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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5 Top Tips For Mastering B2B Social Media

8/28/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Marketing

Did you know that 23% of UK B2B businesses rate poor organisational understanding of social media as one of the top challenges they face this year? As the world is becoming more technologically savvy and the ‘social media generation’ are finding themselves in key roles within businesses, this is shocking to me. Social media is a very powerful tool within the initial attraction stage of the buyer’s journey, and it’s only growing stronger.

With a small amount of time and effort, you can transform your business’ social media footprint from poor or non-existent to effective and compelling.

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5 Simple Steps to a Great Presentation

7/19/2015 posted in Vistage Open Days, Speakers, Getting Ahead, Employee Motivation, Negotiation

Giving a speech or conducting a presentation is hard for any person to do; you need to engage with your audience and make them forget that they are learning. Do not misunderstand; you should be aiming to teach the audience as much as possible, but in such a way that no one is bored, nobody should feel like getting up and pretending to have heard every word.

From the moment you walk onto the stage, until your closing remarks, you will need to retain the full attention of your audience, and this all begins with the opening. Each audience will be different, which will cause you to change your opening, in order to suit the people you are speaking in front of. You can start your presentation with a quote, story, or anything that you believe will get the audience’s full attention. You will need to know how to get their attention fast, and you will need to maintain their attention – fully. 

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Are You a Gamechanger - Why be 10% Better When You Can be 10x better?

2/12/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead

How can you enable business growth? Todays business leaders are full of ideas, theories and information. They are exceptional at traditional business thinking, yet many feel uncertain about how the future will play out and are afraid of managing change. Truly innovative leaders naturally foster new ideas and boldly discover new opportunities.

In his newest book "Gamechangers - Are You Ready to Change the World?" Peter Fisk investigates a wide range of gamechanging businesses from across the globe. His book unveils key strategies behind these innovative thinkers and he challenges you to recharge your thinking and optimise your opportunites for future business growth. 

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Interview: The Insider’s Guide to Cash Flow Management for Growth

1/20/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Raising finance, Change Management

Vistage UK interviews James Nicholson-Smith, Director, FD Centre
It probably sounds odd, but financial cash management in growth businesses needs to have grit and determination over the outcomes of the business. In terms of helping to achieve significant growth, how does cash management play a part?

James: Cash is a bit like oil and power in a machine. You can design and build an absolutely fantastic machine that changes the world, but without the power to make it start and the oil to lubricate the moving parts, it'll seize up very quickly. Parts will stop working and melt away to join many other good ideas and inventions that unfortunately litter history.
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The Corporate Athlete - a Sport Analogy that Doesn't Work for Business

1/16/2015 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Work/Life Balance Issues

As a CEO coach I’ve always taken the view that my job is a holistic responsibility. That is, I believe that as part of the client’s team I have a responsibility to help him or her become aware of ways in which they can improve in all areas of their life. Awareness being only the first part of it of course, as I then believe I should coach them into taking the right actions to make this awareness work for them.

A coaching revelation

Early on in my coaching career, in the last century in fact, I always thought of myself in a similar role as that of a real professional sports coach. I’d help in all areas except when they are performing because that’s their bit. That‘s where they perform. That’s their job. That’s what they are paid to do. It became strikingly obvious to me when coaching sports people alongside business people that the coaching analogy starts and ends abruptly at the front door. You simply cannot compare the performance or activity of a corporate executive with a professional athlete – they simply do not compare at all.

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95% of Companies Get Their Value Proposition Wrong - How Does Yours Compare?

11/27/2014 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Sales, Marketing, Strategy


95% of all companies do not even know what their competitive advantages are. Much less are able to communicate a clear reason for why customers should choose their product or service. Vistage Speaker Jaynie Smith states that "this isn't just true for small to medium sized businesses" - large companies also have it wrong. The trouble is that most business leaders are carrying on with business as usual, not realising that they are doing themselves, their staff and their customers a disservice. So, it is likely that you are too!

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How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Poor Business Advice

10/2/2014 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Vistage Chair

Looking for high quality independent business advice can be an infuriating process. The market is flooded with consultants who propose blanket approaches and ignore the importance of your individual business needs.

As a business coach myself, I get very frustrated by the approach of some management consultants because their advice has often proved to be of poor value, or at worst they have caused more harm than good. 

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Why Your Company's Collective Knowledge is a Potential Gold Mine

10/1/2014 posted in Business, Getting Ahead, Sales, Employee Motivation

Many entrepreneurs, business owners, executives, and CEOs think that their business’ best asset is what’s in the bank account. They think value comes from a warehouse full of products or an office full of expensive equipment. But the truth is, a business’ best asset is something much more powerful: its institutional knowledge. When the staff fails to capture that knowledge and make it shareable, that business bleeds value left, right, and centre. It’s up to the leadership team to ensure that institutional expert knowledge isn’t sidelined or going to waste, causing untold inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

What Happens When Knowledge Stays In The Brain?

When an organisation’s collective knowledge is trapped in the brains of its best personnel, countless opportunities to support employees and clients are missed. Just look at the problems a business faces when its collective knowledge isn’t tangible and accessible and is only transferred verbally:  

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