CMI Highlights

Wednesday 26 July 2023
What's going on at CMI this week? Here's our latest news, events, updates and more – in one easy-to-find location. Check back every week for new listings
Typewriter with paper that says: "update"

Below you'll find the highlights from 2023. Here are CMI's highlights from 2022 and 2021.

26 July

Dear CMI,

Exciting news: the shortlists for CMI’s prestigious Volunteer of the Year and Chartered Manager of the Year awards have just been released, as have our four Partner Awards: Student, Apprentice, Training Provider and HE Partner of the Year. Congratulations to all the nominees! Discover more here.

Earlier this month, We Are The City, in partnership with CMI Women, celebrated more than 100 remarkable women, male allies and companies at the Rising Star Awards Ceremony. These awards celebrate inspirational people who have made a significant impact. CMI’s chief technology officer Tavier Taylor presented the Champions category. Learn more about all the winners here.

CMI championing apprenticeships

In response to the recent labelling of the apprenticeship system as a “con” in a Daily Telegraph article, Anthony Painter, CMI’s director of policy, wrote a letter to the paper arguing that using such a term “undermines the achievements of millions of apprentices and thousands of businesses”. 

Nor does it reflect the views of employers, he added, citing CMI research which found “that just 5% of employers believe university degrees are preferable to apprenticeships, with companies increasingly turning to high-quality apprenticeships to plug skill gaps”.

Anthony acknowledged that changes are needed to make apprenticeships easier to access for both smaller employers and those in hard-to-reach communities. CMI has made recommendations for changes to the Apprenticeship Levy, which you can find here

Leadership and workplace culture

CMI has also been contributing to national discussions around workplace culture: Ann Francke was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live (10:30) and Times Radio, where she emphasised that how an organisation handles serious allegations plays a crucial role in shaping workplace culture. Training managers to handle these issues is really important.

Also on workplace cultures, CMI's research on alcohol-related behaviours at work parties found that 42% of respondents support cutting down on alcohol at work events. This was referenced by BBC One East Midlands during a debate on the consumption of alcohol and Kate Palmer in her guest contribution to The HR Director, among others. 

Call to take part in Menopause in the Workplace film

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is producing an important video series focusing on the (peri)menopause at work and steps that employers can take to support staff experiencing menopausal symptoms. 

The video series will feature case studies of employers who have taken proactive steps and implemented reasonable adjustments to support their staff. If your organisation would like to take part, contact Sophie Cowell on by 4 August. Filming will take place at a time and location that is convenient to you.

Share your professional insights with CMI

Would you like to feature on CMI's Knowledge & Insights hub? Whatever your experience, we'd love to share your professional insights with the wider CMI community. Over the next few months we'll be focusing on the themes of Making Decisions and Developing People in particular.

Interested? Introduce yourself to our editorial team at – they can't wait to hear from you!

In this week’s CMI member newsletter, we focus on difficult conversations:

Kind regards,



12 July

Dear all, 

Good management in the healthcare sector is vital for patient care. CMI teamed up with the Social Market Foundation to explore the transformative impact of better leadership and management in helping the NHS to evolve and meet the acute demands and deep stresses it is facing. 

The report has already been picked up in the media. CMI’s director of policy and external affairs, Anthony Painter, also co-authored an opinion piece in The Times, highlighting the strong correlation between effective management practices and healthcare quality. His Letter to the Editors of The Telegraph explains that to equate management and bureaucracy misses the point: better managers means better healthcare.

Explore the full report, plus topline findings and recommendations, here.

Driving growth in the West Midlands

On 29 June, CMI presented another recent policy paper, “West Midlands Future Prosperity”, at Aston University in Birmingham to a range of important employers, policymakers, and education training providers from the region.

It highlights the challenges faced by the West Midlands in terms of management and leadership training, despite being a major regional contributor to the UK economy. It also focused on a “triple gap”, which, if not tackled, will slow growth in the region – and in the wider UK.

Learn more about this fascinating topic here.

From regional to individual productivity

In a recent Raconteur article exploring the factors influencing employee productivity in 2023, Anthony Painter emphasises that flexibility, effective communication methods, inclusive technology selection, as well as clear protocols and expectations for collaboration are crucial for hybrid teams.

CMI Insights focused on the theme of effective communication this week: 

  • Explore our infographic on understanding communication styles to become the best communicator you can be
  • How to communicate when words fail – not all our communication is successful, but how do we recover from this? 
  • Expert advice on supporting a neurodiverse employee who struggles with communication, from starting a dialogue to considering how you communicate 
  • Can you ever overcommunicate?Lord Mark Price CMgr CCMI shares how to strike a communication balance with your team

We also recently ran a LinkedIn poll asking the CMI community how often they have their notifications turned on at work. Two-thirds of you said “all the time” – but, in the name of productivity, you might want to think about scheduling in some “do not disturb time”. Find out why here.

Gender Pay Gap warning

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has identified eight organisations that failed to report their gender pay gap data this year and shared CMI’s gender pay gap reporting toolkit to help organisations write their own action plan. Take a look, and find much more on the gender pay gap on CMI Insights.

Chartered Management Consultant of the Year finalists revealed

Exciting news: the finalists for the ChMC of the Year Award have been revealed by the MCA. CMI’s CEO, Ann Francke OBE, extended her congratulations to all the nominees for their “outstanding achievements”.

The MCA has also published another in its series of ChMC case studies: Simon Clark, a partner at IBM IX, shares his experience of how the ChMC award enhanced his credibility and professional growth as a digital technology consultant.

Kind regards,



28 June

Dear all,

People, organisations, societies – we all need to keep developing. CMI’s latest Managers’ Voice poll has revealed that British workplaces are not ready to effectively harness the new wave of AI and seize the opportunities it offers, says CMI’s director of policy and external affairs, Anthony Painter

The poll has unearthed widespread managerial concerns around AI technologies, particularly regarding security risks and the potential for job displacement. Only one in five managers believe their organisation is prepared for new AI technologies and almost three in four feel their staff are not appropriately equipped to work with AI. 

But avoid these new tools and you risk being a “casualty” of AI, says Taranjeet Singh CMgr CCMI, who writes this week about three attributes that all leaders need to survive in the new age of ChatGPT.

It’s clear that companies must train and prepare managers to handle these technologies. Is this something on your organisation’s radar?

Green transition

Many organisations are determined to make a green transition. This week we took a look at how Edinburgh Airport is managing the process.

On this, we are very excited at CMI to welcome David Jones as our policy and innovation manager. He will be helping us to understand how we can support managers with the skills they need to lead their organisations through the green transition. If you have any thoughts on this issue, send us a message at

Wellbeing continues to be an issue for managers

CMI’s director of policy and external affairs Anthony Painter was interviewed about the increase in stress and anxiety due to the cost of living crisis, as well as the issue of loneliness arising from the shift to hybrid and remote work. 

Anthony emphasised that only one-third of managers have received training specifically on managing a hybrid or remote workforce. He highlighted the importance of cultivating bonds, trust, and a sense of belonging to make sure that employees remain creative and collaborative.

Managers have a pivotal role in addressing issues that might be playing into employee anxieties and fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable seeking assistance. This includes job insecurity, as Daisy Hooper, head of policy at CMI noted in a jointly-authored op-ed with Asli Atay, policy adviser at the Work Foundation. (You can support their research into insecure work settings by signing up here; participants will be compensated for their time.)

CMI has many resources to help you manage your own and your staff’s wellbeing – from the CMI Wellbeing hub to the Evolve Workplace Wellbeing toolkit. I encourage you to explore them and see what you find helpful.

Keep on moving

The focus for CMI Insights this week is continuous improvement (part of Leading change and innovation within CMI’s Professional Standard). I hope you find lots to keep you moving forward, for example: how Dahlia Stroud CMgr grew from a “doer” to a leader of people; and the power of volunteering to develop new skills and perspectives.

There are four competency levels for this skill in CMI’s Professional Standard – do you know which one applies to you? Complete CMI’s ManagementDiagnostic tool to find out.

Finally, we’d like your feedback for the continuous improvement of our own events programme! Share your thoughts before Tuesday 4 July and be in with a chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher – and to shape the future of CMI events.

Wishing you all the best for the rest of your week.

Kind regards,



14 June

Dear all,

How are you celebrating Pride month? CMI’s 75th Anniversary research revealed that nearly 25% of respondents who did not identify as heterosexual felt uncomfortable being open about their sexual orientation at work. We also found that LGBTQIA+ employees’ earn less, lack leadership role models and are more likely to experience workplace conflicts. It’s time for change.

Please do take some time to explore our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity professional practice hub, where you will find research, resources, a documentary film – and much more – to support you in identifying and making the necessary changes in your workplace.

Making workplaces more inclusive

As managers and leaders we can each make small but meaningful changes in our practice to enhance diversity and inclusion for all members of our organisations.

We were delighted to see that the British Standards Institute (BSI) has released a new standard around menstruation and menopause in the workplace, full of helpful suggestions and practical ideas that can be implemented in businesses across all sectors and sizes. (Download it for free here – CMI members can also find it in ManagementDirect.) 

When releasing this new guidance, the BSI emphasised the importance of making work environments suitable for all employees, particularly in the context of current recruitment challenges and employee expectations. The power of inclusion amid the current “war for talent” was also one of the central topics at May’s CMI Women Conference; we collected some of the best insights from the discussions to help you make your practice more inclusive here.

We’d also like your help in gathering some data on how we can make workplaces more inclusive: our head of policy and innovation, Daisy Hooper, is part of a steering group for a study led by Lancaster University looking to collect remote and hybrid working experiences of disabled workers. We strongly encourage any and all who fit this criteria to complete the survey, and/or share it with your own networks too to help ensure that as many voices as possible are heard through this research. Click here to participate in the survey, and more information on the research itself can be found on the project website.  

Leading the change

This all goes to the heart of this month’s Professional Standard-inspired theme: Leading change and innovation.

In a Guardian article discussing the CBI’s ability to win back support, Ann Francke OBE, CMI’s CEO, emphasised the importance of “unwavering commitment and resilience” in achieving meaningful change. We’ve also been taking a closer look this week at how being aware of your external environment can help you plan for and manage change of different kinds, including:

Plus, don’t miss the long read on the changes that AI is demanding from businesses. Learn more here.

Going global

CMI estimates that companies investing in leadership development programs witness an average 23% boost in organisational performance. We were delighted to see that OQ, the global integrated energy group based in Oman, recently signed an agreement to enhance the skills of 800 of its business leaders through the “Masar” Programme, which is designed according to international standards of the Chartered Management Institute. 

A symbol of quality

Finally, we’re also proud to see the CMI’s Chartered Management Consultant (ChMC) award attracting the spotlight. 

Since its official introduction, the demand for ChMC has significantly increased as firms recognise it as a distinguishing symbol of quality that provides assurance to both existing and prospective clients. The Management Consultant Association (MCA) reports that more than half of its member firms have now embraced the accreditation. 

PwC’s Marco Amitrano ChMC penned a piece for Consultancy UK explaining how the award is sought after by clients who want to ensure that they are receiving high-quality services. Meanwhile Susannah Lindsay ChMC from IBM iX lauded its importance for digital technology consultants.

Find out more about the award here.

Wishing you all a brilliant week,



17 May

Dear all,

I do hope you enjoyed the CMI Women conference on Tuesday 16 May. What incredible speakers and panellists! To quote our keynote speaker Baroness Lane Fox, we really did have the right people in the room.

Topics that came up at CMI Women included: championing shared parental leave and closing the say-do gap on male allyship. We explore both in detail on CMI Insights this week.

If you want to watch CMI Women back, keep an eye on your inboxes for links to our YouTube channel.

No more alcohol at work?

We saw extensive media coverage of CMI’s research revealing that a third of managers had witnessed harassment or inappropriate behaviour at office parties. Two in five people said that work parties should be organised around activities that don’t involve alcohol. 

The findings were first published by the BBC News and quickly became one of the top five most-read articles of the morning. 

Here’s another CMI piece about why alcohol and work may not mix any more.

CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke OBE said that alcohol doesn’t need to be the main event when socialising with colleagues – and, importantly, managers have a responsibility to safeguard their employees.

Look out for anxiety and loneliness

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, a great time to raise awareness of different mental health-related issues. 

Management loneliness is an emerging phenomenon in our new hybrid world, as noted by The Times. More than half of managers told CMI in a recent survey that workplaces have become more lonely since the pandemic. We’ve got some great analysis here.

The Mental Health Foundation’s MHAW campaign this year aims to increase understanding of anxiety (one of the most common mental health problems); Mind is focusing on the mental health effects of the cost of living crisis. 

Here’s what managers need to understand about anxiety and your role supporting staff living with it. Plus, find expert advice from the team at Kooth on coping with worries about the cost of living here.

Coming soon: Day One Flex

CMI has long made the case for flexible working. Now, the UK government is introducing legislation giving all employees the right to request flexible working from day one of their employment, and it looks likely to come into effect by early 2024.

Get informed on the upcoming changes in a useful webinar from Timewise on 23 May. Register your free place here.

I hope you enjoy these fresh leadership insights and have a brilliant rest of your week.

Kind regards,



3 May

Dear all,

On a recent episode of the FT’s Working It podcast, Ann Francke discussed how to turn around a toxic workplace culture and the importance of holding senior leadership to account. (You can listen back here.) Ann emphasised that inappropriate behaviour is a widespread problem, with toxic behaviour having a massive impact on workplace trust.

And, on BBC 5 Live's Wake up to Money programme (from 37:50; available until end of May), she stressed the importance of essential leadership behaviours such as transparency, humility and active listening in rebuilding trust within an organisation.

As the importance of open and honest leadership continues to dominate the media spotlight, I find myself reflecting on how vital relationships are to building a positive working environment, and how important it is for all managers and leaders to develop this skill. CMI Insights took a close look at this topic this week, including:

Reserved your spot?

It’s less than two weeks to go until the highly anticipated CMI Women Conference on Tuesday 16 May.

Join us to hear expert speakers from across the realms of politics and business discuss compelling issues such as:

  • Where do men fit into supporting inclusive workplaces?
  • How to close the say-do gap and tap into hidden talent?
  • What’s the role of NEDs, CEOs and Government in creating inclusive workplaces?
  • How can AI and future technology aid, rather than impair, inclusion?

Find out more and reserve your spot on the livestream here.

The Leading Issue

Another date for your diaries: join us on 24 May for the next instalment of The Leading Issue, to enjoy Ann Francke in conversation with national chair of FSB Martin McTague. You can find all the info here. Plus, if you missed last month’s instalment with Sunday Times economics editor David Smith, it was a cracker! Catch up here.

Improving public services

Finally, a short update on another area we are currently working in: CMI is partnering with the Social Market Foundation to explore how to get improved results from the UK’s public services. Evidence from around the world shows that countries with more highly trained public-sector managers also have better public services. Our work will focus on the potential benefits of better management practices across the NHS, education and local government. You can learn more in FE News.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Kind regards,



19 April

Dear all,

CMI's chief executive Ann Francke has been commenting on the importance of leadership in getting company culture right. In a series of media interviews over the past week, following serious allegations made against the CBI, Ann has stressed the importance of not just saying the right things, but ensuring those words are ingrained across an organisation. 

Being an ethical and inclusive leader is a central pillar of CMI's Professional Standard. In our latest insights we took a closer look at how that translates into company culture and managers’ daily practice:

Gender pay gap data

It’s disappointing to see the continued lack of progress on the gender pay gap – with this year’s figures revealing that almost 80% of employers pay men more than women. CMI’s latest research found that a similar number of employers (83%) are not taking appropriate action to close income inequality gaps.

Ann Francke highlighted this persistent say-do gap among organisations, which was picked up by Reuters, the Financial Times and others. She discussed the issue on LBC News with Martin Stanford. In terms of solutions, Ann emphasised the need for employers to promote women proportionately through the ranks, offer flexible working solutions for those on career breaks and create sponsorship programs that cater to women from diverse backgrounds. All leaders should commit to these actions.

Check out this reflection piece in Personnel Today by CMI’s head of policy, Daisy Hooper, for more practical examples.

Plus, don’t forget you can still reserve your online place at the CMI Women conference, which will take place on 16 May. The inaugural conference last year was full of brilliant insights from so many great speakers and participants – and will be a great forum to discuss how we can drive gender equality forwards. Don’t miss out!


Apprenticeships were in the news again this week, as the Financial Times explored the concerns that the increase in apprenticeships offered to older workers is causing younger employees to be excluded from the UK government’s training initiative. 

The story featured our head of policy, Daisy Hooper, who disputed this notion and contended that apprenticeships aimed at high-skilled workers are essential for enhancing the labour force's skills in critical areas like management – whatever someone’s age. 

CMI changing the lives of learners

Last year, as part of CMI’s 75th anniversary, we launched a bursary for 75 people to receive up to £1,000 per year to support their management and leadership training. We caught up with three of them – Keji Moses, Daniel Chapman and Folashade Bakare – who started their courses in September. They updated us on how they’re getting on and how their lives have been transformed – have a read here!

Kind regards,



5 April

Dear all,

Our data tells us that the CMI community is focused on having the right leadership capabilities to achieve results and manage risk and resources in a changing workplace.

Informed by these insights, we’ve made some changes to your CMI newsletter. Each edition will now explore a segment of CMI’s Professional Standard. Alongside CMI’s new Management Diagnostic tool, this will help you to identify and supplement any gaps in your management skillset and propel your continuing professional development. We will of course continue to provide in-depth analysis of the latest changes and developments in management thinking.

We hope you’ll enjoy the new approach – we’d love your feedback! 

Prioritising the environment

In April we’re looking in-depth at the core of the Professional Standard – “Being an ethical and inclusive leader” – and, within that, “Prioritising the environment” (also the theme of CMI’s latest member magazine).

Some new stories we’re releasing: 

Plus, check out one of our most popular articles, Sustainability lessons from Formula 1

Other ways CMI is improving skills and training

CMI research shows that companies that invest in management and leadership development programmes see an average 23% increase in organisational performance. As Dr Fiona Aldridge writes, the potential economic benefits of investing in these skills for regions such as the West Midlands “could be considerable”.

CMI has been working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in the development of its EDI strategy and toolkit. This aims to support employers to embed EDI into decision-making on occupational standards, apprenticeships and technical qualifications and build a skills system that allows everyone, regardless of their background, to access high-quality training.

Ann Francke on handling critical feedback

In her latest column for The Times, CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke discusses how to deliver critical feedback. Many people are very sensitive, so this needs careful handling. Read her full article here.

Vote now!

With National Pet Day coming up, we’re canvassing managers’ opinions: should pets be allowed in the office? Find some food for thought here and cast your vote in our LinkedIn poll here.

Inclusivity issues

Five years on from the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, a CMI Managers Voice poll found that only 17% of managers believe their organisation is using gender pay gap data to make positive changes. This only underscores the importance of managers and leaders championing issues such as the gender pay gap in the workplace. 

The upcoming CMI Women conference will tackle this, along with some of the other challenges around creating an inclusive future. 

Excitingly, the expert lineup for the conference has now been confirmed: joining Ann Francke OBE CMgr CCMI, Adam Marshall CBE CMgr CCMI and Alice Maynard CBE will be inspirational speakers Paul Sessay, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox CMgr CCMI and Fiona Dawson CBE CMgr CCMI. Learn more (and reserve your spot) here!

Kind regards,



22 March

Dear all, 

First, some breaking news: the winner of CMI's Management Book of the Year 2022 competition is… The Power of Difference: Where the Complexities of Diversity and Inclusion Meet Practical Solutions by Simon Fanshawe (Kogan Page). From a stunning shortlist of books exploring “different perspectives” in management and leadership, The Power of Difference stood out. One judge said: “The Power of Difference is fascinating and I could not put it down. Each chapter heading is a tempting invitation to read on, I found it totally relevant to my work and to myself as an individual.” We’ve got an exclusive interview with Simon here!

Why we need Help to Hire

One of the priorities of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget is increasing productivity by boosting skills and getting the economically inactive, particularly the over-50s, back into work.

CMI’s director of policy and external affairs Anthony Painter argues in an op-ed for Wonkhe, the Government’s proposed measures do not go far enough to address the UK’s “chronic skills deficit.” He suggests six further measures that would help, including a cash grant to support early adopters of the lifelong loan entitlement and reforming the Apprenticeship Levy scheme.

CMI is also calling on the UK government to introduce a “Help to Hire” initiative to help small businesses recruit over-50s. This will also involve managers shaking off the stigma of hiring older workers and embracing them as a new talent pool.

“With one in three job postings directly related to leadership, we must couple older workers’ experience with the hard management skills needed to boost Britain’s productivity,” says Anthony.

“A ‘Help to Hire’ scheme would complement the newly announced returnships for older workers. Similar to the government’s existing ‘Help to Grow: Management’ scheme, the programme would subsidise leaders in small firms to undertake an intensive course covering everything from adopting digital technology to sourcing new potential markets.”

CMI’s proposal has already been picked up in the media and some key influencers.

Catch Anthony Painter’s pre-Budget statement appearance on Radio 5 Live on BBC Sounds for the next few weeks (conversation begins at 2:45:36).

Elsewhere, Mandy Crawford-Lee, chief executive at the University Vocational Awards Council, argues in FE News that management apprenticeships are one effective tool.

IWD: key reflections

In her reflections on International Women’s Day in Management Today, CMI’s CEO Ann Francke OBE stressed that the “say-do gap” remains an issue to be addressed. She was also quoted in the Financial Times highlighting that “the government is not walking the talk” and taking concrete steps to address the gender pay gap.

So what can we do?

An article for manufacturing network Qimtek brings together research from CMI and from the Manufacturing Institute, which found that women comprise 48% of the working population but just 29% of the manufacturing workforce. The Manufacturing Institute also found that almost 2 in 3 women (63%) cite flexibility as one of the sector’s biggest challenges, compared to 39% of men.

Flexibility, says Joy Burnford, founder and CEO of Encompass Equality and author of Don’t Fix Women, alongside allyship and coaching, is one of the most important tools to closing the gender pay gap. She told us more in an exclusive piece for CMI Insights.

CMI Women on 16 May

Don’t forget to reserve your online spot for the CMI Women conference on 16 May, where we will explore how we can achieve an inclusive future. (Check out our learnings from last year’s inaugural conference here.)

My Whole Self

To mark My Whole Self day on 13 March, CMI’s head of policy and innovation, Daisy Hooper, explained why managers must acquire the necessary skills to bring out the best in their teams. Her comments were featured in Employer News, Business Leader and HR News

Here’s more insight from MHFA England

CMI endorses MHFA England’s call for managers to be equipped with the skills to bring out the very best in their teams. Managers may be the first port of call for someone who is struggling or they may be best placed to notice when a colleague’s behaviour changes. However, many lack the necessary training to effectively manage the increasing range of mental health problems in the workplace.

More management questions this week:

Kind regards,



8 March

Dear all,

Happy International Women’s Day

This is an ideal time to highlight women’s experiences in the workplace and shine a spotlight on the changes needed to make workplace gender equality a reality. 

One emerging threat is poorly managed hybrid working, writes CMI Companion Jo Owen CMgr CCMI for CMI Insights this week: with remote workers more likely to be female, there is a danger that women will not have the same opportunity as men to reap the benefits of a physical presence in the office. Learn more here, plus find some best-practice tips on how to #EmbraceEquity in your hybrid workforce.

Some of the most effective solutions are very simple to implement. “More comprehensive and affordable childcare solutions” and “relief for those with caring responsibilities” are just some highlighted by Ann Francke OBE in a recent FT article on the difficulties female entrepreneurs face in securing investment.

We can also learn a lot from strong female leaders. Author Arwa Mahdawi (shortlisted for CMI’s Management Book of the Year 2022) describes one of the lessons she’s learned from women in power: that traditionally “feminine” qualities such as empathy are “essential for managing the complex problems the world faces”.

We invite you to join us for CMI’s CEO Ann Francke OBE in conversation with a brilliant group of female authors, Sophie Devonshire, Helen Tupper and Florence Guesnet, on 22 March. Book your place here!

And for those of you who missed it, watch back the debut of our Leading Issue interview series, this time featuring Ann Francke in conversation with Dame Sharon White DBE (CMI’s 2022 Gold Medal winner). Watch this space for upcoming interviews!

“The great unretirement”

CMI’s survey results on age inclusion continue to be featured in the news. Anthony Painter, CMI’s director of policy, urged employers to make this issue an organisation-wide focus in a recent Benefits Expert article. He also provided concrete examples of what employers can do to address age bias in their organisations, including tailoring benefits and development programmes for older people.

Nigel Cassidy dove deeper into the issue for CMI Insights this week, exploring the so-called “Great Unretirement” and how managers and leaders can banish age bias from their business – have a read here.

Salary raises and the importance of investing

More CMI research – this time on salary raises – has sparked discussion in the news, with 48% of UK firms reporting no immediate plans to offer pay increases. Citing this statistic, HR Grapevine reports that more employees are considering asking for pay rises and some are even considering moving abroad in search of higher pay.

CMI has also calculated that around 70–80% of all managers in the UK are “accidental managers”, promoted into the role because it’s the next natural step for them. As a result, they are ill-equipped with the skills to help support and develop their people. 

ICAEW featured this research in a recent article about how young professionals want to see a clear progression path at their organisations with appropriate training.

Investing in management and leadership skills also has knock-on effects for productivity, says Anthony Painter in FE News and The Paradise in response to Keir Starmer’s speech at UK Finance at the end of February. 

Experts suggest that more than half of the productivity gap between the UK and the USA can be attributed to poor management.

Labour will need to consider what policy can do to create better managers and leaders in both the public sector and the UK’s small and mid-sized businesses – two areas that dominate our economy but historically have failed to invest in their leaders. It’s time to correct that shortcoming if the UK’s economy is to keep pace with the G7 and deliver meaningful, sustained growth.


Don’t miss this week’s other fresh insights:

Kind regards



22 February

Dear all,

As part of National Apprenticeships Week, on 9 February CMI hosted a fantastic event in celebration of apprenticeships at County Hall to highlight their significant impact on both learners and organisations. 

We heard from CMI’s patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO; CMI’s 2022 Gold Medal Winner, Dame Sharon White DBE; and the secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan MP – and learned of some first-hand positive experiences of apprenticeships, from both apprentices and employers.

The Times captured some highlights of the evening and CMI’s director of policy Anthony Painter reflected on the event in FE News, touching on the key takeaways from the panel discussions.

Coming up…

We are very excited about the upcoming Annual Crystal Lecture at the University of Wolverhampton on 2 March, “The Future is Accessible”. This will be delivered by multi-award-winning inclusion specialist and social entrepreneur Shani Dhanda, one of the UK's most influential disabled people who featured on BBC’s 100 Women List of 2020. 

Besides learning more about intersectionality and inclusion, you will come away with effective tools to interact more confidently with disabled colleagues. This event also features the presentation of the prestigious CMI Rosebowl Award to the University’s top MBA dissertation. Reserve your spot via Eventbrite here.

You can also join us at CMI’s London office on 22 March to hear our CEO Ann Francke OBE in conversation with fellow female authors who have pioneered new ways of thinking at Procter & Gamble during their careers: Sophie Devonshire, Helen Tupper and Florence Guesnet. If you’re not local to London, please join us online for what promises to be a riveting discussion.

Class of 2003 meets Class of 2023

Can you believe it’s more than 20 years since CMI received our Royal Charter and awarded the first CMgr accreditations? We spoke with one of the first ever Chartered Managers, David Parsonage CMgr, and a Chartered newcomer, Ryan Venner CMgr, to compare their leadership journeys and their top management tips. Do give it a read!

Getting older people back to work

CMI’s research on the attitudes of organisations towards older workers continues to be picked up across the media, including The Sunday Times, Times Radio and Jeremy Vine on 5. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is urging older people to return to the workforce to help boost the UK’s economy and tackle skills shortages. Commentators from a number of industries – from motor retail to media planning – have shared views on this important subject. 

CMI’s head of policy, Daisy Hooper, spoke on Manx Radio about the role of managers in leading a culture change towards older workers, and how appropriate training can feed into this.

Gender Pay Gap

Did you know that almost eight in ten employers reported a gender pay gap in favour of men in 2021? And that for almost three in ten employers this gap was 20% or more? 

With International Women’s Day coming up and the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting deadline edging closer, we have shone the spotlight on the Gender Pay Gap, why it exists and what you can do about it. Also, explore the Close your Gender Pay Gap toolkit from CMI and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to find even more recommended ideas for action.

More fresh stories from CMI this week

Have a brilliant week.

Kind regards,



8 February

Dear all,

It’s a week of celebration here at CMI. Specifically, we’re celebrating apprentices and the impact they make on businesses and productivity. CMI’s director of policy, Anthony Painter, spoke at the Southampton City Council Future of Work Summit last week on the importance of management and leadership and the skills gaps in these areas. As companies in all sectors struggle to get the skills they need, nurturing your home-grown talent through an apprenticeship could be your answer to filling your organisation’s skills gaps – they aren’t just for school leavers. 

Last chance!

It’s your last chance to book a place to hear CMI’s patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO, and CMI’s 2022 Gold Medal Winner, Dame Sharon White DBE, converse with CMI Chief Executive, Ann Francke OBE, on the seismic impact that apprenticeships offer, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. CMI data referenced recently in The New Statesman highlighted that over 70% of management apprentices come from families in which neither parent went to university, allowing people to “earn while they learn” – which is vital for boosting social mobility.

Multimedia appearances

You may have spotted that CMI data on ageism in the workplace featured in a recent trending BBC News article, too: “Over-50s at work: ‘You feel your usefulness has passed’”. This research on the attitudes of employers towards hiring older workers was covered across a number of media outlets, plus over 20 BBC Radio channels, LBC and Times Radio. Ann Francke was also interviewed on BBC News 24 about the practical measures leaders can take to encourage people over 50 back into work.

This week we also released the latest episode of our Workplace in Review docuseries; this instalment examines barriers facing the LGBTQIA+ community as we mark LGBTQIA+ History Month – watch it here, and do share this valuable resource with your networks.

Leadership challenges

You may remember Elon Musk’s controversial firing of Twitter employees via email… Anthony Painter weighed in on the damaging impact of Elon Musk’s leadership approach on employee engagement and motivation, wellbeing and workplace diversity in an article in Benefits Expert. We also published an article this week on how to get remote redundancies right – proving you can still execute them sensitively and compassionately over a screen.

More fresh insights include:

Have a brilliant week.

Best wishes,



25 January

Dear all,

Happy New Year to those of you celebrating Lunar New Year this week! All of us at CMI are excited to continue supporting the CMI community throughout 2023.

CMI data reported in HR Review shows that 71% of managers are seeing signs of stress and anxiety in their workplace, fuelled by external issues such as the cost of living crisis. Responding to this worrying data, CMI’s CEO Ann Francke talked about the options available to managers in The Times. We also approached the UK’s leading mental health platform, Kooth, for expert tips to help you and your team feel more in control. Earlier this year we also released these eight practical tips.

Closing the skills gap

In a Westminster Hall debate in January on skills and labour shortages, Patricia Gibson MP thanked CMI for our contribution and referenced data from our November Managers Voice poll. This found that 71% of managers’ organisations were experiencing ongoing difficulties in recruiting skilled staff.

One piece of the puzzle is equipping graduates with the right skillset to succeed in the workplace. CMI data, referenced last week by Forbes, found that only one in five UK employers believe that graduates enter the world of work with the right skills. That’s why all CMI courses are designed to equip learners with skills that employers have told us they want (find the list here).

Apprenticeships are another integral component to addressing skills shortages. Join us on 9 February, live from County Hall, for National Apprenticeship Week to celebrate all that apprenticeships have to offer. You’ll hear from high-profile special guests, including Dame Sharon White DBE CMgr CCMI, chair of John Lewis Partnership. For more details, keep an eye out on our social media channels and this dedicated webpage. Hope to see you there!

Boosting your skills

As a remote culture further embeds itself in the employment landscape, one of the biggest issues facing managers will be how to foster culture, connection and collaboration amid a distributed workforce; it’s harder to forge relationships and show empathy over a screen.

At CMI we’re working hard to get you the insights you need to confidently lead your teams in this increasingly digital world. This week:

Also take a closer look at leadership style, with a light-hearted take on the management mistakes from Sauron that led to Mordor’s downfall – as well as the power of a light-hearted leadership style to boost your team’s performance

Plus, check out Management Minutes, a new, fortnightly series of short-form videos exploring key principles of management with Professor Ajantha Dharmasiri CMgr FCMI, president of CMI Sri Lanka. The next video will be available on 2 February.

Finally, are you making the most of all the resources that CMI has to offer – from the skills diagnostic tool to events, short e-courses, member magazine and skills refreshers courses? If not, why not join our monthly Maximise your Membership events to find out more.

Kind regards,



18 January 2023

Dear all,

I hope you were able to have a restful winter break, as well as a peaceful start to the new year.

New Year, New You

With the dawn of a new year, many managers and leaders will be thinking about career objectives for 2023, and beyond. You’ll need confidence to succeed in the year ahead. 

We’ve taken a deep dive into how to set career goals that will stick – see whether these tips can help you reach your targets.

One goal might be to impress your boss. This can be difficult if you’re working remotely – how on earth do you show off your skills via a computer screen? We gathered some expert tips on impressing your boss remotely

Plus, in our latest Advice from the Experts, Patrick Macdonald CMgr CCMI explains how to impress from the offset in a new role and help you shoot up the career ladder. 

If you have a question of your own that you’d like answered by a management and leadership expert, drop us a message!

Don’t forget, tune in to CMI’s New Year New Me webinar series for tips on developing self-awareness, compassion, empathy and a supportive network that empowers you. This series also touches on conflict resolution, deep listening, and how to become more grounded heading into a new year. Go on, put it on in the background for some inspirational listening...

How authentic are you at work? Cast your vote…

It’s hard to perform at your best when you feel like you can’t be yourself. Chloe Jepps, head of research at CMI, wrote a piece for The Guardian calling for greater action from companies and managers to create more inclusive workplaces, with persistent workplace discrimination and exclusion sadly pushing people out of work. 

In a similar vein, CMI’s Anthony Painter told the Financial Times: “evidence shows diverse organisations are best positioned to reap the benefits of higher productivity and better decision-making.” .

We want to know how comfortable the CMI community feels about being authentically yourself at work: are you truly you when you walk into work? Cast your vote now! (We’ll dig into the results in a few weeks’ time…)

Stay flexible

This week we look at approaches to retain your staff after maternity leave. (Thanks to CMI member Francesca Prior CMgr who gave us an expert briefing.) Offering flexible working is crucial here. But many companies are now demanding that employees return to the office (according to CMI data reported in The Telegraph). Our poll found that “one in seven companies are planning to force more staff back to the office in 2023, with only 4% saying they would increase days working from home”. 

A recent Working Mums article floats the idea of “chief remote officer”. Such a role makes sure that remote workers don’t get left behind – for example from decisions made in “impromptu meetings in the office,” said Antony Painter, CMI’s director of policy and external affairs. What do you think?

If you’re planning for the year ahead and want to be an inclusive organisation, here’s a thought-provoking article about being less “Christmas-centric” when planning events with your team...

Best wishes,

Ian Doherty, director of membership

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