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WINTER 2020 / ISSUE 04 THE MAGAZINE FOR CMI MEMBERS

TO DO LIST

DATE 01 / 01 / 2021

CO M M U N I C ATE CLE ARLY LI S TE N , S H OW E M PATH Y B E H O N E S T, AD M IT M I S TAK E S B E D ECI S IV E S E T A CLE AR D I REC TI O N E NAB LE AUTO N O M Y B E TR AN S PARE NT TO DAY

THIS MONTH

ALL YEAR

WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM LORD MARK PRICE KANYA KING CBE RAJARSHI BANERJEE SIMON CAULKIN


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CMI’s ‘Management Transformed’ study, released in November 2020, examined the management qualities required in 2021 and beyond. Here’s what more than 2,300 employees – including managers and leaders – told us... M A N AG E R I A L TR A IT S TH AT W I LL B E M O R E I M P O RTA NT I N 2021 Communicates clearly

31%

26%

Listens effectively

29%

27%

56%

Provides clear direction

28%

27%

55%

Motivates team members

27%

28%

55%

Responsive to change

26%

29%

55%

Empathetic

24%

28%

Honest

28%

22%

50%

Takes decisive action

23%

27%

50%

Transparent

22%

27%

Provides recognition

21%

27%

Gives individuals autonomy

20%

26%

Admits mistakes

21%

23%

THE MANAG EMENT TR ANSFORMED

RESEARCH ALSO FO U N D TH AT:

57%

52%

49% 48% 46% 44%

Much more important More important

• Where you work does not influence workplace happiness or productivity. • Trust is critical to productivity. • Effective communication is a highly valued trait. • Workplace wellbeing is increasingly important. • L eaders need to ensure that employees are part of the company journey and genuinely feel listened to. • O rganisations that have fostered a sense of belonging say that their culture has benefited as a result. • Workplaces still face diversity and inclusion challenges. • F lexibility is key for parents. Women with children have less contact with their managers than men with children. • Gen Z employees are prioritising job security right now.

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 03


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Welcome

What’s wrong with competence? cmi’s ‘management transformed’ study, released in November and featuring input from more than 2,300 managers and leaders, gives us a roadmap for how to approach management in 2021 and beyond. The key findings are listed on the opening page of this magazine. Communications skills, employee wellbeing and building a sense of belonging are among the priorities. It’s incredibly important that managers continue to focus on the human aspect of their role as we get beyond COVID-19. Some people – including ethnic minorities, young people and women, particularly those with children – have been hit disproportionately hard by this crisis, and they’ll need the support of managers and leaders. We must put these groups at the centre of the ‘build back’ programmes. Of course it’s right that we plug technical skills gaps – in artificial intelligence, analytics, healthcare and so on – but if we don’t have the management and leadership skills, we won’t realise the opportunities these skills bring and we won’t build back national productivity. ‘Management Transformed’ showed that managers need to build trust and work collaboratively, and the UK also needs to be a trusted nation post-Brexit, especially in its relationship with its EU partners. Brexit is adding to the uncertainty for CMI members post-COVID, and managing through this uncertainty is going to require the very skills highlighted in ‘Management Transformed’. At least it looks as though we’ll have a more collaborative approach from the US in future thanks to the election of Joe Biden. His promises to be an administration that seeks to build partnerships and rejoin global institutions. As someone who is able to vote in both the UK and the US, I’m thrilled “At least it looks as to see the return of grown-up, inclusive and collaborative though we’ll have a leadership. It will be good to have a US government working with others rather than alienating everyone except its social more collaborative media followers. It’s a welcome return to a government approach from the US that respects the rule of law too. As our research shows, when in future thanks to the you have people’s trust, you’ll have greater productivity too. election of Joe Biden” The election of Kamala Harris as vice president is a historic moment. Not only is there now a female VP but also a woman of colour – a double first! Some people have levelled criticism at Biden for filling his cabinet with tried and trusted officials, but I think he is combining new ideas with experience. He’s also appointing people with the capacity to heal and people with a track record of competence; Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, for example. The question I’d ask is: what’s wrong with competence? So as we look ahead to 2021, we must make sure that we don’t go back to factory settings. Management does need to transform, with a human approach and with employees’ real, human concerns at the fore. As the cover of this edition says, it’s time to Be More You. Tweet Ann @cmi_ceo M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 0 5


Contents

09 Conversations

38 Interview

16 Transformers

46 Culture

Race. Yes, it’s a difficult subject – especially in the workplace – but it’s high time we started addressing the big structural issues What does Angola’s finance minister have in common with the CEO of Twitter and a refugee-turned-entrepreneur? Meet the new leadership role models

Lord Mark Price, CMI’s new president, talks culture, communication and coaching with Ann Francke OBE You haven’t seen your colleagues faceto-face in months – but you’re still a team, right? Here’s how to maintain that all-important organisational culture

16

“The example you set is important... Make it clear that people should be doing what they need to do in order to get through this crisis without burning out” L O R D M A R K P R I C E , PAG E 3 8

06 — WIN TER 2020

38


54 Hybrid working

79 CMgr

65 rethink

86 close

Some of you are in the office. Some of you are at home. It’s going to take more than a Zoom call to get this right... Life threw them a curveball. We meet the managers who have taken their careers in a different direction by retraining and upskilling

Personal pivots and pandemic epiphanies. Here’s how some newly Chartered managers have been getting on COVID-19 hasn’t been a disaster for every company. Simon Caulkin takes a look at how these success stories have pulled it off

54

46

65

86 M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 07


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C ON V E R SAT IONS W E N E E D TO TA LK A B O U T R ACE …

--------Words_Jermaine Haughton

In October, CMI’s Race network published ‘Moving the dial on race: A practical guide on workplace inclusion’, featuring a host of tips on building a fairer workplace culture. Here, six of Britain’s top leaders share their own insights on what needs to be done to tackle racism in the workplace

Before we can begin eliminating racism in the workplace, we have to be honest about our prejudices, says Delroy Beverley CMgr CCMI, managing director of York Teaching Hospital Facilities Management. Sharing his own shocking experiences of racism throughout his career, he explains: “We need to create communities inside and outside the workplace where it’s OK to speak honestly and openly about how you feel. It needs to be OK to say, ‘When I see a Black person walking towards me, I cross the road because I’m afraid.’ “We can create a million psychological safe spaces for People of Colour, but the real challenge is creating a safe place for these important conversations, somewhere people can share their childhood or adult experiences – whether it was being tackled on the rugby field or feeling that the Black guys were always better at the 100m sprint and not feeling comfortable about it. “You don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to have a go at the Black guy

today’ – there’s usually some insecurity that triggers that inner feeling. Once we address that together, we can start to fix the root of the problem.” Beverley, who helps organisations recruit a more diverse range of candidates, argues that businesses must diversify the gatekeepers on their recruitment boards to have a better chance of addressing the chronic underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in senior business positions. “Discarding a potentially good candidate from a BAME background should create discussions as to why that has happened, and through diplomacy we should encourage businesses to look at that decision from a completely different perspective,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s about making sure you’re around the table with the decision-makers and gatekeepers, because they’re the ones who determine who gets through.” “You don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to have a go at the Black guy today’ – there’s usually some insecurity that triggers that inner feeling” ------M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 9


10 — WIN TER 2020


Employers and businesses are talking more about race, diversity and inclusion at work. Why now? Organisations have seen the inequality out there and stood up to say they want to make a change. Many have realised that this will not change overnight and that they need multiple approaches over a longer period of time, but they must still prioritise it now. After a challenging 2020, the business world needs to focus on “the decade of opportunity”, driven by an ideas economy, which should be powered by this untapped diversity of thought. The business case for increasing management diversity is absolute. More diverse, gender-balanced teams outperform less diverse, unbalanced teams. It is a commercial imperative as well as a societal one. It will ultimately help the bottom line. What are the main challenges for employers and leaders in creating a truly “anti-racist workplace” in the UK? A lot of organisations find diversity and inclusion issues tricky and don’t do anything because they’re concerned about doing the wrong thing. That is no longer acceptable. We’re in a different time now. Never in my lifetime have I been in a situation where these issues have affected not just the Black community but all races, religions and creeds. What has happened with the pandemic has highlighted the inequalities that exist with

Kanya King CBE founded the MOBO Awards in 1996 and is now launching a new initiative called MOBOLISE to help Black people make it to the top in the creative industries. So, how does she think the race question is changing in the workplace? regard to poverty and health and wellbeing, while also focusing attention on the fact that lots of Black people are working in roles that parts of society perceive as being less worthy of support, status and recognition. These are really big issues, founded on structural and systemic prejudices. It’s no surprise that businesses are finding it difficult to counter them. In your experience, how can embracing an inclusive culture improve a business’s success? I grew up surrounded by creatives who were immensely talented but frustrated by this huge void in the music industry’s idea of popular music. Why would you miss out part of the population? That just didn’t make sense to me. At the heart of the MOBO Awards is the idea that creativity is a powerful expression of identity, capable of transcending racial and cultural divides. That also makes it an effective tool for social activism and business success. As well as increasing profit and influencing an organisation’s sense of purpose, diversity of thought makes and keeps companies

relevant and helps them meet the needs of their stakeholders today and in the future. What are the most important practical steps that a manager or leader can take to support people from diverse ethnic groups in the workplace? Mentoring, networking and support with CV writing and interview practice can open up career opportunities for underrepresented individuals, while also giving those who may be held back by unconscious bias in the hiring process the chance to showcase their skills. It’s also worth remembering that there’s a really scary underrepresentation of Black talent in business, especially in senior roles. So everyone must do more to demonstrate that true diversity is possible. This is why we’ve launched the MOBOLISE platform, which is being developed in conjunction with Accenture. It’s designed to connect Black talent with organisations and companies, initially in the creative and technology sectors, to provide that all-important career support and help them change the picture at the top.

“It’s also worth remembering that there’s a really scary underrepresentation of Black talent in business, especially in senior roles” ------M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 11


Richard Iferenta, vice chair of KPMG in the UK, has a unique experience of race in the workplace, having worked his way up through the ranks in one of the UK’s most competitive industries

12 — WIN TER 2020

Iferenta explains that racial discrimination should be tackled now, when race is at the forefront of people’s minds. Why now? “The tragic killing of George Floyd and other Black citizens in the US, combined with the resulting unrest around the globe, has acted as a painful reminder of how far the world still has to go to end racism and discrimination. Beyond that, this tragedy has presented all employers with a real opportunity to turn the tide on this long-standing issue, while it’s front and centre in people’s minds. Both corporations and individuals alike have a critical role to play in doing this.” Even so, Iferenta notes that there are a number of obstacles in the way. “Racism and inequality are long-standing issues that won’t be remedied overnight, but it’s encouraging to see greater attention being drawn to


the subject of inequality and discrimination. While we should always be striving for better, progress takes time. “The main challenges for employers and leaders are clarity at an early stage about what the business wants to achieve, sponsorship from the CEO for those objectives, and execution of the agenda with appropriate dedicated resources. All of this starts with education as to what privilege is, and leaders need that understanding if they are to achieve meaningful change.” Like Beverley, Iferenta believes this all begins with having difficult conversations. “The ability to openly discuss race and racism is vital for business,” he says. “Being anti-racist isn’t enough to radically shift the dial. It should be complemented with practising anti-racism.” Iferenta offers the following advice: 1. Hold regular, informed discussions about race as part of your business strategy or team updates. Investing time in this activity can lead to huge rewards, as it makes it easier for uncomfortable conversations about race to become part of your everyday dialogue. 2. Being open to learning, listening and education can help leaders and managers navigate these difficult conversations. These activities provide platforms for self-reflection about the way we manage our own biases. This, in turn, creates opportunities for growth. 3. Being proactive about inclusion is more than a “nice to have”. Every leader and manager should be comfortable talking about race and willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Brave conversations are key.

Racial discrimination at work disrupts employees’ performance and productivity, says Dr Jummy Okoya FCMI, associate programme leader for the MSc in human resource management at the University of East London Okoya, who is also a member of CMI Women and was a pivotal contributor to the ‘Moving the dial on race’ guide, believes that it’s time to transform workplaces into inclusive safe spaces where people of colour can thrive and drive UK businesses forward. “When employees are fully themselves at work without having to ‘code switch’ or wear a mask to pretend to be somebody else, they are fully able to access their brain capacity, their creative juices are unleashed, and sustainable high performance is achieved. It is mentally and emotionally draining to work in an environment where there are many exclusionary practices. “Employees will thrive when they are fully themselves at work,

leading to higher levels of engagement, increased motivation and a boost to productivity.” Managers will need to break the ‘Golden Rule’, Okoya adds. “Don’t treat People of Colour as you would like to be treated. Take time and ask them simple questions like what their experience of working in the organisation is, what would make a difference for them in terms of their career progression, how they prefer to describe their ethnicity, their preferred frequency of check-ins, style of communication, type of feedback, etc. “Leaders should prioritise creating a safe team environment where all People of Colour are listened to, are encouraged to speak up and feel a sense of belonging. They should encourage and embrace input from employees from different backgrounds or with different expertise to their own, foster collaboration among diverse staff, ask questions of all members of the team, facilitate constructive arguments, give actionable feedback, and act upon the advice of diverse employees.” M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 13


Leon Mann is co-founder of the Football Black List, which pays tribute to those from the Black community who are in influential positions throughout football and who help to address issues of underrepresentation. He believes there’s a real opportunity now to usher in lasting change

14 — WIN TER 2020

Football is one of the most visible examples of the Black contribution to life in the UK. An estimated 30 per cent of professional Premier League players are Black. Off the pitch, however, Black and Asian people are vastly underrepresented in football’s coaching, medical, media, administration and management positions. “From the conversations I’ve been having with business leaders, it feels like there’s a will to change things, perhaps fuelled by a sense of guilt about how Black people and ethnic minorities have been treated for so long,” Mann says. “Unfortunately, the lack of diversity in the leadership teams at many businesses often leads to a lack of understanding about what they should do.” Building partnerships with Black and Asian networks and making diversity an essential business decision rather than a charitable


“This is not just about giving Black and Asian people jobs; it’s about approaching it from the standpoint of us all needing to get better at business, and diversity is better for business” -------

effort will be vital to this effort, Mann adds. “Whether it’s in sport, the media or any other UK industry, these businesses should look for meaningful collaborations with Black, Asian and ethnic minority community groups that are making a tangible impact at the grassroots level. When a business faces a specific technology problem, they go out and seek out people who have the required knowledge and track record to solve the issue.” The question is, then, why don’t they do the same when they have a race problem? “Another question must also be asked, though: ‘How do we value this work?’ Is racial diversity and inclusion a charitable initiative or a serious part of day-to-day business operations? If it’s the latter, it will be given the necessary energy and resources to succeed. If it’s seen as charitable and a ‘nice-to-have’, it won’t be a priority and it will get pushed right down the agenda. “That’s how businesses have been treating this issue for decades, and that’s why we’ve seen little progress. This is not just about giving Black and Asian people jobs; it’s about approaching it from the standpoint of us all needing to get better at business, and diversity is better for business. Then we will see accelerated change.”

As one of the first Black female professionals to sit on the board of a multinational tech company in the UK, Dr Nneka Abulokwe OBE FAPM FBCS, founder & CEO of MicroMax Consulting, has decades of experience driving innovative technology and business transformation initiatives Abulokwe explains that “employers are beginning to see and understand the value of a diverse workforce that reflects not only society at large but also their customer base. Competition is keen, and employers that do not embrace a diverse workforce and create an inclusive environment in which everyone, regardless of ethnicity, can thrive will be left behind over time.” For diversity and inclusion efforts to succeed, research, resilience and knowledge are needed, says Abulokwe. “First and foremost, organisations have to understand how to build an inclusive culture. Cultural change is never simple, as the core ingredient involves people. The will and the sponsorship from the leadership is imperative to engender such change. The richness of a diverse mix of people, ideas and perspectives cannot be underestimated.” M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 15


16 — WINTER 2020


Transformers

20 LEADERSHIP ROLE MODELS FOR A POST-COVID WORLD Leaders and managers will have to behave differently as we emerge from this marathon COVID-19 crisis. The ability to build trust; the need for constant, empathetic communication; awesome listening skills; being open to diverse perspectives; creating a sense of belonging… these are just some of the attributes that managers will have to dial up post-COVID – and which are detailed in CMI’s recent ‘Management Transformed’ project. We’ve spent the past few months looking for stories of leaders who embody these new qualities. And wow, what a set of transformative leaders we’ve found... --------Words _Kate Bassett, Charles Orton-Jones and Matthew Rock

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 17


Vera Daves de Sousa THE ANGOLAN POLITICIAN COUNTERING DEEP-ROOTED PROBLEMS WITH FRESH PERSPECTIVES AND A PIONEERING SPIRIT toughest leadership challenge in the world? Well, the role of Angolan finance minister must be up there. The nation is still recovering from four decades of war: first for independence, then a civil war. Oil accounts for 90 per cent of exports and 65 per cent of government revenue, but a price slump put Angola into a recession in 2015. It’s still not out. A plan to peg the currency to the dollar caused the Angolan kwanza to fall by two-thirds. The richest woman in Africa – the daughter of the former president – has left the country amid corruption charges. Enter Vera Daves de Sousa. Appointed finance minister in 2019 aged just 35, she arrived with a willingness to embrace new perspectives and a plan to overhaul the Angolan economy. Oil is out. Entrepreneurs are in. “In terms of revenues, the economy still struggles with a high dependence on revenues coming from oil,” she says. “We’ll do our best to make sure diversification starts to happen in a more consistent way, and that we remove the bottlenecks.” Her style fuses academic rigour with plain speaking. She is an economics graduate, and wrote a book on public finance with her professor, who called her “one of the best students I ever had”. Daves de Sousa is just one of two female finance ministers in Africa. Her youth, cerebral approach and desire to break with the unruly policies of Angola’s past make her a formidable role model in her nation and across the continent. 18 — WIN TER 2020


Carolyn McCall THE FTSE LEADER SETTING A KINDER TONE BY MAKING A PERSONAL SACRIFICE DURING COVID-19 the covid crisis has been a test for leaders. How do they inspire unity in workers who may be suffering like never before? Carolyn McCall OBE CMgr CCMI is the CEO of ITV. Her immediate response to falling ad revenues was to take a 20 per cent pay cut and give up her bonus – and persuade the board to do likewise. Her move back in April helped to set a philanthropic tone in the corporate world. At Sky, chief executive Jeremy Darroch followed suit by donating nine months of his 2020 salary to coronavirus relief charities such as the National --------Emergency Trust. Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide, “Her immediate response to agreed to cut his pay and pension by 20 per cent. falling ad revenues was to take McCall already had a strong track record. Before ITV, she a 20% pay cut and give up turned EasyJet from a basket case with worse punctuality than her bonus – and persuade Air Zimbabwe to Europe’s top-rated airline. Her readiness to be among the first to forgo rewards only burnishes her reputation. the board to do likewise” M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 19


NHS staff will need more than just rainbows in the weeks and months ahead

Nadia Murad THE FIGHTER FOR YAZIDI JUSTICE R ALLYING OTHERS TO HER CAUSE THROUGH UNSTINTING COMMUNICATION “as a young girl, I dreamed of finishing high school. It was my dream to have a beauty parlour in our village and to live near my family in Sinjar. But this dream became a nightmare. Unexpected things happened. Genocide took place. As a consequence, I lost my mother, six of my brothers and my brothers’ children. Every Yazidi family has a similar story.” Nadia Murad is one of the main reasons why we know those stories. Aged 19, she was captured, enslaved, raped and tortured by Islamic State fighters. She escaped after three months and today leads global efforts to bring justice for the Yazidi people and to end sexual violence as a weapon of war. She became the United Nations’ first goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of --------human trafficking. She enlisted the Pope and Barack “She became the United Obama to support her movement, Nadia’s Initiative. Nations’ first goodwill Thanks to her tireless efforts, trials of Islamic State ambassador for the leaders and fighters are now under way. dignity of survivors In 2018, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her relentless pursuit of justice. of human trafficking”

20 — WIN TER 2020


Stephen Wolfram THE BRITISH-AMERICAN COMPUTER SCIENTIST R AISING THE BAR FOR ORIGINAL THINKING most people use Google as their default search engine. Nerds use Wolfram Alpha. It’s just one of the creations of Stephen Wolfram, a scientist turned entrepreneur. His life is too varied to summarise. He wrote his first science paper aged 15 while at Eton, and got his PhD from Caltech aged 20. He invented Mathematica, a popular computing platform, used notably for neural networks and machine learning. He even sketched out a radical new approach to how we think about the universe in his magnum opus A New Kind of Science. He sees no distinction between pure and applied thinking, academia and popular writing, or business and philosophy. As just one of his many side projects, Wolfram measures his own life in minute detail. He records keystrokes, mouse movements, phone calls and even physical movements back to the 1980s. His book, for example, took “over one million keystrokes and one hundred mouse miles”. The Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman said of Wolfram: “He seems to have worked on everything and has some original or careful judgement on any topic.” We all like to think we’re original. Stephen Wolfram puts that claim into perspective.

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 21


Lual Mayen THE FORMER REFUGEE SHOWING WHY IT PAYS TO THINK LIKE AN OUTSIDER refugees are natural entrepreneurs and innovators. Just look at pizza chain Firezza, started by a pair of Bosnian refugees who arrived in the UK in 1992 without speaking a word of English. As outsiders and natural self-starters, they were able to spot an opportunity to do things differently. Or take Lual Mayen, the CEO of Junub Games. Mayen was born during his parents’ 200-mile trek from war-torn South Sudan to a refugee camp in northern Uganda. He grew up there and spotted his first computer – at a refugee registration centre – when he was 12. He begged his mother for one. She eventually saved enough money, working as the camp’s seamstress, to buy him a used laptop. By watching online tutorials, Mayen taught himself English, programming and graphic design – and built a video game, which was picked up and shared among the international gaming community. Mayen was subsequently invited to serve as a consultant for the World Bank and was granted a visa to move to the US. His company, Junub Games, is on the brink of officially releasing Salaam , a high-tension runner game that puts a player in the shoes of a refugee forced to flee a war-torn region. Mayen has been recognised as a Global Gaming Citizen and is --------leading the way in social impact ga ming, promoting peace a nd “By watching empathy instead of violence. online tutorials,

Mayen taught himself English, programming and graphic design – and built a video game”

22 — WIN TER 2020


M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 23


Dave Goldhill THE US HEALTHCARE PIONEER WITH AN UNSTOPPABLE SENSE OF PURPOSE “how american health care killed my father” is the title of a 2009 article by Dave Goldhill, an --------American entrepreneur and former CEO of Universal “His sense of purpose and Studios. His father went to hospital with pneumonia the purity of his motives and caught sepsis. “My dad became a statistic – mean that even his critics merely one of the roughly 100,000 Americans whose deaths are caused or influenced by infections take him seriously” picked up in hospitals.” Thus began Goldhill’s war on US healthcare. He wrote a book, Catastrophic Care, and then two more on the subject. Then he launched Sesame, an online marketplace for healthcare services that cuts out insurance companies. The prices are upfront and clear. Sesame offers an MRI scan for $275 and a diabetes video consultancy with a doctor for $55. That’s ten times lower than the usual fees for healthcare in the US. Goldhill is now a figurehead for reform of a notoriously hard-to-fix problem. Steve Forbes, the founder of Forbes magazine, interviewed Goldhill recently and remarked: “Often it’s an outsider who incisively sizes up an industry and sets in motion profound changes.” Goldhill combines a relentless approach with a forensic analysis of what’s gone wrong. His sense of purpose and the purity of his motives mean that even his critics take him seriously. And now, after a decade of trying, he’s starting to make a serious impact.

24 — WIN TER 2020


Benny the Irish Polyglot THE LEARN-A-LANGUAGE PIONEER WHO SAYS YOU ACHIEVE MOST WHEN YOU OWN YOUR MISTAKES learning from failure, failing fast – these are truisms of modern leadership. Benny the Irish Polyglot is an advocate of a new way of learning languages who says that his mission in life is “giving people permission to make mistakes”. Born in Ireland, he managed a C in German at school. After graduating, he moved to Spain and took a year to learn the language. He researched where he was going wrong and wrote up the results in a book called Fluent in 3 Months. He argues that anyone can reach fluency in three months… with the right approach. He now speaks more than 20 languages and promotes his theories on YouTube and via TED talks. “The more mistakes you make, the faster you become a confident language learner,” he says. He suggests going up to strangers and just saying “Hi”, “Ciao”, “Guten tag”, or “здравствуйте”. --------Stick to that language. Make mistakes. Make friends. And just “He argues that keep talking to anyone who’ll listen. It’s the opposite of the UK’s anyone can reach regimen of chanting schoolchildren and grades-based tests. fluency in three Leaders need to communicate. Benny the Irish Polyglot can months… with the help you master new tongues, no matter how schrecklich you were at school. right approach” M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 25


Liz Johnson THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR TEACHING US TO LEARN FROM PEOPLE WHO OVERCOME CHALLENGES great leaders are energised by problems. The greater the challenge, the greater the victory. Liz Johnson is a phenomenal example. Born with cerebral palsy, she competed in national swimming races aged 14, then in three Paralympic Games in the S6 breaststroke category, winning gold in Beijing, plus multiple world and European titles. The respect her fellow athletes felt for her meant she was asked to read the athletes’ oath at the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony. But it’s in her life beyond sport that she truly impresses. Liz is a patron of Dreamflight, which organises holidays to Florida for seriously disabled children. She’s a qualified accountant with a degree in business management and finance. And now she’s an social entrepreneur, as co-founder of The Ability People – an employment agency staffed by people with disabilities. “I thought they would make perfect recruitment consultants, because it’s all about balancing long hours and a life with an impairment, which can --------be difficult. We have to work towards a goal to get “We have to work towards a something done, because our first attempt won’t be goal to get something done, successful. You have to build up good relationships because our first attempt with strangers, often. Resilience is high, because we have to focus to get a job done.” won’t be successful”

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Stephanie Drakes THE UK ADVERTISING BOSS DEMONSTR ATING THE COMMERCIAL IMPACT OF BEING INCLUSIVE research from deloitte shows that organisations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to exceed their financial targets, six times more likely to be more innovative and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. Stephanie Drakes is one of Britain’s most inclusive leaders. After being made redundant from ad land in her mid-50s, she started her own agency – with a difference. As the CEO of Social & Local, she actively hires individuals who are typically excluded from the advertising workforce, such as mums, carers and OAPs. And she has disrupted the traditional and often harsh “bleed-to-succeed” advertising agency model by providing “flexibility and work/life balance for the sharpest minds in the industry, irrespective of life circumstances”. Drakes leads by example too, working three days a week and taking a mid-morning break to visit her husband in his nursing home. With clients ranging from the National Grid to Breast Cancer UK, Social & Local is the only communications firm to be established as a Community Interest Company, investing 50 per cent of its profit into social projects.

Slava Solonitsyn (and his team) THE ENTREPRENEUR WHOSE LATER AL THINKING MAY UNLOCK A GLOBAL PROBLEM housing is a global problem. There is a shortage of cheap, modern, durable housing. Bricks and mortar are labour-intensive and time-consuming to work with, putting accommodation out of reach for millions of people. Slava Solonitsyn and his co-founders at Mighty Buildings are approaching the housing shortage from a different angle. They took 3D printing technology and scaled it up to solve the housing problem. A 3D-printed Mighty Buildings house is cheap, eco-friendly and made to last. “As soon as you are able to produce not only the walls but also floor and ceiling, that saves a huge amount of hours,” says Solonitsyn. “Specifically labour hours, which are very expensive.” According to McKinsey, construction misses out on more than £1 trillion of value a year due to low productivity. 3D printing reduces the required labour by 95 per cent and results in ten times less waste – at twice the speed. The cost is 45 per cent lower. 3D printing could change the housing equation forever. M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 27


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Petra De Sutter BELGIUM’S TR ANSGENDER DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, WHO’S SHOWING THAT EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO BE WHO THEY ARE a 2018 survey from lgbt+ charity Stonewall found that half of trans people — those whose gender is not the same as their biological sex at birth — have been so afraid of discrimination at work that they have hidden their identity. One in eight reported having been physically attacked by colleagues or customers. But the landscape is gradually shifting as transgender rights climb up the boardroom agenda and more trans people move into positions of power. Take Petra De Sutter, for example. In October, she was named as one of Belgium’s seven deputy prime ministers, making her the highest-ranking transgender politician in Europe. The fact that her appointment didn’t cause a media frenzy hints at more progressive attitudes towards trans leaders. Sutter, who is also a gynaecologist and a former professor of reproductive medicine, tweeted that she was proud that in Belgium and most of the EU “your gender identity does not define you as a person and is a non-issue. I hope that my appointment as minister and deputy PM can trigger the debate in countries where this is not yet the case.”

PHOTOGRAPH_ BEA UHART

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“The fact that her appointment didn’t cause a media frenzy hints at more progressive attitudes towards trans leaders”

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PHOTOGRAPH_©PETER LINDBERGH

Sinéad Burke THE IRISH ACTIVIST ASKING US TO CONSIDER WHO’S NOT IN THE ROOM despite the business case for diversity, many organisations are still missing out on a huge pool of disabled talent. Just 51 per cent of disabled people of working age are in employment (compared with 81 per cent of non-disabled people), and they are paid on average 12 per cent less than their able-bodied peers. Born with achondroplasia (the most common type of dwarfism), Irish activist Sinéad Burke is helping to “tilt the lens” and change the conversation around disability. Burke grew up in Dublin with four “average-sized” siblings and trained as a primaryschool teacher, graduating from Marino Institute of Education at the top of her class. Her 2017 TED talk, “Why design should include everyone”, where she talked openly about her struggles to buy appropriate clothes, use public toilets and navigate airport terminals, --------kick-started her stratospheric rise. She has since attended the “Just 51% of disabled Met Gala in New York, spoken about disability at the World people of working age Economic Forum in Davos and was chosen by Meghan Markle are in employment, to front the September 2019 issue of British Vogue. and they are paid on Last year, the BBC named her as one of the world’s most average 12% less than inspiring and influential women. “We must continuously ask, ‘Who’s not in the room?’” she says. their able-bodied peers” 30 — WIN TER 2020


Zarifa Ghafari THE LOCAL LEADER FACING UP TO DANGER WITH GENUINE COUR AGE “most of our lives, we’re beset by crises,” says Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn. “Courageous leaders are not cowed or intimidated. They realise that, in the midst of turbulence, there lies an opportunity to grow and rise.” Zarifa Ghafari is an extraordinary example of a courageous leader. She became mayor of Maidan Shar in Afghanistan’s Wardak province at the age of 26. It’s a deeply conservative area: support for the Taliban is so widespread that many major highways are not safe for civilians. On her first day at work, her office was mobbed by angry men brandishing sticks and rocks. Ghafari was forced to flee and her mayoral term was delayed – but she returned to office nine months later. She has survived six assasination attempts and continues to battle for educational and economic rights for women in Afghanistan. “I am the mayor of a province where people still don’t believe women should take part in society. It’s really dangerous and full of problems… But I’m in love with my job.” Ghafari was recognised as an International Woman of Courage by the US Secretary of State in October.

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Ana Brnabić SERBIA’S FIRST FEMALE – AND FIRST GAY – PRIME MINISTER, WHO’S ENCOUR AGING TOLER ANCE IN A CONSERVATIVE NATION in the corridors of power, representation matters. According to Andrew Reynolds’ book The Children of Harvey Milk, LGBT+ leaders not only have a positive effect on their community but also on wider society. Ana Brnabić broke through two glass ceilings when she took office as prime minister of Serbia in 2017, as the first woman to hold this position as well as the first gay person. She was a surprise choice for the traditionally conservative Balkan nation, where 65 per cent of people believe that homosexuality is an illness and 78 per cent think that homosexuality should not be expressed outside the home. Heralding a new era of leadership and serving as proof of increasing tolerance, she said: “Serbia is changing and changing --------fast, and if you will, I am part of that change.” “She was a surprise Brnabić, a University of Hull graduate, is working towards choice for the raising living standards across Serbia, reducing the country’s traditionally budget deficit (it’s now one of seven countries to have set aside conservative Balkan more than 10 per cent of GDP) and joining the EU in 2025.

nation, where 65% of people believe that homosexuality is an illness”

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Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton THE FIRE SERVICE LEADER SHOWING THAT SUCCESS ISN’T DETERMINED BY WHERE YOU COME FROM class privilege remains deeply entrenched in corporate Britain. The government’s latest State of the Nation report on social mobility found that those from better-off backgrounds are almost 80 per cent more likely to land a top job than their working-class peers – an effect known as the “sticky ceiling”. “If we want a meritocracy, we need to recognise that so many people are yards behind the start line. That’s not a fair race,” says Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, chief fire officer at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and author of The Heat of the Moment. Cohen-Hatton is a rare example of someone who has risen to the top of her profession, despite her background. She grew up in Newport in Wales but ended up living on the streets when she was 15 after her father passed away and her relationship with her mother broke down. In an attempt to turn her life around, she started selling The Big Issue and eventually scraped enough money together to put down a deposit on a tiny rented flat. She went on to join the fire service and is now one of just six female fire chiefs in the country – and the youngest. “I didn’t need a degree or formal qualifications to join the fire service: they hired me on the strength of who they believed I could be,” she says.

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Jack Dorsey THE BIG-TECH CEO WHO’S ADOPTED A “LIFE’S TOO SHORT” MENTALITY earlier this year, The Wellcome Trust called on business leaders to help fund research into COVID-19 vaccines, treatment and testing, describing it as “the best investment your business can make” and “the world’s best exit strategy” for tackling coronavirus. For many leaders, this pandemic has forced a reckoning between profit and social purpose. Jack Dorsey, the 44-year-old co-founder of Twitter, seized the moment to make his first major foray into philanthropy, announcing that he will devote $1bn of his equity in payment startup Square – or about 28 per cent of his total wealth – to a COVID-19 relief fund. And, for the sake of transparency, he’s detailing every donation in a publicly available Google spreadsheet. Any remaining money will be funnelled into supporting education for girls and universal basic income. “Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime,” he tweeted. “I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life’s too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.” It’s by far the biggest single donation to tackling COVID-19, with Fortune including Dorsey in its list of the “World’s 25 Greatest Leaders: Heroes of the pandemic”.

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Svetlana Tik hanovskaya BELARUS’S ACCIDENTAL LEADER, WHO HAS BECOME THE EMBODIMENT OF HOPE many people find themselves thrust into leadership positions with little preparation. In the COVID-19 “The former crisis, many managers have had to step suddenly English teacher into unfamiliar roles. But Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s was catapulted to experiences take “accidental leadership” to a whole political stardom new level. The former English teacher was catapulted in Belarus earlier to political stardom in Belarus earlier this year when this year when she she stepped into the role of opposition leader and stepped into the role attempted to unseat Alexander Lukashenko, the man known as “Europe’s last dictator”. of opposition leader” Tikhanovskaya was a reluctant challenger. She was initially a stand-in for her husband, a popular blogger barred from running and jailed by the authorities, and put herself forward out of concern for the people of Belarus. The political novice quickly became a national hero, with tens of thousands rallying to support her bid. In defiance of Lukashenko, who said “our constitution is not for a woman… and our society is not mature enough to vote for a woman”, Tikhanovskaya united with two female campaigners, Veronika Tsepkalo and Maria Kolesnikova, helping to transform the image of the country’s male-dominated politics. Currently living in exile in Lithuania, Tikhanovskaya refuses to accept Lukashenko’s claim to victory in a poll marred by vote-rigging. She describes herself as the country’s “chosen president”. “I have become the embodiment of people’s hope, their longing for change,” she says. ---------

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Joe Biden & Kamala Harris (and watch out for Jason Gr umet) THE INCOMING US PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT TRYING TO BUILD BRIDGES – AND TRUST there’s no more obvious test of leadership than the one facing the incoming US president and vice-president. In a fractured America, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will – we hope – start to find common ground, especially in how they try to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. It was striking that in the president-elect’s first speech he said: “I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did”. Kamala Harris will bring a distinctive style of leadership. illustrated when, as vice-presidential nominee, she chose the Secret Service codename “Pioneer”. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in Oakland, near San Francisco, Harris entered politics in 2003 and has spent the best part of two decades in public life notching up firsts: the first black woman to be elected district attorney in California history; the first woman to be California’s attorney general; the first IndianAmerican senator; and now the first woman elected as vicepresident. When asked by a reporter what her motto was, she responded by quoting her mother: “You may be the first, but make sure you’re not the last.” A final note about a lesserknown figure. Jason Grumet (left) is notable as the founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which promotes bipartisan solutions to the country’s most intractable public policy challenges. That feels like a good way forward...

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Interview

MARK. HIS WORDS Meet Lord Mark Price, CMI’s new president. The son of a small business owner, Mark initially wanted to be a professional golfer but started his career at John Lewis & Partners. He spent 34 years there, eventually becoming managing director of Waitrose. Today, he’s the founder of WorkL, a technology startup that uses data to throw light on the issues around employee engagement. Mark is driven by the principles of fairness, equality and healthy competition. He is a firm believer in the value of self-reflection, which he practises every day. In this interview with CMI’s chief executive, he talks about his life and management philosophy, as well as the issues raised by CMI’s recent ‘Management Transformed’ study --------- -- - -

Interview_Ann Francke OBE

Photography_Will Amlot M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 39


F OR M AT I V E I N F LU E NC E S & M A N AGE M E N T PH I L O S OPH Y WOR K H AR D, PL AY H AR D —

“my dear old dad had a wholesale business and from the youngest age I remember working: unloading lorries, getting out to visit customers, answering the phone. It imbued in me from the very earliest stage that you get up and you get to work. “As a youngster, I loved sports. I played football for Crewe Alexandra Juniors and for my school. I played rugby too, and I was a reasonably good golfer. In fact, I wanted to be a pro golfer. “So, of course, when I entered the business world, I loved competing, competing against other departments within the John Lewis partnership, competing against other competitors, winning market share. That gave me a real buzz.” EV ERY BODY’S OPIN ION M ATTERS —

YOU ’ R E N E VE R TH E

FINISHED ARTICLE

“my dad was a preacher at the weekends, and he taught me some important lessons about everybody being equal. Nobody’s better than anybody else, so you should respect everybody’s point of view. That was a great training for when I went into the John Lewis partnership, which is owned by everybody in the business. “It’s really important to listen to everybody’s point of view. It’s always legitimate because it’s born from their experience. “I suppose those things combined have really driven my approach and my belief that a decentralised model of management helps the individual flourish, provided they have the confidence to do it, the support to do it, and the training to do it.”

“Throughout my business life, every night, I write a short diary entry about what I got wrong and right, and what I’ve learned. I have never felt that I’m the finished article. An approach that might have worked a week ago is not necessarily the best approach. I constantly reflect on the circumstances around my actions and decisions.”

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“My approach is about working hard, continually learning, enjoying being competitive, delegating responsibility and understanding that every individual is different and has their own point of view”


C OM M U N IC AT ION, T R A NSF O R M E D “the lesson i learned from 34 years in the John Lewis partnership was that sharing information is the single most important thing to do to help people feel engaged. “And at the moment it’s almost impossible to overcommunicate. “I’m sure some people will say, ‘My goodness, there’s a lot of Zoom calls and there’s a lot of communication’, but what CMI’s ‘Management Transformed’ study shows is a peak of people at the moment feeling better informed and better looked after. They feel more empowered than they ever have. “That’s because managers have had to change their approach. Managers have had to trust people to get on with their jobs remotely. They’ve had to give people the information they need to do those jobs.” HOW MAN Y PEOPLE SHOU LD A MANAGER MANAGE? —

HOW C A N L E A DE R S L O O K A F T E R T H E W E L L BE I NG O F E V E RY B O DY, NO T J U S T T H E I R DI R E C T R E P O R T S ? “the job of management is to make sure that the people in their charge are very clear on their task; they have to give people the information and the resources they need to complete that task in the most efficient way. Managers also need to make sure that people are at the top of their game, and if they’re suffering in some way – mentally, physically or financially – they help them on an individual basis. “That’s very different from the leadership of an organisation. What the leadership has to do is to set a direction. “As a leader, you should send very tangible and visible signals that you’re going to hold your management accountable for the wellbeing of the workforce. > M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 4 1


G I V E A N D TA K E

“W hat I tend to do is send somebody an email saying, ‘Look, I’m interested in getting this information. Let me know when you can get it back to me’, rather than saying ‘I need this by 10am tomorrow’.”

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“The example you set is important. Are you communicating with people at 9pm saying, ‘I demand to have these numbers before you go to bed’? Instead, set up a regime where you make it clear that people should be doing what they need to do in order to get through this crisis without burning out.” “Now, there are occasions when you do need the information quickly and, therefore, you’ve got to say, ‘Look, I’m really sorry to disturb you, I know you won’t be sitting there twiddling your thumbs, but I need this information pretty quickly, can you help out?’ “It’s about being with the individual. It’s about people knowing when they’re safe as opposed to feeling that somebody can get to them at any time.” BU I LDI NG A CU LT U R E OF ENGAGEM EN T —

cmi’s ‘management transformed’ study found that 49 per cent of senior leaders say their employees have been more engaged during the COVID-19 crisis. But only 27 per cent of employees themselves said they felt more engaged. How can we close the gap between the perceptions of senior leaders and the actual feelings of employees? “My view of engagement is that it rests on a number of things. People are engaged when: • They’re paid fairly; • They get recognition when they do something well; • They have the information to do their job well; • They have the context to understand their role within the organisation and why their part of the jigsaw is important; • They feel trusted and respected; • They have the resources to do their job; • They feel that the organisation genuinely cares for their wellbeing (‘If it doesn’t, why should I care for it?’); • They feel pride for the organisation; • They have a good relationship with their line manager; and • They feel the organisation is helping their career. “The way you change a culture is by demonstrating, every day, your new values. Every manager has to follow that through. It doesn’t take six months. It takes years of repetition. “You have to make sure that your immediate group of ten really embodies what you want --------to do; and they have to make sure their group “The best description of ten do the same, and then their group of ten, of culture I ever and their group of ten... That’s why it takes time. heard was that it’s “And people have got to be prepared to call the sediment of each other out when the culture isn’t being demonstrated. It starts with clear vision and past transactions” communication from the top down. > M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 4 3


FINDING THE RIGHT FIT

“I was prepared to lose really high performers to bring about cultural change. What’s interesting is that the people who succeeded them turned out to be equally high performers, but also had the cultural fit. That’s how you create the culture, because people see that you’re not prepared to tolerate when it doesn’t fit. “I’ve always believed that 80 per cent of management and leadership is picking the right people around you. The rest is very simple.”

“Culture trumps other abilities. During my time running Waitrose, if somebody didn’t fit, then I would have a conversation with them and explain that what they were doing didn’t fit with our cultural values. And if the behaviour was repeated, then I would say to them that they had great skills and talents but those skills and talents didn’t fit with the organisation. And I would lose them.”

SKILLS FOR SENIOR LEADERSHIP —

“the more senior you become in a business, the more you need to learn skills around wooing and influencing, and the less you just simply tell people what to do. In fact, that’s the last avenue you ever use, and normally you only ever use that in a crisis. “Also, we’re terrible at recognition in the UK. On average, we praise people or thank people for a job well done once every four months. Yet we criticise either overtly or subtly twice a week.”

MANAGER OR MENTOR? —

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Watch Ann’s full conversation with Mark here

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“people talk about good management, but they never really say what good management is. “To a large extent, it’s about continual coaching, about encouraging individuals to share an idea or ask for feedback or be prepared to listen to an alternative point of view. “I’ve always been a great believer in encouraging people to develop as they go. Once you get to, say, your early 40s and somebody says, ‘I’m sorry, this --------job’s going’, it’s almost too late to retrain. “I would encourage “I would encourage managers now in managers now in their 20s and 30s to think, ‘What more their 20s and 30s can I learn? What don’t I know that I could to think, ‘What learn?’ You’ve got to keep challenging yourself, keep learning.” more can I learn?’”


Mark in his role as a British trade minister at the start of a European foreign affairs meeting in Brussels in November 2016

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That special something

HOW TO PRESERV E YOUR ORGANISATION’S CULTURE IN A CONTACT-FREE WORLD Millions of people are WFH. Interactions are limited, even if you’re back in a workplace. New recruits have never met any of their colleagues. How do we keep our organisations’ culture alive in this strange, contact-free, sanitised world? We found people with answers... --------Words_Andrew Saunders

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you wanted to paint a picture of a knowledge-economy business, it’d look a lot like Perspectum. As a spin-out from the University of Oxford, this medtech company is tackling some of the world’s biggest healthcare issues. Its 200+ employees have a total of 41 nationalities between them, and the gender split is 60:40 female to male. Almost a quarter of the team has a PhD; close to half have master’s degrees. Early in the first lockdown, one member of the Perspectum team – a young South Korean researcher – was facing a family issue. While she was doing fine, thousands of miles away, her parents were growing increasingly anxious about their daughter’s wellbeing because she was unable to travel home. “She was isolated from her family – she could have been in prison for all they knew,” recalls Dr Rajarshi Banerjee, Perspectum’s CEO, who is known to all as ‘Banjo’. So Banerjee, a former hospital doctor, decided to FaceTime her family. “It was culturally very important to them that the company’s CEO and senior management team were sponsoring her and to know that she was being very well looked after,” he says. “It was the best thing we could do.” The story ended up on ITV News, and the clip provided a further comfort to the anxious parents. That moment has also become a cultural touchstone for Perspectum. “We are a caring organisation with a caring culture, and the first people you have to care about are your own people,” says Banerjee. “If you’re a healthcare company and you want to embed it into your culture that people give a damn, then it’s important that people really do give a damn.” All over the world in 2020, as workforces have dispersed and the usual management and communications channels have been thrown into disarray, organisations have been grappling with the culture question: how do you maintain and nurture the secret sauce that has got you so far? Banerjee is firmly of the belief that remote working doesn’t mean an organisation has to lose its soul. --------A quick rewind about his company: Perspectum specialises in groundbreaking high-tech diagnostic “We are a caring scans for chronic conditions such as liver disease organisation with a (it’s currently carrying out the world’s largest study caring culture, and into the whole-body effects of ‘long COVID’ – see the first people you page 43). Put simply, Perspectum uses artificial have to care about intelligence to interpret MRI organ scans in new, are your own people” better and faster ways. Its LiverScan technology DR RAJARSHI BANERJEE can replace slow, invasive and uncomfortable liver 48 — WIN TER 2020


biopsies with a straightforward, pain-free and quicker MRI scan. It’s the only such technology currently approved by the US regulator, the FDA. Culture is a crucial component of sustainable success in a market that spans health and technolog y, says Banerjee. “Healthcare and tech businesses are traditionally very different: healthcare has very tight regulatory processes but is not always very innovative. Tech is super innovative, but often not well regulated.” The right culture for a hybrid like Perspectum combines the best of both worlds – the innovation of tech plus the regulation of health – and provides the company with a crucial competitive edge. As Banerjee observes, even the world’s biggest companies struggle to blend innovation with regulation when dealing with people’s health. “That’s why it’s difficult when companies like Apple and Google try to get into healthcare.”

Pre-COVID, Banerjee’s children put in occasional appearances at the office

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T H E U LT I M AT E T E S T O F C O R P O R AT E C U LT U R E

The onset of COVID-19 presented an immediate test of organisations’ cultural resilience. Millions of employees were packed off to work from home. Even when people started to head back to their workplaces, screens were – literally – put up to prevent normal human contact. The everyday interactions that instil and reinforce an organisation’s culture were quickly lost. MVF Global leads on its culture. Headquartered in an edgy warehouse in north London, the digital marketing agency has featured in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For ranking every year since 2013, and this year made the top ten. “Culture is the glue that binds us together. It’s an incredibly important part of everything we do,” says chief operating officer Andrew Harkness. “We’re a fast-paced, dynamic business and we need our people to invest in discretionary effort and bring their best to work every day.” The company has a high proportion of young first- and second-jobbers among its 450 employees, and before the pandemic hit MVF had forged a work-hard, play-hard culture and a high-energy, high-performance environment. Regular get-togethers and team-building sessions in and out of the office built towards the annual highlight for hitting targets: a trip to the legendary party island of Ibiza for a weekend of company-sponsored sun, fun, clubbing and sangria. This sociable, collective culture was crucial when lockdown was imposed in the UK, says Harkness. It meant the team was together for a lightning-fast pivot to remote working at the start of lockdown. “We had our first Gold Command meeting on a Thursday, and by Friday we’d sent everybody home. It was our culture that gave us the confidence to make that move.” They’ve kept it going through the crisis, too. If the team can’t go to Ibiza, bring Ibiza to the team. On regular Thursdays between 5pm and 6pm, one of the MVF Global wannabe party DJs – Harkness among them – performs a Ibiza livestream set for colleagues, online. “We hosted at least ten of them --------over the summer,” Harkness says. “It really helped people bond and deliver outstanding results.” “Culture is the glue

that binds us together. It’s an incredibly important part of everything we do” ANDREW HARKNESS

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S T R AT E G I E S FO R G O I N G B E YO N D T H E N E W N O R M A L

As the marathon crisis continues, and the “new normal” becomes the “normal normal”, leaders and managers will have to find ways to maintain their culture. This will be hard, says Bruce Daisley, former European VP at Twitter, self-described workplace


culture enthusiast and bestselling author of Eat Sleep Work Repeat and The Joy of Work . “At the start [of the pandemic] we all naturally went into a heightened productivity mode – that’s what happens when circumstances change, because we’re paying more attention. But there’s a big difference between finishing work and it’s still bright and sunny outside, and finishing work when it’s dark and you’re worried because the heating’s been on all day. I think the ‘Keep calm and carry on’ spirit of the spring will be increasingly difficult to access in Q4.” S O W H E R E S H O U LD LE A D E RS A N D M A N AG E RS B E FO C U S I N G A S T H E Y T RY TO K E E P T H E I R C U LT U R E A L I V E OV E R T H E L O N G T E R M ?

culture is indefinable. First, it’s important to recognise that culture isn’t always the product of deliberate thought. “Quite often, culture was a plate of sandwiches and a room full of laughing people,” says Daisley. “We didn’t necessarily know how we did it, but we knew it when we saw it.” An issue with translating real-world culture into this contact-free environment is that what worked before was often serendipitous, poorly understood and hard to replicate. Leaders should bear this in mind as the novelty of working from home starts to wear thin. onboarding. It’s hard enough with those who have already been exposed to your culture, but starting from scratch with contact-free new staffers will be even harder. MVF has continued to hire during the pandemic – and the learning curve has been steep, says Harkness. “The onboarding experience is really important,” he says. “We put a lot of energy and attention into making it as good as possible.” Instead of sitting next to their ‘buddy’ in the office, new joiners have a permanently open Zoom session with them instead, where they can ask all the questions that everyone needs to ask in the early days of a new role. And there are virtual ‘Meet the directors’ sessions to introduce new team members and company leaders. “It’s an opportunity to find some common interests and learn a little more about each other,” he says. training. This is another milestone when you’re embedding culture. MVF has taken its training programme for new staff members, called Start Smart, fully online. “It’s a two-week intensive

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“Q uite often, culture was a plate of sandwiches and a room full of laughing people” BRUCE DAISLEY

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 5 1


programme that every new MVFer goes through,” Harkness says. Sessions are now streamed live online, but also recorded so that they can be consumed later. It’s available online so even old hands can dip in for a refresher. “It’s become a really valuable resource for everyone,” he adds. One recent contact-free joiner described the whole process as the best onboarding experience she’d ever had, Harkness explains. accessible leadership. In turbulent times, a little empathy goes a long way, especially online. At Perspectum, the leadership team has found that sharing more than just their professional selves with colleagues has helped to break down barriers and build virtual togetherness. One big hit has been the weekly ‘Dear diary’ blog, written by different senior managers, in which they share not only their work thoughts but also the trials and tribulations of everyday life. “It’s personal – not just about who you’ve spoken to at work and what you’ve done, but maybe about the fact that you’re thinking home-schooling sucks, or that you’re fed up because the dog has eaten all the toilet roll. It encourages people to be real with each other and gives them permission to say, ‘Be nice to me, I’m having a bad day’ when they need to,” says head of HR Aimee Lockley. cross-functional communication. Perspectum holds two company meetings per week, with a rota that gives each department a chance to update the rest of the company on what they’ve been doing. The aim is to keep everyone engaged. morale. Keeping spirits up is as important as managing performance. “Teams perform best when they go from ‘I’ to ‘we’, and that requires intentional acts of community-building and leaders who create experiences for others,” says Bruce Daisley.

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“It encourages people to be real with each other and gives them permission to say, ‘Be nice to me’” AIMEE LOCKLEY

52 — WIN TER 2020

build on existing communities. Daisley says that, chances are, somewhere in your organisation, communities are already forming – be they team chats, specific interest groups or even former pub-goers who have replaced Friday drinks with Friday Zoom drinks. As a leader, your job is not to try and come up with your own ‘better’ ideas but to find the ones that are working already and build on them. “Ask the team, canvass their opinion,” he advises. “Take something the company is already doing, really lean into it and celebrate it. The great thing about doing that is that it feels organic and fosters the sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.” At Perspectum, they have Zoom rooms themed around shared non-work interests such as sports and hobbies, all with the aim of replicating the kind of informal conversation that would normally take place between colleagues in person.


HOW PE R SPE C T U M L AU NC H E D T H E WOR L D ’S L A RGE S T ‘L ONG C OV I D ’ S T U DY what should a healthcare startup wanting to make a difference during the pandemic do for the best? That was the question facing Perspectum CEO Rajarshi Banerjee back in the spring, and he decided that as a specialist on long-term conditions such as liver disease and diabetes, that’s where the company’s COVID-19 response should be focused. “Any doctor will tell you that diagnosing COVID is actually pretty easy. But no one knew what happens to people after they have COVID and after they’ve left hospital,” he says. And so the firm’s groundbreaking COVERSCAN study into the chronic effects of the disease – what has come to be known as ‘long COVID’ – was born. Shepherded through the stringent design, review and ethics processes required for any such undertaking in record time, the study was launched in April and proved an immediate hit with patients. “It just went viral,” Banerjee says. “Now we’re up to 250 patients. It’s the world’s largest study into long COVID by a factor of four.” Recently accepted by the World Health Organization as a distinct medical condition of its own, the symptoms of long COVID include breathlessness, chest pain and fatigue, and it is likely to become a significant and fast-growing healthcare problem. “About 20 per cent of the UK will have been infected by coronavirus by the end of this year, and about five to ten per cent of those will show symptoms of long COVID. How are we going to look after those people?” The goal of COVERSCAN is to establish exactly what damage is caused by long COVID, to which parts of the body. Using whole-body MRI scans analysed by artificial intelligence, the health of six major organs is assessed – the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen. Patients will be tracked for a period of 24 months to build up a picture of the real impact of COVID-19 on those organs and to help plan for the long-term healthcare needs of sufferers. It’s non-invasive, fast and low-risk, says Banerjee. Getting the study going was not without its issues for a firm with no established track record in the field. “We got a lot of resistance from the grant community,” says Banerjee. “They said, ‘Who are these upstarts doing this stuff?’” But he became a healthcare entrepreneur to do precisely this type of work. “The reason I set up the company is the same reason no hospital could have done COVERSCAN. It’s the speed, and the fact that the control of it is in young hands. I’m 43, and you don’t get to work on these kinds of studies as a 43-year-old academic.”

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 5 3


Anywhere leadership

7 NEW RULES FOR MANAGING A HY BRID WORKFORCE As we slowly head back to our changed workplaces and offices, our people will expect managers and leaders to have learned lessons from COVID-19. But have we? And if so, are they the right ones? We think these are the main takeaways... --------Words_Seb Murray and Matthew Rock

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 5 5


i suppose there’s a chance that, come the spring of 2021, everything will just return to normal. COVID vaccines will be rolled out. City centres will fill up. Trains, skies and motorways will clog up. Pret will again run out of those nice duck rolls by midday. But then that seems pretty unlikely. “I think what we have learned this year is that we had a dysfunctional relationship with our workplaces,” says Bruce Daisley, a former Twitter executive and now a big-time business podcaster. “Commuting for an hour each way to sit at your desk answering emails – in hindsight that looks like an act of collective lunacy.” Deloitte research into employees across seven European countries suggests that more than 100 million people in Europe have made the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 crisis, with nearly 45 million doing so for the first time. Many are not rushing to return to the office. Instead, employers are embracing “hybrid working”, blending on-site and off-site approaches. CMI’s ‘Management Transformed’ project has brought many of the management and leadership challenges that flow from this to the surface. To support that study, we’ve talked to a group of forwardthinking leaders about the emerging norms that they’re applying. What’s apparent is that managers need to move quickly. Tim Oldman, chief executive of the productivity thinktank Leesman, warns of “sentiment drift” as the months wear on and employees struggle with fatigue, ever-changing rules, mental health issues and, often, an inability to switch off. “[Employees will be] expecting their employers to take the opportunity to make meaningful changes to the office environment that reflect their newly learned workstyle,” he says. “Inaction from employers now would be hugely harmful.” And it won’t be easy. Leaders have a wildly diverse set of new skills to acquire: empathetic listening; cameras on versus cameras off in online meetings; whether to appoint a director of remote working (yes, this is apparently a thing). However you decide to move forward, investing time and effort now will pay dividends in the future, because the new normal is almost bound to involve more remote working and less contact time in the office, says Daisley. So what are the new management behaviours that will be required? We’ve taken a deep dive into the future…

56 — WIN TER 2020


M ANAGING BY OUTCOMES BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE

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“Productivity has traditionally been measured by how many hours people worked” SHIVANI MAITRA, DELOITTE

before COVID-19, it was standard practice for management consultants to work the odd Friday from home. But when Britain went into lockdown in March 2020, consultants at Deloitte had to adopt remote working overnight. This meant allowing employees to set their own hours and schedules around family and other commitments. In these circumstances, it can be hard for managers and leaders to ensure accountability and still monitor performance. “Productivity has traditionally been measured by how many hours people worked,” says Shivani Maitra, Deloitte’s global human capital growth leader. Remote working is now changing the definition of productivity, she says. “At Deloitte, we’ve adopted a more outcome-focused rather than output-focused approach.” And this is having positive results. The crisis has prompted greater technology adoption which, in turn, has made it easier for physically dispersed teams to collaborate across functional areas. With greater diversity of thought has come improved creativity. “The ideas generated by these teams have 166 per cent greater appeal with clients than those teams who work on ideas alone,” says Maitra.

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 5 7


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“Trust people to design their lifestyles. Work from anywhere is a tool to deepen, not reduce, trust across teams” JAMES LODUCA, TWITTER

LEAN IN ON TRUST, IT’S THE BEDROCK OF HY BRID WORKING one of the big fears going into lockdown was that employees would run wild. The physical workplace had become an agent of control; without it, managers feared performance and productivity would slump. In many cases, the opposite has been the case. Twitter is one company that, in the words of Karen Mangia, has “leaned in on trust”. In her new book Working from Home, she quotes James Loduca, director of global inclusion and diversity at Twitter. “Trust people to design their lifestyles,” he says. “Work from anywhere is a tool to deepen, not reduce, trust across teams.” It’s a striking phrase. The law firm Clyde & Co is also going long on trust and embracing new ways of working. “One might have thought people could become complacent; out of sight, out of mind,” says Sophie Wakenell, its global head of operational projects and change. Yet, because staff can’t make a physical impression, “people are perhaps putting in more effort to show they are still there”. Output among fee-earners has increased since the law firm shifted to hybrid working, driven also by a rise in billable hours. Critically, managers should avoid the temptation to micro-manage. “The less control people have in their jobs, the more they feel exhausted and estranged,” says Daisley. “If we make people feel trusted and autonomous, it enables them to do their best work.” Sadly, Paul Armstrong, an emerging technology adviser with the consultancy Here/ Forth, reports that he’s seen four times the usual amount of surveillance software being purchased in the pandemic. “It’s quite insidious,” he says. 58 — WIN TER 2020


under a hybrid model, managers need to understand which type of work is more effective – at home (individual, transactional) or in the office (collaborative, innovative) – and then build systems that play to the strengths of each. At Clyde & Co, they have great collaborative technology but many people are coming in to the office in order to collaborate with colleagues. Up to 20 per cent of the workforce comes in at any one time, says Wakenell. Sure, some of this is for reviewing documents (which can be cumbersome online) but a lot of it is for brainstorming sessions where a whiteboard, Post-it notes and a bit of good old-fashioned spontaneity get the juices flowing. Home offices, by contrast, can be great for what Georgetown University professor Cal Newport calls “deep work”. “Concentration was largely absent from the open-plan office,” says Daisley. “Remember wondering around looking for a quiet spot for a phone call, or to review a document? We have to be honest about that frustration.” Workforce futurist Andrew Spence says there is “no silver bullet” when it comes to hybrid working. Instead, managers must start gathering relevant data and crunching the numbers. The numbers suggest that the office remains an important part of the mix. A company called Free Office Finder has found that the world’s top tech companies are dramatically increasing their office footprint. Netflix is reportedly going to triple its office space in London. Google is said to be leasing an additional 70,000 sq ft of workspace in London. Amazon recently acquired the Taylor flagship building in midtown Manhattan. --------Many companies insist the office is still crucial for attracting “Concentration was talent, onboarding, networking, fostering collaboration and largely absent from catalysing innovation, which will all be crucial for companies as they look to recover from the ongoing crisis. the open-plan office. Organisations are also experimenting with office formats. Remember wondering Some are looking at satellite spaces closer to employees’ homes, around looking for saving time and money otherwise lost to the dreaded commute. a quiet spot for a This would also offer the chance to recreate that sense of phone call, or to community so sorely missed during lockdown. Big, open, review a document?” “collaborative” spaces are likely to be common. BRUCE DAISLEY “We closed our office ahead of the government guidance because we could see the infection numbers rising and we knew what it meant,” says Rajarshi Banerjee, founder of medtech company Perspectum. Now, with access managed according to local virus levels, the office is more of a perk than a workplace. “It’s like a gym membership – it’s there if you want it.”

WORK IS NO LONGER W HERE YOU GO, IT’S W H AT YOU DO

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 59


FOCUS ON WORKFORCE PLANNING AND MIDDLE M ANAGER ENGAGEMENT

hybrid working demands pretty intense workforce planning. At Clyde & Co, Wakenell reports that managers are having to do more co-ordination with teams that come into the office, through the firm’s online booking system. Uptake of office desks is of course affected by external factors such as local lockdowns, but Wakenell wants to make sure that hybrid working doesn’t create dividing --------lines between people in the office and those at home. “Remote work should not feel like a lesser experience,” she says. “The centre is where your One way to avoid this is through learning and development. organisation needs to focus, Clyde & Co aims to make sure that “people feel connected to us even if you want to develop from a distance and that they stay engaged and feel supported. We a sustainable culture make sure line managers don’t forget to have career conversations of engagement, high with someone just because they are working from home.” performance and trust” This is particularly important for middle managers, says KAREN MANGIA Karen Mangia. “The real crux of the work-from-home culture falls on the shoulders of those who are caught in the middle – those who are asked to monitor and supervise a workforce they can’t see, while managing up to a leadership team that might not really understand. “The centre is where your organisation needs to focus, if you want to develop a sustainable culture of engagement, high performance and trust.” Mangia adds that “for middle managers to be successful, they have to own the process”. They also need the very best training and support. “I’m talking about innovative training programmes: programmes designed to help people remotely manage both up and down, programmes built around effective video communications, programmes assembled around mindfulness and wellbeing during this global pandemic. How else can managers battle their own burnout and recognise the signs in members of their teams?” 60 — WIN TER 2020


LISTEN INTENTLY, THEN COMMUNICATE PERSONALLY

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“Remote workers don’t have the chance to get informal praise in the corridor after a meeting” DANIEL SANCHEZ REINA, GARTNER

when the world went into lockdown, the best managers started listening. As we move towards widespread hybrid working, this process of active listening needs to continue. While offices can impose a certain workforce conformity, hybrid working throws into relief an individual’s personal circumstances. People take the lead in designing their own working lives. It’s no surprise that companies such as Clyde & Co have been assiduous in running internal employee surveys. As the international executive coach Peter Ivanov says, “the most basic and powerful way to connect with another person is to just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we can ever give to each other is our attention.” Listening is a distinct management skill, and it may require training. On an individual level, Ivanov recommends these phrases to use for generous listening: • That’s a great idea! • Can you talk more about that? • What would that make possible? • What else? • What would that allow? • Help me understand...

Hand in hand with listening comes communication. All the emerging evidence suggests that this must be personalised, regular and done with positive intent. The remote-working champion Lisette Sutherland recommends the following: • Use video regularly, especially for meetings. Video is great for sending complex information, she says. A video message can be much more effective than email. Many managers are also using audio or text messages. • A lways have multiple communication channels. Certain individuals will respond better to different channels. • Make it easy to move from asynchronous modes (email or text) to live ones (phone or video). • A gree on the tools you’re going to use and be disciplined about using them. Sutherland warns that often, in remote teams, people will just start using whatever tools they like the best. But, she says, communication works best when a team agrees on a tool and the etiquette around it. And finally, don’t forget to recognise individual achievements. “Human beings have an innate need for achievement, status and affiliation,” says Daniel Sanchez Reina, a research director at Gartner. “But remote workers don’t have the chance to get informal praise in the corridor after a meeting.” Managers need to give employees more recognition for achievements in a crisis in order to combat their heightened anxiety and uncertainty. M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 61


BE CONSTANTLY ATTENTIV E TO EMPLOY EE W ELLBEING

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“It’s not about offering a tokenistic gym pass; wellbeing has to be embedded into everyday communication” SHIVANI MAITRA, DELOITTE

62 — WIN TER 2020

one of the most vivid phrases in CMI’s recent ‘Management Transformed’ study came from Carl Ennis, GB & Ireland CEO at Siemens. Talking about remote working, he recalled that “one colleague said it was a bit like ‘sleeping in the office’ rather than working from home”. “The thing that companies and employees have to watch out for is the ‘just one more syndrome’,” says Karen Mangia. “Whether it’s just one more task, one more email, one more meeting, or one more episode on Netflix, the ‘just one more syndrome’ is just not sustainable.” According to mental health charity Mind, more than half of adults said their mental health worsened during lockdown, an effect driven in part by health concerns and loneliness. Many companies have chosen to invest in an employee assistance hotline, especially given rising concerns over domestic abuse and bereavement. Anna Purchas, KPMG’s UK head of people, says the company is “placing extra focus on mental wellbeing”. Special attention is being given to younger recruits who need more support and who often live in shared accommodation. KPMG has introduced a “buddy network” where new hires are assigned a colleague to help them settle in. The company also ran a summit for some 60,000 global employees who got advice from experts on taking charge of their own mental health and supporting others. At Deloitte, they’ve ramped up mental health support, including making the leadership more available to have open conversations about how staff are feeling. “It’s not about offering a tokenistic gym pass; wellbeing has to be embedded into everyday communication,” says Maitra.


YOU’LL H AV E TO RUN MEETINGS DIFFERENTLY perhaps nothing has changed more during the crisis than meetings. No one now needs reminding to turn off the mute button when they want to speak. But beneath the tech details, some deep changes are taking place. At consulting company Accenture, three-hour meetings used to be the norm, but now they’re obsolete. Instead, notes Karen Mangia in Working from Home, those customer strategy sessions have been broken down into a series of five 90-minute meetings over the course of a week. KPMG is encouraging staff to take conference calls on walks. This is to combat “the monotony of sitting in the same chair every day, staring at a screen for potentially months as the days get shorter,” says Purchas. In many companies there is a lively debate about whether to impose a cameras-on or cameras-off rule. Cameras on ensures that people are visible; cameras off ensures that people occasionally leave the room. In Working from Home , Mangia opens up an interesting discussion about whether meetings should be recorded. She quotes Bari Baumgardner, founder of Sage Event Management, who insists that events shouldn’t be recorded. “If you come to an in-person event and you miss a session because you step out to take a call or you show up late, you don’t get access to that session.” Harsh, possibly, but it would certainly focus the mind. ---------

“If you come to an in-person event, and you miss a session because you step out to take a call or you show up late, you don’t get access to that session” BARI BAUMGARDNER, SAGE EVENT MANAGEMENT

RECOMMENDED READING WORKING FROM HOME by Karen Mangia WORK TOGETHER ANYWHERE by Lisette Sutherland & K Janene-Nelson POWER TEAMS BEYOND BORDERS by Peter Ivanov MANAGEMENT TRANSFORMED by CMI M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 63


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rethink

FIV E STORIES OF LIV ES TR ANSFORMED BY UPSKILLING If you find yourself having to make a personal pivot in 2021, look to these people for inspiration... Words_Matthew Jenkin

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 65


“A L O T O F T H E O R G A N I S AT I ONA L SKILLS I LEARNED I N T H E NAV Y W E R E B I G C R O S S OV E R S TO THIS JOB”

66 — WIN TER 2020


rethink

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Rebecca Brown decided to leave the Royal Navy two years ago, and although she was excited about life outside the forces, she was nervous about the future and unsure what she wanted to do next when her service came to an end in September 2020. After all, she’d been working as a watch officer for ten years and had been told she’d struggle to find stable work once she’d returned to civilian life. Now, though, she has planted her feet firmly on the ground, working as the general manager of a large dairy farm near the village of Port William, south-west Scotland. It’s a dramatic change from the unpredictable life in the forces, but Rebecca always had an interest in agriculture (her dad was

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a farmer). She just didn’t think she had the skillset to do it. She found, however, that the skills she had learned in the Navy – including the Level 7 CMI diploma in strategic management – made her a desirable candidate for her role with The Dourie Farming Company. The basics of farming were something she could learn on the job. Rebecca was supported by Ruralink, which matches land-based businesses with ex-military personnel. The 34-year-old explains: “A lot of the organisational skills I learned in the Navy, a lot of the discipline, the timekeeping, and the people management skills, the ability to see the bigger picture – those were the big crossovers to this job.”

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 67


“I T ’S PAY I NG O F F NOW A N D S TA R T I NG T O G A I N T R AC T I ON ”

68 — WIN TER 2020


rethink

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Over more than 20 years, Diana Spellman had carved out a successful career in market research, rising to director level. She was working as a freelance consultant but, when the pandemic hit, the company decided not to renew her contract. Instead of panicking, she saw it as an opportunity to start a new chapter in her life. Having worked from home for the past three years, the 47-year-old mum found that one of the biggest challenges of merging home and work life was dealing with the clutter that inevitably accumulates in any busy, family household. She therefore drew on her professional experience in efficiency and workflow roles to develop a tidying system to beat this “mess stress” and achieve a more

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harmonious home office environment. This ‘side hustle’ blossomed into a fulltime business during lockdown, and Serenely Sorted was born. Spellman explains that her years of management and leadership experience gave her the confidence and tenacity to launch the business – and the process skills to develop it. But what she lacked was knowledge of how to attract a bigger audience and actually generate sales. She therefore enrolled on an online PR training course, learning how to build her brand and market it. “That’s been phenomenal,” she explains. “It helped me produce a really good media biography. It’s paying off now and starting to gain traction.”

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 69


“M A NAG E M E N T ’S A B O U T O R G A N I S I NG , B U T I T ’S A L S O A B O U T B R I NG I NG E V E RYON E I N VO LV E D A L ONG T O O ”

70 — WIN TER 2020


rethink

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Project manager Rachel Slawson had just come to the end of a fixed- term contract at a healthcare consultancy when the national lockdown was announced in March. She was unemployed at a time when many firms were tightening their belts and shrinking their teams. But she wasn’t concerned. Quite the opposite in fact. She saw it as a gift. She’d been toying with the idea of taking her career in a more creative direction ever since her previous employer had asked her to make a short video, pre-COVID. When the government ordered everyone to stay home, she thought “carpe diem” and threw herself into learning the skills needed to start a freelance podcasting business.

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Over the course of lockdown, she did 17 LinkedIn Learning courses on photography, video, filming and lighting. When restrictions were finally, slowly, lifted in the summer, she was commissioned to do her first podcast and given just ten days to finish. Slawson claims her years of experience as a project manager had given her the management and organisational skills needed to deliver the product on time, despite such a tight deadline. She says: “Management’s about organising, but it’s also about bringing everyone involved along too. It’s a bit like a boat and I need everyone on the boat for it to work. And how I’m going to get you on the boat is by having a discussion about it.”

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 71


“S I X M ON T H S ON, HYPE COLLECTIVE H A S WON A N U M B E R O F F I V E -F I G U R E I N F LU E NC E R M A R K E T I NG PROJECTS. WE’VE C OM E A L ONG WAY ”

72 — WINTER 2020


rethink

S T O L L ER UL A Y P

Three years ago, Paul Stollery and his business partner set up student marketing agency Hype Collective. Most of their work was experiential or events-based, so when the pandemic hit, it hit them hard. They could no longer run events, and £300,000 of verbally approved work disappeared from their pipeline in a week. Stollery knew they had to act fast to protect the business and its staff. He therefore looked for a sector where he saw potential for growth, even during a global health crisis, and where his experience in PR and events could be easily transferred. The answer was influencer marketing. But while many of the skills required to launch the new service were the same – leadership, management, analytics, content production – there

were important gaps in his knowledge that needed filling. With time at a premium, Stollery immediately began researching the sector, talking to as many experts as possible and teaching himself the nuts and bolts of the business. Once he was confident that it was the right thing to upskill himself and his team in, he started looking for training opportunities. With such a tight turnaround needed, he didn’t go for structured courses but instead brought consultants in to provide hands-on teaching. This allowed the company to launch its new product as quickly as possible. “Six months on, Hype Collective has won a number of five-figure influencer marketing projects. We’ve come a long way,” he says.

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 7 3


“ T H E C O U R S E G AV E M E T H E C ON F I D E NC E T O S AY W E ’R E D O I NG T H E R I G H T T H I NG ”

74 — WIN TER 2020


rethink

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T H E R WAT S O

For Heather Watson, owner of physiotherapy business Designed to Move, pivoting during the first lockdown was essential. Hers is a “high-touch” service that was no longer considered safe while the restrictions were in place. Instead of visiting clients in their homes, at the gym or in the park, they launched a remote service, so therapists could continue to help clients rehabilitate without physical contact. She realised, however, that she lacked the leadership skills necessary to safeguard her business during and after the pandemic, so she signed up for a four-week online leadership course focused on teaching business

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owners how to take their enterprises into the digital world. As the UK emerged from lockdown, Watson and her team faced the new challenge of providing a physical service again, but in a COVID-safe way. To do this, Watson used the knowledge gained on the course to implement an online training programme to help staff get back to work again without risking the client or themselves. “The course gave me the confidence to say we’re doing the right thing and to convey that to the team,” she says. “Now we have a proper system in place, we’re ready to look forward again and start thinking about what we’re going to do in the next two quarters.”

M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 7 5


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W IT H CO N T R I B U T I O N S FRO M : JA K E T E R E N C E PA R ROT T, V I C TO R I A FO S T E R ,

M I K E H E T H E R I N G TO N , J O H N FAU L K N E R , P H I L Q U I N N A N D S T UA R T M c Q U E E N SECTION EDITOR _ MARK ROWLAND

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“I WANTED TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE” Many people have made major life changes as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Jake Terence Parrott’s dramatic personal pivot came just as he completed the CMgr process

jake terence parrott, 24, was ready to take the next big step in his career. He was preparing to move to Cardiff to take on a zone aftersales manager role for Groupe PSA, looking after authorised repairers across the group’s vehicle brands. He was also on the road to becoming a Chartered Manager, having completed his degree apprenticeship. Then the pandemic put the move on hold. Finding himself on furlough as COVID-19 cases hurtled towards their first peak, Parrott continued his progress towards becoming a Chartered Manager and was inspired by his NHS-worker parents to volunteer at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital. It all got him questioning his next steps. “I came to the realisation that I was really comfortable in my life,” he explains. “I kind of had everything. And I kind of felt like I was missing something in terms of really pushing myself.” Parrott was grateful for the opportunities that Groupe PSA had provided for him. He had worked for Vauxhall, which was acquired by Groupe PSA during his time there, for more than four years, before moving over to PSA. He completed his degree apprenticeship “I came to the realisation that there. Almost everything he’d learned about I was really comfortable in my business came from his managers within life. I kind of had everything. Vauxhall and PSA. He knew that he could And I kind of felt like I was have an amazing career if he continued on missing something in terms the path he was on. “But at the same time, of really pushing myself” I felt like I could do more than that.” After looking into his options, Parrott decided that he needed to push himself out of his comfort zone. He would leave

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everything behind – his career, friends, family and relationship – to go to Dubai for a master’s in international business at Hult International Business School. “I wanted to test my abilities and my resolve. I wanted to be uncomfortable.” Parrott started out on his management journey at the age of 18, working in HR. At the time, he lacked confidence in his people skills. His motivation for becoming a manager was largely about wanting to get involved in strategy – “and, if I’m honest, having the power and freedom that comes with that”. But two conversations with mentors made a big impression. One manager told him that the work he was most proud of always involved empowering others to do their best. The other explained what he looked for in his hires: emotional intelligence and the right attitude. “My opinion shifted dramatically,” Parrott says. “I believe that people are what makes a business. I’m not just driven by personal achievement now; it’s about the satisfaction that comes from helping others.” In preparation for his move to Dubai, Parrott took a job at Tesco, working nights as a personal shopper. He was happy to be busy and liked everyone that he worked with. But with his CMgr application complete, he had a lot of time with his thoughts. He started thinking about what he was giving up and questioning if he was doing the right thing. “I felt quite lonely at times, going over everything in my head. I was struggling to come to terms with it,” he says. Parrott was able to draw on previous lessons and experiences at this moment of self-doubt, and he knew how helpful it can be to talk about your issues. He started speaking to colleagues at Tesco about how he was feeling. “Once I put it out there, everyone else started to share with each other. Knowing that other people were feeling the same, telling me their personal stories, allowed us to go through it together.” These conversations strengthened Parrott’s resolve: he was doing the right thing. Receiving confirmation of his CMgr status and an Award of Excellence from CMI for his academic achievements further boosted his confidence. “There are things I could have done better throughout my career, but ultimately all of those experiences have shaped who I am today. To have someone validate that and say that it’s a huge achievement in terms of personal development – that means a lot.” Now out in Dubai and weeks into his master’s “I believe that people are degree, Parrott is focusing on the here and now, but what makes a business. also mulling over his next steps. “One of my biggest I’m not just driven by interests at the moment is organisational culture. I’d personal achievement love to deal with people from different backgrounds now; it’s about the across different functions and departments. I’d like satisfaction that comes to be able to use my skills to bring people together from helping others” and build a culture, whether that’s within an organisation, a department or a project, to deliver results and help people grow.”

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5 CMGR LESSONS THAT MATTERED MOST IN THE PANDEMIC Chartered Managers work in sectors as diverse as dentistry, architecture and finance. Here, they talk about the CMgr insights they’ve kept in mind when managing through COVID-19

victoria foster CMgr MCMI has been dismayed by the lack of support for the dental sector during the pandemic. With no support packages available for private practices, it has been a challenging time for the industry. Practices must now be fit-tested for FFP2/FFP3 masks, carry out regular decontamination procedures and implement ‘fallow time’ where treatment rooms are evacuated following aerosol-generating procedures (AGP). All this significantly reduces the number of patients they can see each day. Foster, who is regional marketing manager at Dentex Health, recognises that these steps are necessary for patient and staff safety, but is sorry that the guidance has inadvertently changed dental surgeries from calm and friendly environments into “closed-door, appointment-only” settings. Magazines in waiting rooms have been removed. Patients are escorted directly to treatment rooms. Face coverings mean it’s difficult to chat. It all makes the experience harder for nervous patients. But Foster is determined to do what she can for the sector she loves. She has been putting her knowledge and experience as a Chartered Manager to work as Dentex Health adapts to the new normal. “COVID-19 has put everyone on a level playing field,” she says. “Everything went digital overnight, and we’ve all had to adapt.” It’s a similar story for other Chartered Managers across different sectors. They’re all having to adapt to the pandemic in different ways, drawing on their experiences and knowledge to make it happen.

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Five CMgr lessons from COVID-19

01

. Post-COVID, everything requires more planning

Critical projects did not stop during the pandemic, especially in the manufacturing sector. But Mike Hetherington CMgr MCMI, project manager at manufacturer IMI Truflo Marine, explains that planning and preparation are essential for adapting to new working practices. The company has introduced one-way systems, meetings have moved online, headcount has been reduced and rigorous cleaning routines have been implemented to help plan projects around the pandemic. “The normal mode of work has changed, so things won’t be completed in the same manner and timeframe as before,” says Hetherington. “Everything requires more planning.”

02

. Learn to adapt – even if it comes at a cost

John Faulkner CMgr MCMI is project director at Kuwaitbased architecture and engineering firm Pace. The pandemic has presented huge challenges, particularly in keeping construction workers COVID-safe.

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In addition to supplying washing facilities, hand sanitisation stations and appropriate PPE, there was an issue with the large numbers of workers using the same transport to get to and from the site. Faulkner adapted to the situation by reducing the number of people allowed on buses at any one time and staggering the transport arrangements. Yes, this meant providing more transport in the short term and at greater cost, but it was necessary. “One of the things I’ve learned from all my years in construction is that you need to adapt,” he says. “Life isn’t a straight line; there are a lot of bends in the road and sometimes a few cliffs.”

03. Assess the risk – and react quickly

Faulkner, who has worked overseas on large projects in Asia and the Middle East for several years, is acutely aware of the importance of assessing risk and reacting quickly to changing situations. “You have to adapt, anticipate and react to risk,” he explains. “In the case of the virus, you need to put in stringent measures to prevent an outbreak.” Phil Quinn CMgr MCMI, associate director at construction and

advisory firm AESG and a former member of the UK armed forces, agrees. “Reacting quickly to changing situations is important. So there’s a need not just to have a Plan A, but a Plan B and a Plan C as well,” he says. “You have to assess and reassess any situation as things develop.”

04

. Lead with your core values

Dentex Health’s Foster presented an online marketing training session to the entire organisation to help motivate the 79 business and practice managers, who were needing to re-energise their teams. CMI, she knew, is “big on values”, so Foster focused on returning to the company’s core values around generosity, innovation and high ethical standards. The webinar was well received, and many practices requested branded posters of the company values for their workplaces. Foster deployed similar techniques to help revitalise one of the group’s practices that had lost its way. With a renewed emphasis on the company’s core values, she implemented new systems, marketing plans and taught them how to use social media

to engage and interact with customers. “When lockdown happened, they already had the digital skills in place,” says Foster. “Their enthusiasm, excellent customer care and engagement is getting them noticed now. They even took on 140 new patients in their local area last month, despite the difficult landscape.”

05

. Keep up those regular check-ins

The importance of good communication, learned through his CMgr progression, has always resonated with Stuart McQueen, team manager at Just Group. And now that his entire team works from home, he’s aware that everyone has different personal circumstances. Some of his team are juggling childcare commitments, while others are entirely on their own and could end up feeling isolated. “It’s important to reach out and check in with everyone regularly,” he explains. “I actually spend more time now interacting, touching base, clarifying and checking in than I did when we were all in the office. I think we’ve all taken face-to-face office environments for granted.”


“The pandemic has made me a more empathetic manager” Shelly Ross CMgr MCMI works in a critical public-sector role. The pandemic made her realise that being a ‘sounding board’ for others is the essence of good management “We were critical workers during the first lockdown; we didn’t stop working. We tried to carry on with our normal, day-today work, but the situation naturally caused a certain amount of stress and tension in our work and home lives. The pandemic has been the catalyst for significant changes to the way we work, and a much higher proportion of our workforce now works remotely from home. This has required a big shift in the way our company operates as we adapt to new ways of working. “The pandemic has brought many new challenges to overcome to ensure we continue to meet our delivery expectations. Everyone has been feeling the pressure. “I had always been quite focused on delivery, but I’ve realised the need for a more personal and empathetic approach. I had to shift my focus to become more of a sounding board for my team members. I learned to connect with them on a deeper level, which is difficult when you’re trying to deliver against business

requirements. You’ve got to maintain focus and professionalism, but your team needs empathy and they want you to listen when they’re struggling. “Everybody has their own risk factors, so I took the time to speak to members of the team to take theirs on board. People had different levels of anxiety, so I tailored how I managed each individual based on how they were feeling about the situation. “I achieved my Chartered Manager status in the middle of the first lockdown and in the midst of all those challenges. This far outweighed all of the negative impacts, and if anything, it helped me to focus on the positives and stay grounded. It’s been a real point of pride for me. “No manager could have foreseen the impact that COVID-19 was going to have on their businesses and teams. We’ve all had to adapt and step up.” — We’ve kept Shelly’s employer’s details anonymous.

CHARTERED MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE Management House, Cottingham Road, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 1TT 01536 207307 membership@managers.org.uk www.managers.org.uk — CHIEF EXECUTIVE Ann Francke OBE DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP Matt Roberts DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Niamh Mulholland HEAD OF RESEARCH AND INSIGHT Elizabeth Spratt HEAD OF POLICY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS Daisy Hooper SOCIAL MEDIA AND CREATIVE CONTENT MANAGER Ola Masha MEMBER CONTENT AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Rebecca Kearley

THINK EDITORIAL TEAM EDITOR Matthew Rock CONTENT EDITOR Rosie Gailor ART DIRECTOR Ian Findlay MANAGING EDITOR James Sutton ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Kieran Paul EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jackie Scully © 2020. Published on behalf of CMI by: Think, Capital House, 25 Chapel Street, London NW1 5DH, 02037 717200 — editorial@managers.org.uk — Printed by Walstead Southernprint. Printed on UPM Fine. Produced at a factory that holds environmental management certificate ISO 14001. — CMI is incorporated by Royal Charter and registered as a charity (No. 1091035). CMI does not necessarily agree with, nor guarantee the accuracy of, statements made by contributors or advertisers, or accept responsibility for any statements they may make in this publication. — ISSN 0969-6695

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FINDING YOUR MOJO In a “no-distance” world, many leading companies are solving problems at the speed of the market --------Words_Simon Caulkin

the phrase may seem tactless when they’re fighting for their lives, but for many companies the COVID crisis really is an existential opportunity. It’s the ideal moment to go back to ground zero, as Peter Drucker regularly advised, and ask yourself: “If we were starting from scratch, is this how we would do it?” Of course, such a reboot involves risk – but, to be blunt, no more than hanging on in the hope of business resuming as normal. It won’t. And the reward for getting it right is concomitantly high. It was almost shocking at the recent Drucker Forum, held online this time around, to hear companies as varied as GE Appliances, Michelin and Handelsbanken declare, in essence, ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ GE Appliances reported experiencing a “phenomenal response” to changing conditions, with employees solving problems “at the speed of the market”. What’s more, 2020 was panning out as “the best ever year in our history”, according to CEO Kevin Nolan. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brighter future ahead of us.” Venerable tyre giant Michelin, in the middle of a surge of self-generated change, was doing “fantastically well” at its COVID-refreshed version of sustainability – protecting its associates, customers and cash. Under pressure from below, “I see my job as sucking stress out of the front line and putting energy back in,” said CEO Florent Menegaux. Handelsbanken had no need to adjust anything much when COVID struck. Being highly decentralised, each branch a mini business responsible for its own customers, credit decisions, profits and balance sheet, it got on with doing good business as usual, with results, if anything, better than ever. 86 — WIN TER 2020


close As Gary Hamel commented, organisations like this are inherently more resilient than the norm because their people don’t have to wait to be told what to do. And this is what they and other congenitally nimble organisations such as Buurtzorg and Nucor have in common: they get that in today’s “no-distance world”, in the phrase of GE Appliances’s Nolan, any intermediary between the boss (ie, the customer) and the front line is one too many. “2020 is the This is why Handelsbanken, for instance, best ever year doesn’t do distractions such as targets or in our history. I budgets, and why Dutch healthcare provider don’t think I’ve Buurtzorg has the same five-person HQ ever seen a to run its 12,000-strong organisation as it brighter future did on launch in 2006. ahead of us” But companies shouldn’t need examples such as these to convince them to change; kevin nolan ceo, ge appliances they need look no further than the experience of their employees working from home. In many cases, people are more productive and work longer in their own homes. They’ve discovered that working in an office under management direction not only adds no value – it subtracts it, perfectly illustrating Drucker’s observation that too much management as conventionally practised consists of preventing people from working. Alas, instead of taking the implications to heart, too many managers have swiftly reverted to their default setting of control. Witness the soaring demand for software and apps that can be used to monitor people’s remote work behaviour. But real transformation isn’t about digital services; it’s about finding new and better ways of fulfilling your purpose. For a bravura piece of defiance in the year of COVID, consider the Salzburg Festival in Austria. With the curtain falling on cultural events and venues, Salzburg decided – after fierce internal debates – to go ahead with its 100th anniversary event in June. This decision involved: reimbursing 180,000 previously sold tickets; selling 76,000 new ones for a completely redesigned programme; rewriting the social-distancing handbook for large events; and dramatically compressing artistic rehearsal. The result of this courage, according to president Are you solving Helga Rabl-Stadler? “A sold-out festival, a giant step problems at the forward in terms of digitisation, and a thousand good speed of the ideas on how to offer our greatest asset, regular customers market? Tweet us from 80 countries around the world, faster and even @cmi_managers better service.” To which one can only say: encore. M AN AGER S .ORG.UK — 87


GET INVOLVED CMI hosts a variety of digital events via Youtube and LinkedIn. From our Better Managers Briefings each week with our CEO Ann Francke, right through to professional development, top tips for managing and leading your team and current hot topics.

THIS HAS BEEN AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR. MANAGERS AND LEADERS HAVE BEEN TESTED LIKE NEVER BEFORE BY BREXIT AND THE COVID-19 CRISIS. AT CMI WE’VE HAD OUR OWN CHALLENGES THROWN UP BY THESE EVENTS, BUT THE PAST YEAR HAS DEMONSTRATED WHY OUR WORK TO SUPPORT OUR MEMBERS, PARTNERS AND WIDER COMMUNITY IS SO IMPORTANT. IT’S SHOWN WHAT WE’RE HERE FOR. Ann Francke OBE, CMgr CCMI FIC

FIND OUT MORE: managers.org.uk/events


FUTURE EVENTS CMI’s thought leadership, research and online resources provide practical insight on critical issues for a 145,000 plus membership community and anyone looking to improve their skills, nurture high-performing teams and help pave the way for the next generation of managers and leaders.

DIGITAL EVENTS LIBRARY All of our previous digital events have been recorded and are available for you to watch at your leisure. These encompass a whole range of topics in line with the 5 key themes we have identified in our Better Managers Manual.

Each week our CEO, Ann Francke OBE, delivers the CMI #BetterManagers Briefing to support the CMI family and wider community. Ann is joined by special guest speakers to share their challenges and advice on topical issues.

JOIN US FOR ANN’S WEEKLY BRIEFING

Friday @ 13:15 GMT

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CMI Magazine - Issue 4