IELTS LISTENING PART 4 | TEST 4

Questions 31–40

IELTS LISTENING PART 4 | TEST 4

Questions 31–35

Complete the summary below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.

IELTS LISTENING PART 4 | TEST 4

Questions 36–40

Complete the table below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each answer

IELTS LISTENING PART 4 | TEST 4

Answers

Questions 31–35

31. Answer: imagination

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “How do you lead and control the staff whose job it is to create new business and product ideas for you?  They are the ones full of creativity and imagination, so they need to have a lot of freedom….”
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (imagination):
    • manage = lead and control
  • Explanation:  
    • The speaker explains why creative staff need to have a lot of freedom – because they have imagination and creativity.
  • The answer is imagination.

32. Answer: standardisation

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “Management styles used to be different, especially in manufacturing.  In the factory, staff would be told what to do and how to do it – with a watchful eye kept on them.  In that setting, standardisation was important for efficiency and product quality”.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (standardisation):
    • vital = important
  • Explanation
    • The speaker talks about production in factories in the past:  “that setting” refers to the place where production took place = factories.  So, in factories in the past, standardisation was very important.
  • The answer is standardisation.

33. Answer: implemented

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “…we need lots of new ideas, and now we employ bright young minds to come up with them.  However, these ideas have to be implemented to make a change to our profits”.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (implemented):
    • create = come up with
  • Explanation:  
    • When the speaker says “make a change to our profits”, the idea is “increase our profits” or “make money”.  In order to make money, it is not enough to have new ideas, those ideas then have to be implemented.
  • The answer is implemented.

34. Answer: implemented

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “…we need lots of new ideas, and now we employ bright young minds to come up with them.  However, these ideas have to be implemented to make a change to our profits”.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (implemented):
    • create = come up with
  • Explanation:  
    • When the speaker says “make a change to our profits”, the idea is “increase our profits” or “make money”.  In order to make money, it is not enough to have new ideas, those ideas then have to be implemented.
  • The answer is implemented.

35. Answer: performance bonuses

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “Young enthusiastic staff will be very keen to meet these targets, and some of them might potentially use illegal means….Achievement targets are often linked directly to performance bonuses, and this can make a bad situation worse”.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (performance bonuses):
    • break the law = use illegal means
    • goals = targets
    • tied into = linked to
  • Explanation:  
    • Once we understand that “tied into” means the same as “linked to”, the answer is clear.  The speaker refers to the problems caused when staff are motivated/keen to meet achievement targets.  They may be tempted to break the law, especially if they can earn money in the form of performance bonuses.
  • The answer is performance bonuses.

Questions 36–40

36. Answer: control levers

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “Robert Simons, writing in the Harvard Business Review, has added some new concepts to the thorny problem of encouraging creativity while maintaining a viable business.  He suggests three other control levers to assist in getting positive creative contributions from the workforce”.
  • Explanation:  
    • So, Robert Simons refers to three control levers to manage creativity.  
  • The answer is control levers.

37. Answer: motto

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “The first of his levers is getting the workers actively involved in the central ethos of the business.  One of the most common ways to do this is to create a mission statement, but along with that, many businesses have some kind of motto, which summarises their key idea….”
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (motto):
    • engage = actively involve
    • core values = ethos
  • Explanation:  
    • Your knowledge of vocabulary will help to find the correct answer here.  However, there are also some guides.  The speaker talks about the first lever, then refers to a company mission statement as one approach. Then the speaker explains the idea of a company motto, giving the examples mentioned in the question (the best tools in the world;  the customer is no. 1).
  • So, the answer is motto.

38. Answer: negative thinking

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “A second lever was once described by Charles Christenson, Professor at Harvard Business School, as “the power of negative thinking”.  You can’t continually instruct your creative minds in what they should do…..But you can tell them what not to do…”
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (negative thinking):
    • tell = instruct
  • Explanation
    • The speaker describes the second lever.  The next key word, “power” helps us to find the answer.  The speaker then gives examples of things which managers can tell creative staff NOT to do (design unsuitable potential products;  unacceptable behaviour).
  • The answer is negative thinking.

39. Answer: boundaries

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “It’s absolutely vital to establish boundaries to assist in controlling innovation without suppressing it”.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (boundaries):
    • set = establish
    • help = assist
    • creativity = innovation
  • Explanation:  
    • The speaker, remember, is still talking about the second lever.  The idea of negative thinking is to set boundaries, to control/direct the creative energies of staff, without discouraging their innovation.
  • The answer is boundaries.

40. Answer: interactive control

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • “The third lever is basically sitting down with your crew to share ideas about the business.  As manager, your duty is to stay abreast of the external factors….This lever is called ‘interactive control’….”
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (interactive control):
    • discuss = share ideas
  • Explanation:  
    • The speaker now talks about the third lever.  Before naming this lever, the speaker refers to the duties of a manager in terms of explaining external factors to the staff (= the crew).  Examples of 3 external factors are given.  The speaker then gives a name for this lever – interactive control, a discussion with staff directed by the manager.
  • The answer is interactive control.

Transcript

You will hear a lecturer giving a talk on managing creativity in a business. First you have some time to look at questions 31 to 40.

Now listen carefully and answer questions 31 to 40.

Hello everyone. The topic of today’s management lecture is “Managing Creativity in Your Business”, and believe me, this is one of the toughest tasks that any manager has to face. How do you lead and control the staff whose job it is to create new business and product ideas for you? They are the ones full of creativity and imagination, so they need to have a lot of freedom – after all they are the people who are paid to come up with new ideas! Controlling staff who are at the forefront of innovation will be one of your most challenging tasks. After all, creativity implies freedom of thought and action.

Management styles used to be different, especially in manufacturing. In the factory, staff would be told what to do and how to do it – with a watchful eye kept on them. In that setting, standardisation was important for efficiency and product quality. Work could be exceptionally boring and there was no place for individuality. Now, of course, robots have taken over many of the exacting, repetitive tasks. Nowadays, we employ far more people to generate business than to manufacture products. It’s very competitive out there. Innovation – that’s what our modern consumer craves.

Successful companies have got the message – we need lots of new ideas, and now we employ bright young minds to come up with them. However, these ideas have to be implemented to make a change to our profits! So we have to find staff with entrepreneurial flair, and be ready to listen to them and support them to follow through on their ideas. We need to supervise without stemming the flow of ideas, or sending the brightest minds to work for the opposition. Creative people won’t welcome us always looking over their shoulder and checking up on what they’re doing.

One of the most common ways that management handles this problem of keeping people working along company lines, is by establishing achievement targets, like money earned, products developed, or clients gained. These targets are a useful guideline, but they have a downside. Young enthusiastic staff will be very keen to meet these targets, and some of them might potentially use illegal means or behave unethically in order to meet requirements — for example, by offering bribes to gain sales, or making their sales numbers or earnings look higher than they are, or even threatening or criticising other staff to get a job completed. Achievement targets are often linked directly to performance bonuses, and this can make a bad situation worse. So, as you can see, the standard management techniques can create inherent problems both for the individual and for the company.

More recent theorists suggest new tactics for managers. Robert Simons, writing in the Harvard Business Review, has added some new concepts to the thorny problem of encouraging creativity while maintaining a viable business. He suggests three other control levers to assist in getting positive creative contributions from the workforce. Remember – this is the point – we want creativity, wild, vibrant creativity to compete in the marketplace – yet we must be careful to keep people on track, sticking to our core business and maintaining the company’s reputation.

The first of his levers is getting the workers actively involved in the central ethos of the business. One of the most common ways to do this is to create a mission statement, but along with that, many businesses have some kind of motto, which summarises their key idea; for example, ‘the most durable tools in the world’ or perhaps ‘the customer comes first’. Whatever it is, you’ll want your bright minds to believe it and act on it, so Robert Simons suggests that it should be developed with staff input – letting them feel like part of the operation. After all, their jobs depend on it!

A second lever was once described by Charles Christenson, Professor at Harvard Business School, as “the power of negative thinking”. You can’t continually instruct your creative minds in what they should do. They are meant to be inventing, leading, not following, and telling them what to do is counter-productive. But you can tell them what not to do; which potential products are not related to the company’s objectives, or which strategies or behaviours are unacceptable. This is a tactical ploy to maintain the company’s integrity. It’s absolutely vital to establish boundaries to assist in controlling innovation without suppressing it.

The third lever is basically sitting down with your crew to share ideas about the business. As manager, your duty is to stay abreast of the external factors such as: Who’s competing in your market? How well is the company doing this month, and are you losing or gaining money? Is there some new product seducing your customers?

This lever is called ‘interactive control’. This means you talk to your innovators, and communicate honestly and clearly about your perceptions of what’s happening in the market. You encourage them to share their ideas, and make plans together for the future.

IELTS Listening Part 4 British Council

IELTS LISTENING PART 4

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