Vistage UK Blog

Are You Ready to Ditch Your 5 Year Plan?

Posted by Fia Gosling

01-Sep-2014 17:15:08


Where are you in your 5 plan? Almost there? Halfway through? Not even started? It’s both natural and practical to look ahead and plan for what is going to happen in the future. After all, how are you going to know the steps you need to take to achieve your ambitions, if you’ve not even defined what these goals are? But to set a concrete plan in place, which categorically informs what you will do from now until the day you retire is unrealistic. More than that, it’s kind of pointless.

In the not so distant past, career paths were set. You chose a career, you joined a company, you stayed with that company, and you retired from that company with your pension. Skip forward to the present day and it’s clear that this has all changed. If I look at the freedom we now have in our professional lives, the ability and flexibility to change careers and start new businesses is incredible.

Starting out on a new professional venture 20, 30, even 40 years into your working life is no longer exceptional; indeed, you could argue that for a seasoned business leader it’s almost expected. However, these changes are making a fundamental difference in the way we approach our working lives. The job for life is a thing of the past. But, the opportunity for a more fulfilling and rewarding career path is greater than even.

So what does this have to do with 5 year plans?

Essentially, if your 5 year plan stops you from taking advantage of new career or business opportunities then there is something very wrong with the it. Ditching the plan altogether is, perhaps, a bit dramatic. But changing the approach you have to planning means you have the joint benefit of a structure to work towards your goals, as well as the flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities in the market.

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Topics: Business, Life at the top

7 Tips for Launching Your Business Online

Posted by Paul Smyth

29-Aug-2014 17:19:00


I recently launched an online golf site targeted at senior executives and business owners. This target audience is essentially the same as the Vistage community.. This was not a coincidence as I spent seven very happy and fruitful years as a Vistage member and I saw the value in appealing to this audience.

I had never run an online business before but that didn’t faze me. If anything it motivated me as I was learning so many new things which I enjoyed.

One key lesson I took from my time at Vistage was to work on the business and not in the business. In starting my new venture I determined from the outset that I didn’t want a full-time job in the business. I would set it up so that it could operate without my full-time involvement. Apart from anything else I still had a full-time role as a CEO of a software company.

I know from my time at Vistage and from conversations with friends, colleagues and other contacts I meet in my daily life that there are many people out there with incredible ideas for online businesses. However, many wither on the vine of procrastination.

So here are my 7 tips to enable you to launch your own online business. (Many of these tips could apply to traditional businesses also).

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Topics: Business

In One Ear: Why Your Staff Aren't Really Listening to You

Posted by Philip Hesketh

28-Aug-2014 16:29:05


“I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.”

Often misattributed to the now-famous Joey Essex, these wise words were in fact first spoken about two and a half thousand years ago by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. That’s roughly two and a half thousand years before the invention of television, visual aids and digital media. So, was he right or, like Joey, was he just a bit Confucius?

At school, I remember teachers using the phrase ‘in one ear and out the other’ to describe a pupil’s lack of learning power. But if Confucius was right, it was probably more to do with a lack of aide memoirs rather than a deficiency in ‘the little grey cells.’

To test the theory that human beings absorb information more easily when we see it or have to do something, two researchers from the University of Iowa conducted an experiment. James Bigelow and Amy Poremba were convinced that simply listening to information, without any other kind of stimulus, was the least efficient way to take something in. 

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Topics: Business, Employee Motivation

Corporate Responsibility for SMEs – What You Need to Know

Posted by Jo Macsween

26-Aug-2014 17:12:46

Corporate Responsibility is no longer an optional extra for businesses or just relevant to large corporations. Regardless of size, a company’s moral and social standing adds just as much value to the business as the products that they sell or the services that they offer.

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Topics: Business, Work/life balance issues, Employee Motivation

Holding-On to Your High Potentials Without Breaking the Bank

Posted by Fia Gosling

22-Aug-2014 11:56:56

Are you in a position where you have identified high potentials within your organisation but the reality is, there’s really nowhere for them to go? If you don’t review what your strategy is for identifying and nurturing high performers many will leave before they get an opportunity to join your leadership or senior executive team, and the reasons will be humdrum.

If you able to retain your high potential employees you know that this will strengthen the organisation at its core, and what’s more you will start building a robust leadership pipeline. If not, your talent pool becomes stagnant and you end up with, as Jim Collins puts it; “the wrong people on the bus”. If you have an office full of C players how can your organisation be performing at your true potential? It’s just not possible.

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Topics: Business, Leading, not managing, Recruitment, Employee Motivation

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