Theory can help the manager or an individual learn what can be generalised from one unique experience and applied in another unique situation. Theory can also provide categorisations for the manager to be able to select and adapt from past learning to meet current needs and conditions. Categorisation not only eases recall and adaptation of past learning, it tends to keep learning active and not inert. In this discussion, we'll be discussing various aspects that are surrounded by the management concepts and are helping individuals managing and developing their career.
Unless the new manager is in the enviable position to start a new unit and hire all new staff, he or she will be hired to manage people who have probably worked together for some time. They have a history among themselves and, like any relationship, some of it is positive and some of it is not so positive. Each new manager will be faced with a unique situation. Management of Career through classroom training alone does not often help the new manager or employee deal with this unique set of challenges. When possible a facilitator or coach from the Human Resources Department or elsewhere should work with the manager or any employee who is learning and his or her staff to assist in a number of important tasks.
Probably the most important activity would be assisting in a discussion of the group's strengths and weaknesses and what the group can do in the next year or so to leverage its strengths and begin to overcome any weaknesses. A discussion of opportunities that lie ahead for the group in the next year should also be identified. This analysis can lead to a goal-setting discussion which should ideally include the new manager's/employee's boss. Goals can be set and specific action steps developed which will help the group focus on the most important work they should be doing in the near future.
The distant future should also be a discussion topic. With the help of the coach the new manager should work in conjunction with his/her staff to develop a vision statement for the unit. It might also be wise to circle back to be sure the goals and action steps defined earlier are consistent with the vision statement. It should be noted that typically a planning effort starts with a vision statement and goal setting follows from it. However, a new manager needs time with his or her boss and staff before he or she can develop one that fits with the vision of senior management and the organisational culture. Goal setting, for a one-year period or even less, on the other hand, is easier to do and helps to build the working relationship between the manager and staff. Staff understandably will be nervous about how their day-to-day responsibilities might change and goal setting will help answer any questions regarding these responsibilities.
However, also troubling new staff will be the working relationship that must now be established with the new boss. The group facilitator can assist in helping define this relationship through a process sometimes referred to as Team Chartering, often used with new project teams. During the chartering process, the staff and manager will discuss the norms that they would