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Press Release - Cranfield urges business leaders to become more strategic

Press Release - Cranfield urges business leaders to become more strategic

23 May 2013

*Are Entrepreneurs the Real Barrier to Growth?*

*Cranfield School of Management is Official Research Partner for the National Business Awards*

*National Business Awards seeking UK’s best leaders - deadline extended to 31st May 2013*

Cranfield School of Management is urging the UK’s business leaders and entrepreneurs to become more strategic in their leadership style, to promote greater commercial success. This comes as the National Business Awards announces a partnership with Cranfield and the deadline for entry into the 2013 campaign is extended to the 31st May.    

The importance of leadership styles has emerged from Cranfield’s experience in coaching of over 1,500 UK businesses that have taken part in its Business Growth & Development Programme (BGP). The Programme focuses on owner-managed businesses, helping them achieve growth and encourages the evolution of leadership styles, from ‘working in the business to working on the business’. The National Business Awards has teamed with Cranfield to celebrate the UK’s leading businesses and leaders, across categories including Leader of the Year, the Leadership Diversity Award and the Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year.

Professor Andrew Burke of Cranfield observes that the importance of becoming a strategist has been key to business success. He said: “In our experience the majority of owner-managers are characterised as Artisans, Heroes or Meddlers, with only a small proportion naturally achieving the ideal Strategist role. Becoming a Strategist is necessary for leaders to outline a vision in order to grow the business and effectively motivate employees. The National Business Awards research shows that 30% of UK workers think their boss is only doing ok and a further 10% rating their boss as poor – this reiterates our notion of how important strong leadership is to business success.”

The leadership styles identified by Cranfield include –

Strategists give their managers the tools to do the job, whilst they plan for the future.

A Meddler can't let go of routine tasks. Until they reduce involvement in the day to day management, the growth capacity of the firm is limited - staff are hired to take responsibility but are not empowered to do so and the boss isn’t making time to plan.

The Hero probably heads up a management function such as sales or production. They are often seen as a Hero as they are the only person who really understands management policies – so seems to excel.

The Artisan is typified by low management activity, because most of their time is spent producing a product or delivering a service. They often remain ‘one of the gang’, with little authority or future planning taking place.

Tristram Mayhew, Founder of Go Ape - National Business Awards winner and BGP participant commented: “A leader needs to switch from hero to zero – look forward and steer the best course. In 2006 we had 7 Go Ape courses and a turnover of around £1.5m. We then embarked on the BGP course and took a step back to become more strategic leaders - now we have 45 businesses in the UK, are about to expand to the USA and have a turnover of £12.5m. ”

Jon Thornes, Founder of Cool Milk agreed that becoming a Strategist revolutionised his business: “Changing my leadership style from a Meddler to a Strategist has been key in realising growth from 60,000 to 800,000 customers.  I now work on the business instead of in the business. Initially, this involved replacing myself as MD and then as Chair. I now employ people better than myself and hold them to account for my vision, by letting them develop their team and get on with producing the results.”

Debra Charles, Founder of Novacroft, former National Business Awards winner agreed: “Since adopting a strategic approach Novacroft’s growth, despite difficult economic conditions, has been significant and resulted in the recruitment of more than 150 new jobs at Novacroft.”

The partnership between Cranfield and the National Business Awards follows a study which revealed that 93% of business leaders would consider changing their leadership style to boost business, morale and productivity, with 44% of bosses saying they have gone on a leadership course to learn new skills, although 9% have done nothing to improve their leadership skills. The research also showed that both bosses and employees appreciate good leadership with over 90% of those surveyed saying that it’s the most important influence on the success of an organisation.

The 2013 National Business Awards is open for entries to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, recognising excellence, innovation and ethics in UK plc.

Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk to register your interest.

                                                              

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