Confused? That's change for you
Sunday 27 September 1998
The study, the second annual report from a planned five-year project, comes as the Roffey Park Management Institute of West Sussex is launching a new programme to help managers grapple with the complexity associated with culture change programmes, long-range strategic plans and business engineering exercises. It finds that, although working hours seem to be starting to dip, most managers still work too long. Seventy-eight per cent say they work more than 40 hours a week and just over a third claim they do more than 50 hours a week, with a similar proportion working at weekends.
The effects of such habits are taking a toll on managers' personal and professional lives. As well as the inevitable encroachment on time with their families, 59 per cent say they've damaged their health and more than half that working long hours makes them less productive.
Attitudes towards long hours vary according to seniority. While 45 per cent of senior managers and directors regard such hours as entirely acceptable, a third of junior and middle managers only work them because they believe it is expected by their employers, and 22 per cent say they find them unacceptable but have no choice.
The hours are undoubtedly a reflection of the increasingly pressurised environment in which managers find themselves. Nearly half say they suffer from information overload and more than two-thirds feel under constant time pressure. Forty-four per cent of managers say they lack the resources they need to do their job - with pressure to get work done on time the main reason given for working long hours.
And, of course, a key factor behind all this time pressure is the restructuring and change that are now seen as facts of working life. Sixty per cent of managers say their organisations have restructured in the past year.
And while 51 per cent of these managers say it has increased profitability, about the same proportion claim it has led to job insecurity, lower morale and the erosion of motivation and loyalty. Fifty-two per cent of the more than 1,000 managers questioned, compared with 45 per cent last time, fear their organisations have lost essential skills and experience through such initiatives.
It is in an effort to deal with such problems that the Roffey Park course has been established. It is being presented by Paul Roberts, the organisation's programme director, and Professor Ralph Stacey, visiting fellow at Roffey Park and director of Hertfordshire University's complexity and management centre.
According to Mr Roberts, by understanding more about how complex adaptive systems work, managers can do much to assist the change process. "Instead of hierarchically imposing change, managers need to unleash the potential for change. They can do this by creating adaptive organisations with flexible structures, skills, processes and information flows."
Professor Stacey points out that any group of humans - families, communities or companies - can be thought of as complex adaptive systems consisting of interacting individuals with different ideas and beliefs. He adds that the potential for any action to have all kinds of ramifications means that it is vital for managers to have some grip on the so-called complexity theory.
"Change will occur, but not in the way that you designed or planned for. What emerges is totally unpredictable," he says.
The Roffey Park course, "Meeting the Challenge of Change", consists of three sets of two-day modules and is limited to 12 participants, each focusing on a real project, at a time. For further information contact Mr Roberts on 01293 851644.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...