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Posts from the ‘Business Performance’ Category

Business leaders to be inspired and challenged by Alastair Campbell and ASDA’s David Smith: ‘Winning and building a high performance culture’

November 23rd, 2016

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** PRESS RELEASE **

London based business leaders join Academy for Chief Executives at key ‘Unlocking Potential’ event aimed at inspiring and challenging leaders’ mindset

Alastair Campbell, communications director to Tony Blair, will share his thoughts and experiences around creating a winning mindset at a keynote conference of business leaders brought together by the Academy for Chief Executives.

He is joined on the platform by David Smith who, as people director and part of the Asda board, led the failing grocers to become a highly profitable 170,000 employee business, doubling its market share and subsequently being sold to Walmart for £15bn and voted Sunday Times ‘Best Place to Work’

The conference in the City of London on Thursday 24th November; ‘Winning and building a high performance culture’, is part of a major series of ‘Unlocking Potential’ events hosted by the Academy for Chief Executives, one of the UK’s leading coaching and leadership support groups for senior executives.

Alastair Campbell will set out a blueprint for winning which can be used by all business leaders to achieve more and be more successful. His unique access to the world’s elite in business, sport and politics led him to write ‘Winners and how they succeed’. He identifies that the most ‘winning winners’ are sports people and he says:

“..what few people in business and politics ever do is really try to learn from how the best in sport get to be the best and stay the best…… To be brutally frank, as the waves of change lap around us and the lapping feels like it may turn to a lashing and then a hurricane, the challenges at home and abroad at times make it feel as though a perfect storm is brewing, I think we need to [learn].”

David Smith will share some of the key principles in creating high performance cultures that can be implemented into any business to help it grow. He deployed seven key elements to change the culture and performance of Asda and he shares and reinforces the need for any business leader to adopt consistency if they are to grow their business.

Tony Carey, Chief Executive of New Chase Homes Limited specialist house builders with a significant growth target to increase their annual build targets by around 300% over the next four years and who is also a group member of the Academy for Chief Executives says:

“I’m very curious to hear from both Alastair Campbell and David Smith. Both have powerful track records which speak for themselves – I want to meet the men and get a feel for their character. I’m fascinated that Campbell appears to sit in the background and supports others to win. I’m keen to know how that impacts on him and where and how he sees himself as a winner.

“As with all my Academy for Chief Executives’ experiences, I’m expecting this to be a really valuable event for both me and my business and hope to take much learning from it.”

Vince Tickel, Group Chairman of the Academy for Chief Executives in Central London said:

“In business I always learned by watching the way someone better than me performs. By copying them and what they do I find it makes a massive difference to me and my business performance.

“Here we have two highly experienced leaders sharing key insights they have learned over decades boiled down and shared in bite-sized chunks that can be taken away and implemented to help get you as a business leader, and your business, to the next level. That’s what our work at the Academy for Chief Executives is all about, helping successful leaders become more successful.”

The event is to be held at Blake Morgan, New Street Square London EC4A 3DJ. Further information is available from Lizzie Stuart-Bennett elizabeth.s-b@chiefexecutive.com

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NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information, please contact:

Karen Gray :: karen.gray@chiefexecutive.com 07976 841123
 

THE ACADEMY FOR CHIEF EXECUTIVES

The Academy for Chief Executives is one of the UK’s leading coaching and mentoring organisations for senior executives. With more than 30 groups nationwide it aims to improve lives by unlocking the potential of every business leader.

The Keys to Organisational Agility

August 13th, 2016

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by Gary Ashton

It used to be said that the only two certainties in life were death and taxes. In business life there is a third certainty: change. And in today’s atmosphere of deep uncertainty, it’s clearer than ever that the success (even survival) of many organisations will be partially determined by their ability to adapt and respond to change in a quick, agile and appropriate manner.

Organisational agility is achieved by being alert to both internal and environmental changes – opportunities as well as challenges – and the ability to use available resources in a timely, flexible, affordable and relevant manner, in order to respond to those changes effectively.

An agile organisation embraces change by moving quickly, decisively and effectively to anticipate, initiate and take advantage of change, yet remains robust enough to absorb any set-backs. But agility is not just about being fast: it also implies the capacity to remain in touch with customer needs.

Six Dimensions of Agility
If we examine more closely the human aspects of organisational agility and how each dimension influences business success, we start to see a new order emerging in the way that leading organisations operate.

1. Leadership & Management: The style of your leadership and its alignment to your strategy, the strength and speed of decision-making, the clarity of communication and the degree to which it is trusted.

2. Innovation: The degree to which an organisation has a systematic approach for sharing insights and continually generating new ideas, as well as the degree to which it uses internal and external networks to share ideas.

3. Strategy: The way in which strategy is developed, encouraging internal dialogue, and how clearly your strategic intent is communicated and the level of stretch you impose.

4. Culture: The way your employees’ collective values and opinions guide behaviour will impact on how agile your organisation can be. This culture can be influenced by your policies and practices.

5. Learning & Change: The degree to which the organisation has a shared vision, has an appetite for change and the capability to enact the changes, and how it deals with the consequences of past decisions.

6. Structure: The strength and robustness of operations and processes combined with the degree to which your managers have clear delegated decision-making authority.

A New Model of Leadership
Traditional thinking in this area is based on the Hierarchical Principal (where each level has a clear and defined role in a top down strategic process) and the Linear Principle (a logical chain starting with strategic thinking, then organisational design, finishing with the development of management).

But the current level of business complexity, plus the need to respond quickly to change, is challenging this way of thinking and forcing the development of capabilities in the six dimensions outlined above.

Building a new leadership model where management focuses on “acting in time” rather than “being right” will require a change in mindset.

Key to achieving this shift is the notion of value-based leadership i.e. ensuring that management behaviour is consistent with the organisation’s core values. As Steve Jobs put it, “the only thing that works is management by values”.

It isn’t just leadership competencies that will need to change to achieve this shift. Throughout the organisation, employees’ goals will need to shift and stretch.

The idea here is to set targets that cannot be reached through ‘business as usual’. Employees need to feel that they are being challenged to innovate and drive change. However – and this is the difficult bit – employees must be convinced that they will not be perceived as failures if they are unable to reach any extreme objective.

Goals need to be stretched, too, if the organisations are to reawaken their powers of innovation and build stronger, more collaborative ways of working – both internally and through their external networks.

So the building blocks of organisational agility are not complex. Accelerate the pace of strategic renewal, make innovation everyone’s job, every day and create an engaging, inspiring working environment and agility will follow – bringing with it the confidence and skills needed to steer your organisation through troubled waters.


AshtonGary Ashton is a director of OE Cam, a UK-based business consultancy specialising in organisational behaviour change. He specialises in the re-design and implementation of organisation structures and management processes, post-merger integration, improvement of joint venture organisation capability, and Board and senior management team assessment and development.

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

academy8808.com & chiefexecutive.com

To find out more about membership of the Academy for Chief Executives contact us on: 07714 246509 or glenn.watkins@chiefexecutive.com

Image from istockphoto.com

VUCA Times Call for DURT Leaders

August 13th, 2016

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by Jon Mertz

The first time I saw the word ‘VUCA’ I had no idea what it was. A quick Google search produced the answer. VUCA means: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Simply stated, this is the world we live in today!

It is a valid description of what happens in our business and economic environments. Technology drives volatility and complexity. Economic and political conditions create uncertainty. All of this is wrapped in ambiguity. At times, there seem to be so many trends happening at once that trying to grasp it all while determining a reasonable path forward seems nearly impossible.

But in what seems impossible, what is possible begins to bloom.

Don’t Be a VUCA Leader
One thing that’s absolutely unambiguous about VUCA is that you do not want to be described in this way.

If you are a volatile leader, your changing and erratic behaviour will drive good people away.

If you are an uncertain leader, your changing directions will frustrate people and lead them to question your capabilities.

If you are a complex leader, no one will get to know you or understand your expectations.

If you are an ambiguous leader, your lack of clarity in what is expected will stymie people’s performance and quickly lead to disengagement.

So VUCA is obviously not a desirable leadership trait. Leaders need to be Reliable, Trustworthy, Direct and Understandable. That’s a poor acronym unless we rearrange the letters to DURT – Direct, Understandable, Reliable, Trustworthy.

In VUCA times, leaders need to get their hands dirty. They need to plant seeds for growth. In VUCA times, leaders need to cultivate talent, harvest what is planted and always prepare for a better day ahead. In fact, VUCA and farming have a lot in common. There are many uncontrollable elements in producing a bountiful harvest, yet we control what we can and work through what we cannot.

Be Direct in complex situations: transparency and open communication builds trust.

Be Understandable in ambiguous situations: clarity in purpose, direction and responsibilities empowers others.

Be Reliable in volatile situations: follow-through on what’s been said and agreed accelerates positive momentum.

Be Trustworthy in uncertain situations: invest in people, involve partners, seek to understand and act with respect.

The point in all this is to raise your leadership game in times of VUCA rather than matching VUCA circumstances with VUCA characteristics.

How to Be a DURT Leader in VUCA Times

1. Know your guiding leadership philosophy. In VUCA times, it is vital to have firm foundations. A leadership philosophy will keep you centred as a leader and will also serve as a guiding force. Knowing how you want to lead will keep you leading in the way you intend to when all around you is in chaos.

2. Create effective listening posts. Listening is fundamental to understanding what your next move should be. Listening posts should include various stakeholders: team members, customers, investors, suppliers and other stakeholders. But taking information in is only the first part. Understanding what it means is where the real value lies.

3. Encourage diverse thinking. Just as your listening posts need to be diverse, so do the talents you engage to analyse, solve and act. VUCA calls for diverse thinking. Exploring all the options demands out-of-the-box thinking from out-of-the-ordinary people. A mix of perspectives and experiences will always enhance how to solve a problem and how to craft a new strategy. Don’t seek sameness. Don’t just work with people like you.

4. Envision what the ‘other side’ could look like. VUCA can create a swirl of activity. But this doesn’t always build momentum. To gain momentum, a vision of what the other side of uncertainty looks like will help plan how to reach this new point of inflection. The reasons to not remain where you are may be strong but they also need to be clear. Communicating why we can no longer stay put and do what we always have done is essential – so is communicating what a new future can look like. None of this will happen overnight, so keep communicating throughout the process.

5. Develop an ‘offense’ while maintaining your core. Whatever is core to your business cannot, and should not, be jettisoned in the movement from where you are today to where you need to go in the future. There is a balance point. The ‘old’ business provides the cash flow, customers and brand to build the ‘new’ business. At the same time, the old business cannot be the albatross to prevent the development of the new strategy.

A good offense always engages in a good defence. As a leader, a new offense needs to be communicated with clarity. While the new offense needs time to develop and unfold, maintaining the core business will ensure the new plans have time to take hold and produce success. Achieving the right give-and-take in the planning is the leadership challenge and necessity.

6. Shift your perceptions of success and failure. So-called success may breed complacency and rapid obsolescence. So-called failure could provide necessary learning for future improvements and innovation.

7. Teach everyone coaching skills. With a little guidance, people can get better at listening, asking questions to help generate insights, creating action plans that align personal and business objectives and holding people accountable for actually doing what they need to do.
In uncertain times, everyone – especially leaders – needs to develop the ability to adapt and stay afloat even if the tides are shifting and the rules of the game are changing. A combination of intellect, intuition and experimentation is needed to read the signals and course correct when required. Leaders must also have the courage to admit what they don’t know, and seek out advice, help and alliances. And remember, what worked well yesterday will not necessarily work well today or tomorrow. Stay awake and you can ride the VUCA wave and not just survive, but thrive.


Jon-MertzJon Mertz is a leadership strategist and the founder of Thin Difference, an online forum dedicated to empowering Millennials to be better leaders, build stronger teams and create richer lives. He is a former Vice President of Marketing at Corepoint Health and has also worked for Deloitte, IBM, and BMC Software.

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

academy8808.com & chiefexecutive.com

To find out more about membership of the Academy for Chief Executives contact us on: 07714 246509 or glenn.watkins@chiefexecutive.com

Image from istockphoto.com

Navigating Uncertainty

August 13th, 2016

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by John Reynard

We are living in a period of huge uncertainty. So how do people in business ensure they make the best decisions they can when there is so much confusion? John Reynard, author of ‘Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success – From Harassed Sole Trader to Visionary CEO’, offers some advice:

1. Resist Blaming Others
Whilst it might be tempting to blame those who voted ‘Leave’ for anything that goes wrong from now on, it will serve no purpose. Blaming others justifies inactivity. It is the coward’s way of avoiding stepping up and taking responsibility.

It’s by asking ourselves honestly and sincerely what exactly it is we need to learn from what has happened and where we are now, that we move forward. Disasters occur only when we close down and block the learning that the ‘problem’ is asking us to embrace.

2. Time to Turn Inwards
When we feel confused, overwhelmed, pulled in one direction and then another it is tempting to switch off and do nothing, and ultimately that can be devastating. Instead we need to connect and listen to our own Higher Self, our intuition, to find solutions beyond the cacophony of all that is happening around us.

For me the best way to connect with my Higher Self is through meditation. It calms my mind, lessens the degree to which I get distracted by fear-based thoughts. There are many forms of meditation; find the one that works for you.

3. Follow Your Intuition
Intuition is the voice of our Higher Self. It comes to us spontaneously with an uplifting feeling, or voice and nudges us forward in our lives. It enables us to see behind statistics and forecasts, and make useful predictions in spite of incomplete information.

As with all skills, the more you tune in to your intuition, the better you get at recognising it and following it. We nurture our intuition by regularly absorbing ourselves in activities that take us completely away from our routine thinking, out of our heads, and into our bodies. For example, walking in nature, running, cycling or even dancing to music.

4. Ask Specific Questions
Periods of calm reflection or meditation often bring us fresh ideas and new ways of seeing situations. However, there are times when we need answers to specific questions. In such cases it is important to take a couple of deep breaths, close our eyes, and step back from any immediate emotional ties to the issue. Our inner voice is best at addressing questions that require a clear yes or no. Hence, we get the best results by formulating our inquiry in such a way that a yes or a no will give clarity. The right answer will carry more vitality and enthusiasm and the first answer is usually the best one. Anything that comes later risks being influenced by our customary limiting beliefs.


ReynardJohn Reynard is author of the ‘Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success – From Harassed Sole Trader to Visionary CEO’ See: spiritedentrepreneur.com

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

academy8808.com & chiefexecutive.com

To find out more about membership of the Academy for Chief Executives contact us on: 07714 246509 or glenn.watkins@chiefexecutive.com

 

 

Image from istockphoto.com

Staying Ahead of the Curve

August 13th, 2016

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by Ian Price

The acronym VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) sums up the circumstances we are living in perfectly. In their book Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change, Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Soloman described a VUCA world as one in which organisations face constant surprises from all directions. “VUCA world is a bit like an amusement park: it’s full of thrilling rides – just not all of them are fun… a world where a political coup or a tsunami on the other side of the planet can disrupt markets in surprising ways.”While we can all recognise that description, there’s an alternative meaning for VUCA, one coined by Kevin Roberts, Chairman and former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi. His take on VUCA is “Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy and Astounding” and his recipe for leadership success in this flavour of VUCA is also worth repeating.

  1. Create other leaders
  2. Provide rocket fuel in the form of responsibility, learning, recognition and joy
  3. Stay ‘in Beta’ – having lots of small ideas continuously
  4. Let emotion rip – it leads to action
  5. Make things happen

During this time of unexpected change, there will also be opportunities for transformation and growth and the Academy is here to help you to navigate this path successfully. Transformation and change can best be achieved with the support of others who can advise and guide you and can help you set the goals that you need to achieve. Having a coach, mentor and peer group who can be relied upon is also an established method of helping leaders successfully navigate through times of change.


Ian PriceIan Price became Chief Executive of the Academy in February 2016. He has a reputation and track-record for growing profitable businesses rapidly. His affable demeanour and relaxed style of working hides an exceptional talent at being able to focus on what makes a business tick.

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

academy8808.com & chiefexecutive.com

To find out more about membership of the Academy for Chief Executives contact us on: 07714 246509 or glenn.watkins@chiefexecutive.com

 

 

Image from istockphoto.com

July Economic Update 2016

July 21st, 2016

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By Economist Roger Martin-Fagg

This update is the most difficult I have ever written. It is extremely difficult to to maintain objectivity and gain a sense of what is the most likely path for the UK economy over the next few years.

The vote and its fall out to date is certainly a Black Swan event which is defined as:

An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult to predict.

I think we should expect quite a few of these over the next months and years. They will originate in the USA, China, and the EU. And underlying this we have the inexorable march of innovation and ageing populations.

More than ever before business owners, managers and employees must be clear and confident about the behaviours which make their business distinctive and compelling. My advice is to make sure this is fully understood before beginning to assess the impact of the external environment. And for so many SME’s market share is so small, the wider economy has virtually no impact except perhaps on confidence of the owner.

I am splitting this Update into three sections. The first looks from now until the end of the year, the second from the end of the year until the letter is sent to the EU and the third beyond this. It is all guesswork.

The Outlook until the end of the Year

I think it is fair to say that the decision of the electorate was a shock. The UK Treasury had no plan B, but the Bank of England clearly was prepared. Most City institutions and the EU as a whole did not expect the result.

The data we have to date suggests that the consumer has held off spending, and the survey by GFK shows the biggest drop in confidence for 21 years. It is likely that this is temporary and as the dust settles consumer confidence will return in the Autumn. The impact of a weaker pound will not have come through in price increases (apart from fuel and fresh food from Spain), the Bank of England will not raise interest rates, and unemployment will not be rising. I doubt too if house prices will stop rising. The rate of increase will slow, but there will be no overall drop.

We are still a member of the EU with full access, paying our subscription and receiving our agricultural support, regional fund, and joint research payments. And the EU is beginning to grow again although our vote is a shock to them too.

As and when Parliament approves the sending of the letter to quit there will be a two year transition phase. It is not clear if the UK will be allowed to begin bilateral talks with EU member states during this period. It is also not clear if existing trade agreements will remain in place. But it is likely based on mutual self-interest that a sensible arrangement will be made.

From the time the letter is sent until the EU agree the terms of our departure: assume 2017-2020

This is the period in which the uncertainty risks become magnified. Hopefully Prime Minister May will early on indicate the type of deal she would wish to obtain. This will require clarity on the control of immigration issue. If she sets points based control of EU migrants to the UK as non-negotiable then currently it is unlikely she will be able to obtain either a Norwegian or a Swiss option.

This leaves a WTO based option. To date very few WTO deals are bilateral, they prefer unilateral agreements. So it would have to be a deal with the collective EU, rather than individual members.

This will take many years to obtain. Meanwhile the UK has a significant current account trade deficit to finance. If there is a risk to our growth this is where it will originate.

 

The balance of payments are a set of accounts which measure all transactions between people resident in the UK and others. The method is double entry, so every month the accounts must balance. A country has a problem when we observe how the balance is achieved.

A deficit on the trading account must be balanced by a surplus of equal size on the capital account. Since 1984 we have achieved balance by running surplus on longterm capital inflows. These are set up when a company based overseas decides to buy a UK business, or set up in the UK. The bulk of investment comes from firms in EU member countries and the USA. EU business sees the UK as the least regulated member of the EU and given the flexibility of our labour force an easier place in which to make profits.

I do not know what EU and US firms will do, but if they reduce their investment flow, we will have to finance our deficit using short term capital. This is very volatile and consists of global liquidity which moves between financial centres in search of the best return. It is either cash, and/or the purchase of bonds and equities. To be more attractive than Frankfurt, or Paris, or New York, or Tokyo the UK needs a cheaper currency and/or higher interest rates.

Assume we decide the cheaper currency is the best way (the Bank of England does not raise interest rates). Then as the pound falls in value, so with a time lag domestic prices rise. As a rough guide every 10% fall puts 1% on inflation within a year. Assuming the Government doesn’t raise the inflation target (currently 2%) then the Bank of England must increase interest rates.

The combination of higher inflation and higher interest rates will reduce real income growth from the current 2% pa, to zero or minus 2%. This and falling house prices is where the recession begins. When?

 

Difficult to say, but I guess 2019.

Could we avoid this?

Unbound from the EU we could cut VAT to 10%, which would to some extent preserve real incomes. But to reduce the impact on the budget deficit the Government would have to freeze pensions for a few years ( the Daily Mail will not like that!).

The Government could get the Bank of England to buy the debt with more QE, but that would make us look a bit like Zimbabwe.

The Government could slash all capital spend which would further depress demand.

Or it could raise the money from overseas by ensuring that the currency stays weak and interest rates competitive.

We of course will not be paying 14Bn to Europe, but with interest on the national debt running currently at £48Bn, and in recession debt rising by around 110Bn each year, a good deal of this will be swallowed up in interest payments.

However if by 2019 it becomes clear that the EU is willing to do a deal which gives the UK market access and allows us to limit immigration then the long term investment will continue to flow in and there will be no recession.

Looking beyond 2022

The World will look quite different. The UK will either have engaged a Dunkirk spirit with thousands of entrepreneurs scouring the world for business (they will be flying out of Dublin because Heathrow will still have the same capacity, and Dublin will have built its third runway.) It is likely a lot of financial institutions will have set up in Dublin to get passporting rights to the EU financial services market too.

Or unable to secure trade deals with the EU and major economies we become a low growth, low opportunity country with our young bright people moving to other countries with more opportunity. Our steadily ageing population slips into sullen compliance, puts up with Japanese style low growth, and lives by the maxim, mustn’t grumble. Even though the resources going in to the NHS and elderly care are insufficient.

I think the above is unlikely.

I have reproduced below from a web site called Just Landed, their description of the British for visitors. It is not sponsored by the Government.

The British enjoy superb entertainment, leisure, sports and cultural facilities, which for their sheer variety and accessibility are among the best in the world (but increasingly expensive). The quality and huge choice of goods in the shops is excellent and explains why many people travel from far and wide simply to shop in Britain. British television has no equal, national and local radio is excellent, and the country has an unrivalled choice of quality newspapers, magazines and literature.

The UK is a caring society, highlighted by the abundance of charitable and voluntary organisations, unparalleled in any other country, all of which do invaluable work (nationally and internationally).

The UK remains a centre of scientific excellence underlined by its number of Nobel prize-winners. It’s also one of the least corrupt and most civilised countries in the world.

The British have more freedom from government interference than the people of most countries to do, say and act any way they like, something most of them take for granted.

The UK is still a great enlightened power (if a little frayed at the edges) and a positive influence in the world and London remains the centre of the English-speaking world. Whatever else it may be, life in the UK is spiritually, mentally and intellectually stimulating and rarely dull. Although foreigners may occasionally complain about Britain and the British weather, most feel they’re privileged to live there and wouldn’t dream of leaving.

Last, but certainly not least, there are the British people, who, although they can be infuriating at times, will charm and delight you with their sense of humour and idiosyncrasies. When your patience with the UK and the British is stretched to breaking point, simply take yourself off to the nearest pub and order a pint of ale or a large gin and tonic: the UK looks an even nicer place through the bottom of a (rose-tinted) glass, and, with a bit of luck, you won’t even notice that it’s still raining.

Finally what should you do if you are running a business in the UK?

1. Ensure you are clear on the market position you wish to occupy.

2. In your chosen segment make every effort to ensure you are distinctive and compelling so that you can enjoy a quasi-monopoly position and be a price maker as opposed to a price taker.

3. Employ the best and pay the best.

4. Do not sacrifice the long term for short term gain

5. Communicate, listen, communicate, listen to suppliers, employees and customers

6. Ignore the doom mongers (particularly economists!)

7. Only worry about the things you can fix

8. Assume you will be working longer than planned so get fit/ keep fit

9. Always remember your employees watch for non-verbal signs, make sure your body language fits your words

10. And finally be the change you want to see in the World

I have just heard our new PM speak on the steps of No 10. We are off to a very good start.

Exchange rates next 12-18 months if options are announced

Norway/Swiss option                                       WTO option

$-£ 1.20-1.35                                              $-£   1.15-1.25

€-£ 1.10-1.20                                             €-£   1.05-1.10

Interest rate: 0.5%                                       Interest rate: 0.5%

Real GDP: 1.7%                                         Real GDP 1%

 

Roger Martin-Fagg

rogermartinfagg

rmfagg@aol.com

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

academy8808.com & chiefexecutive.com

Post EU Referendum June 2016 – By Academy Economist Roger Martin-Fagg

June 28th, 2016

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The Prime Minister has just announced his resignation.

A Conservative MP who voted to leave said we must remember that nothing will change.

Everything will change and in ways which we cannot predict we cannot know what we cannot know. The economy is characterised by positive feedback. This means a small change in one part of the system is magnified by the systemic response.

As I write this, global stock markets are crashing, sterling has fallen to $1.30, and Moody’s have said the UK will lose its AAA rating. These are knee jerk reactions but they are destabilising: positive feedback has already been triggered.

The Bank of England has made soothing noises and will supply short run liquidity to prevent the wholesale market from seizing up. Boardrooms round the world will be trying to evaluate both the risks and the opportunities.

Everything will change, and it has already started.

Download the Roger Martin Fagg – Post Brexit Article

rogermartinfagg

Roger Martin-Fagg

rmfagg@aol.com

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

www.chiefexecutive.com

 

Brexit; Stop, Pause, Plan, Implement. Repeat.

June 28th, 2016

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What is your plan text is written on blue paper with a red marker aside.MEDIA RELEASE

Brexit; Stop, Pause, Plan, Implement. Repeat. 

“You are being watched. As a leader your influence has a magnified effect…

Your personal response to Brexit will serve you into the future… and develop resilience… unexpected events simply lead us to find unexpected solutions.”

Ian Price, CEO, Academy for Chief Executives

Ian Price, CEO of the Academy for Chief Executives emphasises the value and importance of a thoughtful plan and choosing our attitude before, as leaders, we respond to the unexpected and change:

“So it’s out then. I’m sure I wasn’t alone, rubbing my eyes in disbelief on Friday morning, digesting the result of the EU Referendum.

“It was, we thought, unlikely, unexpected and, as a result for many, unforeseen.

“Brexit has thrown a spanner in the works for business owners and managers throughout the UK.

“It will fall to each one of us to make good decisions in the hours, days, weeks and months ahead as we each, in our own way, make our contributions to keeping the economy’s wheel’s turning.

“We are facing, what most of us agree is, unexpected change. We know change is challenging.

“Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general summed up the feelings of UK plc on Friday morning: ‘Businesses are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt. We need strong and calm leadership from the government, working with the Bank of England, to shore up confidence and stability in the economy.’

“It’s not just our political leaders and senior bankers who need to be strong and calm. We’ve all had times when ‘landscape’ suddenly shifts around us – the shorthand we often use is ‘crisis management’.

“Over the years we have spent a great deal of time in the Academy for Chief Executives considering the characteristics of a crisis – ergo proven, effective ways to tackle and respond to unexpected change.

“I can think of few better moments to share our tried and tested collective views as we each embark on our journey to steer through the choppy waters ahead:

  • First; stop, take a deep breath, have a cuppa and be prepared in the immediate short term to do nothing. Snap reactions are often, not always, to be avoided in crisis situations.
  • Then gather your resources. Get your team and tools together. Establish the current status of the situation. What’s going on? What does it mean? And what courses of action are open to us?
  • Establish initial priorities and actions with input from as many relevant sources as possible.
  • Define your purpose clearly. Make it a cause that everyone can understand and rally around, each knowing their role and responsibility.
  • Maintain focus on this purpose. This may be a re-affirmation of your existing purpose or this ‘what’ may have been adapted or changed.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Remember – it’s the ‘why’ you need to keep foremost in your and your business’ mind. Businesses with a strong and clearly defined purpose survive and thrive.
  • Keep consulting, keep reviewing and keep communicating on where you are, your progress and where you need to get to. Involve everyone: your team, your suppliers your customers and your allies and keep on communicating. Listen to what they have to say to you too.
  • Make it real – track everything against your timeline, what needs to happen, who is responsible and by when.
  • Finally, be an ‘embracer’ of the change. You are being watched. As a leader your influence has a magnified effect. Your attitude will be critical. Choose your attitude carefully.

“My final thought is this. Your personal response to Brexit will serve you into the future. Being prepared to challenge and be challenged is what keeps us fresh and successful. Businesses that embrace change positively develop resilience; they are fleet of foot and equipped to respond calmly and successfully to the unexpected.

“Remember unexpected events simply lead us to find unexpected solutions.”

  • ends –

#         #         #

For further information please contact

Glenn Watkins      glenn.watkins@chiefexecutive.com 07714 246509

Karen Gray            karen.gray@chiefexecutive.com 07976 841123

Nicola Hunt           nicola@nhpr.com 07976 934342

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Academy for Chief Executives is a leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation working with business leaders and their teams throughout the UK.

Member companies collectively turnover £3.5 billion per annum and on average employ 75 people each.

www.chiefexecutive.com

Start with Why?

May 27th, 2016

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Simon Sinek’s 2009 TED talk, Start with Why, has rightly taken on almost mythical status for its simple message about putting purpose – the ‘why’ – at the heart of strategy. Think about the organisations you most admire. How far do they put purpose at the heart of their operations?

 

 

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Defining your Strategic Vision

May 27th, 2016

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By James M. Kerr

We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s why we form communities, follow sport teams or volunteer our time for the greater good. It is one of the reasons that we get up in the morning.

Another reason to get up in the morning is to go to work. Besides wanting to earn a living to provide for ourselves and families, our work gives us a similar sense of purpose and belonging. And as business leaders, we ought to be aware that creating exciting organisations that are substantially different from our competition will also help us attract and retain the best and brightest.

But it’s impossible to have a sense of purpose or belonging without being able to answer some simple questions about what it is we are doing and why. So, how does one marry these two aspirations? Why not begin by painting a vision?

I’m not suggesting coming up with the sort of tired clichés that appear on some company web sites or printed on posters no-one reads – you know the sort of thing: “We are passionate about understanding and responding to customer needs. We provide authoritative information and technology-based solutions across key stages of our customers’ workflow….”

These sorts of platitudes could apply to any company within their industry. This is why I advise my clients to craft a “Vision Story” – something with depth, something so compelling and vivid that the people are genuinely enthused about being part of it. Here is where to begin.

Constructing a Vision Story
Above all else, a vision story must be engaging. People must be able to identify with what is being proffered within the story. They need to be able to see themselves working at that company. Futuristic in its tone and loose and sinuous in its organisation, a vision story is written as if the company has already completed the work needed to achieve its vision. Typically, 15 – 20 pages in length, the story must be a vast and detailed discussion of what a company is to become in order to achieve its long-term goals.

How do you begin? It starts by imagining the possibilities. As I work with my clients on visioning, I start with a very basic question: “What can this company become?”

Inevitably, the initial answers outline financial goals, like, “we will turn over £20m by 2017,” or “we will operate at a 40% margin by 2018”, and so on.

It’s a great start! Let a strong statement of the financial goal frame the vision story. People want to know the size of company that they will be part of down-the-road. It will serve to inform their commitment because it’s important to people to identify with the size and goals of the firms for which they work.

But, the financial goal is just the beginning of the story. The rest of the tale must include details about the company, including such characteristics as:

Management Style Leadership Models
Customer Demographics Product/Service Sets
Growth Strategies Product Distribution
Service Delivery New Business Partnerships
Brand Value Organisational Structure
Operating Model Process Transformation
Flexible Workforce Performance Metrics
Diversity & Inclusion Governance Frameworks

This is not to say that the vision story specifies what each of these characteristics is for the company. Each of the subjects on the list must be further refined and developed over the course of time that transpires between where an organisation is today and where it wants to be in the future.

The vision story simply articulates the characteristics of the firm when it has achieved its vision. To state it another way, the vision story contains a discussion about how each of the elements outlined above have been instituted and now encompass the very fabric of the enterprise.

For example, the following passage from an actual vision story was used to describe the “Flexible Workforce” topic:

“By fostering an open and honest relationship with staff, a responsive, flexible workforce is in place. Effective cross-training and education programs have been put in place, as well. This allows the company to respond rapidly to workflow peaks and valleys….Training efforts have broadened their focus from job-specific development to one where overall process knowledge, interpersonal skills, leadership development, methodology practices, management skills, and succession planning are provided.”

Notice there is little here about how the workforce flexibility was achieved, anything about specific training plans or how demand and capacity are managed. Instead, the passage purely states that the company now has these attributes.

As mentioned above, it takes about 15 – 20 pages to properly construct a vision story that gives adequate coverage to all the areas you need to address. And it also takes time for people to digest the document – it’s not something that can be rushed. Instead, encourage everyone to get in the right frame of mind, remove unnecessary distractions and take their time to consume the message carefully.

Getting the Story Out
The work has just begun once the vision story is published. Once it has been defined, time must be dedicated to raising awareness of its content among everyone affected by it. Moreover, the best organisations stick to their vision and don’t let their stories collect dust. Rather, they continuously review it and listen to feedback so that it accurately reflects where the organisation is within its business environment.

Together with a solid Strategic Planning Program, the resulting vision story becomes an important management tool that guides action and informs decision-making within these enterprises – it creates a platform on which an enterprise thrives.

Successful enterprises of the future will be characterised by agile organisational structures, enhanced product and service delivery models and unmatched market reach. A vision story acts as a strategic platform from achieve these goals. That’s why businesses that take care to clearly articulate where they will be in the future and how they will get there will be more successful than ones that don’t.

James Kerr ThumbnailJames M. Kerr is the Global Chair of the Culture Transformation Practice at N2Growth and the author of The Executive Checklist. A specialist in organizational design and cultural transformation, he has been helping clients re-imagine the way work is organized and performed for more than 25 years. His next book is due out later in 2016 and focuses on leadership and strategy-setting.

 

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