UK bosses confident about growth, despite gloomy economic outlook

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Despite the gloomy economic outlook caused by the UK’s slip into a double dip recession, 60% of bosses believe their organisation will grow its output over the next year with almost a fifth (19%) expecting it to grow significantly, according to new reasearch by the Institute of Leadership & Management.

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Effective leadership and managerial skills are key to driving organisational growth, and at a time when they are being tested more than ever, the availability of support and development for managers is critical.

A survey of over 1,000 managers, highlights an underlying sense of confidence across both public and private sectors, with over two thirds (71%) saying their organisation is well placed to capitalise on new growth opportunities.

85% of managers felt that growth was a priority for their organisation with 82% confident in their own ability to drive growth. Over half (52%) stating that responsibility for driving growth sat squarely with their CEO. In total, over three quarters (79%) were confident in their leader’s ability to increase organisational output.

When asked about the key barriers to growth, respondents highlighted a shortage of skilled staff (25%) and organisational processes (24%) as the two main challenges they faced. This was particularly acute in the public sector, where a third (33%) of managers identified organisational processes as the most significant challenge they faced, compared to just 16% in the private sector.

The research also asked managers what the Government could do differently to support organisational growth, with 20% highlighting the need to increase funding for training and development, 14% calling on them to encourage banks to increase their lending to business and 13% asking for further funding provision for business investments.

Over three quarters (76%) felt that their business had become more open to innovation since the start of the recession, which is seen as an important way of supporting growth. The majority (61%) believe their organisation would benefit from employing a higher number of innovators and two thirds (68%) stated this should be across all levels of management.

Investment in training to build skills (35%) was identified as the most worthwhile strategy for encouraging innovation, followed by establishing clear targets for introducing new products and services (30%) and time to develop these (23%).

Charles Elvin, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, says: “With our faltering economic recovery and recent reports of a double dip recession, it is encouraging to see high levels of confidence and optimism amongst UK managers.

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Smita Chakma
Institue of Leadership and Management
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