The Relationship Between Self Development And Management Development Business Essay


To re-emphasize the subject statement stated above with an analogy would be to consider a paradigm explained by Steven R. Covey in his book "First things First". In talking about self development he states "These paradigms are like maps. They are not the territory; they describe the territory. And if the map is wrong - if we're trying to get to some place in Detroit and all we have is a map of Chicago - it's going to be very difficult for us to get where we want to go. We can work on our behavior - we can travel more efficiently - but we will only end up reaching the wrong place faster. But the problem has nothing to do with the attitude or behavior. The problem is that we have the wrong map."(Source: Steven. R. Covey, First Things First, 2003, p.24).

Having stated this analogy, we will now discuss further the various dimensions of self development and its relationship with management development. We will take into account one topic from the organizational behavior faculty - change management. To conclude with, we will analyze how organizational development is impacted by the relationship between the self development & management development.

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Every human brings to the outside world his or her value systems they have been nourished with from inception until the present moment. If an individual's self-development has limitations in his or her thinking abilities or teaches them values contradicting to other individuals value system, it would be a tough ask for such a person to fit into the plurality of individuals in a management context. He or she will not be able to bring value to the team or an organization as a whole. In the context of Steven R. Covey's example above, this can be explained as an individual in a management context with the wrong map - trying to lead from the top with ideas & goals not aligned with the overall ideas & goals of the management. These value systems are also defined by various other demographics like gender for instance. In his book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Dr. Grey explains how men cannot differentiate between empathy & sympathy and hates to be pitied. An empathetic approach towards a male colleague at work could lend him an assisting hand, which could be misunderstood as pity. Whereas the male colleague views the situation as pitiful and resorts to rejection, the helping colleague would feel unaccepted. In a collective environment of teams, which are impacted by various other social, economical, technological & political factors, it breaks the synergy of the team and could be disastrous. Thus, without proper self-development, cultural generalizations could lead to prejudices. As an individual, it is important to understand these differences and acknowledge them.

According to marketing consultant Sandy Fekete, companies can best be understood when thought of as people -- as unique creatures with their own values, their own personalities, and sometimes, if her clients really get into the spirit, their own names. (Companies Are People, Too, accessed 17 Aug 2010, <>). Self-development & Management-development as such share a common paradigm.

This is where change management programs play a key role in bringing about self development. There are various change management approaches & methodologies in sustaining an organization through its change process. Below is The People Dimension of Transformation methodology from Deloitte's Human Capital method to provide an integrated, targeted and repeatable approach to planning, developing and deploying solutions that address the people challenges with functional & enterprise transformations.

Figure 1 People Dimension of Transformation

The above change management approach identifies 5 areas that need to be addressed considering the people dimension of change. The first dimension of knowledge transfer aims at providing knowledge, tools and training to help employees operate successfully in the new environment. The communication dimension works in engaging employees, managers, leaders and external stakeholders in the transformation effort through compelling communications. The third dimension of leadership of change is about having people with authority, power, and influence visibly lead the change. The workforce dimension of change is to ensure employees understand how they will be impacted and how to participate in the transition to new organizations. The final dimension develops and implements organization blueprint and roles & responsibilities reflecting new processes and system requirements. We will relook into the Organization and Workforce Transition in our case study of Alutech Sdn. Bhd. later in this discussion.

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The objective of the above approach is to ensure the stake holders rise high up the commitment curve depicted in the Figure 2 The Commitment Curve below.

Figure 2 The Commitment Curve

The curve shows 6 distinct phases. To begin with an individual needs to be aware of the transformation, the cultural differences, the various economical, social & political factors as mentioned earlier. This is the first step towards self development. Without awareness there is no solution to be worked upon. The next phase emphasizes on understanding the reasons why there is a need for the transformation. Phase 3 is about creating a positive perception of the change having understood its implication on a person as an individual which eventually ends up in phase 4 where the individual accepts the transformation. These four phases are the self-development aspects of change management which targets at individual acceptance. The next two phases are important from management development perspective where initially there is collective buy-in. Teams as a whole consider the advantages of the transformation from a collective perspective i.e. what are the benefits to me and my team. Individuals think of a collective benefit. The last phase is the ownership phase. Here all individuals have understood their roles and responsibilities in the new transformation and take charge. In this way from simple individual awareness to ownership from the entire staff is achieved leading to successful managing of the organizational transformation.

Now we consider the case of Alutech Sdn Bhd (ASB) and analyze how personal development & management development have been implemented to empower the entire organization to success.

ASB has been operating into the aluminium industry for over 15 years and is a solely owned enterprise. In working towards self & management development ASB implements both the above-mentioned People Dimension of Transformation approach as well as, what we will now see, the Emergenetics Profile Assessment Tool ( The Emergenetics tool assists ASB individual staff in moving up the commitment curve by creating awareness of their individual thinking & behavioral preferences. It in some way functions like a performance tool measuring why a certain individual prefers or performs in certain areas.

Figure 3 Emergenetics Sample Profile Assessment Report

The first initiative that ASB incorporates with its employees is to assess the profiles of their candidates. Every employee is made to go through the profiling activity with Emergenetics International ( This profiling activity is a tool that demonstrates and grades two aspects - how you think & how you behave. Research & market assessment by Emergenetics shows that the interplay between thinking and behaving is integral to truly understanding oneself. Figure 3 is a sample profile of one of its employees. It depicts the degree & comfort zones of one's thinking and behavioral abilities and the extra effort an individual may need to put into to move from, for e.g., being "amicable" to "telling" when it comes to assertiveness.

The profile assessment shows that the employees thinking preferences are highly social & structural and lesser conceptual & analytical. On the behavioral aspects, the person is more expressive and flexible than assertive. ASB uses this information and translates it to the line of action for self & management development within the organization.

How is this profile useful for self development? As seen from the profile, the employee is more social and structural and thus is his or her thinking strength. The areas he or she would need to relook or work on are conceptual and analytical thinking. Such persons are more inclined to work into the marketing & sales faculty with a high social grade and empathetic thinking or due to their structured inclination also are good at jobs that follow principles and rules like Quality Management. However, their analytical thinking score would put them away from finance or engineering portfolios. As such the employee is self-aware of his or her own strengths & weakness and is empowered and encouraged to act on them accordingly.

Taking into account his behavioral percentile, the employee is spontaneous in his communication and thus expresses himself well at the same time is flexible enough to consider others situations and adapt. However, on the assertive behavioral aspect he is less assertive and can be easily taken for granted. These personnel's are the timid people who generally do not demand work to be done from their staff. They are the more-liked-managers, however, when they are stressed and go out of their comfort zone of being easy-going and become assertive asking for job to be done, people do not understand the change and are taken by surprise as this is not expected of them. As an individual the person need to be aware of this fact and thus during telling times when circumstances demand him to be more assertive should take into consideration the change aspect of his assertiveness which could affect his relationship with others. Thus Emergenetics helps ASB staff better understand themselves and work towards self-development. Managing Me Is The First Step For Self Developer!

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Let us now analyze how the profile is implemented for management development. ABS not only conducts individual profiling for the benefit of the individuals alone but conducts annual seminars to discuss and share all the management staff profiles with each other. This is ASB's methodology in moving towards management development by building synergy within its management teams. When other individuals study & understand the profile of their colleagues as seen in Figure 3 they are aware of the thinking and behavioral patterns of the person and thus are able to better understand them in a team environment. When someone always has an opinion in every situation, ASB employees are aware the person is "Expressive" in behavior. When a management report is to be sent to a manager with structured thinking preference team members are aware the reports need to be well organized in a structured manner, well formatted & consistent all the time.

ASB puts people of similar thinking styles together to attack a problem. This causes a coherent & unified team. Conceptual thinking personnel are made to work in teams on designs and ideas while the analysts are similar thinking engineers who make the concepts a reality. The management takes the ideas from the research & development personnel (conceptual thinking individuals) and exposes them to the analytical minds of the engineering counterparts to weigh the practicality of the solutions. An employee with high levels of flexibility behavior is trained in courses like "How to say NO?" while someone with low expressiveness or assertiveness aims to attend personality development programs on orating skills. In this way ASB management obtains a complete perspective of its various initiatives and strategies with an individually different, yet coherent management team.

French & Bell, 1990, defines organizational development as "A process of planned system change that attempts to make organizations better able to attain their short & long term objectives". Armstrong, 2003, states "Organizational development is the process of planning, implementing & stimulating programmes designed to improve the effectiveness with which an organization functions and adapts to change". Thus in this respect to achieve organizational development, organizational process & system changes need to be implemented and these changes are to be accepted & adapted to by the organizational staff.

Change management programs need to be implemented to get the staff, both in individualistic as well as collective perspectives, aligned together. In case of Alutech, Change management programs act on individual thinking and behaviors to obtain a collective organizational change. The Emergenetics profiling assists the organization to develop different change management strategies for different individuals which act on the 5 aspects defined by the People Dimension of Transformation. Let us consider a scenario within ASB where the self developed staff along with its coherent management development activities has successfully managed a substantial organizational change to achieve an overall organizational development.

Alutech Sdn. Bhd. as we know is a solely owned company for over 15 years and over its tenure has secured the services of quite a number of loyal staffs. Two years ago when the owner decided to buy a company that has been dealing with iron metals he was well aware of the uncertainties that would creep up across the minds of his staff - are we moving away from the aluminium business, are we going to have staff from other faculties, are our years of expertise in the aluminium business not needed anymore? He was aware of the current status of his staff in the commitment curve was even below the awareness phase. Acquisitions and mergers are generally not made public until the deal is closed & thus creating awareness among his staff was not possible during the acquisition stage. However, he was knowledgeable of the fact that in order to get the buy-in of his staff to accept the new ideas and changes therein it was important for him to get the buy-in of his management who would be his change agents in channeling this organizational change smoothly.

The owner implemented the Emergenetics Change Management program (Change Management, accessed 27 Aug 2010, <>) to address two of the aspects of the People Dimension of Transformation - Workforce Management and Organization Transition. For workforce management, awareness programs were implemented to ensure the Individual staff were self developed towards better understanding how they will be impacted. Using the rejuvenated self developed and well aware management staff as change agents Organization Transition programs were put into perspective for each staff to willingly accept their new roles and responsibilities.

The management could see the big picture and better prospects of growing into different markets as each of them were approached differently depending on their thinking & behaving skills. For eg. some of the senior management staff whose thinking profiles were inclined towards the RED social category were assured that the company name will stand true and all existing staffs as well as the newly acquired staff will have their jobs. This was in line with their empathetic thinking styles which made them accept the change. Groups of highly expressive personnel were addressed separately from the flexible ones. The management in turn played the role of change agents or leaders of change in bringing along their subordinates in accepting this organizational acquisition. In this way ASB achieved a successful acquisition and headed towards organizational development with the help of its self development & management development initiatives.

Thus, the case of ASB organizational change in acquiring another company discussed above depicts & proves the gist of the statement in this discussion - unless every individual manager in ASB did not wholeheartedly accept the organizational change how could he lead & take charge of the acquisition and substantially contribute to its success. Using the Emergenetics profile in managing himself or herself first was the key of self empowerment & the empowerment of others.