[Quiz] How Strong is the Trust Culture in Your Business?

9/27/2016 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, HR, Recruitment, Strategy, Change Management

72% of CEOs indicated that the inability to attract and retain employees with key skills threatens their growth prospects, according to PwC's 2016 global survey of CEOs. In response, as many as 41% of CEOs are revising their work culture and behaviours in an effort to engage more closely with the people their businesses need to remain relevant and competitive.

A critical factor in improving the working environment is trust. Employees and employers need to confidently rely on each other to produce results. Where there are high levels of trust, employees are more committed to the company and are more likely to recommend it to other potential candidates through peer review sites such as Glassdoor.co.uk.

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3 Observations of Business Culture and Practical Tips to Overcome Resistance

8/26/2016 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Employee Motivation, Strategy, Change Management

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” according to a quote attributed to management guru Peter Drucker. Your organisation’s strategy is easy to define and can be changed with the stroke of a pen, but your culture? That’s made up of thousands, sometimes millions, of decisions, attitudes, messages and relationships. But if culture is so important and so hard to define, how do you set about changing it?

In 2006, the BBC decided to move a host of major departments, including Children’s TV, Breakfast News, Dragons’ Den and Match of the Day, to a brand new base in Salford. The move cost hundreds of millions of pounds and saw nearly a thousand staff relocate from London. BBC North promised staff a better working culture. I was part of the team that had to deliver it, and here are my observations.

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5 IT Security Questions Every MD Needs to be Asking Their Team

2/19/2016 posted in Business, Being a new CEO, Technology, Strategy, Change Management

One business trend that is guaranteed to gain traction in 2016 is data security – with the recent spate of cyber attacks on high-profile targets such as TalkTalk, V-Tech and Ashley Madison forcing many business owners to re-think their online security strategies.

Witnessing the devastating effects of these criminal acts through mass media highlights just how important data security has become to 21st Century businesses. The BBC reported that the TalkTalk hack could end up costing the network provider up to £35 million in one-off costs. These additional costs include covering the response to the incident, additional IT and security infrastructure, increased calls to the call centre and, of course, lost revenue due to the inevitable fall in consumer confidence.

While it’s easy to think this will never happen to your business, it pays to be prepared – and as the head of your business, the responsibility for keeping your team security savvy lies with you.

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Is Your Leadership Style Stopping Your Business From Growing? Part 2.

2/12/2016 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Sales, Recruitment, Strategy, Change Management

Last week, in the first part of this series, we started to look at the barriers a lot of business leaders encounter when faced with the challenge of real growth.

The first barrier we identified was that of being able to look objectively at your company and ask “what do we have to do differently to reach the next barrier?”, and assuming you manage to answer than question, things will undoubtedly need to change. A CEO might have had nine people reporting to them directly when they started up and functioned perfectly well, but it’s impossible to cope with 45, 50, even 75 direct reports.

If you want to grow your company, you’re going to need to recruit leadership talent.

It’s pointless hiring new leaders if you don’t change your own leadership style. What’s appropriate for a start-up company doesn’t work nearly as well for an established business looking to grow. You can micromanage a small team, but if you continue to do that once you have a leadership team in place, at best, you’ll demotivate some of your leaders. At worst, you’ll micromanage your new leaders right out of the company.

You hired your leaders to do a job. Let them get on with it.

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Is Your Leadership Style Stopping Your Business From Growing? Part 1.

2/5/2016 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Getting Ahead, Sales, Recruitment, Strategy, Change Management

Believe it or not, not all businesses want to grow. Some people just want a lifestyle business, have it stay about the same, not grow and just keep ticking over.

If that’s your vision for your business, then this blog post is not for you. While it’s a perfectly valid strategy to want your business to stay exactly the same, the reality is that the world of business is constantly changing, which has an impact on your company, whether you like it or not.

When a child plays a video game for the first time, they quickly discover is that the character that stands still gets killed first. It’s the same in business. Usually, you’re going to either grow or shrink your business, but if you’re standing still, you’re really going backwards. Your competitors will be overtaking you if you’re staying in the same place. While staying the same is certainly a type of strategy, you may well decide that it’s not a good one or the right one for your business.

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Is Employee Wellbeing the Real Failure of Your Business?

12/4/2015 posted in Business, Leading, Not Managing, Work/Life Balance Issues, HR, Employee Motivation, Vistage, Strategy, Change Management

It is becoming clear that there are three key objectives to focus on when running a business:
  1. To do whatever you do and make a profit
  2. To market whatever it is you do, so that you gain and retain clients
  3. To look after your workforce so they perform as well as possible

Wellbeing is a concept that is gaining mainstream exposure. Both government and private enterprise are beginning to take the notion of employee wellbeing much more seriously. Why is this? What are the benefits to business and the economy? And what can individual companies do for their own staff to encourage and develop wellbeing?

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10 Smart Ways to 'Change the Game' and Accelerate Growth

11/27/2015 posted in Economy, Business, Sales, Strategy, Change Management

Ashmei is changing the game of sportswear. The small Aylesbury-based company, with an interesting Chinese name, designs sportswear, assembled from the most innovative suppliers across 4 continents, to create products that its many fans will pay twice as much for.

Raspberry Pi, the Cambridge manufacturer of computers for £30, is the best friend of young digital entrepreneurs, and has become a global network by setting up Raspberry Pi Clubs in 150 cities worldwide. Nearby start-up, Azuri Tech, has transformed the lives of millions of Africans by giving them £1/week pay-as-you-go solar panels that provide enough energy to light their homes, cook food and charge their mobile phones.

Three examples of small UK companies who are 'changing the game' in their respective markets, with influence and growth across the world.

Gamechangers think and act differently. They fuse digital and physical, global and local, ideas and networks. They win by being smart, fast and connected – rather than through scale and efficiency. They capture their higher purpose in more inspiring brands that resonate with their target audiences at the right time and place, enabled by data and technology, but more through empathetic design and rich human experiences.

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4 Simple Steps to Creating a Corporate Culture of Superstar Performance

9/18/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, HR, Recruitment, Strategy, Change Management

Are you getting the performance out of your employees your company needs?

A recent Gallup poll showed that a mere 31.5% of employees felt engaged at work, with a worrying 17.5% so disengaged that they actively worked against their company’s goals. It can be hard enough to get the results you want without having to fight against the people who should be on your side. The simple truth is that disgruntled employees have a direct impact on your bottom line and it’s an issue you ignore at your peril.

So what can you do about it?

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Are you a little bit Nokia?

9/11/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Change Management

I remember, not that long ago, if you were flying just about anywhere in the world, after landing there would be an outbreak of Nokia ringtones going off around the plane as everyone turned their phones back on. And now? Never.

As a young engineer I remember being proud to be the new owner of an Aristo sliderule. It was the very best you could get – the Rolls Royce. Where are Aristo now? Gone.

The Cutty Sark tea clipper in its day was one of the fastest commercial sailing ships ever built – the envy of all. Then steam was invented and these new fangled steam ships didn’t need to tack into the wind and hence could cut hours from the Far East route. There have been no commercial sailing ships built since.

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The 6 Mega Trends Shaping The Future Of Your Workforce

5/22/2015 posted in Business, Technology, Recruitment, Change Management

There are significant changes ahead that will redefine the way that many of us do business, if we can keep abreast with these shifts then we can really take advantages of the opportunities that will arise.

We will shortly be entering a time when for many people there will be 4 generations in the home, this will have a dramatic impact on both our lives and our businesses. In addition, technology continues to transform so much about our lives, including the physical places we do business and the ways in which we communicate with colleagues and clients.

Businesses are only just adjusting their models to reflect the new economy and are engaged in a constant war for talent which will increase as employees take control of their working status, eager for training opportunities and flexible hours. Have you considered what this could mean for your business?

What will the global workforce look like in 2020?

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