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Leadership headlines May 13

Rhian Morgan

Leadership news in brief

Do you have the Talent?

Talent International has launched their fifth annual Talent Unleashed Awards. The awards, judged by Apple’s Steve Wozniak, strives to recognise passionate leaders, start-ups and organisations who are unleashing bright ideas to revolutionise the workplace. Wozniak will head up the judges panel alongside Sir Richard Branson, EMEA VP Nicola Mendelsohn and many more high-profile names in business and technology sectors. The UK finalists will compete for a chance to win one-on-one time with Steve Wozniak and a trip to Silicon Valley at the global finals in Sydney in August. Talent International is a global IT and technology recruitment specialist. To enter, visit

Putting paid to margin growth

A Cranfield School of Management academic and Vendavo have found nearly half the CFOs of Europe’s largest organisations admit to not knowing how to quickly effect an increase in margin. With increased focus on margin growth -UBS analysts reported recently that corporate profits forecasts are at a seven-year low. The research suggests a direct link between an organisation’s ability to maximise margin on every deal through price effectiveness and overall financial performance. Organisations performing above market expectations place a much greater emphasis on margin than those that are behind. For more information, visit

How's your rep?

British companies have the worst reputation among PLCs in the UK. According to the Reputation Institute’s UK RepTrak® 150, which identifies the most reputable companies among the UK general public, only two of the top 10 companies are UK PLCs, and international companies dominate the top 50. Home-domiciled companies make up just 26% of the top 50 and 41% of the top 150. Of the 27 companies who scored "Poor" and sit well outside of the RepTrak® 150 (ranking 251 and below), all but two are UK and Irish companies. The businesses are rated on products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance. The top UK PLCs are Rolls Royce Aerospace (fifth) and Aston Martin (sixth), with the Nationwide Building Society the top-rated retail bank, and Airbus Group the biggest improver. Learn more at:

Time to be flexible 

A massive £11.5bn could be added to the UK economy if businesses threw their weight behind a ‘work from anywhere' culture. A study by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) that surveyed more than 1,000 organisations found that in order to retain talented staff employers should put proper "structures in place for workers to feel valued in their roles". This backs up other studies. And yet according to Monster, a third of companies have embraced flexible working but half haven’t implemented it at all. Flexible working has key benefits for employees, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). More than a quarter (28%) of respondents say the ability to work flexibly has been a factor in them remaining with their current employer. The CIPD study also found that 54% of respondents say flexible working has enabled them to achieve a better work-life balance (two-thirds in London), and 29% that it helps them to reduce the amount of stress or pressure they are under. With workers in overstressed industries losing 27 days a year, according to a Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, it's time for less-progressive companies to get on board. For more on ILM research, visit

Good news for interim managers

New research shows 90% of CFOs and FDs plan to hire interim managers over the next 12 months. Robert Half Management Resources found the requirement for interim managers is strongest for project management skills (46%) as these highly specialised professionals join a business for a limited time to manage a period of transition. Management and leadership enhancement (27%), business continuity (23%) and change management (9%) are other initiatives that will prompt CFOs and FDs to hire interim managers over the next 12 months. Visit

The importance of employee engagement

New research carried out by Love Energy Savings has revealed that more than 40% of people in the UK don’t believe that their employer does enough to engage them in the workplace. This study mirrors a 2015 report, published by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), which discovered that 32% of people wanted to find a new job. While 26% attributed this to a lack of opportunities, 17% said it was because they wanted more appreciation from their managers. All of these statistics highlight the importance of employee engagement, particularly at a time when many SMEs are finding it hard to attract and retain talent.

Stop the sexism

Nicola Thorp, the woman who was sent home from work for not wearing heels, has told GMB she was "laughed at" by her employers for suggesting it was discriminatory not to apply the same rule to men. The 27-year-old said the policy harks back to at "a very old fashioned image of the woman at work". She started a petition to make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work that has been signed by more than 69,000 people. This has led to Portico, the reception firm who employed Thorp to work at accountancy firm PwC, to change its dress code policy. Workplace rules on office attire based on sexuality need to be consigned to the history books. The rule is as ridiculous as asking male employees to wear Speedos to work.

And finally

Why not sign up for some inspirational quotes from Sir Ernest Shackleton? To celebrate the centenary of the Imperial Trans¬≠Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, The Shackleton Company is 'live Tweeting’ the most-hazardous stages of the journey, in the words and persona of the great leader of men. Follow @TheShackletonCo and #Shackleton on Twitter to re¬≠live Sir Ernest Shackleton’s extraordinary escape from Antarctica until May 20, 100 years to the day: @TheShackletonCo



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