November 2017 - Adverts are everywhere for Christmas and the pressure is on as we race towards the end of the calendar year! Now is probably a good time to take a step book and reassess what is vitally important to achieve in the next 7 weeks. I've recently read 'Busy' by Tony Crabbe, and while I didn't fully engage with his writing and found it frustrating how many other books he cross-references (which I've already read) there were a couple of things which resonated to help deal with the increasingly busy lives we lead. Firstly to focus your time on Outcomes vs Inputs - the things YOU can make a real impact to, rather than being chased by others to support (reactive). And the other was to make a list of the top 3 things to achieve today, then strike one or two of them off - being realistic about what is vitally important to be achieved! Hope this helps when you start making lists for Christmas Celebrations....
August 2017 - it's been holiday-mode for most of my clients and so an enforced quiet time for me! I've been busy in my veggie garden, and it's no different to any other project - taking care and looking at what's worked well and should be repeated for next year! I'm going to get organised and buy my seed earlier in the season for a start. A new greenhouse in early summer will get a good winter clean out ready for seed planting early in the spring. And on the ground, some serious work to clear out all of the weeds and keep on top of them during the summer growing season. Hope wherever you are this 'summer' things are going well.
June 2017 - attended a fabulous conference - The Future of Work. This was organised by Management Today magazine and had the most awesome listing of speakers including Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis and CEO of Grant Thornton, Sacha Romanovitch who opened and closed the day. Sandwiched in between were a fine selection of Entrepreneurs such as Bruce Walker (We are the future) and Millennial Corporates, Nicole Tallant (ASDA). A pre-lunch session from Dr John Biffa had us thinking seriously about the buffet choices and the need to look after ourselves to maintain peak performance and manage stress!
Key messages I picked out: Comparisons to the Industrial Revolution and our current Digital Revolution - low skilled jobs being automated and changes taking place at a pace. Sir Charlie Mayfield suggesting that we need to ensure transparency and open dialogue with workforces and the need to re-skill. With companies being honest with education and the marketplace about the skills they will need more of in the future. Apprenticeships being for individuals of all ages, and not just the youth to support this re-training and re-skilling.
Innovation comes from a corporate culture and way of thinking, rather than a departmental responsibility! Give permission to make changes in the way things are done - even if sometimes this means making mistakes. Don't be afraid to steal ideas from others - but also look to make them better (Magpie-ing). Allowing innovation to come from all areas of the business, including more junior employees....but this isn't suggesting chaos, since there will still be a need to say 'no' at times because not every new idea can be developed. The success of innovation isn't about coming up with ideas, it's all about their successful implementation.
Perhaps more noticeable that many millennials (22-36 year olds?) are entrepreneurial or working in SME's. With larger corporates being more rigid in their organisation? Good things coming from this include reverse-mentoring so that more junior members are heard...
And the final message from the day was the need for change in traditional boardrooms and senior management. While great leadership skills are going to be essential for success in the chaos of digital changes in our workplaces, we need to be adopting a style of 'Liberator Leader' rather than the more traditional 'Alpha Leader'. Creating 'patient space' for others to formulate the ideas and solutions needed in the workplace....
March 2017 - We’re already well into March and lots of things have been happening. I went to ‘The First Women Summit’ at the Waldorf Hotel last month and met some hugely inspiring women. Kate McWilliams – the youngest female commercial captain, currently flying with EasyJet; Dr Claire Guest, co-founder of medical detection dogs (and recently on breakfast TV with Jo Malone to promote this amazing organisation); Jyoti Shah, Consultant Urological Surgeon….and the list goes on. They were all awesome and inspiring. But I came away from this event feeling very sad! Listening to the speakers throughout the day, I was continually struck by their stories and how so little has changed in the last 30 years…..
I’m not a bra-burning feminist, rather than someone who believes that EVERYONE should have aspirations and work hard to achieve them. And I couldn’t help but feel frustrated with sad stories about social media and how debilitating this can be for young girls and women who become obsessed by image. For those who’s role models are impossible dreams from a world of ‘celebrity’ rather than role models who’re enjoying life and making a difference!
2017 has started well, but I'm sure it's a familiar case of still needing to do more on the Business Development front?
In 2016 sadly the Growth Accelerator contract came to an end - while the programme was incredibly successful in the South East (I'm not allowed to publish statistics) with SME's benefitting from subsidised business coaching to grow their business - therefore paying more taxes and employing more staff! George Osbourne had to make cost savings and saw this as an easy option which would pass under the media scrutiny....
I had the pleasure of working with a couple of business owners who've grown and found fabulous ROI from the programme.
The remainder of my time in 2016 has been spent supporting a leadership and development programme for middle managers in a large organisation (client confidentiality with an ongoing client demands anonymity). This is fabulously rewarding with individuals growing and developing their leadership skills, successfully passing development assessments and gaining promotions.
If you have any suggested companies, or any feedback it would be great to hear from you.