leadership and management skills

Investing in Leadership and Management Skills

We know how important Leadership and Management are to sustainable growth don’t we?  So why aren’t we listening and doing something about it?

Not for the first time, we are reporting on research, this time from the UK, that supports our belief in the huge impact effective leaders and managers have on the success of any organisation.

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A new evidence paper for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) highlights why good leadership and management is so important to organisational performance and productivity.  The paper Leadership and Management in the UK:  The key to sustainable Growth brings together a significant body of evidence to emphasise the business benefits of investing in leadership and management skills and capability, but the reality of what is actually happening in the UK makes pretty depressing reading, for example:

  • Employees waste 2 hours a day through inefficient management which is costing the UK about $19 billion a year – no wonder they are in trouble!
  • A poll by insolvency experts found that bad management or incompetence of company directors causes 56% of corporate failures

Another report mentioned in the same paper, the Learning and Talent Development Survey, published by the CIPD this year made just as depressing reading in light of what the evidence is suggesting:

  • Nearly three quarters of organisations in the UK identify a deficit of leadership and management skills
  • About two thirds of respondents reported that senior managers lack leadership and management skills, while 85% identified line managers as lacking these skills

One of the key problems in addressing leadership and management skills deficit which we also encounter with our own Australasian organisations is that most Managers think they are better at managing than they actually are.  The CIPD’s 2012 Employee Outlook Survey found that 8 out of 10 Managers think that their staff are satisfied or very satisfied with them as a Manager, whereas just 58% of employees report this as the case.

This ‘reality gap’ was borne out in the recent findings by a Right Management survey which compared engagement levels in Australasian organisations between 2008 and 2012.  One of the key findings was that there is a very clear link between employees who say that they are satisfied or very satisfied with their Manager and those that are engaged – that is , willing to go the extra mile.  This ‘reality gap’ had increased over the period, where Managers had a much higher expectation of engagement of staff which did not exist.

So when are we going to wake up?  How many more surveys and research papers will it take to persuade organisational leaders that building the capability of their leaders and managers is not a ‘nice to do’; but is essential to sustainable growth.  In a subsequent article, we will take a look at what all of this recent research is suggesting in terms of the key levers of leadership and management in order to build sustainable growth and what that means for leadership capability.

If you would like help in making sure that your Leadership and management skills are being developed and are helping you to Shape the ‘right’ Future for your business, why not download our free ‘Leadership Strategy de-mystified’ book by clicking here

or give us a call to set a complimentary coffee and white board session with one of our Leadership consultants. You set the agenda (and supply the coffee) and we’ll bring some good collegial discussion and an idea or two why not contact us right now?

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