Managers lack skills to create successful companies, says Creative Skillset

Although the skills gap at the bottom of the ladder is given almost constant media coverage, a new study from Creative Skillset and Ashridge Business School has found that the skills of managers and leaders need to be “drastically improved” in the UK too.

The Creativity and Constraint report found that a lack of leadership, strategy, innovation, financial and people management skills is particularly profound in small and micro-businesses, which often have unstructured learning environments, less access to training and a “fairly widespread lack of understanding of the strategic goals of companies”.

Dr Amy Armstrong, of Ashridge Business School, who co–authored the report, said: “The huge success of the creative industries in the United Kingdom cannot be taken for granted despite the growth of the sector. We must ensure that the training and strategic leadership needs at the top of the industry is supported to maintain this fantastic success.”

Dr Kion Ahadi, Creative Skillset head of research and evaluation, added: “Creative Skillset’s leadership and management strategy will build on the findings of the report into solid recommendations that we hope will guide the industry and its leaders.”

The report, which combined a literature review, an online survey and in-person interviews, highlights best practice and offers a range of solutions, with mentoring topping the list of interventions.