Highlights – 28 February

Thursday 29 February 2024
Risk takes many forms – from cyber attacks and poor management to the horrors of the deep. Plus, why it’s never too late to dream big
A scuba diver underwater

There are two types of business: those who’ve been hacked and those who don’t realise they have. That’s the view of Jenny Radcliffe, ethical hacker, who has made it her business to penetrate companies’ cyber defences to teach them how vulnerable they are. 

Jenny astutely points out that cyber risk is a concern for organisations of all kinds – especially as working practices become more fluid. You can read Jenny’s tips for protecting your hybrid teams here. Training is key: many cyber criminals are canny enough to see individuals as an  organisation’s weak link, and they’ll target them accordingly. That’s the thrust of a new Future of Work article, which cites CMI research into the prevalence of hybrid working today. 

Cyber threat is just one type of risk. Is your organisation truly prepared for the unthinkable? In this week’s Better Managers newsletter, we examine what it means for management when a risk escalates to a crisis, and explore the deep lessons managers can draw from the hazardous world of scuba diving. 

Dreaming of better

An article in HR Review examined the “toxic work culture” at X (formerly Twitter), and asked whether Elon Musk’s leadership is a “nightmare”. Regardless of where you stand on Musk, the article hits on some undeniable risks inherent in bad management. As found in CMI’s recent Better Management report, bad management has prompted almost 33% of UK workers to quit.

But let’s not dwell on the negative. Management isn’t all about star CEOs. In ‘the real change makers: how middle managers can transform culture’, we explore the crucial role of middle managers, and how they can be instrumental in transforming organisations.

Again, much of that comes down to proper training. Failing to invest in first-time managers could become your biggest financial mistake, writes contributor Katy Edwards in HR News

CMI’s report Management and UK 2030 makes a strong case for the broader benefits of good management training. It shows how greater investment in management development can boost the UK’s productivity and enhance its public services. You can get a taster of that report from its lead researcher, Bharthi Keshwara, here

Meanwhile, Anthony Painter, CMI’s director of policy and external affairs, has appeared in a Guardian article, pointing out that trained managers are key to ensuring that flexibility breeds productivity as working habits continue to evolve.

New tricks

Speaking of training… 

CMI’s Apprentice of the Year, Will Burchell, has appeared in the Yorkshire Post proclaiming – quite correctly – that you’re never too old to be an apprentice. Will is in his 40s, and embarked on his management degree apprenticeship in 2020. Now CEO of the Bone Cancer Research Trust, he says apprenticeships offer career resilience and access to better-paid jobs for those who take up the opportunity.

It seems age is no barrier to entrepreneurship either – at least in the West Midlands. A CMI poll found that only four in ten managers are in favour of hiring workers over 50; in Coventry, older people are increasingly creating and running their own ventures.

Finally, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards are open for nominations until March 6th. The awards, which will be held on June 6th at the London Hilton Bankside, will be celebrating the achievements of Asian or Middle Eastern women based in the UK. Again, age is no barrier, so get nominating!



Image: Shutterstock / Lilac

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