When the boss needs training

HR should first look within to handle this dicey issue
By Susanne Biro
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/02/2008

It is 10 a.m. and the manager has already completed a solid three hours at the office. He knows it will be a long day, and he will probably only complete one-third of all that should be done. Then he receives an e-mail from HR about a two-day development event. “They must be kidding,” he thinks. “Who can attend training at a time like this? They truly have no idea what I am up against. I’ll just have to get out of it.”

The above scenario is the reality of many time-cramped senior leaders. So how does an HR professional convince them to actively engage in development initiatives that are critical to both their careers and the company’s long-term success? To borrow from Canadian scholar Marshall McLuhan: “The medium is the message.” In other words, it is not the message but the characteristics of the messenger that can have the most influence.

The messenger