Highlights – 3 July

Wednesday 03 July 2024
Navigating the workplace’s evolving challenges and embracing the new – from fast-developing technologies, to ways of working. Plus, the deadline for the CMI Awards of Excellence has now been extended, so get nominating!
A man navigating stormy oceans

We’re now just a day away from the General Election. Whoever winds up occupying Number 10 will have their work cut out with the world of work. Take the task of boosting productivity – a huge issue for the UK economy. But it’s interesting how the problems most pertinent to those running the country are eminently relatable for the rest of us. For example, it’s probably time for individual managers to re-examine their own approach to productivity too.  

The relentless pace of technology is another shared source of headaches. Most of us are already wrestling with challenges like how to embrace new technologies and new ways of working. Which begs the question: how to do so respectfully, without dismissing more reticent or resistant colleagues as dinosaurs? 

You’ll find some insightful answers in this week’s newsletter. 

The use of AI at work is one such area. Some are rushing to embrace it; others are more cautious. AI expert Dr Tirath Virdee hosted CMI’s recent Navigating AI Ethics: Transparency, Fairness, Privacy and Beyond’ webinar, and shared his thoughts on how to navigate the ethical issues it raises – as well as why, if mishandled, AI may threaten our very souls.

Innovative and future fit

Hybrid work is another evolving picture. You may recall that CMI recently published a report with Timewise, the flexible work consultancy, entitled ‘Making hybrid work for you and your team’. The research has raised questions over whether employers have done enough to support leaders in developing “innovative, future-fit working practice”. The report was also featured in Working mums, an online recruiting website aimed at professional women.

Hybrid is one potent tool in the fight to improve productivity – or at least allow people to work far more flexibly without sacrificing it. It’s also often touted as a means of boosting workplace wellbeing. There are others. Personnel Today has written about the importance of training to support employees’ mental health and the positive impact it can have on the working environment – citing CMI research into the role of poor management in people’s willingness to resign. 

Bum deals and New Deals

This leads us to accidental managers, those who’ve simply wound up in positions of authority without the proper training. Your Business Magazine and South Africa’s IT-Online featured CMI’s research into this troubling phenomenon, focusing on how to respond to negative and overbearing management, and suggesting that challenging managers could be a “unique learning experience”.

Speaking of ‘negative and overbearing management’, remember the time Elon Musk’s Twitter laid off 3,700 people in one go? The inside story is a cautionary tale for anyone interested in better management.

In the UK, Chartered Accountancy firms such as Harold Sharp, Ferguson Maidment and Foxley Kingham have been busy exploring the factors that cause employers to reduce their workforce, as well as the worrying shortage of workers. They referenced CMI’s Our recruitment tracker, which revealed that 35% of UK organisations plan to freeze or decrease their recruitment. 

On a related note, CMI’s polling of managers' support for New Deal Policies, which was used in a TUC press release, was featured again this week in articles from FMBusinessDaily, Facilitate Magazine and The Future of Work.

Celebrating excellence 

And finally, to the glitz and glamour. Consultancy UK has published the finalists of the Chartered Management Consultant of the Year Award, “one of the most fiercely contested categories” in a celebration hosted by the Management Consultancies Association.

CMI also runs the Management Publication of the Year Award, in collaboration with the British Academy of Management and the Chartered Association of Business Schools. It aims to promote the huge role that management research plays in tackling major economic challenges.

We also have great news for anyone yet to submit entries for the CMI Awards of Excellence: we’ve extended the deadline to give you the chance to get involved. The new deadline is 12 July. So if a person or organisation you know deserves to be hailed for their glowing achievements – or perhaps you do yourself – check out our categories and get nominating



Image: Shutterstock / retrorocket

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