Who is responsible for your learning in an organisation? I ask the question as we increasingly see the devolution of authority and responsibility, from large, long term, structured programmes through to self serve, performance supporting, ‘just in time’ interventions. It’s not that the organisation has absolved itself of all responsibility, but it’s certainly shifted a balance: we tend to have higher ownership of our own destinies, which brings to the forefront the importance of the facilitating role of the manager.
If the push is no longer so strong from the top and we place greater autonomy in the hands of the individual, almost inevitably the manager ends up taking a more immediate role. But is it a role that they are prepared for?
Managers as coaches, as mentors, as both your first line of support and the person who should offer challenge. It’s a tough job to do all of these, especially when you have your day job to do as well.
Are we paying enough attention to the development of these core skills in managers, are are they ending up in this position by default? Should we instead be looking at the development of a coaching layer in the organisation (who may or may not be the managers) to provide this devolved support?
I think it’s easy for us to overlook the importance and function of the facilitating role, especially as responsibility devolves. It’s worth casting an eye in this direction.