News Article | November 11, 2015
Uncertainty is haunting UK science. On 25 November, the Conservative government that won a parliamentary majority in May will announce its first spending review — and researchers have no idea what to expect. Many hold that the science budget desperately needs to increase, and there is renewed pressure to implement a rise from an influential group of politicians. Current investment from both business and government is well below 2% of gross domestic product (GDP). That should be increased to 3%, an internationally recognized target, to safeguard productivity, warned the House of Commons committee on science and technology on 9 November, following an investigation into research spending. “We need to have that increase,” says Nicola Blackwood, the Conservative Member of Parliament who heads the committee. “We need a road map to the 3% target.” But despite pleas for more cash, the goal of the spending review — to reduce overall government outgoings by £20 billion (US$30 billion) by 2020 — does not give most researchers hope. If the science budget is part of the trimming — or if it remains flat, as occurred in the previous comprehensive spending review in 2010 — many say that science will suffer. “We are so lean now I really can’t take anything else out,” says Michael Wakelam, director of the Babraham Institute, a life-sciences research centre near Cambridge. Even a flat budget would mean that he could not replace staff who leave and that the quality of research at the institute would decline, he says. Intensifying the uncertainty is a government proposal announced on 6 November to axe the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which doles out around £1.6 billion each year to universities for research; scientists are also awaiting the results of a government-commissioned review into the seven UK research councils, which dish out a further £3 billion. The 2010 spending review kept the core science budget frozen at £4.6 billion a year for five years, and slashed a smaller budget for science infrastructure by almost half. The result was a relief to researchers because the government — then a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats — had committed to substantial cuts in public spending ahead of the review. David Willetts, science minister at the time, even received flowers from the founder of Research Fortnight magazine in the wake of the announcement, for his role in protecting science. Although cash for infrastructure has increased since then, inflation has eroded the core science budget, forcing researchers to cut back. Another five years of the same would now be extremely difficult, says Alison Davenport, who is chair of the independent scientific advisory board to the Science and Technology Facilities Council, and provided evidence about the impact of frozen science funding to Blackwood’s parliamentary committee. Another freeze on science funding “will lead to an accelerated decline with serious and irreversible damage to particle physics”, Davenport warned the committee. In one scenario that she considered, Britain’s flagship X-ray synchrotron, the Diamond Light Source, would operate at 70% of its optimum capacity, the national Central Laser Facility at 50%, and the ISIS neutron source would need to shut down by 2019. There are also “serious concerns”, says Davenport, that there will not be enough resources to analyse the data coming in from major astronomy projects and the Large Hadron Collider. The government, however, may not appreciate the impact of a flat budget this time, says Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute in Oxford, particularly because people regarded it as positive in 2010. Even worse than a frozen budget would be cuts. That fear has been stoked by the government’s demand in July that before the spending review, almost all departments — including that for Business, Innovation and Skills, which manages most of the government-supported science budget — model scenarios in which their budgets are cut by 25% and 40%. Few think that cuts to the science budget would reach even 25%. Still, at least one major funder, the Medical Research Council, believes that there is a risk that its funds could be cut and has examined various possible scenarios, according to the minutes of a July meeting. Worried researchers have started taking action: more than 1,000 have written to the government through the Science is Vital campaign. Astrophysicist Phil Evans of the University of Leicester warned in his message that skilled academics are leaving the country because they cannot find jobs; others detailed how their own research contributes to the UK economy. ‘Backdoor’ cuts, says Kieron Flanagan, a science-policy researcher at the Alliance Manchester Business School, could include stretching the science budget to cover areas such as innovation, which is currently separate, or cutting the research councils’ administrative budgets. Further uncertainty comes in the form of the characters behind the review. The highly respected Willetts is gone, and the current science minister, Jo Johnson, was notably unimpressed by the notion that Britain should be spending 3% of its GDP on research, describing it as “a nice round number, more than anything else” when he appeared before Blackwood’s committee. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who holds the purse strings and is seen as the architect of the government’s economic austerity programme, has consistently claimed to support science. Osborne got kudos for sparing science in the last review — and for increasing research-infrastructure spending since then. “It would be very odd to spend your first five years as chancellor saying, ‘I’m the chancellor for science’,” says Hillman, “and then to not see that through in the second term.” Any science spending boost might come with strings attached. Innovation and regional growth are likely to be priorities of future science spending, says Paul Nightingale, deputy director of the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex in Brighton. So Osborne might continue a trend, established under the last government, of allocating funding directly from the treasury to projects outside London, such as the UK National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, in an effort to boost regional economies.
News Article | March 2, 2017
When she received a flyer telling her she could make money by renting seats at the table to people looking for short-term office space, she jumped at the chance to list its virtues on the Spacehop website—where Airbnb meets the laptop entrepreneur. "I wondered why perhaps it had taken so long since Airbnb has been running for so long," Brynteson said at her home in south London. "People have for a long time been making money out of their home with guests staying over the night and paying to be there. This is a little less intrusive." The rise of self-employment and soaring office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in metropolitan areas, with a handful of firms renting workspace by the hour, similar to the way Airbnb offers overnight stays. Vrumi, founded in 2015, says it has 5,000 registered users and 120,000 square feet of rentable workspace across the U.K. London-based Spacehop joined the market last year, as did Breather, a four-year-old company that also operates in the U.S. and Canada. It's the latest development of the so-called sharing economy, where those looking for extra cash are generating income any way they can with the help of the internet and smartphone apps. Space itself has become a commodity, with people renting their driveways to commuters searching for parking, attics to apartment dwellers in need of storage and garden plots to those who want to grow their own tomatoes. Boxful in Hong Kong promises to declutter your life by collecting and storing unneeded belongings. In Spain, LetMeSpace provides a marketplace to rent out anything from parking spaces to unused storage. Pubs are renting out space in the morning to people looking for peace to work, said Catherine Cottney, manager of trends at business research firm Mintel. "It's the final frontier," Cottney said. "People are recognizing the worth of space and they're looking to maximize that." With an abundance of investors and a computer-literate entrepreneurial population, the U.K. is driving the trend in Europe. In Britain, platform revenues more than tripled to 850 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in the three years through 2015, according to a study by PwC. Peer-to-peer accommodation, which includes shared office space as well as overnight stays like Airbnb, accounted for 27 percent of that total. Globally, PwC estimates that revenues in the sharing economy were about $15 billion in 2015. The move toward new workspaces dovetails with changes in the workplace itself. Cary Cooper, an expert on workplace issues at Alliance Manchester Business School, said he's surprised the Airbnb model didn't come to office space sooner, and he believes it will grow as millennials seek flexibility and others seek to make a living. Recent figures from the Resolution Foundation think tank found that self-employment accounts for 45 percent of the growth in employment in Britain since 2008. "It's an outgrowth of the recession and an outgrowth of people being re-employed on a contingency basis," said Cooper. "Big employers don't want to make a commitment to people." Lavinia Osbourne started her own financial counseling business in the wake of the global economic crisis but found working at home was too difficult when she needed to meet clients. She struggled to find peace and quiet working in coffee shops and hotel lobbies. "I hate Starbucks," the 40-year-old entrepreneur said. "It's noisy. It's dirty. Sometimes you can't find a place to sit. You can't find a socket that works." "Sometimes, if you are there too long, the maître d' or the staff can give you a little funny look," she said. Her solution? Brynteson's dining table, where filmmakers, entrepreneurs and novelists sit down to work with other creative people. There, for 22 pounds a day, "hoppers" get one of eight places at the table, WiFi, and access to the kitchen and bathroom. Fringe benefits include sliding glass doors that look out over a tree-lined garden and visits from Coco, the family cat. Brynteson had been an Airbnb host and was accustomed to the idea of allowing people into her home. When she realized people would pay for a seat at her table, she teamed up with Spacehop. "It's just sitting there empty anyways," she said. The company vets both the host and client for the transaction, verifying the mobile phone, e-mail and identification. So far, there have been no major issues, though there's an insurance policy that covers any gaps in a home insurance policy for claims or damage. Brynteson also does her own due diligence to make sure she's comfortable with the guest. The portable office represents a step forward from a time when the budding entrepreneur would find a coffee house and look for a free chair close to an electrical outlet. Freelancers and self-employed people need the ability to work without distractions, network with others in the same position and speak with clients with some degree of confidentiality. And for those in companies, open plan offices also make it hard for people who work for the same company to talk. "The way we work is changing," said Roddy Campbell, the founder of space rental firm Vrumi. "People like being with people but offices are the worst places to get things done." Campbell said the business isn't just about laptop startups either. Vrumi takes a lot of bookings from small groups who work at larger companies but need time away from the phone calls, email and office noise—for instance senior managers who want to meet without being seen or distracted. Consultancy PwC estimates that the sharing economy will continue to expand. In Britain, it expects 30 percent growth annually over the next decade, generating 18 billion pounds of revenue for platforms and facilitating 140 billion pounds worth of transactions a year by 2025. "We thought growth would have tailed off," said Robert Vaughn of PwC, "but it's actually accelerating." In this photo taken on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, Spacehop user Claire Brynteson poses for a picture in one of the homes available for hire as office space on the Spacehop website, in London. The rise of self-employment and soaring office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in metropolitan areas, with a handful of firms renting workspace by the hour, similar to the way Airbnb offers overnight stays. Vrumi, founded in 2015, says it has 5,000 registered users and 120,000 square feet of rentable workspace across the U.K. London-based Spacehop joined the market last year, as did Breather, a four-year-old company that also operates in the U.S. and Canada. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) In this photo taken on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, Spacehop user Whitney Fangawa poses for a picture in one of the homes available for hire as office space on the Spacehop website, in London. The rise of self-employment and soaring office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in metropolitan areas, with a handful of firms renting workspace by the hour, similar to the way Airbnb offers overnight stays. Vrumi, founded in 2015, says it has 5,000 registered users and 120,000 square feet of rentable workspace across the U.K. London-based Spacehop joined the market last year, as did Breather, a four-year-old company that also operates in the U.S. and Canada. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Explore further: Study: How new Airbnb nondiscrimination policy may be worse
News Article | February 27, 2017
Businesses live or die by the strength of their ideas. In the modern age, products, services and brands need to be continually updated or reinvented. There are also times when businesses need to go back to the drawing board and start again. The key to generating good ideas is to get out of the meeting room and allow staff to work on different concepts, thinks Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of cloud accounting software company FreeAgent. The walls of his office are covered in scribbles from team brainstorming sessions. Molyneux’s staff have also tried round-robin brainstorming, “brainwriting” (where a person writes down all their ideas and then passes them on) and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to evaluate ideas. But he thinks the working environment is more important than method for idea generation. “We’ve incorporated break-out areas in our office where our staff can come together and informally work on projects,” says Molyneux. “This has been far more effective than if we’d just had one meeting room.” For Darren Fell, founder of Brighton-based Crunch Accounting, the office itself is too constrictive and instead he opts for walking meetings. “It a fresh perspective and I find I am often at my most creative when moving.” Academics and researchers are finding there is much to commend about both of the above approaches. Ileana Stigliani, assistant professor in design and innovation at Imperial College Business School, says businesses should let their employees “break free” to explore ideas. She recommends bosses allow their staff “a walk in the woods, a visit to an art gallery, or just listen to music to get inspiration”. She says good ideas cannot be forced out and creative people may benefit from flexible hours. “Companies need to let go of the traditional nine to five working week. Team members need to come into work when they are rested and at their best.” But while time out of the office can stimulate the mind, businesses do need employees to be at work sometimes. Stigliani, therefore, recommends the creation of “war rooms” or “hacked spaces”, citing the success of Silicon Valley tech giants who use this approach. “The best creative spaces should have plenty of whiteboards and surface area to put sticky notes and visual imagery on the walls, with furniture that can be easily rearranged,” she says. “Google is famous for its creative war rooms, where employees can brainstorm but also listen to music, play with toys, and generally chill out.” Mark Batey, a senior lecturer in organisational psychology at Alliance Manchester Business School says we need to process information before brainstorming. “If you give people time, their brains can start working on ideas in the background. So when they do get to the idea-generation stage they are all ready to go.” But, when seeking inspiration, business owners should also remain open-minded, watching new trends and technologies, even if they don’t seem obviously relevant to their industry. “By looking outside of their immediate sphere, a business can find the seeds of fruitful ideas,” Batey says. But he warns entrepreneur-led companies that a founder or owner can get in the way of their staff. It’s easy for this to happen if a company is the brainchild of one entrepreneur who has become accustomed to being the main provider of ideas and solutions. In order to avoid this, they must aim to create a culture of creativity. “Business owners need to ask questions [of staff] but be careful to not give the solutions when framing those questions.” Vikas Shah, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, says creative environments are generally happy ones. Entrepreneurs, he reasons, should aim to cut the stress of their employees’ environments if they want people to perform at their best. “Companies absolutely have to make sure they prioritise the mental health of employees, both for their well-being and also because this hugely increases creativity and innovative thinking,” he says. Shah says the key to creativity is often found in seemingly unconnected ideas and spheres. He says researchers are increasingly interested in the concept of serendipity – how our brains connect seemingly unrelated concepts to produce creative insights. This was a gift displayed by Apple founder Steve Jobs, who spent much time studying calligraphy prior to launching Apple, which supposedly helped inspire the design of the Mac. Shah adds that many successful organisations attempt to inculcate serendipity by bringing in external expertise. “Many of the most successful organisations I have worked with have structured sessions inviting inspirational speakers from outside their industry, and also encouraging creative tasks and workshops across departments,” he says. Carole Gaskell, managing director of Full Potential Group, has coached executives and entrepreneurs from a range of organisations including Heinz, Hilton Hotels, Nationwide Building Society and VW. She says entrepreneurs that want to stimulate new ideas should make changes in what they are thinking about in general. “Encourage both yourself and your team to learn something new,” she says. “You might want to watch an inspiring TED Talk or YouTube video, buy a book or ask someone you admire to mentor you; these are great ways to stimulate new thinking.” Mark Batey of Alliance Manchester Business School and Anna Walker, associate professor in business and management at Bath Spa University, have identified eight main components to help ideas flow: Collaboration – people must work well with others. The more diverse the group the better. Team cohesion – a tight team that pulls together is key. Good goal awareness – the clearer the goal, the more creative the output. Access to resources – time and people are the most important at the outset, but funding will be needed later. Openness to intelligent risk-taking – organisations must get used to the idea that failure is normal. When a project fails, evaluate it – don’t die of shame. The creative problem-solving process – first accumulate the facts and immerse yourself in the details, then brainstorm widely and only afterwards evaluate the ideas. Remember, creativity takes time. Autonomy – entrepreneurs must not give the solutions but allow their teams to find them. The more skill the team has, the more autonomy it should be given. Value creativity – the previous seven steps leads to the most important factor, a company that values creativity. Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.
Huq F.,Alliance Manchester Business School |
Pawar K.S.,University of Nottingham |
Rogers H.,Nurnberg University of Applied Sciences
Production Planning and Control | Year: 2016
How a supply chain (SC) is configured can have a significant impact on the performance of global firms. More specifically, disturbance factors (i.e. those factors associated with uncertainty and risk) are increasingly important considerations. This paper focuses on endogenous, exogenous and environment-related SC disturbance factors and their relative importance when configuring global SCs. Three alternative scenarios of SC configurations for European-based pharmaceutical firms are identified – insource nearshore, outsource nearshore and outsource offshore. Through a multi-phase, mixed-methods approach we find that the top five disturbance factors managers should be aware of while configuring their SCs are quality defects, unforeseen and random interruptions in manufacturing processes, order processing difficulties, untimely delivery of products and a mismatch between market demand and supplier responsiveness. This study is able to provide insights into the impact of disturbance factors on the SC configuration strategy for Big Pharmas (BPs). We show that SC disturbances influenced the decision to bring production back home (reshoring) or to a closer location (nearshoring). To mitigate the effects of disturbances many BPs recalibrated their SC configurations by insourcing core products, outsourcing non-core products offshore and developing offshore insourcing capabilities through ‘captives’. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
PubMed | Alliance Manchester Business School, Kenyatta National Hospital and University of Nairobi
Type: | Journal: The International journal of health planning and management | Year: 2016
The purpose of the research was to explore and compare the experiences, leadership and management competencies and development needs of doctor managers in Kenya and the UK.A comparative study d258esign involving fieldwork in Kenya and the UK was adopted. Data were collected using a multi-method approach: qualitative interviews and a survey with doctor managers. The template method was used for qualitative data analysis while appropriate statistical tests in SPSS were used for quantitative data analysis.The findings of the study add to the knowledge on experiences of doctor managers, competencies and development needs. Ways of addressing some of the difficulties are proposed.The study highlights issues of a comparative study across different cultures and the issue of bias that is associated with self reports.It is assumed that management decisions have much in common and the training and socialisation of doctors as professionals is somewhat similar. This paper explores if there are any experiences that are transferable and if competency frameworks in healthcare used in developed countries are transferable to a developing country.The study gives baseline knowledge and insight into the experiences, competencies and development needs of doctor managers in a developing country and adds to existing knowledge on doctor managers in the UK. This study has also provided currently the only international study comparing the experiences, competencies and development needs of doctors in management.
News Article | February 15, 2017
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The International Compliance Association (ICA), a global, not-for-profit professional membership body supporting compliance professionals through independently awarded certifications, today announces its expansion into the US, with its primary training partner, International Compliance Training (ICT). The US team, based in New York, offers programs covering Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Anti-Bribery & Corruption, Know Your Customer (KYC), Sanctions and Managing Fraud to help further the careers and knowledge of compliance professionals, with differentiated course levels available for each career stage. Leading the team in North America is Steve Stromp who brings extensive, international experience in the AML and compliance space. Steve was previously Principal Consultant at the Compliance Ready Group and has had senior level roles within banking and payments, aligning systems and processes to improve risk profiling. According to Stromp: “The International Compliance Association wants to help make the world more stable and successful by inspiring, educating and enabling our global community of compliance specialists to perform to the highest standards of professional practice and conduct. With our training and certifications now available for the US compliance community, we are excited that US compliance and financial crime prevention professionals can benefit from our international insights and uniquely practical training methods to further their career, develop their teams and help lead their businesses into the future.” There are many reasons why a focus on strengthening knowledge and the tool set for the compliance community will be important in 2017. For example, with the new Trump administration and its domestic agenda, there could also be many changes in regulatory compliance that focus on global issues, such as Dodd-Frank, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), sanctions, and counter terrorism financing. In addition, the increased need for transparency and accountability with the constantly evolving regulatory landscape, means that firms are under unprecedented scrutiny from regulators, their customers and society. For the largest global banks, regulatory fines and settlements have increased by a factor of 45 between 2009 and 2014. Corporate and financial institutions need to adhere to higher compliance standards at both a national and international level and ensure that their teams are fully trained on compliance initiatives. For compliance professionals in leading organizations, effective compliance, in collaboration with other business units, can also be seen as a key differentiator for businesses, unlocking commercial advantage and driving businesses forwards. For over 15 years, the International Compliance Association, in conjunction with its training partners, has been working with a global community of compliance, AML and financial crime professionals, firms and regulators. Together they are driving standards, best practice, and excellence through their internationally recognized professional qualifications, member resources and practical support. The ICA certifications are awarded in association with Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester (the UK’s largest campus-based business and management school). Many international regulators and bodies formally recognize the certifications such as the British Bankers’ Association, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Central Bank of the Bahamas. Globally, clients include HSBC, Visa, Citi, Barclays, Paypal and Bank of America with whom ICA and its training partner, ICT, work collaboratively to also create and deliver customized training solutions. With 55 subject matter experts in all aspects of regulatory and financial crime compliance, their world-class faculty includes international academics as well as experienced industry practitioners. The International Compliance Association will hold an Open House event on March 9th at the Intercontinental New York Time Square hotel to provide more information about the public courses they offer as well as showcasing its experience of in-house, customized programmes. The International Compliance Association (ICA) is a professional membership and awarding body. It is the leading global provider of professional qualifications in anti money laundering; governance, risk and compliance and financial crime prevention having awarded over 120,000 certifications. ICA’s internationally recognised qualifications empower you to think more, perform better and excel in your field. ICA has members in 112 countries and being part of their global membership community demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of practice and conduct, enhances your professional reputation and employability and significantly protects and improves the performance of your organisation.