications, but my CMI training helped me develop my understanding and helped me perform well. “Personally speaking, CMI has enabled me to see areas of improvement within myself and examine what I have done and what other aspects of my practice need addressing. My external life is still very much focused in this way.”