Helen Green

Investing in Leadership

Do you invest in management training? If so, according to the CMI, you’re one of only 20% of UK businesses which do. It’s hardly surprising therefore that the Chancellor in his autumn statement decided to fund Sir Charlie Mayfield’s initiative to boost management skills across British businesses by investing in leadership.

In fact, the CMI’s commentary on the budget makes salutary reading for British business. The CMI quotes bad management as being the number one cause for business failure as well as the main hindrance for SME growth. Worse still, bad people management practices are estimated to cost the UK £84 billion per annum. What this is effectively saying is that people at the top of organisations tend to be tick box process followers rather than true leaders who can engage people in delivering high levels of productivity allied to strong customer service.

Leadership training should be an ongoing process the moment that someone sets foot through the company door. It requires an understanding of self alongside coaching to help people to bring their individual talents to bear on leading others. It requires a deep understanding of areas such as empowerment and trust and it requires an ongoing effort to engage people in the strategy and values of the organisation.

If 80% of businesses aren’t actively engaged in investing in leadership and management training then it’s hardly surprising that the productivity gap was highlighted as such a cause for concern in the autumn statement. Funding allocated by Chancellor will only go so far, it is up to the UK’s businesses to play their part in boosting the management skills of the next generation of leaders.