New Dr Who and BBC salaries show gender gap still alive










If there’s two things guaranteed to get people talking, it’s when the new Dr Who is revealed, and the BBC publishes its list of high-earning stars.

This year, these two massive events have happened in the same week, and while you might not care all that much who the latest inhabitant of the Tardis is, or what TV presenters and newsreaders earn, they both show the gender gap in all forms is still very much alive and kicking in 2017.

Whenever there’s a new Doctor, it always causes a huge debate about whether they’ll be as good as the last one. Some are seen as too young (Matt Smith) or too old (Peter Capaldi), or simply ‘not right for the role’, but the fact the latest incarnation is female has added further fuel to the fire, with gender prejudices playing a huge part this time.

The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the nation’s favourite time lord, was greeted with a mix of opinions on social media. Many saw her casting as a ‘win for the PC brigade’, and said they would now stop watching the programme. There was even an online petition started to recast the role and give it to a man.

Of course, there were also many people who came out in support of the move, including Colin Baker, who played the sixth Doctor in the 1980s. There was also a clip of a young girl smiling with delight at the news that went viral on Twitter.

Now, onto those BB salaries…

For the first time, the BBC published the names of those who earn over £150,000 a […]

By |July 22nd, 2017|news|Comments Off on New Dr Who and BBC salaries show gender gap still alive

Getting your organisation Investors in People ready 1









You might remember a while ago we talked about why you should think about getting your organisation accredited by Investors in People (IIP). If you’ve not read that blog yet, you can catch it here, and then come back and read this.

We also said we’d produce a series of blogs about what you need to do if you like what you read and think you’d like to be a part of it.

So, true to our word, here’s the first of those blogs.

IIP has produced its own standard with three performance headings – leading, supporting and improving – with another three key indicators under each of these headings meaning there’s nine areas in total to talk about. Our blogs will concentrate on one heading.

This week, it’s leading and inspiring people, the first key indicator under leading. Here’s what IIP says it means:

Leaders make the organisation’s objectives clear. They inspire and motivate people to deliver against these objectives and are trusted by people in the organisation.’

You’ve probably got your own ideas about what makes someone an inspiring leader. It could be a sportsman who leads by example, or someone who’s achieved something against the odds. But in organisations, what does it really mean?

Firstly it’s not just those right at the top that need to be inspirational. It applies to anyone who has any sort of leadership role so they can get the best out of their people.

To successfully lead and inspire others, managers need to be able to motivate people so they want to give them their […]

By |July 18th, 2017|change management, leadership, succession planning|Comments Off on Getting your organisation Investors in People ready 1

Anyone for tennis?










It’s that fortnight in the summer again when strawberry sales reach their peak and we all tune in to watch the world’s greatest tennis players battle it out to become the All England Champion on the grass courts in London.

Whether you’re an ardent tennis fan, or an occasional enthusiast, the appeal of tennis is easy to see. During a typical match, you’re treated to great athleticism, sportsmanship, excitement, and the occasional shock. Whoever plays best on the day wins.

But have you ever stopped to think what it takes to be a top player, like Roger Federer or Serena Williams? And what you need to stay at the top once you’ve got there? You’re probably thinking of things like skill, desire, mental as well as physical strength, and staying injury free. These are all really important, but there’s one you might have overlooked – leadership.

Take teamwork – an essential part of leadership. No successful tennis professional has ever got where they have on their own. Although it’s the player who’s ultimately responsible for doing the business on the court, every single one of them has a carefully-selected team behind them.

There’s a coach whose job it is to help the player improve and iron out weaknesses, a medical team responsible for keeping the player in tip-top physical condition, and a manager or agent who looks after the player’s schedule and finances to name a few. Each member of this team has their own important role and they’re trusted by the player to do it to the best of their ability.

To be a champion, the player has […]

By |July 12th, 2017|leadership|Comments Off on Anyone for tennis?

Don’t let your own iceberg sink your Titanic











In business, many people think of their organisation as being unsinkable like the Titanic. It’s been built up over the years, is profitable and successful. What could go wrong?

You’re all familiar with what happened when the supposedly unsinkable Titanic collided with an iceberg, and the tragedy that followed. In the decades that have followed, many theories have been put forward about what caused the vessel to actually sink. At first, many blamed the Captain for the speed at which he sailed across the iceberg-packed waters.

Others thought it was the steel the ship was made out of that was at fault. Scientists found it was very brittle after they hit bits brought up from the bottom of the ocean and they shattered when hit with a hammer. This theory has now been debunked as bigger parts from the hull fared much better in the same experiment.

It’s now widely accepted it was actually the iceberg that scuppered the Titanic. The ship’s huge bulk meant it wasn’t very nimble and couldn’t get out of the way of big objects, like icebergs. And the only way of spotting big objects was by lookouts – another potential flaw – especially as it was dark. So when the ship eventually stuck the fatal iceberg, big holes were pierced in its hull and it filled with water and sank pretty quickly.

It also appears the design of the liner was it fault. It was constructed with huge interior compartments that meant it should’ve been able to stay afloat even when many of these compartments were […]

By |July 5th, 2017|leadership|Comments Off on Don’t let your own iceberg sink your Titanic

It’s OK to not know everything











Being a boss is a challenge. It always has been and always will be. When you’re at the helm of an organisation people look up to you. They expect you to set the direction of travel for the organisation and to guide it through the ups and downs.

But here’s the thing: it’s okay not to know everything. You might think that’s a strange thing to say. The boss is in charge. They’re the top man (or woman) and it’s part of their job to be fully aware of everything to do with the organisation, right? Well, yes and no.

You’ll face loads of situations where you might not know about something in an organisation. If you do, don’t worry about it – we’re all human and it goes without saying you’ll probably come a cropper at least once because you’re not as knowledgeable about one area as another.

Facing that moment of uncertainty is daunting. You want to show you’re the right person to lead the organisation, but admitting you don’t know something could be seen as a sign of weakness. What do you do?

First of all relax. Don’t stress about it. Many of the world’s most respected CEOs and leaders will have been in this situation lots of times and got through it. Think Marissa Mayer at Yahoo! She got things badly wrong with the direction of her organisation, but is still highly-respected as a great CEO. Plus she’s worth a cool $430m (according to her Wikipedia page).

Leaders like Marissa recognise that it’s okay to not always know everything, but still show really strong leadership. […]

By |June 22nd, 2017|leadership|Comments Off on It’s OK to not know everything

Why you should get your organisation ready for Investors in People










To be clear right from the start, we’re not an agent for Investors in People and don’t get any financial incentive for talking about them. But we do think being accredited by them is a really worthwhile thing to do for your organisation as it shows you’re serious about being a great employer who’s committed to your people.

You can’t just order an accreditation online or pick one up from your local supermarket. To be accredited at any level takes hard-work, and you need to be prepared to take a good luck at what your organisation does, how effective your leadership team is, and what you can do better.

Before you can even think about getting accredited, it’s worth knowing a bit more about what Investors in People look for and some of the things you can do to get your organisation ready. We can’t cover it in one blog so we’ll look to tell you what you need to know in a series of easily-digestible chunks to read. We might even put them all in one place as a handy guide too.

In this first blog, we’ll focus on why you should get your organisation accredited. We’re not saying every business should take that step as it’s not for everyone, but if you’re thinking of ways to take your organisation to the next level, it’s something you should explore.

So back to the why. Investors in People are recognised internationally as setting the standard in people management. Getting accredited means you’ll learn how to measure performance effectively, get better at recognising the talent in your organisation and […]

By |June 16th, 2017|leadership|Comments Off on Why you should get your organisation ready for Investors in People

I like the person but…



















Once upon a time, Britain used to be called a nation of shopkeepers. That’s not really true nowadays, but we are a nation of small business owners. And one of the great things about these organisations is that everyone knows each other, and there’s a real sense of camaraderie where you’re all pulling together towards the same goals.

However, what if you need to have a difficult conversation with someone else in the organisation that you’ve known for years – a friend or family member even – over their performance?

The dreaded ‘I like the person but’ syndrome is never easy to deal with, but in this type of workplace, it can be really difficult to get right as it can cause ructions and shake the foundations of the organisation. Things often get personal as people will take sides and have an opinion about what’s happening, even if they’re not aware of all the facts.

It’s perfectly natural to be scared of having this talk. Human nature is to avoid what we’re uncomfortable with. But you’re going to have to face it eventually, and it’s usually better sooner rather than later. Don’t just dive in though – take a more measured approach and pitch it as a two-way conversation where you’d like their take on the situation.

First you need to find out why their performance has dipped. Maybe they’re not challenged enough, or they’ve simply taken their foot off the gas because they’ve been doing the job for so long. It could be due to outside reasons, like family issues or illness.

Occasionally though, it can be […]

By |June 13th, 2017|leadership|Comments Off on I like the person but…

In the battle for no 10, who’s done what as a leader?

Copyright: <a href=’’>studiostoks / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

As the country prepares to go the ballot box and decide who it wants in charge of its finances, defence, health service and so on, we’re going to take a look at the main players in the battle, and what they’ve done from a leadership perspective.

We’re not going to discuss policies and which party we support. This is about the leadership and the good and bad things the main players have done.

It’s probably best to start with Theresa May. Not for favouritism, but because she’s the current Prime Minister (at the time of writing) and called the election. In terms of leadership, it’s fair to say she’s had a mixed bag of results, so let’s have a look at the good stuff first.

Calling the election was a great bit of leadership at the time as her party was miles ahead in the polls, and she was hoping to use it to strengthen her hand further, although she publicly said there wouldn’t be an election a few months beforehand.

Her party was united behind her and her personal approval rating was very strong during the first few weeks of the campaign. Women in particular looked to her as a strong leader and as someone they want to see take them through Brexit and beyond. Her image was also front and centre of all the party campaign literature, and the polls stayed favourable.  So far so good.

Now, on to the not so good. Things started to go astray with the release of the Conservative manifesto. It was introduced as her own vision and great parts of it was un-costed. It also […]

By |June 5th, 2017|leadership|Comments Off on In the battle for no 10, who’s done what as a leader?

Manage expectations properly with tiny ripples

is trump failing to manage expectations

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey(CC ShareALike)

OK – we’re going to talk about a certain president across the pond who’s making huge tidal waves, never mind ripples, in his country. We’re not going to mention his politics, but simply use him and his way of doing things as an example of managing expectations – both good and bad.

When you’re managing people, be it in a relatively small organisation or in charge of the world’s most-powerful country, how you approach things should be the same so you don’t create ripples in the previously smooth water. You might not instantly get the metaphor, but the problem with ripples is that they spread from their source all the way to the shore whether they’re in a puddle, pond, lake or ocean. Manage expectations poorly and ripples of discontent will work their through your entire organisation quickly, which isn’t good for anyone.

Being clear is key. People thrive on clarity. They need to understand what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Think about President Trump here – he’s done exactly what he said he would, so he’s ticked that particular managing expectations box. What he’s done wrong (ethics and morality aside) is to blunder headlong into his actions without fully understanding them.

This is a classic case of not managing expectations properly. Before you start doing something, have you considered how it should be done properly? Are the right people in place? Is the infrastructure good enough? What are […]

By |February 1st, 2017|change management, news|Comments Off on Manage expectations properly with tiny ripples

New website

Welcome to our new website.

Whether it is management development, building leadership capability through coaching or organisational consultancy, real difference comes from balancing the needs of an organisation through both its learning and its people

By |July 3rd, 2013|news|Comments Off on New website