MANAGING ON PURPOSE A Framework for Guiding Success in the Workplace Lesson Five: Managers and Finance; Planning and Organizing

This is also a short elective for our Supervisory Certificate Program
Program Overview
Please note that this program is approved for 2.5 recertification credit hours toward PHR®, SPHR® and GPHAR® recertification through the HR Certification Institute. Please be sure to note the Program ID number on your recertification application form. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute homepage at

Managing on Purpose is a comprehensive management training program delivered in eighteen lessons, nine sessions. This is a "threshold" program, comprised of "must have" lessons that all managers and supervisors in an organization should learn. The lessons correspond to chapters in a book of the same title, written by James Hall in 2011. Each lesson includes a section called For Further Consideration, which is a list of questions designed to generate further discussion of that lesson's topic. It's recommended that all participants going through the program take the first six lessons, called Aspects, in order. Thereafter the program offers the flexibility of participants taking all remaining lessons, called Applications, choosing first those most appropriate to their specific needs.
Lesson 5: Managers and Finance; Planning and Organizing
Managers and Finance: We don't like to talk about it. Many of us don't like to work with it. But in both our personal and working lives, learning about money is critical to our overall well being. Every manager is or should be a financial manager. Entreprenuers especially—often the "idea people" of their organizations—really need to pay attention to financial matters. All managers, to a degree, need to "manage to the numbers." This lesson makes that point, and also defines key financial terms such as sales, cash flow, cost of goods sold, operating expenses, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), equity, net profit, and retained earnings. The need for accurate financial projections is discussed. Overall, financial management can't be "head in the sand" management. It must be eyes wide open management, characterized by managers' clear perceptions and expert handling of the financial matters entrusted to them.
Planning: This lesson includes a quotation from Sir John Harvey-Jones: "Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression." We don't like to plan, but we need to plan. This lesson asks how this can be, in a working world characterized by rapid change and multiple, ever-changing responsiblities. The answer is that in such a world, planning is more important than ever. The image is provided of a manager, on a given day, jumping into a pond full of alligators. The point of that image is that it will be well for managers to think about this leap at least a day before it happens, and to consider as well whom they can ask to leap into the pond with them. As with many other lessons in the program, a key element of this one has to do with perception: if we see planning as less than helpful, that's what it will be. If we perceive it as an invaluable tool to use in reaching our goals, then that's what it will be.
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