Local firms 'underestimate risks'

TOO many organisations in East Anglia have a misplaced confidence about their ability to cope with uncertainty and change, according to data released yesterday by the Chartered Management Institute.

TOO many organisations in East Anglia have a misplaced confidence about their ability to cope with uncertainty and change, according to data released yesterday by the Chartered Management Institute.

The CMI survey found that fewer than half of companies in East Anglia (46%) consider that, of the top concerns for business, managing risk is the most important.

Just over a third (35%) see developing talent as a significant issue, although two-thirds (68%) admitted skills and talent management is a key challenge currently facing UK employers.

IT was way down the list of priorities with only 4% of those surveyed in the region saying they believe effective use of IT and communications is one of the biggest challenges for UK business. Slightly better, though still of concern to the CMI, is that 20% consider it important to “keep abreast of technological change”.

Similarly, innovation is a low priority among organisations in the region - just 22% see innovation as important in today's working environment and less than one in five (18%) view creativity and inventiveness as a top challenge.

Businesses in East Anglia are not overly concerned with managing the impact of regulation either, with only 29% seeing it as a necessity, despite the importance of corporate governance.

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As for putting the organisation's reputation high up on the agenda, 49% consider it important for long-term success.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the CMI, said: “Questions need to be asked about how UK organisations will be able to manage in the future if they fail to address key operational issues.

“Rather than simply focusing on 'what should be done today', the inability to plan properly might lead to questions of a more critical nature; 'what opportunities have I missed?', or worse, 'how did the organisation not see that coming?'.”

The research does, however, contain some positive signs for individuals in East Anglia, with 87% saying 'they can't wait to get up in the morning', 78% claiming it is easy to 'keep positive' and 47% suggesting that, despite heavy workloads, ' taking time for lunch is no longer a challenge'.