Christmas is a time to celebrate

Photo courtesy of 드림포유(CC No Derivatives)OK – this is obvious right? Whether it’s the office do, meeting up with friends and family, and generally eating and drinking too much, celebrating at this time year is what we all do. We all know Christmas and the festive season is a time to celebrate, so what are we talking about?We’re talking about celebrating what’s happened in your organisation over the past 12 months and really recognising the successes. Too many leadership teams are often so busy looking forward to the next year they don’t take time to look back at what’s just happened. Yet doing this can be really rewarding and help make things even better next year. You’ll find there’s usually plenty of things to shout about and properly celebrate. It doesn’t have to be the big things, like turning over more or making a bigger profit. Little wins, like a team working brilliantly together or a customer saying thank you to someone in your organisation are just as important, and definitely worth celebrating. However, some leaders in organisations see taking time out to look back and recognise these small successes as a waste of time. They’re just focussed on ploughing ahead with working out what’s needed to make the organisation grow next year. And while that’s clearly important, just taking a bit of time to reflect and celebrate with people can actually help play a big part in moving things forward. Here’s what we mean. People like being appreciated by those […]
By |December 19th, 2016|change management|Comments Off on Christmas is a time to celebrate

Culture changes within organisational mergers

Nowadays organisational mergers are nothing new.  A quick Google search on just about any day of the year will bring up loads of headlines and stories where various media experts, financial journalists and business big wigs will give their opinion on whether the merger is good news or not. Their take on things is usually based on financial reasons and what the merger will do for the share price.  If it’s a big merger, the industry involved might be affected – even for a little while.  Usually there’s very little talk about the effect on the workers involved in the two companies. You might hear a few cursory mentions of possible redundancies and branch or office closures, but what’s neglected in their articles and interviews is the changes in culture for people who stay in the company. It’s very rare that two companies involved in a merger – or takeover – have exactly the same culture or values.  They may think they do, but culture is often so intangible it’s practically impossible to match.  People in organisations struggle to put their fingers on exactly what the culture where they work is, they just know it’s not what the organisation does, it’s how it does it.  They will usually say they like it (or large parts of it anyway), and don’t want it to change. So even the smallest and subtlest of changes can upset the applecart.  For example, what if someone has always liked working in a close-knit team where there’s an atmosphere of fun and a new merger means they’re expected to work in an […]
By |December 13th, 2016|change management|Comments Off on Culture changes within organisational mergers

Is your organisation ready for the change in gender pay gap reporting?

You’ve probably heard about the big changes coming in the next few years. No, we’re not talking Brexit, although there’ll be plenty to say on that subject nearer the time. What we’re referring to is the rules around pay reporting – and particularly how the pay gap between men and women will be reported – due to come into force in 2018.This change was originally promised to be here in 2016, but has been put back on the backburner by the government for various reasons. It will mean companies and organisations with more than 250 staff (currently somewhere around 8,000) will have to publish the salaries and bonuses of male and female staff, with the idea that this will highlight any ‘gaps’ between the sexes.It’s actually been illegal to pay men and women different salaries for the same job since 1970, but the Office of National Statistics (ONS) believes the pay gap is about 19.2% in the UK1, although it’s a much healthier situation than at many other times, and better than lots of other countries.So with two years to go until the legislation comes in, is your organisation ready? Hopefully, you’re all answering ‘Yes’, which is fantastic. If you’re not then you need to start thinking about it now. And there’s a couple of things in particular you should concentrate on – change management and transparency.We’ve talked at length about change management before, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it again as it’s really relevant here. Your organisation might need to go through some pretty significant changes to […]
By |December 2nd, 2016|change management|Comments Off on Is your organisation ready for the change in gender pay gap reporting?

Succession planning – what are you doing about it?

Photo courtesy of CJS*64 "Man with a camera"(CC No Derivatives)This is a question we ask a lot to organisations we work with. It applies to all industries, but one you might not have thought of is in the trades. So if you look after – or are involved with organising lots of tradespeople – like a housing association or a council department, we’d like to know what you’re doing about succession planning.What is Succession Planning?Here’s what we mean: All of the trades are physically demanding as they might involve being on your feet all day or kneeling down for long periods of time. Others need you to do lots of heavy lifting, reaching and stretching, and going up and down ladders. They all take their toll on your body and it sometimes means people can’t do certain parts of their jobs as they get older.When this happens, it’s not unusual for these jobs to be given to younger colleagues, who might feel they’ve been given the short end of the stick. They don’t want to do it and don’t see why they should just because their older workmate can’t anymore.At this point a decision has to be made by managers or directors. Should they get rid of these older workers now they’re not as capable of doing their job as they used to be? Or should they keep them on with a slightly changed role as they’ve got loads of experience you can’t replace […]
By |November 18th, 2016|change management|Comments Off on Succession planning – what are you doing about it?

Embracing change is about following the curve

If your organisation’s going through – or about to go through – a change, it pays to follow the curve – the Kubler-Ross change curve*.Photo courtesy of Elisabeth Goodman BlogUnderstanding the ups and downs of the ‘change curve’ will help you lead successfully through change and make sure you recognise what people in your organisation will go through. Major changes can spark all sorts of emotions and feelings in people, especially when they’re faced with the unknown. Knowing how to guide them through these feelings will help them travel along the curve and through the change process. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross came up with the change curve model in 1969 to show what terminal patients go through following their diagnosis, before adapting it to fit any form of personal loss or trauma, including those related to what’s happening in their place of work.  There are five stages in the curve, which we’ll discuss in a bit more detail below and show you how they relate to any sort of change in an organisation. 1.       Denial – This is where there’s a refusal to accept what’s happening. At this stage, people will be thinking ‘Change, what change?’ bury their heads in the sand, and likely to be suffering from anxiety or shock. 2.       Anger – Denial and shock quickly turns to anger and frustration as people realise what’s happening isn’t going away, and they’re going to have to deal with it. 3.       Insecurity – The ‘How will this affect me?’ stage where worry and fear kicks in. 4.       […]
By |November 15th, 2016|change management|Comments Off on Embracing change is about following the curve

5 essential tools for providing exceptional customer service

A quick guide to customer service – giving your people the right tools for the jobThere’s more to customer service than meets the eye and it can be a complex business – definitely too complex to explain in one blog post. But there are bits we can talk about to give you a quick guide to giving top-notch customer service. The right tools for the jobYou wouldn’t expect a tradesman to turn up without the right tools for the job, yet we sometimes expect people involved in customer service to be able to do their jobs without the right equipment. By equipment, we don’t mean phones and computers and the physical things, we mean the real tools, like how to ask the right questions to customers so you can show care and build trust in your organisation. Active listening This is an essential tool anybody working in customer service needs. It’s vital. To actively listen you need to use your ears – Encourage, Ask, Reflect, Summarise – so you can truly understand what’s been said. Let’s look at each of these individually to see what they really mean. EncourageTo encourage others to talk, you need to show empathy, match the pace at which the other person’s speaking and give them your full attention. Give nods (including verbal nods if you’re on the phone) and maintain eye contact of you can. People who feel encouraged to talk will usually open up more readily. Ask This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many organisations get this wrong. Asking how you can help and […]
By |November 2nd, 2016|customer services|Comments Off on 5 essential tools for providing exceptional customer service

What you need to know before starting the process or organisational change

An article published recently in a free online business magazine talks about a subject very close to our heart – change management. It took an in-depth look at what it sees as the most important things to think about when an organisation goes through a change. A lot of what was said was useful, so we thought we’d summarise it for you (it was pretty long). Getting started Before you start the change process in your organisation, there are a few things to think about: ·         What’s driving the change, is there a crisis or is this because you want to create something better? ·         Who wants the change to happen, find out their reasons for wanting the change and why it matters?  It’s worth asking what will happen if you don’t change. ·         What do you want to see happen; change is often stretching at the same time it needs to be realistic.  Be clear about what benefits change will bring, for the organisation, customers and the people who will be implementing the changes.  ·         How do you want to change? Will you need to build new capabilities and work practices? ·         Who are the supporters and who are might hinder change?  Anticipate the challenges you expect to face. ·         How much of the change can I manage myself, who else do I need involve?  You may need to call on others from outside the organisation. ·         How are you going to create a positive feel (Buzz?) about the change and help people to understand why you’re doing it. ·         Lots of different […]
By |October 25th, 2016|change management|Comments Off on What you need to know before starting the process or organisational change

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