CMI’s Ann Francke awarded 2 Honorary Doctorates

21 July 2016 -


The CMI chief executive shared her 5 rules for creating a great work experience when picking up the degrees. Read on to find out her secrets of success

Matt Scott

CMI chief executive Ann Francke has been awarded two Honorary Doctorates from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and Oxford Brookes.

Oxford Brookes and Nottingham Trent University are both CMI partners and NTU, as one of CMI’s longest-standing and largest partners in higher education, now has some 700 students on CMI-accredited courses across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

At this week’s awards ceremony in Nottingham, NTU vice-chancellor Professor Edward Peck said: “I am delighted to be conferring honorary degrees on this year’s very distinguished recipients.

“Those selected to receive these degrees all have strong links to our University, the City and County of which we are a part or they embody our core principles. In many cases they possess all three. We hope they will help to inspire this year’s graduates and future students and continue their relationship with NTU into the future.”

Upon accepting the degrees, Francke took the opportunity to share her five rules for creating a great work experience with the graduating students.

“At CMI, we try to give everyone a great work experience and honestly the best way to do that is not to have ping pong tables, free food and nap pods,” she said. “No, the best way to create a great work experience is to have great managers and leaders - and to become one yourself.

“I spent my working life as a global executive at P&G, Mars, Boots and Yell. I saw many role models of good, and many more models of bad. I can tell you that nothing drags you down more day-to-day than a bad boss. And equally, good bosses boost working life enormously. People work for and leave other people – not jobs! My own observations are verified by lots of research and content from CMI. The result is a set of five rules that create a great work experience.”

Ann Francke’s five rules for a great work experience

1. Be inclusive, not exclusive

“Diversity delivers better results in all endeavours - the research here is overwhelming. Make sure you don’t fall victim to group think by surrounding yourself with people just like you.

“Branch out. Gender diversity, age diversity, cultural and ethnic diversity, it’s good for you. It broadens your perspective and empathy and helps reduce the risk that groupthink creates.”

2. Coach, don’t control

“If you Google ‘my manager is…’ one of the first things that comes up is ‘my manager is a control freak’. This is a very bad – but incredibly common habit.

“Don’t fall into it, and if you find yourself working for a control freak, point it out to them. You will be doing them a favour.

“Again, coaching managers’ deliver much higher productivity. Even Google agrees with that. Having studied the 8 top characteristics of good managers, Google found that valuing employees as people and coaching were the top 2 on the list. The last on the list? Technical competence.

“Like I said, being a good manager is all about behaviour. Job satisfaction, growth and productivity are all much better in coaching cultures.”

3. Clarify, don’t confuse

“Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of friction and bad management in the workplace. And good communication skills were rated the number 1 ask by employers looking for new managers.

“How to communicate clearly? I recommend the 10 year old test. If a 10 year old cannot understand it, then chances are others won’t either. And when someone bombards you with jargon, speak up and ask them what they really mean by that.”

4. Embrace change, don’t fear it

“Change is the new norm. Nine out of 10 organisations change every year, yet 75% of people still fear it.

“Don’t. Embrace it and the risks and rewards it brings! And accept that change will also apply to you on a personal level. Your career will have many twist and turns, unexpected opportunities and setbacks.

“You will choose the wrong job, join the wrong organisation, and get fired, I know I have, more than once!

“Please don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is absolutely necessary for success and builds resilience. You will always learn more from failures than from successes. So celebrate change and celebrate failures.”

5. Collaborate, don’t just compete

“Collaboration is a wonderful way of working. And increasingly in our tech enabled world it’s the way forward.

“The internet has changed things forever. It has made community, transparency and sharing much easier, so please try to work that way as well. It’s more rewarding and more successful. And if you don’t collaborate but choose to bully your suppliers and customers, you end up with horsemeat where the beef should be.

“At CMI one of our strategic cornerstones is to work in partnership – as improving management and leadership is far too big a task for one organisation to tackle alone.”

Click here to find out how CMI is working with the higher education sector to shape the future of management and leadership education

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