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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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World of work

A report published in January by the Chartered Management Institute provides new evidence of the links between organisational performance and investment in management and leadership development (MLD). Called ‘Management Development Works: the evidence’, it offers a unique insight into changing patterns of MLD across organisations of all sizes, over an eight-year period.

The research, which is based on detailed interviews with 1,000 managers, revealed:

  • improved business performance when development is linked to business strategy;
  • a significant shift in the priority given to management development by employers;
  • a change in attitude towards what makes a good manager and how development should be delivered;
  • trends among organisations towards active talent management and fast-tracking high-potential managers.

For the first time since the start of the survey, the belief that ‘leaders are born, not made’ has been eclipsed. Managers are now expressing the view that on-the-job experience is more valuable than natural ability.

Almost 90% of organisations claim to have regular appraisals to establish training requirements and more than half (57%) admit to ‘talent management’ by selecting high-potential managers for intensive development. The report also shows that the skills most sought after are managing people, leadership and meeting customer needs.