Secrecy-dominated workplaces are crushing entrepreneurial spirit

Entrepreneurial spirit in the UK is being crushed by workplace environments that are dominated by secrecy, suspicion and risk averse cultures, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Its survey of more than 1,500 managers reveals that almost one in four (23%) said a culture of mistrust was stifling their ability to make decisions and a further 22% said ‘corporate caution’ was blocking progress.

Only 12% of respondents said their organisation exhibits a trusting culture and less than one in 10 (8%) are given “sign off” responsibility.

The results come as the Department of Trade and Industry continues to push for a more entrepreneurial spirit in the UK.

In a recent speech to mark Enterprise Week, trade and industry secretary, Alan Johnson, said entrepreneurial spirit was essential to the health, wealth and happiness of the UK.

“We need entrepreneurs to take risks – for the strength of our economy and the good of our society – we need to back our entrepreneurs, not hamper them, we need to praise them not knock them,” he said.

However, Jo Causon, director of marketing at the CMI, said managers appeared to be working in environments where decision-making is regarded with an element of fear.

“No-one is suggesting that caution should be thrown to the wind, but if morale, performance and productivity are to be improved, organisations need to create a culture where decisions can be reached based on empowerment and entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.

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