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Managers, it’s time for a New Year makeover

Managers, it’s time for a New Year makeover

Chartered Management Institute | Chartered Management Institute

3 min read Partner content

Managers may lack the expertise needed to steer their organisations to success, according to their professional body.

The Chartered Management Institute( CMI) says new research indicates management "needs a makeover if New Year optimism is to be converted into long-term growth".

The institute surveyed 750 of the UK’s top leaders to identify where managers will need to excel by the end of the decade if the UK economy is to grow and compete internationally.

The biggest rising priorities identified by managers include building partnerships and networking (cited by 87% and 78% respectively); creating agile teams and tackling underperformance (85% and 77%); using social media (79%); and managing complexity (76%).

Ann Francke, CMIChief Executive, said: "Business optimism is on the up but this is a reminder that no employer can afford to neglect their managers’ skills if they’re serious about success. Management shortcomings are already part of the reason why the UK lags behind competitors like the US and Germany, and we could fall further behind if we don’t prepare now for the future.

"While managers can see that changes in the business environment will transform how they work, many admit to lacking the skills needed to make the most of the opportunities ahead. Employers need to prioritise these critical management skills to future-proof their business."

CMI's research reveals significant skills gaps, with these top priorities for the future mirrored at the bottom of the list when it comes to managers’ current skills.

Assessed across 20 activities, the most common area of weakness admitted by managers was their tech skills, with 68% ineffective at using social media and 57% unable to make use of big data. Networking was the third lowest rated skill (with 40% of managers rating themselves ineffective) followed by team management skills (34% are ineffective at decentralising decision making, 27% at creating agile teams and 24% at tackling underperformance).

To help managers take control of their own skills development in 2014, CMIis launching a new app at

Twelve quick-fire questions contrast current strengths and weaknesses with future needs to reveal managers’ inner “Hidden Heroes”. The app then offers managers free practical guidance to kick-start their development.

"Managers should be starting 2014 with real determination to get future fit, so they can lead the changes that are going to transform how we work over the rest of this decade," Ms Francke added.

"Tomorrow’s top managers will be those who get networked, who lead with integrity and who create agile, high-performing teams. The Hidden Heroes app and the FT Guide to Management are two great ways to start preparing for this future.”

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