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=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_studiostoks’>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?

The impact of technology on people – good or bad?

                  Just like the Industrial Revolution of the Victorian era, the more-recent digital revolution has had a huge effect on people’s lives, both at home and work. And it’s fair to say that the effects have been positive and negative. The Industrial Revolution led to mass-production for the first time with huge factories blighting the landscape and improved transport links across the country. Standards of living went up for some, while others experienced terrible poverty, as workers flocked to work at the factories and often ended up living in horrible cramped conditions. The work was dangerous and it took a long while for workers’ right to come into force. Many workers also saw their jobs replaced by machines for the first time too, leading to more poverty and hardship. Today’s parallels are obvious. People are still replaced by machines, although not to the same extent.  And it’s not the huge, steam-powered machines in factories and fields doing the replacing anymore, it’s tiny microchips and hard drives in business parks and city centre offices that are doing work previously done by humans now. In most organisations, the effect of technology on people is to make their lives easier. Thanks to computers, smartphones and tablets we can communicate faster than ever. Want to talk to a colleague? Compose a quick email and they’ll get it in seconds anywhere in the world no matter what the time is. Nor more relying on a telegram or the electric telegraph of the Industrial Revolution. And don’t forget the snail mail or fax we all used not that long ago– they’re so last decade. Now, almost […]
By |May 31st, 2017|change management, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The impact of technology on people – good or bad?

What can we learn from the beautiful game?

                    It’s that time of year again. The one when the ups and downs of the past nine months are mostly finished, the main players are looking for a month or so spent on the beach, and the planning starts ready for next year. We’re talking about football of course. The season’s almost done and dusted, with just the last few cups to be won, European places still up for grabs and the last remaining promotions still to be decided. And that’s the beauty of football. Sticking with your team no matter what. You celebrate the highs together and despair at the lows together. Each season brings another shot at glory. Maybe our name’s on the cup this year, or it’s our turn to be champions. If you ask any supporter of any team if they’d change their football allegiance, they’d say no in a heartbeat. The one thing football fans don’t do is change their loyalty. Switching teams is just about the worst thing you can do in the eyes of other supporters. One group of individuals who are allowed to change their allegiance, however, are football managers. Their chosen profession is one of the most perilous around, with very few of this select band lucky enough to stick around at one club for a considerable length of time. Even winning your country’s top league for the first time in a club’s history isn’t enough to save you from the chop these days. If you stop and think about it, the best football managers – and we’ll leave you to […]
By |May 25th, 2017|change management|Comments Off on What can we learn from the beautiful game?

Bridging the generation gap

                Picture credit: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_bialasiewicz’>bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo</a> One of the things that makes today’s workplaces interesting is the diversity of people in them. We talk a lot about diversity, and often refer to the importance of gender balance. In this blog we want to focus on the diversity of generations and how you can bridge the gap that can sometimes appear between them. Most organisation will have three different generations of employees: baby boomers, generation Xers and millennials. Demographically, they span the best-part of a century and each group has different sets of values and experiences, both in and out of work. They can all bring valuable skills and when they work together, can produce stunning results. However, each group sometimes has a perception (usually wrong) about one or more of the others that might stop them working together to their full potential. So let’s have a look in a bit more detail at each of these generations, and what they can bring to an organisation. And more importantly, how they can harmonise with each other as beautifully as on a Beach Boys’ song. Baby boomers are so-called because they’re part of the ‘baby boom’ that followed World War 11 right up to the early 1960s. This group have lived through tremendously exciting times, both culturally and socially, and have adapted their working methods several times. They’re likely to be fairly affluent, own their homes and have kids that have flown the nest. This group will have had households where the man was probably the main breadwinner and parenting was left to the wives. Baby boomers will be successful in work and have often sacrificed family […]
By |May 15th, 2017|change management, succession planning|Comments Off on Bridging the generation gap

Leadership is more than just a political buzzword

Photo courtesy of linux_foundation(CC Attribution) You’ve probably noticed there’s a lot of talk about (and focus on) leadership at the minute. Since the snap election was announced, party leaders of all colours and beliefs have been quick to declare themselves as a strong leader, who knows what it takes to run the country. In politics, it’s not always how good a leader you are that counts. When voters put their little X in the box they usually vote based on the party they prefer and not necessarily because of who the leader of that party is. There are exceptions of course – as happened over the pond not so long ago – but you could argue that politics is unique because it doesn’t always matter who the leader of a party is for people to vote for them. In the real world outside of Parliament, it rarely works like this. What you do and say as a leader does matter, and successful organisations really understand the importance of strong leadership. Having the right person at the helm who knows what it takes to deal with everything modern workplaces have thrown at them is vital. There are several tacks you can take to establish yourself as strong leader. You could follow the approach of well-known and respected (in most cases) CEOs like Richard Branson and Bill Gates who give the appearance of being great blokes with a fantastic sense of humour who just happen to run hugely successful organisations. Having […]
By |April 25th, 2017|change management|Comments Off on Leadership is more than just a political buzzword

Accountability starts with letting go

Photo courtesy of Xubaet(CC Attribution) Without going all Frozen – although the song title sort-of mentioned throughout this blog is quite apt as it’s about being free from restrictions – to really achieve accountability in your organisation, the first thing you need to do is let it go. (more…)
By |April 20th, 2017|change management|Comments Off on Accountability starts with letting go

Is the right gender balance in a leadership team important?

Photo courtesy of mikecogh(CC ShareALike) You’ll know from reading our blogs that we’ve spoken about the lack of gender diversity in organisations before, particularly at the top. One piece we wrote focussed on this year’s Northern Powerhouse Annual Powerhouse and Conference had a complete absence of women on its list of advertised speakers. There were women on the bill, with some of them pretty big hitters around the north, but only came a measly 12.74% of all the speakers were female. (more…)
By |April 7th, 2017|change management|Comments Off on Is the right gender balance in a leadership team important?

Building resilience in an organisation

Photo courtesy of mripp(CC Attribution) Before we talk about this, we need to get to the bottom of what resilience is. It’s a hot-topic at the minute in loads of organisations as more-and-more workplaces are making it a real area of focus. (more…)
By |April 6th, 2017|change management|Comments Off on Building resilience in an organisation