Philip Whiteley's Blog

February 7, 2012

Time for real leadership

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 11:42 am

At the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Management Book of the Year awards last night, it was encouraging to see fellow authors addressing some of the big issues. With the controversy over bonuses and banking in full spate, daily news is showing us more clearly the connection between management practice and ideology and the impact on the wider economy. Terry Morgan, chairman of Crossrail and President of the CMI noted in his address:

‘Many commentators have observed that organizations have exhibited poor management, especially around risk, but it goes wider and deeper than that. Only one in five managers is professionally qualified: the remaining may be very skilled in their technical expertise but have been promoted to management roles without necessarily being prepared with the understanding for management, and the leadership role that goes with it.

‘Government statistics themselves show that organisations that do not invest in their people management are two and a half times more likely to fail.’

The winner of the overall award was Chris Bones, author of The Cult of the Leader, which takes issue with the recent trend towards seeing the leader as a cult figure driven by image and PR. He argues for a fundamental rethink, and told the delegates:

‘There is a huge crisis of confidence. It is time for those of us who believe in the market to stand up for believing in the right kind of market and the right standards.’

One wishes, however, that leading politicians had been in attendance at the awards. The poverty of debate currently being exhibited annihilates all consideration of complexity and discussion of effective leadership, descending into a sectarian conflict between ‘banker bashing’ and their opponents.

More tellingly, leadership, skills and employee engagement are still seen as junior issues as our political beliefs, departmental attitudes and structures remain stuck in the colonial age (see 13 January blog).


Chartered Management Institute Book Club

Radical Shift


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