Highlights – 13 March

Wednesday 13 March 2024
When will we get the change we need? Let’s build a truly effective working world – of inclusivity, flexibility and actually investing in our managers…
A group of people building a jenga tower

International Women’s Day has come and gone, and we’re once again left wondering when the workplace will become a truly even field. 

Ann Francke featured in the International Women’s Day episode of the Thomson Reuters Compliance Clarified podcast, where she discussed the continued barriers women face in the workplace. According to a CMI survey of UK managers, most organisations don’t use gender pay gap data to make a positive difference.

CMI was also involved in new research by the Young Foundation, in which 73% of respondents said they’d experienced barriers to career progression or some form of ‘discriminatory or exclusionary’ behaviour at work. 

“Inclusion in the workplace isn’t just a trend, it’s essential for organisations to thrive in today’s diverse and interconnected world,” said Ann Francke, in response to the findings. “The sooner we realise we all stand to benefit, the better.

Anyone struggling with conflict management should listen to this interview Ann gave BBC Scotland. She said senior leaders should be honest about the problem, conduct impartial investigations, and serve as a role model for the organisation's culture (conversation begins at 50:15)

Sticking with people power 

And so to other inequalities. In this week’s newsletter, we ask why investing in human capital doesn’t have parity with investment in R&D and physical capital; and we offer four key tips for preserving human skills even as you leverage the power of AI.

We also continue our focus on hybrid working. Ann used her latest column in The Times to refute the idea that flexible workplace policies are simply another 'woke' trend, while Daisy Hooper highlighted management’s crucial role in making flexible working effective in light of a powerful new law. 

In this week’s newsletter, you can read an extract from Glue: Transforming Leadership in a Hybrid World, which features some great tips for ensuring your hybrid management remains equitable, inclusive and highly effective. Keep your eyes peeled for a forthcoming CMI report into a fascinating pilot project that examines how to manage hybrid teams. 

Nobody’s perfect

An obsession with flawlessness can be counterproductive for managers. But, as Anthony Painter, CMI’s head of policy and external affairs, discussed on the latest episode of the The Business of Being Brilliant podcast, better management is definitely desirable – and we need to put our money behind it. 

When Jeremy Hunt used the Spring Budget to announce that billions would be invested in improving public sector efficiency, Anthony pointed out that this would not be realised "unless we match investment in high-quality management skills with consistent public and private investment".

It’s not just the Budget that’s unleashed an urgent debate on this issue. CMI's recent landmark study, 'Taking Responsibility: why UK PLC needs better managers'. has too. Here, workers shared what it really feels like to work for an accidental manager, as well as the implications of a lack of proper management training for wider society. 

“There is a thread that runs from the individual to the manager, to the company or organisation, to the regional, the national economy,” said Anthony, on the Business of Being Brilliant. “And that thread is good management.”



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