26 September 2007

Becoming a better e-learning manager and a better leader

Following Nigel's presentation and the Second Life presentation a couple of things came to mind.

Firstly the capability of our managers overall, not just in the e-learning field.
Secondly, who has the time in their busy schedules to sit down and operate a second life when the one I operate in seems like only a half life.

It's a bit like a half life frog on a log . He wants to get to the end and jumps half the distance each time but he never quite gets there!
Second Life looks great for people who have the time and technical expertise. The technical requirements are restricting though, my budget and my time is also limited. When it comes to priorities my family's needs are up the top. These include their school, sporting and socialising activities - away from the computer. Obesity is growing - pardon the pun!

I read through Nigel's list of Do's and Dont's and asked myself the question about what are the barriers for e-learning managers. One is recognising that you need the technical competence to actually do what you want others to do. Managers need to in this day and age to lead by example or identify those that can share the lead.

From the list of do's and dont's I worked out that there is an assumption that managers have the capacity to reflect and respond appropriately and show wisdom, experience and professionlism on leadership issues or situations raised in their workplaces. This assumption is wrong.

Too often in my working life I have witnessed the promotion of people into higher level positions where they are required to manage others. These individuals are often very good at their specific job ( but not always) however they are very poor people managers with limited professional skills in mediation, conflict resolution or organisational skills. They don't have what it takes to effectively manage others and we wonder why gen Y are so challenging?

The end result is that productive work is reduced because of the energies wasted on responding or reacting to or in some instances actively obstructing progress because of the manager's obvious limitations.

I believe that there is limited investment Australia wide in the development of leadership and "people" skills within our organisations. Research and development suffers from the same deficiency.

One of the key emerging issues that presents as a barrier to managers in e-learning is that the 'y" generation do not and will not accept this lack of professionalism in human resource management .

This is evident in the way that they now 'choose' where and what they want to learn and who they want to work for. Money is not the answer to attracting and keeping gen Y engaged. Their parents ( the collective us) have drummed into them that it is OK to challenge and ask for a better deal.

Well we set up their expectations and have not delivered the goods. It's time for a change.
I took the photo above at the Rally against the National Intervention in the NT. The white paint is a sign of mourning and of loss.
Leadership on the national scale has abandoned consultation and negotiation in favour of "emergency intervention"
What will tomorrows leaders do with this style of role modelling?

1 comment:

Val Evans said...

I often wonder if we will ever have another Mandela or Mother Teresa. Hope is important - hang on to it!