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The Challenges for UK Management


A central challenge for leadership training will be to help managers move from the tradition of control towards talent development, according to Gary Ince, Chief Executive of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Ince believes that the UK's traditional emphasis on control has been to the detriment of innovation.

He explains: "If you look at the historic development of British management over the last 20 years, we've concentrated on control management, controlling people and making sure they work in system. It's shown in our adherence to ISO, the USA economy is 10 times that of the UK, but we have more ISO accreditation."

Ince believes that managers need to look at giving more responsibility to those lower down the ranks. This he sees not only as a method of developing talent but also making the organisations themselves more "risk ready".

"So much of UK management has been looking at cost reduction and not enough at innovation and different ways of working. Many of the people I meet really want to be held accountable, to be able to make decisions and make a difference."

Talent management will be one of the central themes at the ILM's conference later this year.

"It's such a big issue for managers, people change jobs so many more times than they used to and that means there is so much more competition for talent," hesays.

The aim of the ILM programme, according to Ince, is to give delegates a chance to take something away that is tangible and immediately useful.

"We didn't want it to be one of those conference where you hear a lot of high-end ideas and feel inspired, but get nothing practical to take back to work."

One of the sessions Ince is personally looking forward to involves managing virtual teams - a subject close to his heart as the manager of a geographically diverse team and becoming more of an issue for his members.

And for such a modern management dilemma he offers a traditional solution.

"With virtual teams… it's not just about the issue of how you monitor performance, but how you keep in touch with people you don't see everyday," he says.

"It's about the communication challenges that email brings up, so many people use email when maybe they should just pick up the phone."

* The ILM conference People at the Heart of Leadership takes place on 5 – 6 October.


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