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Management Development

Boss, Enabler, Leader

In the Industrial Age, managers were “the boss.” They used their power to make people do what they wanted them to do. They demanded loyalty to their function, compliance to the rules and conformity to the ways things got done in the organization.

The traditional planning, organizing, controlling and delegating boss of the Industrial Age is rapidly becoming the “micro-manager” of the Global Information and Communications Age. They are a “commodity product” that adds minimal value to the organization and creates unnecessary constraints within the system.

Creating agile and responsive organizations requires managers who:

  1. Develop self-directed employees
  2. Establish positive team dynamics
  3. Create the opportunity for their staff to work across organizational boundaries

To maximize their performance, and add value to the organization, management must be able to play three very different roles:


There are times when management must use their authority to get their staff to do what the boss wants done. They use their authority and power to set direction, establish priorities, resolve conflicts and break ties between different positions. But being a boss is no longer the dominant management role.


Most of the time a manager should use their power and influence to enable their staff to do what they want to do. The Enabler role maximizes the ownership and commitment of their staff by creating self-directed employees who are empowered to apply learning and respond to changing circumstances.


Some of the time the manager must lead efforts to change things. In the Leader Role the manager becomes an agent for change.

Our work in management development focuses on developing management's ability to enable and lead their staff to higher performance.

The Enabling Manager Workshop

This management workshop is designed to achieve the three learning objectives:

Develop Self-Directed Employees — Every employee a business person

A key role of 21st Century Managers is to develop employees that are self-directed in their actions and are able to do the right thing for the business in response to learning and changing circumstances.

  • Self-Directed employees require less supervision, thereby reducing the need for large bureaucratic “chains of command.”
  • Self-Directed employees are excellent team members because they have an understanding of the business and are freed from their functional roles to do the right things for the business.
  • Self-Directed employees are able to move @ the speed of thought to apply learning and adjust to changing circumstances.

Establish Positive Team Dynamics

A second key role of 21st Century Managers is to create positive personal, interpersonal and group dynamics within their organization. Strong team dynamics increasing trust, personal risk taking, and understanding on critical issues — creating an information rich environment that maximizes people performance.

Create the Opportunity to Perform

A third key role of 21st Century Managers is to create an organizational environment that empowers their staff to work across organizational boundaries, to participate on high performance teams, and do the right things for the business. Empowerment is not abdicating a mangers authority. Empowerment is when management uses their authority to enable their staff to achieve goals and objectives that cross organizational boundaries.

Workshop Specifications
Enabling Manager

Target Audience

Supervisors, Managers, and Executives with Direct Reports


A highly interactive workshop based on two learning and diagnostic models - the Organizational Playing Field and the Stages of Team Development model. Participants use the models to learn about organization and team dynamics, and than apply that learning to diagnose their current organizational and team dynamics.

The workshop includes a self-assessment of the managers' leadership style and 360-degree feedback on their current team dynamics.


Two Days

Class Size

20 Participants


Web based self-assessment and 360° survey of team dynamics


Participant Binder, web based self-assessment, 360° survey


Content, design and delivery are customizable for different populations.



Custom Training

We use our subject-matter expertise to custom design management development programs that meet your needs and are compatible with your organizational norms and culture.

Personal Effectiveness

Understanding self, valuing differences, versatility in behaviors, dealing with strong feelings, clarifying intentions, personal risk taking, eliminating self-defeating behaviors, and making yourself easier to work with.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Building work relationships, networking, trust, self-disclosure, inclusion, control, affection, giving and receiving feedback, active listening, clear and credible communications, creating shared understanding, influence, and communications.

Team Effectiveness

Team tasks, team roles and responsibilities, team processes, team dynamics, teambuilding, Stages of Team Development, new product teams, business teams, executive teams, major project teams, team planning, team decision making, team problem solving, virtual teams and cross-functional teamwork.

Organizational Effectiveness

Defining, analyzing and changing culture and infrastructure, team based organizations, new product development acceleration, and stages of organizational development.

Check out our Innovative Ideas to learn more about our experience and expertise in these areas.

Client Example: 3M Management Development Program (MDP)

When 3M decided to develop their first training program for managers they turned to us for design and delivery support. The result of this collaborative effort was MDP, a five-day workshop that was delivered to all 3M managers and executives over a 10-year period.

The goal of MDP was to perpetuate 3M's culture of innovation. Therefore instead of focusing on the traditional management skills of planning, organizing, controlling and delegating, MDP focused on building work relationships, creating shared understanding and working across organizational boundaries.

The design logic for MDP was captured in the “Organizational Onion.” If you peel back the layers, here is what you will find.

  1. Managers are “corporate culture carriers,” therefore how a manager treats his or her employees is how that employee will experience 3M culture.
  2. To perpetuate a culture of innovation managers must work across organizational boundaries to create the opportunity for people to be innovative and creative.
  3. Working across organizational boundaries requires strong team effectiveness skills.
  4. Strong team effectiveness skills are based on strong interpersonal skills.
  5. Strong interpersonal skills require a high degree of personal effectiveness.
  6. Personal effectiveness starts with an understanding of self.

Since the individual was the core of the onion, the workshop started by focusing on personal effectiveness to create a strong foundation for performance. Each of the next four days moved out to the next layer of the onion.

MDP was a highly collaborative project involving several internal and external resources. We worked closely with 3M over a ten-year period to update and refine MDP based on our learning and changes in the organization over that time. This assured we were always delivering the highest quality workshop possible.