Executives have a lot to learn, say experts

Executives have a lot to learn, say experts

Executives and senior managers have nothing to lose and everything to gainby admitting they don't know everything, delegates at the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development conference in Harrogate were told.

Executives were also told they should be open to accepting coaching from their own staff.

Speaking on the issue of coaching for senior executives, David Clutterbuck,chairman of the ITEM Club, and Peter Matthews, partner in charge of businessdevelopment at Ernst & Young, argued that executives who admit they arestill on a learning curve themselves champion healthier learning cultures.

With pressure on directors increasing – the volume of legislation affectingdirectors is doubling every four years – executives are turning to coachesand mentors in growing numbers, Clutterbuck and Matthews went on.

‘Each of us is under greater pressure to perform,’ said Matthews. ‘CEOs areunder performance pressure, length of tenure is down, and commentary on CEOsin the business press has become like the culture around football managers.’

Executives should be open to the idea of being coached or mentored by theirown staff, argued Clutterbuck. ‘We have to be open to using the wholeorganisation as a learning and coaching resource. If executives are notprepared to learn from the whole organisation, there is something wrong,’ hesaid.

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