Innovative managers to drive economic recovery

UK managers and leaders in search for innovators to help them overcome the challenges of the recession

Managers in the UK are searching for innovative people to help them overcome the challenges of the recession, according to research into innovation in organisations across the country.

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The report, called ‘Innovation for Recovery’, highlights the characteristics that British managers need to exhibit to drive economic recovery – and explores how improved teamwork is helping to turn innovative ideas into business reality.

Published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), the report reveals that 70 per cent of managers believe that their ‘focus on innovation will be reinforced’ as a result of the downturn.

According to the data, which is based on a survey of 850 private, public and third sector organisations, one in four respondents believe that executives will now spend more of their time on innovation than day-to-day operations.

Asked specifically about the three most important character traits of ‘innovative employees’, respondents focused on individuals’ ability to embrace change and tackle difficult situations.  According to the survey, the most important characteristic of innovative managers is that of ‘openness to ideas’ (59 per cent), followed by ‘problem solving’ (50 per cent) and ‘personal initiative’ (43 per cent).

CMI’s chief executive, Ruth Spellman, said: “As we emerge from one of the deepest recessions in British economic history, it is clear that employers have recognised the value of finding and developing staff with a capacity to innovate.  It is, after all, a skill that should be cherished because the ability to find and try something new or different is a critical differentiator for businesses in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

The executive summary and full report can be downloaded via www.managers.org.uk/innovation

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