Apprenticeships are mostly recognised as another entry route to higher skills, raising the status of vocational education and work-based learning. But the real impact of the apprenticeships levy for the UK will come from the recruitment of middle and senior managers as ‘apprentices’ at Master’s degree level (the top level 7 in the apprenticeship scale).
When I first started judging the Best Factory Awards in 1992, most plants focus was on introducing Total Quality Management, BS5750 and implementing JIT.
Over the past 25 years the emphasis of UK manufacturing has changed and reviewing this year’s winners, we can see that they share several common traits: they have a clear manufacturing strategy, they are customer focused and they have a strong improvement ethos.
This year, from our judging visits, we have noticed other common threads:
Resilience is a highly desirable quality in a manager. Life, as we know, is full of surprises, and nowhere is this truer than in the world of business. And, by definition, those in a position of leadership need more resilience than most, because they are the individuals ultimately responsible for directing the organisation’s response to the unexpected.
“Half the money that I spend on advertising is wasted—the trouble is, I don’t know which half,” famously observed American department store magnate John Wanamaker, over a hundred years ago. Sadly, many corporate learning and development departments could today be forgiven for thinking the same about some of the executive development programmes in which they invest.
As company after company has found to its cost, corporate responsibility is a competitive differentiator. Be branded corporately irresponsible, and media news stories and images will soon send customers into the arms of your competitors.
Examples abound of successful businesses grown and managed by a forceful, dynamic leadership, not afraid to impose its vision on the organisation. Unfortunately, examples also abound of successful businesses brought low by a forceful, dynamic leadership, equally unafraid of imposing its vision on the organisation.
The EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards (EiP) recognises outstanding learning and development partnerships in the domains of leadership, professional, talent and organisation development.
We know from leadership research that successful leaders stand out and achieve extraordinary results because they have higher self-awareness, and are better able to manage their thoughts and feelings in the midst of difficulty.
Mindfulness is everywhere these days. At least, many more people talk about it than when I started researching and teaching mindfulness five years ago. But how can you really make it happen at work