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This post will be exploring the skills approach in practice using a medium sized Organic waste contracting organisation.
The skills approach is based around the suggestion that leadership efficacy is related to certain skills, knowledge and abilities which can be developed and learnt. The two most recognised models include Katz (1955) and Mumford et al’s (2000), both of which broadly focus around similar competencies including Technical (Knowledge), Human (Social Judgement) and Conceptual (Problem solving) (Northouse, 2019; Dimerci, 2018).
There are several ways that support this organisations leadership corresponds to that of the skilled leadership approach which are briefly outlined initially using Katz’s (1955) approach. Firstly, lower levels of leadership (supervisory) are more technically orientated, with lesser emphasis on human and conceptual skills. For example, the Machine Operations Manager requires higher levels of technicality and knowledge about the activity such as allocating the most effective machines for particular tasks and designing realistic schedules. Middle Managements such as the Head of Agricultural Operations require more even emphasis between Technical, Human and Conceptual skills. Technical skills are still required to understand the capabilities of complex machinery, however requires increased Human skills due to the larger numbers of subordinate employees which may require motivating or conflict resolution. Conceptual skills are also required to frame the visions from senior leaders and contextualise these into day to day operations which may require innovative changes on departments level. Senior Leadership such as the Firm Directors do not utilise as much technical skills as this knowledge is complex and vast between machines and individual operations, however requires more human skills and conceptual skills in order to harmonise large numbers of employees, their needs, motivations and goals as well as increased conceptual skills to inspire direction for the business in order to continuously meet changing demands of both consumers and employees. A deeper analysis of the skills approach with advantages and disadvantages will follow in subsequent posts.
Would the Skilled Leadership approach be effective within your organisation?

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