Is your business reliant on expert novices?


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Perhaps it was the influence of our gloomy economy or maybe it was inspired by the excitement and success of the London Olympics. Whichever it was, the UK saw an abundance of research published in 2012 focusing on the benefits of leadership and management development.

Through all this research we discovered that:

  • Nearly three quarters of organisations in England reported a deficit of management and leadership skills in 2012 (Learning & Talent Development, CIPD, 2012)
  • Ineffective management is estimated to be costing UK businesses over £19billion ($28billion USD) per year in lost working hours (Business Benefits of Management & Leadership Development, CMI, 2012).
  • “93% of respondents expressed concern that low levels of management skills are having a direct impact on their business achieving its goals.” (The Leadership and Management Talent Pipeline, Institute of Leadership & Management, 2012).
  • 40 per cent of managers predicted that management skills shortages would have a damaging impact on their organisation in the next six months (CMI Economic Outlook survey, April 2012).

Much of this research acknowledged that first-line managers, those often in their first leadership role, are typically the most neglected group despite the fact that they have such an impact on the business. They are expert novices left to sink or swim, caught out by a situation in which they are recruited based on their technical skills but are not provided with the necessary skills to be effective people managers in their new role.

One of the biggest concerns to emerge from this research was the findings from the CMI that first-line managers are the least engaged group of all levels of leaders. First-line leaders are arguably the most important group precisely because they are the linchpin in directly engaging a large proportion of the workforce. They are responsible for communicating strategy and enabling employees to succeed. If they are not engaged how can they be engaging?

Forum’s own research has identified four specific people-leadership areas in which highly-effective first-line leaders develop mastery. Join us on our webinar next Wednesday (27th March) at 11am GMT when we will be sharing details of the leadership practices that effective first-line leaders need to develop.

You can register here.

Do you think there is a first-line management crisis? What do you think businesses need to improve to better support these leaders?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Holly Gage
Holly works for The Forum Corporation in London as the Marketing Director, EMEA. She has been with Forum for seven years, during which time she has also worked in Singapore where she was also responsible for marketing across Asia-Pacific.


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