New BearingPoint Institute research reveals untapped opportunity for a 20% increase in recurring productivity through active management

Amsterdam / London, February 10, 2015 – New BearingPoint Institute research has identified front-line managers have a key role to play in improving business performance. The study draws its findings from 20 years of productivity improvement programs with over 40 blue chip companies, analysing how over 10,000 front-line managers spent their time and identifying where sustained improvements in performance have been achieved. A single key aspect to transforming organizational performance was identified: turning front-line managers into active managers.

According to the study’s findings, the majority of today’s front-line managers are professionals promoted as a result of high performance in pre-management roles, regardless of what those roles might have been. In this way, the promotion into a front-line management position results in the creation of ‘accidental’ managers who typically are ill equipped to perform successfully in their new role.

Brendan Cahill, author of the study, believes many organizations are missing a significant opportunity to boost their productivity – and their bottom line:

Successful businesses are those that increase productivity. Front-line managers actively managing have the potential to unlock substantial, recurring operational improvements within their teams. In most organizations, it is an opportunity that is largely ignored.

Brendan Cahill, BearingPoint Partner in UK

Implementing active management

What then is ‘active’ management? Brendan Cahill determines it to refer to the coaching, guidance, assisting and supporting of staff in the effective performance of their day-to-day roles. BearingPoint found that the average front-line manager actively manages no more than 25% of the time with an alarming 35% of total time going to administration related activities. Ideally, a front-line manager should be spending in excess of 60% of its time actively managing.

According to the study’s findings, the key to transforming managers into effective, active managers is a combination of up front development coupled with ongoing mentoring and coaching for a period of at least 12 weeks. This targeted front-line development and coaching was found to lead to performance gains of up to 30% within their teams in just 12 weeks.

To read the full article, please download the BearingPoint Institute paper “Activate your managers to drive performance” which can be found at Walking the walk: making front-line managers successful.

About the BearingPoint Institute

Founded in 2009, the BearingPoint Institute is an incisive, authoritative voice on business-critical topics, bringing together the finest minds from both within and outside the BearingPoint organization. We strive to:

  • Advise business leaders to understand the evolution of the global economy at a deeper level
  • Explore new thinking, going beyond straightforward “Thought Leadership”
  • Propose new points of view about strategy and organizational change, and stimulate debate

This is achieved by offering practical, real-world advice from:

  • A leadership team composed of senior BearingPoint Partners, representing geographical diversity and a wealth of capabilities
  • An independent Advisory Board formed by recognized business leaders and academics
  • Studies made by experts illustrated with real-life examples
About BearingPoint

BearingPoint consultants understand that the world of business changes constantly and that the resulting complexities demand intelligent and adaptive solutions. Our clients, whether in commercial or financial industries or in government, experience real results when they work with us. We combine industry, operational and technology skills with relevant proprietary and other assets in order to tailor solutions for each client’s individual challenges. This adaptive approach is at the heart of our culture and has led to long-standing relationships with many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. Our global consulting network of 9,200 people serves clients in more than 70 countries and engages with them for measurable results and long-lasting success.

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