Britain’s management problem (or Poor management hinders UK competitiveness) – Flip Chart Fairy Tales


UK Commission for Education and Skills (UKCES) recently published a wide-ranging report on the state of the UK labour market, according to Flip Chart Fairy Tales.

It noted that, while the UK has been good at keeping people in work, it has not grown as fast as other countries and its productivity has fallen. Some other countries, though, seem to have managed to grow, keep people employed and maintain productivity.

While acknowledging that there are a number of reasons for this, UKCES has some sharp words for Britain’s managers.

International comparisons of UK management capability are typically unfavourable, and suggest that poor management hinders UK competitiveness. Recent evidence shows that while we have many good managers, UK management capability is on average weaker than in countries such as the US, Germany, Japan and Sweden, and is likely to be a substantial factor in the productivity gap with these countries.

This is based on the findings of the World Management Survey (see previous post) which placed Britain at the top of the middling group but falling short of those countries with top quality management.

[In short,] the poorly managed firms drag a country’s score down and Britain has more than its fair share of them.

Given the spectacular rise in senior executive pay in the UK, and the fact that our managers are among some of the most highly paid in the world, you might wonder why our economy is a laggard when it comes to growth and productivity.

To find out why, read the article on Flip Chart Fairy Tales.

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5 thoughts on “Britain’s management problem (or Poor management hinders UK competitiveness) – Flip Chart Fairy Tales

  1. jess

    It comes as no surprise that the country is held back by lousy managers

    For too long the UK has favoured giving cash to shareholders and bonuses to incompetent management over paying a decent wage to employees

    The gaffers regard the workforce as ‘disposable’ and fail to invest in training, or re-training staff

    As an example look at RTU as a typical UK manager. Others can display the descriptive epithets

      1. jess

        It’s not just RTu

        This story from ‘Computer Weekly’ illustrates some of the managerial arrogance that is endemic

        “The contracts of the digital project portfolio director, Richard Lundie-Sadd, and interim chief technology officer (CTO) Gordon McMullan were terminated by Land Registry last Friday, 15 August, for failure to comply with government policy over staff tax status.”

        One may wonder just how ‘tax compliant’ the IT ‘professionals’ free-lancing on Rtu’s ‘UC’ project may be. Idle speculation, possibly,but, surely, a question that might have an interesting answer.

    1. HomerJS

      So true about IDS. What I can’t understand though is why so many people in the DWP have chosen to model themselves on their glorious leader. They have the same mix of incompetence and dishonesty, and of course an unbelievable amount of self belief.

  2. Smiling Carcass

    British industry/management is notorious, at least among the old-school trades union movement for being pro-inactive. Failure to buy new plant and machinery, relying rather on a low-waged workforce to maintain output on often obsolete machinery.

    When managers make bad decisions, it is usually the employee who loses their job.

    If they’d been able, we’d still be using steam engines, I’m sure.

Comments are closed.