Houses of Parliament

The Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

The All Party Parliamentary Group on management in conjunction with the Chartered Management Institute(CMI) set up Commission on the Future of Management and Leadership. Today they publish their report: “MANAGEMENT 2020: Leadership For Long-Term Growth” which provides the basis for a new campaign for a Better Managed Britain, which Cambridge Management Sciences are happy to support and promote.

The Commission have published an open letter to the press expressing their support for the CMI campaign for a Better Managed Britain:

“Dear Sirs
Over recent months, the need to rebuild trust in business and public services has been widely discussed. But a core debate which too often gets overlooked is the quality of UK’s leadership and management.
Are UK’s managers short-sighted, short-termists, or long-term, growth visionaries? As the Commission on the
future of management and leadership makes clear, we are at a tipping point.
We need to raise our sights to a longer-term global agenda.
Those who cut costs and overheads seem to earn more respect for such hard-nosed decisions than those who take the riskier, more innovative paths that lead to growth in revenue, jobs and profits. This approach infects the public sector and social enterprises too, when financial targets are put before service delivery and creating social value.
Whilst cost and profit are important we need management to create value for all stakeholders: shareholders, society and staff alike. Our future prosperity and global competitiveness depends on this. So today, we are supporting the launch of CMI’s campaign for a Better Managed Britain.
For a Better Managed Britain, organisations need to focus on three critical areas: Purpose, People, and
Potential.
Boards must refocus on their organisation’s longer-term purpose, beyond just making money or meeting targets – and to set measurable commitments to customers, suppliers, employees, communities, and the environment, as well as to investors.
We need managers who inspire and support their teams to succeed. Managers who are recruited not only
because of technical skills but because they have the right attitudes, values and ethics. Managers who are assessed and paid not only on their results, but on how they got them.
We need to focus on the long-term over the urgent distractions of the short-term. We must build for the future,
by supporting our education system through providing access to the world of work, by training, mentoring and nurturing new managers and leaders.
Today we are calling on those responsible for leading businesses, public services and third sector enterprises
to start with an honest self-appraisal of their Purpose, People and Potential, identify where they could make improvements, and take action to do so.
Together we will create a better Managed Britain with long-term sustainable growth for the benefit of all.

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Steve McGrady, Managing Director of Cambridge Management Sciences, and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, is a co-signatory of the open letter.  “I am pleased to be able to demonstrate our support for this campaign”, said Mr. McGrady, “it is important to highlight that organisations should focus on their long-term commitments to all stakeholders and move away from over-emphasising cutting costs to increase profits and shareholder returns.”

Bulb

Gut instinct or intelligence?

The Institute of Leadership and Management was offering a “master class”on Spiritual Intelligence(SQ) as part of their Professional Development programme.  As a Fellow of the Institute I am interested in any professional development, but as a proponent of evidence-based management this offering troubled me.  A small number of members posted comments on the ILM website, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Maybe because of this criticism, or possibly independently, they changed the name of the event to “Increase your Intelligence” and  now, instead of referring to a higher, metaphysical intelligence, the outline is much more down-to-earth and describes intelligence in our heart and gut that interact with the intelligence in the brain.

There is nothing wrong with suggesting a hypothesis such as gut intelligence, but as with all these New Age, pseudoscientific claims, they hijack selective pieces of scientific research and make claims that cannot be proven and, therefore, should not be made.

For example, the revised outline states that: “We each have 3 separate intelligences (head, heart and gut) operating in our bodies and how these brains communicate and operate with each other is vital for congruence, success and happiness.”   However, you only need to undertake the smallest amount of research to discover that there is no such evidence.  For example, Scientific American has an article on the subject which states that: although its influence is far-reaching, the second brain is not the seat of any conscious thoughts or decision-making.  It also quotes Michael Gershon, chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and an expert in the emerging field of neurogastroenterology: “The second brain doesn’t help with the great thought processes…religion, philosophy and poetry is left to the brain in the head…” 

Clearly there is new information being discovered all the time, and who knows where it may lead. For example, as the revised outline correctly describes, scientists have discovered networks of neurons in the intestines. These are sometimes referred to as our ‘second brain’ but right now to talk about gut intelligence is unproven and, as Carl Sagan famously said: “…I try not to think with my gut. If I’m serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that might be, is likely to get me into trouble.”