8. Jan, 2015

Avoid Personal Obsolescence.

Avoid Personal Obsolescence.

There was time when a manager could learn a job and then do it. I do not think it is true any longer. The explosion in knowledge and in management methods and techniques are facts all of us must face.

A good portion of what today’s executives know about their job may become obsolete in a short period. Modern managers have to cope with global competition, cultural diversity and all sorts of new business methods that did not exist a few years ago.

The executive who longs for the return of the “good old days” is whistling in the dark. New techniques, new equipment and new attitudes are replacing the old ways of running a business. The pace of change is accelerating all the time.

Many companies and industrial associations schedule meetings, seminars and training programmes to help their professional people keep abreast of the latest developments. The alert managers plan their own programmes to make sure they do not become prematurely obsolete. Therefore mapping out an individual growth programme can be as exciting as it is rewarding.

There are various examples of these practices.

  • If your industry has a professional society, you should be an active member.
  • Periodically attend their meetings and seminars and talk to your peers.
  • Subscribe and regularly read a good professional journal covering your speciality.
  • Strive to keep up with all the innovations in your industry because it is one of the best ways to win the respect of your people and your associates.
  • When someone else proposes a new way to do something, instead of thinking of the reasons why it would not work, do you look for one good reason why it should?
  • When a new management procedure, a new process or a new piece of equipment is installed, do you accept it willingly and learn all you can about it to try to make it work? 

I firmly believe that professional progress never stops for progressive managers and supervisors who feel responsible for their own self-development. It is the only sure way to avoid personal obsolescence.

Therefore, all modern managers must plan to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and remember that change is a challenge that makes life more interesting.

As one of my lecturers had advised me long time ago that all too often, people are afraid to admit they do not have all the answers, so they just make them up. They elaborate on what they do not understand to the point of embarrassment. Instead, all they had to do was say, “I do not know, but I will find out.”

Let us all remember that nobody can fault us for admitting we do not know everything. In fact, my experience is that they will even admire you.

Ram Lakhan Prasad  January 2015