Steering a path through dangerous territory

  • The Right Way to Discipline
  • Format: DVD or video package with trainer’s guide, handouts and certificate of attendance
  • Price: £1,199
  • From: Aspina Learning Resources
  • Contact: www.aspina.com

Discipline is dangerous territory. Managers who put a foot wrong in this area could find themselves facing a tribunal claim. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the average firm loses 450 days of management time per year due to disciplinary, grievance and tribunal proceedings.

Aspina estimates that in the past two years,one-quarter of all employers have dealt with atribunal claim after disciplining a member of staff.

So the time may be right for this comprehensive package, which includes advice on how to run both group and individual learning sessions.

The main premise is to show managers how discipline should be carried out so that the organisation can avoid lengthy and expensive tribunals.

The film has a steady, rather worthy feel about it, as it covers actions before, during and after the hearing. I had initial reservations about its downbeat tone, until we got into the hearing itself and seeMark, the factory manager,chair a hearing about Terry, who had been found drunk at work.

At this point, the subdued nature of the film is appropriateit allows plenty of time for learning points to sink in and makes good use of the rewind facility and voiceover with the telling phrase: “Let’s look again at what Mark should have done.”

There is a modular feel to the action, but this seems appropriate as it looks at the stages for procedural correctness and it enables the learner to move through these stages.

In all, this is a safe, useful product. It won’t entertain, but it will inform andcould save a lot of time and money.

Relevance? ****

Interactivity? ***

Value for money? ****

When leadership training isn’t enough

  • Beyond Authority – Leadership in a changing world
  • Author: Julia Middleton
  • Price: £25
  • From: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Contact: www.palgrave.com
  • ISBN 9780-23050001-3

The central premise of this bracing book is that executives have to deal with the unexpected, and across functions they don’t control. For example, the boundaries between public and private sector are blurring, and directors have to work with partners outside their business.

This means the neat packages of management and leadership skills that have been touted in the marketplace in the past 10 years are not sufficient.

Middleton blazes in with a selection of case studies and quotes from highly respected people (such as chief executive of The Refugee Council, Maeve Sherlock) to demonstrate how to be mature yet creative, and how to earn authority.

The author makes good use of real-life scenarios and continually asks the ‘what would you do’ question to facilitate progress. Check-lists and quizzes are included for self-monitoring.

This book would be valuable reading for the newly appointed senior people but also for any manager who has honourable ambition. There is plenty of wisdom about how to network with credibility and a clear conscience.

Relevance? ***

Interactivity? ***

Value for money? ***

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