The Culture Review - The Rise Of Accidental Managers

Issue 100

with Ivan Hollingsworth, Founder of Centric Consultants

Recently there has been a lot of discussion in the media on the rise of ‘accidental managers’ – people with training in a specialist skill who are thrust into a people management role without adequate training or support. It’s an issue that is putting significant strain on teams in almost every sector.

So how do we address the problem?

When you are thinking of promoting or hiring a manager, the first question would be to ask does this team need a manager or a leader? Someone parachuting in to watch and check what each person is doing is never ok and will ultimately negatively impact everything that you are trying to achieve by building a thriving culture. Connection, trust and psychological safety are almost always damaged in this scenario, spreading toxicity through your workforce and damaging productivity, morale and your ability to retain the best talent. Like any role, managers need appropriate training and the role should come with a tight remit about listening, coaching, and collaborating; this will put people at ease.

The difference between management and leadership is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations as they try to grow and evolve. According to the CMI Good Management Report 2023, 52% of managers do not hold any management and leadership qualifications and employees who rate their manager as ineffective are significantly more likely to be planning to leave their organisation in the next 12 months than those who say their line manager is effective (50% vs 21%).

Leaders that show humility, admit that they don’t have all the answers and are genuinely curious ideas and opinions will generate an environment where people want to input and innovate – and that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Invest in training that takes a critical look at the values of an inclusive leader and how by adopting them you can empower yourself and others to reach shared goals and make high-quality decisions and support your team to understand what psychological safety looks like.

The Fearless Organization – Amy Edmondson

In this must-read book, Amy Edmonson offers practical guidance for teams and organizations who are serious about success in the modern economy. With so much riding on innovation, creativity, and spark, it is essential to attract and retain quality talent?but what good does this talent do if no one is able to speak their mind?

Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek

In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek, internationally best-selling author of Start With Why, investigates these great leaders from Marine Corps Officers, who don’t just sacrifice their place at the table but often their own comfort and even their lives for those in their care, to the heads of big business and government – each putting aside their own interests to protect their teams.

Ivan is the only accredited ‘Licensed Psychological Safety Practitioner’ in the North East who can carry out the Fearless Organization Scan, which is widely regarded as the gold standard to measure psychological safety.

For more insights on what company culture truly means, and to find out more about booking a Fearless Organization Scan for your business follow Centric Consultants on LinkedIn or email Ivan directly at

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