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Is British management in “crisis”?

The Commission on Future Leadership, a collaboration between the Chartered Management Institute and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Management, today released its report, ‘Management 2020′, which pinpoints a crisis in management.

Government figures suggest that the UK market will need 1m new managers by 2020, but there are signs that businesses and other organisations are failing to invest in developing these future leaders. After all, more than half of managers (57 per cent) said they do not offer work experience placements for young people.

The research revealed that 57 per cent of leaders admit their organisation performed poorly or could do better on key measures, while 71 per cent said they could do better at training first-time managers or don’t train them at all.

Peter Ayliffe, CMI president and co-chair of the commission, said: Were faced with a ticking time bomb of myopic management in this country, with widespread under-investment in the next generation of leaders. Weve got some brilliantly managed organisations in the UK, but there are simply not enough of them.

Unless all of us responsible for leading businesses, public services and charities acknowledge that we are at a tipping point and commit to being part of a better managed Britain, the nation’s sustainable long-term growth opportunities will not be fulfilled.

The group suggested that reward for managers shouldn’t just be based on narrow financial targets and instead also take into account how the manager is delivering for all stakeholders but only 37 per cent of leaders said their CEO was rewarded for this.

Witnesses to the commission, like Unilever chief Paul Polman, argued that businesses with broader non-financial objectives will actually enjoy stronger financial returns than those who only set out to maximise profits.

Barry Sheerman MP, commission co-chair and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Management, said: Weve got to do better at developing young peoples potential. First, employability needs to be embedded in education, with managers providing more chances to gain real-life experience about the workplace.

Second, government should work with partners to help build exchange networks, helping employers to set up work placements and share ideas with each other and with schools, colleges and universities. We heard from many employers who can see the damage thats being done by youth employment and it’s clear that we can do more to train, nurture and mentor the management stars of the future.

Related: Why you need to avoid creating accidental leaders


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