East Anglia: Short-sighted management ‘threatens competitiveness’, warns CMI report

Employers need to do more to prepare the next generation of managers, according to a CMI report.

Employers need to do more to prepare the next generation of managers, according to a CMI report. - Credit: PA

Shortsighted management is “a millstone around the neck” of the economy which threatens the UK’s global competitiveness, says a new report.

The Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership, founded by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Management and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), says employers need to focus on the three Ps of “Purpose, People and Potential” to improve the UK’s long-term prospects.

The commission’s report is based on testimony from more than 60 individuals and organisations, plus data from a CMI survey of more than 2,000 business leaders and managers, including 132 from the East of England.

It points to a crisis in management, with more than half (52%) of the leaders surveyed in the East of England admitting that their organisation could perform better, and nearly a third (62%) saying they could do more to train first-time managers.

The commission concludes that short-sighted, short-termist behaviour, what it terms “myopic management”, is squeezing out the long-term, visionary approach needed to achieve sustained growth. It is now calling for employers to learn from the way that many leading companies focus on three key areas:

n Purpose: defining long-term aims beyond just making money or hitting targets;

n People: ensuring that people do not take on management roles without adequate preparation and training; and–

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n Potential: investing in the next generation by working with schools, colleges and universities.

Peter Ayliffe, president of the CMI and co-chair of the commission, said: “We’re faced with a ticking time bomb of myopic management in this country, with widespread under-investment in the next generation of leaders.

“We’ve got some brilliantly managed organisations in the East of England and across 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. “