Training of leaders and managers has to be improved, says new report

If the UK is to maintain its position as a world leader in creative industries, the learning and development of managers and leaders needs to be drastically improved, according to a research report published by the creative industries’ skills body, Creative Skillset, and Ashridge Business School.

The report Creativity and Constraint, leadership and management in the creative industries paints a picture of unstructured learning environments, little time for training and development and a fairly widespread lack of understanding of the strategic goals of companies, especially in smaller enterprises and amongst freelance staff less able to access training.

It highlights the need for support on leadership, strategy, innovation, financial and people management – and mentoring is cited as the preferred means of developing management skills.

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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.”
The report looked at the skills gaps and development needs of managers and leaders in the creative industries and chat constitutes good practice for management and leadership in this sector. It also question how managers and leaders in creative industries can learn from the different types of development methods. 

The report, notes the growth and success of the UK’s creative sectors, but also the lack of key leadership and management skills for creative leaders, especially in small and micro companies.
There is also evidence of challenges for creative leaders to make the transition to successful entrepreneurs. Research was carried out via a literature review, an online survey and face to qualitative research with professionals across a wide variety of the creative industries in both large organisations and smaller enterprises.
Now, both the Creative Skillset and the Ashridge Business School will build recommendations into a leadership and management strategy, including a series of support measures, mentoring support and creative case studies, giving examples of successful training models and collaborative experiential leadership development. 
Dr Kion Ahadi, Creative Skillset Head of Research and Evaluation, added: This research flags the urgent need to provide creative leaders with the support they need to continue the huge success of our creative sector. Creative Skillset’s leadership and management strategy will build on the findings of the report into solid recommendations which we hope will guide the industry and its’ leaders.”


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