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.
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.
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
Businesses are seen as having a number of genetic start points. Some are seen as lifestyle, others as Unicorns, perhaps as “born global”, perhaps technology based or enabled and some we just don’t know. The great unwashed if you will.
For service operations, innovation is obviously important. It can enable service organisations to raise quality and productivity levels, meet changing customer needs, and overcome superior competitor offerings. But those service organisations looking to develop innovation leadership face a number of challenges—some obvious, some less so.
Sustainability is one of those ubiquitous words, which can also be very slippery, as different people understand the word differently.