Money Moves

All-round management skills

By Charles Mak

This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

With a view to revolutionising traditional management training, AVIVA has adopted the principles of Dale Carnegie for its latest in-house programme.

As Lily Chan, human resources manager, AVIVA, CGU International Insurance Hong Kong, explains, "We are committed to training future leaders and feel it is important to add personal development topics to our business skills programme in order to provide comprehensive management training."

Rather than sending participants for external courses, the company prefers to bring in selected trainers for specific sessions. Ms Chan stresses that, "The modules chosen place great emphasis on sharing and personal interaction which best suit our needs as a servicing business."

The tailor-made programme covers three main phases, the first of which, "Mastering Personal Success", includes three four-hour lectures on enthusiasm for life, human relations and stress management. Ms Chan adds that, "During the second phase, participants form four project teams, with the aim of creating a more positive working environment. They focus on better co-operation, customer satisfaction, effective communication and team power." The teams then carry out a series of initiatives, which relate to these topics, in the following two months.

After an interim evaluation to assess progress, the final phase of the training brings participants back to the classroom to make final presentations about their projects. Awards are presented as a means of encouraging everyone and recognising the best.

"We do not ask participants to write a business plan, prepare statistics, or anything like that, because the main objective is to promote interaction and creativity," says Ms Chan. "If people learn to work together well, we can create positive changes around the office."

She believes the trend in management training is gradually moving away from the classroom. "A successful training programme must be interesting and, at the same time, change perspectives," she notes. "Training that simply bores participants with loads of theories no longer meets contemporary management needs. It should, instead, truly create a culture change."

Taken from Career Times 02 October 2004, p. 2
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