This report from the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Management recommends that you focus on purpose, people and potential to get better results, see Management 2020 – Leadership to Unlock Long-Term Growth. You can get an assessment of how well your organisation is doing at Put Your Management and Leadership in the Spotlight. Will these findings and recommendations get you great results as a manager? The upshot of the report is on page 51 of the 60-page document. If you meet these criteria will you be more likely to succeed?
My answer is yes and no! If purpose, people and potential is linked to great planning, effective organisation, inspiring leadership and good control mechanisms the focus will help you achieve more probably. But what worries me is that you could meet the criteria associated with purpose, people and potential and still fail.
I suspect that this report is more about satisfying government targets and a range of political objectives than it is about coming up with really good advice for practising managers. If this is correct the report and its recommendations run the serious risk of being seen as irrelevant by large numbers of managers and especially those working in smaller organisations.
The sad reality is that government report after government report bemoans the quality of UK management and leadership as evidenced by our poor standings in international comparisons of things like productivity. Managers are generally under trained and under qualified in comparison with those in other developed economies. Now, is that a supply-side or demand-side problem? Well, let’s assume that the customer is always right and that leads to the inevitable conclusion that too many managers just don’t see the relevance of business schools, colleges, universities and training providers all of whom are offering a wide range of prescriptions to the how to manage problem! (By the way, I’m one of these folk.) There seems to be a complete disconnect between the management lessons that can be learned from researching what goes on the large and often international organisations and that needs of managers in smaller operations. I’ve seen it in eyes of my small company clients over and over again – “if what you are telling me was learned from larger corporates, it has no relevance here”.
So if you are looking for great results, read the report and take the benchmark survey but don’t think that it is answer to your prayers because it probably will not be. It will help but is far, far short of the whole story on being a successful manager and getting great results.