This is a very busy time of year for us – lots to cram in before Christmas and the New Year. We are running a series of management development programmes for various clients currently and the use of time and the lack of time crops up regularly in discussion, particularly as managers find themselves increasingly busy and feeling that they can’t find the time to manage their teams.

I often get frustrated by the way learning and development are moved “down the list”, with peopleĀ dropping out of sessions or modules citing how busy they are as the reason for not attending the session. It was interesting to observe a group who started the day with a bit of “I’m too busy for this” approach and ended the module recognising that they were busy but busy doing things they didn’t need to be doing. They recognised how they needed to spend more time developing their team and not rushing around filling gaps and being the busiest person in the team.


They also realised that development is part of their and their team members’ roles and not something they can occasionally visit! Building time into your diary, as a manager, to help team members get better is crucial to the success of the team. Don’t stress about time, use it wisely, focus on clear objectives and invest in the development of your team.

As my colleague, Lawrence, pointed out to a group last week, the importance of a task does not change, the urgency does. Development is recognised as important but often dropped in the face of more urgent tasks and challenges. Clearly the level of urgency shifts tasks up and down the to-do list but do not overlook the underlying importance of a task. Will learning and development make them better at what they do? Probably. Will being better at what they do increase performance and results? Almost certainly. Don’t allow that to slip off the to-do list. Think long term – it’s not just for Christmas!

Bill Osmond, MD & Founder