Coaching and management training program – success or not?


In the Sundays edition of 12th June, 2016, in the Norwegian the newspaper Aftenposten, we could read about some executives that was dissatisfied with their coaching and management training program.

Since 2005 I have worked with mentoring and training of managers in corporate organizations. All though I will not discuss the mentioned newspaper post since I do not have any facts about the actual situation.

What I would like to comment is that today’s corporate organization and society change must faster than earlier. Today’s business environment is too complex to be covered by a single mentor- or coaching program: todays managers need to have a broad outlook to understand the context of the business environment. Corporate managers often thrive at work and in life by adopting a leadership model that revolves around finding their strengths and connecting with others.

To achieve long-term success, companies must equip their most promising executives to handle the formidable challenges associated with moving into new and increasingly more complex leadership roles.

As mentioned above, I have lead several internal corporate management training program where we have trained managers how to lead under pressure, champion change, build teams, and develop talent throughout the organization. But what has been the effect of this management training programs? In general, we see that the programs give a small boost but undoubtedly not a long lasting effect. My experience is that Lean Management training program has had a longer effect than other more general management training programs has had.

Research also shows that to create a long lasting effect of coaching and management training is difficult to achieve over time.

So why is it so difficult? This will be an open question I don’t know the answer on.

In today’s market for training of executive-, leaders-, employees- and people in general is an ocean of suppliers from serious high ranking education universities to more or less disreputable self-proclaimed management gurus, mentor- and coaches. Moreover, we see several programs within retreat both religious and non-religious retreats.

For the last four years I have been looking into several of the suppliers of coaching- mentoring and management training programs. What I have found so far is that the many of the serious high ranking education universities is often to academic and in the other end of the scale is the disreputable self-proclaimed management gurus, mentor- and coaches which claim to have the answer with no research based evidence theories.  Unfortunately, we see that the market is flooded with more or less disreputable players in mentoring, coaching and life coaching and management training programs and retreat programs.

I am looking for how one can build a management training program with substantial effect over time, not very easy, and maybe not even possible. Although the last couple of years I have been working within the medical interdisciplinary specialized rehabilitation health care. Within the vocational rehabilitation healthcare one have used cognitive psychology to treating future employees with great success and sustained results. Within psychology the topic of leadership has been extensively studied over the last hundred years. Leadership is defined as the process by which an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.  Leaders have two main responsibilities: to ensure the demands of the organization are satisfied and to ensure the needs of the group are satisfied.

My hypotheses are that management training, coaching, mentor programs for executives would gain higher effect and most likely have substantial effect over time with a cognitive psychology model than without. I have therefore start on a research in psychology where we can apply a cognitive psychology model for better management training, coaching and mentoring over time.

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