newsdesk
CMI IBC Joint
Family Day
The newsletter of the Birmingham, Hereford
& Worcester and Wolverhampton Branches
autumn...
Our family day out each Summer is growing in
popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception.
We negotiated with t...
friendly and effective joint committee.
We then enjoyed a treat of a presentation from John
Challen, Operations Manager, B...
Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed
some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before
David was introduc...
...saying “no”... is one of the most liberating of choices
05
It’s probably a cliché but nevertheless a fact, that our
liv...
newsdesk
06
Young person receiving help from a Jobcentre Plus adviser
Backing Young Britain
Supporting Young Unemployed Pe...
...saying “no”... is one of the most liberating of choices
05
It’s probably a cliché but nevertheless a fact, that our
liv...
IBC Special Feature
08
One of the Black Country’s leading figures on enterprise
was recognised for his achievements on 18t...
Corporate Governance and Investors in People – the
New Approach, were the topics discussed at our June
members meeting in ...
IBC Special Feature
08
One of the Black Country’s leading figures on enterprise
was recognised for his achievements on 18t...
Corporate Governance and Investors in People – the
New Approach, were the topics discussed at our June
members meeting in ...
7. Think about keystrokes.
If you’re on a computer all day, keystrokes matter
because efficiency matters. On any given day...
Our family day out each Summer is growing in
popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception.
We negotiated with t...
friendly and effective joint committee.
We then enjoyed a treat of a presentation from John
Challen, Operations Manager, B...
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Newsdesk Article

  1. 1. newsdesk CMI IBC Joint Family Day The newsletter of the Birmingham, Hereford & Worcester and Wolverhampton Branches autumn 2009 • Inside the Minds of Top Achievers • Young Workers for Old? • Backing Young Britain • Black Country Adviser is the best • Chartered Manager Update Autumn 2010 • Jerry Blackett on LEPs... • The World of Social Networking • Confessions of a Consultant • Creativity and how to encourage it • Nurturing Future Leaders
  2. 2. Our family day out each Summer is growing in popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception. We negotiated with the friendly and efficient events team at Ironbridge to provide us with a great itinerary (covering two sites), a fabulous meeting room for the annual general regional and local branch update, a wonderful talk from one of the operational managers and a tasty buffet with refreshments. Local branches subsidised the event so that it could be offered free to members and their families which represented terrific value. This meant places were limited to 100 and they were snapped up within a couple of days leaving us with a reserve list. People arrived promptly at 10am for check in at Coalbrookdale for a self-guided tour of the Museum and Old Furnace where people were free to explore the site and remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal. It was the secret that helped make iron the essential material of the Industrial Revolution. At 11.30, some forty people, attended the meeting in the Glass Classroom – a fabulous venue – to receive an update from Eric Hogg, West Midlands Regional Forum Chair, CMI regarding new strategic developments in the CMI incorporating a greater focus on members. He also reminded everyone of the significant benefits of membership (which many of us tend to forget) and urged us to log on to the web site and start benefitting more from specific services such as the latest research on the latest ‘hot’ management issues, provision of a vast array of useful information through the online management information centre as well as consultancy services and career information. Gerywn Jones, Branch Chair Wolverhampton, talked us through events, past and planned, and how well the combined Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Hereford & Worcester is operating and providing practical benefits. Faye Field, Branch Chair Hereford & Worcester shared her aspirations for the combined branch programme of events and appealed for more volunteers to join the CMI IBC Joint Family Day Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire, Telford TF8 7JP Saturday 11th July 2009 newsdesk The 3 Chairs…Faye Field, Gerwyn Jones and Eric Hogg (inset: Treasurer, John Wells) 02 Our family day out each Summer is growing in popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception. We negotiated with the friendly and efficient events team at Ironbridge to provide us with a great itinerary (covering two sites), a fabulous meeting room for the annual general regional and local branch update, a wonderful talk from one of the operational managers and a tasty buffet with refreshments. Local branches subsidised the event so that it could be offered free to members and their families which represented terrific value. This meant places were limited to 100 and they were snapped up within a couple of days leaving us with a reserve list. People arrived promptly at 10am for check in at Coalbrookdale for a self-guided tour of the Museum and Old Furnace where people were free to explore the site and remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal. It was the secret that helped make iron the essential material of the Industrial Revolution. At 11.30, some forty people, attended the meeting in the Glass Classroom – a fabulous venue – to receive an update from Eric Hogg, West Midlands Regional Forum Chair, CMI regarding new strategic developments in the CMI incorporating a greater focus on members. He also reminded everyone of the significant benefits of membership (which many of us tend to forget) and urged us to log on to the web site and start benefitting more from specific services such as the latest research on the latest ‘hot’ management issues, provision of a vast array of useful information through the online management information centre as well as consultancy services and career information. Gerywn Jones, Branch Chair Wolverhampton, talked us through events, past and planned, and how well the combined Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Hereford & Worcester is operating and providing practical benefits. Faye Field, Branch Chair Hereford & Worcester shared her aspirations for the combined branch programme of events and appealed for more volunteers to join the CMI IBC Joint Family Day Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire, Telford TF8 7JP Saturday 11th July 2009 newsdesk The 3 Chairs…Faye Field, Gerwyn Jones and Eric Hogg (inset: Treasurer, John Wells) 02 Our family day out each Summer is growing in popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception. We negotiated with the friendly and efficient events team at Ironbridge to provide us with a great itinerary (covering two sites), a fabulous meeting room for the annual general regional and local branch update, a wonderful talk from one of the operational managers and a tasty buffet with refreshments. Local branches subsidised the event so that it could be offered free to members and their families which represented terrific value. This meant places were limited to 100 and they were snapped up within a couple of days leaving us with a reserve list. People arrived promptly at 10am for check in at Coalbrookdale for a self-guided tour of the Museum and Old Furnace where people were free to explore the site and remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal. It was the secret that helped make iron the essential material of the Industrial Revolution. At 11.30, some forty people, attended the meeting in the Glass Classroom – a fabulous venue – to receive an update from Eric Hogg, West Midlands Regional Forum Chair, CMI regarding new strategic developments in the CMI incorporating a greater focus on members. He also reminded everyone of the significant benefits of membership (which many of us tend to forget) and urged us to log on to the web site and start benefitting more from specific services such as the latest research on the latest ‘hot’ management issues, provision of a vast array of useful information through the online management information centre as well as consultancy services and career information. Gerywn Jones, Branch Chair Wolverhampton, talked us through events, past and planned, and how well the combined Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Hereford & Worcester is operating and providing practical benefits. Faye Field, Branch Chair Hereford & Worcester shared her aspirations for the combined branch programme of events and appealed for more volunteers to join the CMI IBC Joint Family Day Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire, Telford TF8 7JP Saturday 11th July 2009 newsdesk The 3 Chairs…Faye Field, Gerwyn Jones and Eric Hogg (inset: Treasurer, John Wells) 02 It was Bill Clinton who famously had a sign made for his desk that read “It’s the economy, stupid”. Clinton recognized that, irrespective of anything else he did, his political ratings ebbed and flowed in direct proportion to how people were feeling about jobs and prosperity. It’s my guess that the analysis not only holds good today but that the alignment is even stronger. Following the collapse of the banking system and the recession that followed, the old order is gone forever. The remorseless rise in the new economies of China, India, Russia and South America contrasts harshly with the stuttering recoveries of the established behemoths of the USA and Europe. What of the future? I think we will see a continued blurring of international boundaries as companies compete globally. Ownership of businesses will become increasingly irrelevant. We need to get comfortable with more national icons becoming part of international groups. It really does not matter who owns Jaguar, and Rover and Cadbury. What matters is making where we live the easiest place in Europe to set up and run a business. In the case of the West Midlands this means seizing the opportunity that is in the Birmingham name. If we do all this, we will attract businesses of all shapes and sizes from all over the world. The speed of change in regional governance is breathtaking. Within a very short period, regional functions such as Advantage West Midlands, Business Link West Midlands and Government Office will have ceased being effective. There is now a scramble to design new “bottom-up” local replacements driven by the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships. LEP’s are 50:50 partnerships between businesses and local authorities with an independent Chair from the business community. Their brief is to set the economic priorities for their geographies. LEPs & Regional Governance Jerry Blackett - Chief Executive Officer - Birmingham Chamber Group
  3. 3. friendly and effective joint committee. We then enjoyed a treat of a presentation from John Challen, Operations Manager, Blists Hill. We weren’t left in any doubt as to what John’s passion is: BRIDGES. This well researched and interesting talk included some vintage footage of bridges from around the world, including some that were doomed to failure, and brilliantly linked back to the start of the Industrial Revolution which is at the historical heart of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. John certainly knows how to make bridges interesting – you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone then regrouped to enjoy a buffet lunch and refreshments before departing for Blists Hill. Our group was free to enjoy Blists Hill Victorian Town at their own pace. With working factories, shops and cottages set in 50 acres of beautiful woodland where life is lived and demonstrated as it was in Victorian times, there was plenty to see and experience. Some exhibits are static and others are staffed by knowledgeable demonstrators (oh that Headteacher was strict and he did shout loud) who were happy to explain more of their particular role. The Post Office was a particular favourite of mine with ‘security’ no more than a chair in the gap between the shop and behind the counter, the postmaster explained how the post office formed the heart of the community providing crucial services for those who could not read and write through postal reading services (sometimes very tricky if it was something the recipient didn’t want to hear) and writing letters for those who couldn’t and parcels all wrapped up with string and a wax seal. Fascinating! Feedback from those who attended on the day was very good which was rewarding as the planning for next year has already started. Sue Crabtree Lucas Field browsing the latest edition of NewsDesk Jeff Elmore CMI Birmingham with Rachel Mallett of Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s very helpful events team 03 friendly and effective joint committee. We then enjoyed a treat of a presentation from John Challen, Operations Manager, Blists Hill. We weren’t left in any doubt as to what John’s passion is: BRIDGES. This well researched and interesting talk included some vintage footage of bridges from around the world, including some that were doomed to failure, and brilliantly linked back to the start of the Industrial Revolution which is at the historical heart of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. John certainly knows how to make bridges interesting – you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone then regrouped to enjoy a buffet lunch and refreshments before departing for Blists Hill. Our group was free to enjoy Blists Hill Victorian Town at their own pace. With working factories, shops and cottages set in 50 acres of beautiful woodland where life is lived and demonstrated as it was in Victorian times, there was plenty to see and experience. Some exhibits are static and others are staffed by knowledgeable demonstrators (oh that Headteacher was strict and he did shout loud) who were happy to explain more of their particular role. The Post Office was a particular favourite of mine with ‘security’ no more than a chair in the gap between the shop and behind the counter, the postmaster explained how the post office formed the heart of the community providing crucial services for those who could not read and write through postal reading services (sometimes very tricky if it was something the recipient didn’t want to hear) and writing letters for those who couldn’t and parcels all wrapped up with string and a wax seal. Fascinating! Feedback from those who attended on the day was very good which was rewarding as the planning for next year has already started. Sue Crabtree Lucas Field browsing the latest edition of NewsDesk Jeff Elmore CMI Birmingham with Rachel Mallett of Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s very helpful events team 03 The dash to localism is a double-edged sword for our region. Local pride and identities in Birmingham, Black Country and Coventry have been unleashed. The upside has been to re-energise working relationships between business and local authorities. There is a lot of optimism around these new partnerships and for the potential in having business lead the economic agenda. However, local pride can look parochial and self- serving when seen through the telescope of international markets. The ingredients for success that are emerging need City Regions like ours to develop reputations for world-class innovation and design; for diversity of markets; for attracting the brightest talent; for being a great place to live with a rich cultural offer. Importantly, for doing whatever it takes to help private sector enterprise flourish. In this competitive, global context it is certain that LEP’s that are too small won’t perform well. Even larger LEP’s, like the Birmingham and Solihull with East Staffordshire and Lichfield and Tamworth LEP, will need to collaborate on strategic matters (such as sector excellence) with other neighboring geographies if we are to really punch our combined weight and to be seen as a credible global player. There may never be a new order because the pace of change in the world is now so fast that there is no time for anything to assume predictability/certainty. In the West Midlands we need to exploit the new opportunities of localism whilst at the same time turning our collective efforts into making our City Region the easiest place in Europe in which to set up and run a business. We have a great story to tell the world’s businesses and every reason to be hugely confident in our ability to compete and win. Jerry Blackett - CEO Birmingham Chamber Group 0121 454 6171 More national icons will become internationally-owned The easiest place in Europe to set up a business? Autumn 2010
  4. 4. Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before David was introduced by John Wells. Every now and again, you encounter an individual that invites/challenges you to examine the way you do things (however successfully) in more detail, perhaps from an unusual perspective or in direct opposition to how we are taught. It’s a little uncomfortable and takes some honest thought but it can prompt you to uncover some potentially limiting values and beliefs. If you understand these properly you are then on route to adopting a different approach and achieving so much more. David Hyner is one such individual. Firstly, David introduced himself, highlighting his journey from building a reputable catering and event management business for 15 years through 12 years of research into how top achievers realise their goals to his current role delivering high energy talks, worldwide, establishing himself as one of the top inspirational speakers in the UK. He then led an interesting discussion about assumptions; how we all make assumptions about others and what we will or will not do in our everyday lives. Interestingly, David’s research has shown that top achievers make fewer assumptions – preferring to deal more in facts. We then went on to demonstrate how assumptions can fashion our conclusions as we shared three things about ourselves – two true and one false – to see if our neighbour in the audience could correctly predict the false one. Clearly, we make a raft of assumptions about this person that we barely know, to arrive at our answers. It’s quite useful to carry out an occasional health check on what leads you to make such assumptions. Next step was to talk us through goal setting and how what all top achievers have in common is ‘massive’ goals and we discussed how that compares to the more common mantra of goals being ‘realistic and achievable’. David then took the goal of one attendee and demonstrated how, through use of the pyramid, it can be broken down into blocks on several levels until the very top where the goal to be achieved is stated. Sound easy and somewhat familiar? Yes, but David talked us through the most important elements to be included in the foundation row – leading with the most important: why? In addition, we were reminded how important it is to capture what we know and what we need to know and galvanise ourselves into action to find out the answers. David’s energy and enthusiasm for his subject was exceptional and it was transferred to the audience during this participative session as the contribution from all was very good. On behalf of everyone present, John Wells thanked David for a stimulating, interactive and fun session. Session feedback forms were completed by all (very positive) and David then drew three lucky winners for a copy of David’s motivational CD ‘The MASSIVE Goal Principle’ (retails £10) and a box of chocs. For further information contact David at: info@stretchdevelopment.com Inside the Minds of Top Achievers Presenter: David Hyner, Director, STRETCH Developments Ltd Wednesday 5th August 2009 at the Manor Hotel, Meriden, West Midlands newsdesk ...energy and enthusiasm from David Hyner. 04 Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before David was introduced by John Wells. Every now and again, you encounter an individual that invites/challenges you to examine the way you do things (however successfully) in more detail, perhaps from an unusual perspective or in direct opposition to how we are taught. It’s a little uncomfortable and takes some honest thought but it can prompt you to uncover some potentially limiting values and beliefs. If you understand these properly you are then on route to adopting a different approach and achieving so much more. David Hyner is one such individual. Firstly, David introduced himself, highlighting his journey from building a reputable catering and event management business for 15 years through 12 years of research into how top achievers realise their goals to his current role delivering high energy talks, worldwide, establishing himself as one of the top inspirational speakers in the UK. He then led an interesting discussion about assumptions; how we all make assumptions about others and what we will or will not do in our everyday lives. Interestingly, David’s research has shown that top achievers make fewer assumptions – preferring to deal more in facts. We then went on to demonstrate how assumptions can fashion our conclusions as we shared three things about ourselves – two true and one false – to see if our neighbour in the audience could correctly predict the false one. Clearly, we make a raft of assumptions about this person that we barely know, to arrive at our answers. It’s quite useful to carry out an occasional health check on what leads you to make such assumptions. Next step was to talk us through goal setting and how what all top achievers have in common is ‘massive’ goals and we discussed how that compares to the more common mantra of goals being ‘realistic and achievable’. David then took the goal of one attendee and demonstrated how, through use of the pyramid, it can be broken down into blocks on several levels until the very top where the goal to be achieved is stated. Sound easy and somewhat familiar? Yes, but David talked us through the most important elements to be included in the foundation row – leading with the most important: why? In addition, we were reminded how important it is to capture what we know and what we need to know and galvanise ourselves into action to find out the answers. David’s energy and enthusiasm for his subject was exceptional and it was transferred to the audience during this participative session as the contribution from all was very good. On behalf of everyone present, John Wells thanked David for a stimulating, interactive and fun session. Session feedback forms were completed by all (very positive) and David then drew three lucky winners for a copy of David’s motivational CD ‘The MASSIVE Goal Principle’ (retails £10) and a box of chocs. For further information contact David at: info@stretchdevelopment.com Inside the Minds of Top Achievers Presenter: David Hyner, Director, STRETCH Developments Ltd Wednesday 5th August 2009 at the Manor Hotel, Meriden, West Midlands newsdesk ...energy and enthusiasm from David Hyner. 04 Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before David was introduced by John Wells. Every now and again, you encounter an individual that invites/challenges you to examine the way you do things (however successfully) in more detail, perhaps from an unusual perspective or in direct opposition to how we are taught. It’s a little uncomfortable and takes some honest thought but it can prompt you to uncover some potentially limiting values and beliefs. If you understand these properly you are then on route to adopting a different approach and achieving so much more. David Hyner is one such individual. Firstly, David introduced himself, highlighting his journey from building a reputable catering and event management business for 15 years through 12 years of research into how top achievers realise their goals to his current role delivering high energy talks, worldwide, establishing himself as one of the top inspirational speakers in the UK. He then led an interesting discussion about assumptions; how we all make assumptions about others and what we will or will not do in our everyday lives. Interestingly, David’s research has shown that top achievers make fewer assumptions – preferring to deal more in facts. We then went on to demonstrate how assumptions can fashion our conclusions as we shared three things about ourselves – two true and one false – to see if our neighbour in the audience could correctly predict the false one. Clearly, we make a raft of assumptions about this person that we barely know, to arrive at our answers. It’s quite useful to carry out an occasional health check on what leads you to make such assumptions. Next step was to talk us through goal setting and how what all top achievers have in common is ‘massive’ goals and we discussed how that compares to the more common mantra of goals being ‘realistic and achievable’. David then took the goal of one attendee and demonstrated how, through use of the pyramid, it can be broken down into blocks on several levels until the very top where the goal to be achieved is stated. Sound easy and somewhat familiar? Yes, but David talked us through the most important elements to be included in the foundation row – leading with the most important: why? In addition, we were reminded how important it is to capture what we know and what we need to know and galvanise ourselves into action to find out the answers. David’s energy and enthusiasm for his subject was exceptional and it was transferred to the audience during this participative session as the contribution from all was very good. On behalf of everyone present, John Wells thanked David for a stimulating, interactive and fun session. Session feedback forms were completed by all (very positive) and David then drew three lucky winners for a copy of David’s motivational CD ‘The MASSIVE Goal Principle’ (retails £10) and a box of chocs. For further information contact David at: info@stretchdevelopment.com Inside the Minds of Top Achievers Presenter: David Hyner, Director, STRETCH Developments Ltd Wednesday 5th August 2009 at the Manor Hotel, Meriden, West Midlands newsdesk ...energy and enthusiasm from David Hyner. 04 The concept of online social networking is not a new one but it has really only been in the last five years or so that has seen any real developments within this field. Today, literally BILLIONS of people access some kind of social network each and every day. For many it is the single biggest internet draw there is. So what does social networking actually mean? Well, this may seem a tad obvious but the whole crux of social networking is its emphasis on the social; Facebook, Myspace, Twitter et al is all about people. What they are doing, what they are thinking, where they have been and why. The so-called web 1.0 which exploded in the 1990s was all about (mainly) static pages of reference material; a webmaster oversaw the content of any given site and internet users visited these sites to merely consume what they found there. Conversely social networking is at the heart of web 2.0. Now users CONTRIBUTE to their online experience like never before. Yes, there were interactive sites like message boards in the 90s, but there was nothing like we have now in the 21st century. A new type of site began to emerge in the first half of the 2000s, the most famous of which amongst non social networking obsessives (of which there is an ever dwindling amount) is undoubtedly Youtube. This was a site built around the concept of UGC or User Generated Content; no more was the webmaster the sole driving force behind the content of a site. Now, tech-savvy web users started to take the lead and use sites like this as platforms for their own content – wedding & party videos, fan-made alternatives to official pop videos, instructional recordings and ‘memes’ began to flood the internet and really make it start to feel like a social experience rather than the solitary pastime it had been before. The rise of web 2.0 and UGC sites owes its existence in no small part to technological leaps made in the last 10-15 years. Ever faster broadband and increased competition amongst ISPs allowed users to upload files of ever increasing size. In short, if we were still living in the dial-up internet generation Youtube would never have been launched in the form that we have now and it would very likely have gone pop in the first internet mass extinction of the late 1990s. As people became used to the idea, and then OBSESSED with the idea of sharing the minutiae of their lives with the online community a new breed of website emerged; spearheaded by Friendster and shortly thereafter Myspace the age of the social web, and specifically social networking, heralded the arrival of Web 2.0. New sites sprang up frequently, many of which fell by the wayside as had much of the first wave of internet entrepreneurs. Some, however, quickly rose up through the (page)ranks to become internet behemoths, making a new generation of twenty something billionaires along the way. An Introduction To The World Of Social Networking Billions of us social network every day...
  5. 5. ...saying “no”... is one of the most liberating of choices 05 It’s probably a cliché but nevertheless a fact, that our lives are governed by the choices we make. At the most basic level we can choose to ‘go with the flow’ – let life ‘happen’ to us and complain about the consequences. It’s a bit like being on a river in a boat with no oars. Sometimes we move along quickly and smoothly, other times we hit rapids and have a rough ride; we can enter backwaters that take us nowhere and we may even end our journey at a waterfall. Whatever happens, the one common factor is that we are not in control. I see many examples of this in the work I do in career transition. Quite often I work with people who have chosen to ignore what is happening around them and just hope things get better (or at least, no worse). For some, work has been a living nightmare but they stuck with it in the vain hope that whatever was causing the unhappiness would somehow magically disappear and all would be better. In my experience, this rarely, if ever, happens and the sensible course of action is to seek an alternative. But the first step is to recognise that we have the choice to ‘let things happen to us’ or ‘make things happen for us’. There are always choices but often we choose not to see them. A key factor preventing us from seeing and exercising choice is that it takes us way out of our Choices? comfort zone or represents too high a perceived risk. However, for the purposes of this article let us assume you have chosen to exercise more control over your life. Congratulations – you’ve just found the oars that will enable you to steer and drive the boat in the direction you wish to go, rather than simply ‘going with the flow’. So, where from here? Whilst tempted to say ‘the choice is yours’, one of the most liberating of choices is to choose to say ‘no’. As managers we are all under a great deal of pressure and have constant demands on our time. In our efforts to demonstrate our ability to cope we are often tempted to say ‘yes’ to things when we know we should be saying ‘no’. Saying ‘yes’ may be the easy choice but often it simply adds to our burden and makes us feel even more ‘out of control’. How many times have you found yourself saying ‘yes’ knowing full well that there is little or no chance of fulfilling the request. How much better would it be to say ‘no’ and then offer an alternative i.e. another choice, one which you know you can deliver. Can you choose your ‘mood’? A pet hate of mine is managers who are moody and unpredictable and bring their personal angst and problems with them into the workplace. Sure I recognise that as managers we are first and foremost human beings, but does that give us the right to impose our bad temper on those we work with? As professionals we should leave whatever personal issues we have behind us and choose to put ourselves in a positive mood at work. Personally I use my journey to work to put myself into a positive frame of mind. Equally I use the journey home to put away the frustrations I have experienced at work and reach home without any of the baggage we all carry round from time to time. Sometimes music works for me and at other times I abandon my motorway journey in favour of the slower but prettier option of the country lanes and scenery. It’s a matter of experimenting until you find what choice works for you. In this short article I’ve tried to give some simple examples of how the choices we make affect our lives and I hope you will start to think more carefully about the choices you make. As managers however there is one choice I would strongly commend to you, and that is to ‘choose to catch people doing things right rather than catch them doing things wrong’. Making that simple choice and saying ‘thank you’ more often will make life so much easier both for you and your colleagues. Eric Hogg Email Eric at eh@exec-dynamics.com ‘TheFacebook.Com’ was designed and built by the then 20-year old Mark Zuckerberg and was launched for the exclusive benefit of Harvard students in February 2004. And then it began to spread like the proverbial wildfire. Within months it was rolled out to other big American colleges, and then a year later American high school students were invited to join the party. Finally anyone, anywhere (over the age of 13) became eligible to join in September 2006. Now, just four years later Facebook has just recruited its 500 millionth unique user and Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world. As internet success stories Facebook is the biggest. Controversy? Take your pick: firstly Zuckerberg ALLEGEDLY paid disgruntled fellow Harvard alumni Divya Narendra and Tyler & Cameron Winkelvoss $65 million dollars (in cash and shares) when they sued him for stealing the Facebook idea from them, and then there have been any number of privacy issues relating to the extent to which users’ data is shared both on Facebook and in the greater online world. As they say in Hollywood ‘where there’s a hit there’s a writ’ and the hits don’t come much bigger than Facebook. And no doubt soon we’ll be seeing lawsuits as a result of the Fincher/Sorkin Facebook movie due out later this year. The future World domination, or a spectacular fall from grace – it really is a toss up which but the smart money has to be on the former rather than the latter. Twitter The past and present Twitter is an unusual beast amongst social networks. You can’t upload hundreds of pictures into albums, you can’t stream music, you can’t play games – all you can do is blog. Or, more specifically, micro-blog. Launched in the summer of 2006 it now boasts almost 200 million regular users who share ‘tweets’ of 140 characters or less with their ‘followers’. And ‘right now’ really is the way you have to look at it; internet fads come and go and surprisingly quickly. Even if you’re number 1 today you may be number 200 tomorrow – if you’re lucky!! Not too long ago Myspace blew Friends Reunited (which was a seriously big fish at the time) out of the virtual water. That a similar fate would befall Myspace was then unthinkable. Now it is a matter of history. Everything online has the ability to change in a heartbeat. Today’s must-have social profile is tomorrow’s abandoned and forgotten logon. Times change, fashions change and people change online just as much as off. So, for now, let’s look at the four biggest movers and shakers in the social networking world right now: Facebook The past and present By no means the first it is definitely the biggest, most famous and most controversial of the social networks. The Biggest Players Right Now: The biggest players right now... Autumn 2010
  6. 6. newsdesk 06 Young person receiving help from a Jobcentre Plus adviser Backing Young Britain Supporting Young Unemployed People in the West Midlands There’s no doubt that the West Midlands has suffered significantly in the recent adverse economic conditions and young people have been amongst those hardest hit. There are around 55,500 people aged 18-24 in the West Midlands Region currently claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is a dreadful waste of talent and potential - and in order to enlist employers in addressing this, Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched the “Backing Young Britain” campaign in Birmingham on 2nd September. The role of employers across the UK in supporting young people cannot be overstated. BYB is a national campaign that seeks to engage employers of all “shapes and sizes” to do everything possible to give young people the help they need to find a job, training or work skills and experience. This support by employers is vital in providing opportunities of work and work experience for young people. The government is seeking commitment and action from employers around any or all of the following ways in which young people can be helped…Employers are being urged to: • Offer volunteer places or become a volunteer mentor for school or university leavers. • Provide work experience opportunities. • Offer internships to graduates and non-graduates. • Consider a young person for a job through a work trial. • Provide apprenticeship opportunities for 16-24 year olds. • Apply to provide jobs through the Future Jobs Fund (see below) • Engage in a Local Employment Partnership (LEP) with Jobcentre Plus Visit http://interactive.bis.gov.uk/backingyoungbritain to find out more... Alternatively you can contact Jobcentre Plus on any of the following numbers for further details of local initiatives: Birmingham and Solihull - 0121 255 8351 Black Country - 01902 435163 Coventry and Warwickshire - 02476 232598 Staffordshire - 01782 382164 Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire - 01562 623661 Future Jobs Fund (FJF) Delivered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) this fund aims to create 150,000 additional jobs that will provide both work experience and training primarily to 18-24 year olds who have been out of work for nearly a year with the aim of delivering real benefits to communities. The jobs must be jobs which the employer would not ordinarily have recruited for. The jobs created must provide work for at least 25 hours a week for 6 months and be paid at a salaried wage, (at least the statutory National Minimum Wage). DWP are accepting applications on a monthly basis from organisations keen to play a part in supporting it. Employers interested in applying are invited to visit http://research.dwp.gov.uk/campaigns/futurejobsfund where full details of the programme and application forms can be found. newsdesk 06 Young person receiving help from a Jobcentre Plus adviser Backing Young Britain Supporting Young Unemployed People in the West Midlands There’s no doubt that the West Midlands has suffered significantly in the recent adverse economic conditions and young people have been amongst those hardest hit. There are around 55,500 people aged 18-24 in the West Midlands Region currently claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is a dreadful waste of talent and potential - and in order to enlist employers in addressing this, Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched the “Backing Young Britain” campaign in Birmingham on 2nd September. The role of employers across the UK in supporting young people cannot be overstated. BYB is a national campaign that seeks to engage employers of all “shapes and sizes” to do everything possible to give young people the help they need to find a job, training or work skills and experience. This support by employers is vital in providing opportunities of work and work experience for young people. The government is seeking commitment and action from employers around any or all of the following ways in which young people can be helped…Employers are being urged to: • Offer volunteer places or become a volunteer mentor for school or university leavers. • Provide work experience opportunities. • Offer internships to graduates and non-graduates. • Consider a young person for a job through a work trial. • Provide apprenticeship opportunities for 16-24 year olds. • Apply to provide jobs through the Future Jobs Fund (see below) • Engage in a Local Employment Partnership (LEP) with Jobcentre Plus Visit http://interactive.bis.gov.uk/backingyoungbritain to find out more... Alternatively you can contact Jobcentre Plus on any of the following numbers for further details of local initiatives: Birmingham and Solihull - 0121 255 8351 Black Country - 01902 435163 Coventry and Warwickshire - 02476 232598 Staffordshire - 01782 382164 Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire - 01562 623661 Future Jobs Fund (FJF) Delivered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) this fund aims to create 150,000 additional jobs that will provide both work experience and training primarily to 18-24 year olds who have been out of work for nearly a year with the aim of delivering real benefits to communities. The jobs must be jobs which the employer would not ordinarily have recruited for. The jobs created must provide work for at least 25 hours a week for 6 months and be paid at a salaried wage, (at least the statutory National Minimum Wage). DWP are accepting applications on a monthly basis from organisations keen to play a part in supporting it. Employers interested in applying are invited to visit http://research.dwp.gov.uk/campaigns/futurejobsfund where full details of the programme and application forms can be found. Sure, it may not have the functionality of Facebook or come anywhere near Facebook’s number of registered users but there is something very quant and yet very cutting-edge about Twitter. Factor in the fact that it is only now beginning to explore third-party advertising as a revenue stream and anyone must surely be able to see that Twitter is only going to get bigger and bigger. LinkedIn The past and present Linkedin is the grownup social network. Here you will not find any virtual farms, no one will ‘poke’ you and you won’t be bombarded with the minutiae of your friends’ lives. This is not a social network in the traditional sense of the term; it is a business network. Launched in May 2003 by a former Yahoo! executive it now boasts 75 million registered users. These users create a profile much as they would on Facebook but whereas that network is all about making and communicating with friends the focus of Linkedin is on building networks of business contacts. These contacts lead users to other contacts (so-called ‘second-degree connections’) with whom they have a mutual ‘friend’. And on it goes. These contacts can then be utilised for job hunting, building customer bases, finding new suppliers and markets... literally every aspect of business building can be done from this one simple site! Controversy Thanks to its position as the mature network there really is very little in the way of controversy linked to Linkedin. The only real problem for users, and more specifically their employers, relates to data security. A list of a company’s clients and suppliers would be of incredible value to a competitor and, if users do not protect their data by hiding their Linkedin contacts list unscrupulous competitors may end up with access to a one-stop-shop of that business’s greatest assets. After all if you were keeping tabs on the MD of a rival manufacturing company and you suddenly notice that he has started adding people from a Chinese manufacturing concern to his connections it could well give you an insight into their next project, months or even YEARS ahead of release. The length of tweets and the overall simplicity of the site is no coincidence; its founders envisaged a website powered by and updated by text message from its users who could be anywhere in the world and not tied to a computer. What could be simpler? Cue a small cash injection, legions of naysayers saying it’ll never catch on and you’ve got all the ingredients for an internet smash hit, which Twitter clearly is. Controversy? Not so much. One of the things that twitter has going for it is the small amount of information it solicits from its users. Besides your username, a vague description of your location, a link to your website (should you have one) and the briefest of bios all that ever appears on your profile will be your mini missives. And all of that can be rendered completely private to anyone but your followers in one fell swoop. Facebook cannot say this and clearly pays the price in terms of user backlash. The future Like Facebook this is a site that is going to continue to reach new heights of success. Everybody’s doing it....including brands and businesses Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before David was introduced by John Wells. Every now and again, you encounter an individual that invites/challenges you to examine the way you do things (however successfully) in more detail, perhaps from an unusual perspective or in direct opposition to how we are taught. It’s a little uncomfortable and takes some honest thought but it can prompt you to uncover some potentially limiting values and beliefs. If you understand these properly you are then on route to adopting a different approach and achieving so much more. David Hyner is one such individual. Firstly, David introduced himself, highlighting his journey from building a reputable catering and event management business for 15 years through 12 years of research into how top achievers realise their goals to his current role delivering high energy talks, worldwide, establishing himself as one of the top inspirational speakers in the UK. He then led an interesting discussion about assumptions; how we all make assumptions about others and what we will or will not do in our everyday lives. Interestingly, David’s research has shown that top achievers make fewer assumptions – preferring to deal more in facts. We then went on to demonstrate how assumptions can fashion our conclusions as we shared three things about ourselves – two true and one false – to see if our neighbour in the audience could correctly predict the false one. Clearly, we make a raft of assumptions about this person that we barely know, to arrive at our answers. It’s quite useful to carry out an occasional health check on what leads you to make such assumptions. Next step was to talk us through goal setting and how what all top achievers have in common is ‘massive’ goals and we discussed how that compares to the more common mantra of goals being ‘realistic and achievable’. David then took the goal of one attendee and demonstrated how, through use of the pyramid, it can be broken down into blocks on several levels until the very top where the goal to be achieved is stated. Sound easy and somewhat familiar? Yes, but David talked us through the most important elements to be included in the foundation row – leading with the most important: why? In addition, we were reminded how important it is to capture what we know and what we need to know and galvanise ourselves into action to find out the answers. David’s energy and enthusiasm for his subject was exceptional and it was transferred to the audience during this participative session as the contribution from all was very good. On behalf of everyone present, John Wells thanked David for a stimulating, interactive and fun session. Session feedback forms were completed by all (very positive) and David then drew three lucky winners for a copy of David’s motivational CD ‘The MASSIVE Goal Principle’ (retails £10) and a box of chocs. For further information contact David at: info@stretchdevelopment.com Inside the Minds of Top Achievers Presenter: David Hyner, Director, STRETCH Developments Ltd Wednesday 5th August 2009 at the Manor Hotel, Meriden, West Midlands newsdesk ...energy and enthusiasm from David Hyner. 04
  7. 7. ...saying “no”... is one of the most liberating of choices 05 It’s probably a cliché but nevertheless a fact, that our lives are governed by the choices we make. At the most basic level we can choose to ‘go with the flow’ – let life ‘happen’ to us and complain about the consequences. It’s a bit like being on a river in a boat with no oars. Sometimes we move along quickly and smoothly, other times we hit rapids and have a rough ride; we can enter backwaters that take us nowhere and we may even end our journey at a waterfall. Whatever happens, the one common factor is that we are not in control. I see many examples of this in the work I do in career transition. Quite often I work with people who have chosen to ignore what is happening around them and just hope things get better (or at least, no worse). For some, work has been a living nightmare but they stuck with it in the vain hope that whatever was causing the unhappiness would somehow magically disappear and all would be better. In my experience, this rarely, if ever, happens and the sensible course of action is to seek an alternative. But the first step is to recognise that we have the choice to ‘let things happen to us’ or ‘make things happen for us’. There are always choices but often we choose not to see them. A key factor preventing us from seeing and exercising choice is that it takes us way out of our Choices? comfort zone or represents too high a perceived risk. However, for the purposes of this article let us assume you have chosen to exercise more control over your life. Congratulations – you’ve just found the oars that will enable you to steer and drive the boat in the direction you wish to go, rather than simply ‘going with the flow’. So, where from here? Whilst tempted to say ‘the choice is yours’, one of the most liberating of choices is to choose to say ‘no’. As managers we are all under a great deal of pressure and have constant demands on our time. In our efforts to demonstrate our ability to cope we are often tempted to say ‘yes’ to things when we know we should be saying ‘no’. Saying ‘yes’ may be the easy choice but often it simply adds to our burden and makes us feel even more ‘out of control’. How many times have you found yourself saying ‘yes’ knowing full well that there is little or no chance of fulfilling the request. How much better would it be to say ‘no’ and then offer an alternative i.e. another choice, one which you know you can deliver. Can you choose your ‘mood’? A pet hate of mine is managers who are moody and unpredictable and bring their personal angst and problems with them into the workplace. Sure I recognise that as managers we are first and foremost human beings, but does that give us the right to impose our bad temper on those we work with? As professionals we should leave whatever personal issues we have behind us and choose to put ourselves in a positive mood at work. Personally I use my journey to work to put myself into a positive frame of mind. Equally I use the journey home to put away the frustrations I have experienced at work and reach home without any of the baggage we all carry round from time to time. Sometimes music works for me and at other times I abandon my motorway journey in favour of the slower but prettier option of the country lanes and scenery. It’s a matter of experimenting until you find what choice works for you. In this short article I’ve tried to give some simple examples of how the choices we make affect our lives and I hope you will start to think more carefully about the choices you make. As managers however there is one choice I would strongly commend to you, and that is to ‘choose to catch people doing things right rather than catch them doing things wrong’. Making that simple choice and saying ‘thank you’ more often will make life so much easier both for you and your colleagues. Eric Hogg Email Eric at eh@exec-dynamics.com 07 The future Personal safety concerns aside the only real threat to Foursquare is Facebook Places. Launched in August 2010 Facebook Places is eerily similar to Foursquare, even down to Zuckerberg’s choice of in-game icons (indeed, the sincerest form of flattery and all that…). Initial reaction to Places has been decidedly unfavourable, mostly due to the increasingly dim view that ‘net denizens have of Facebook on the whole but you can’t help but think that the Foursquare owners must be more than a little concerned on the impact Places may have on their business. Conclusion The number 1 social network in the world is CURRENTLY Facebook. By a country mile. They have 500 million users, they make untold riches from advertising (and from, ahem, other revenue streams relating to the data it holds on the aforementioned half billion users) and their growth both in terms of functionality and user base shows no sign of declining. However five years ago Myspace was in an unassailable position, and look what happened there. And 10 years ago FriendsReunited was the unstoppable internet leviathan and yet that poisoned chalice (to mix metaphors) ended up losing its owners ITV over £100 million when it decided to cut the proto-social network free in 2009. In short, the world of social networking is as uncertain, if not massively MORE uncertain, than any other area of on- or offline business. Today’s heroes may well be zeroes if not by tomorrow then certainly by the end of the financial year. The only constant on the social web, it would seem, is change. For help and enlightenment call Perceptis Ltd 01543 416060 It must be stressed however that Linkedin is in no way to blame for this. It is up to users to protect their own data. For too long people have had a blasé attitude to electronic data of this type. But ask yourself this; would you allow your competitors to go through your diary? And would you give them a copy of all the names and numbers stored in your mobile phone? Nope, I didn’t think so. Foursquare The past and present A relative minnow amongst the social networking fraternity owing to its meagre 3 million regular users, Foursquare distinguishes itself (if that is indeed the right word) by its unique take on the social web. Unlike the aforementioned networks Foursquare is more like a game than a traditional network. Users ‘check-in’ to locations via GPS-enabled mobile device or web application. They can (and usually do) then share their check-in data with their Twitter and/or Facebook followers and friends. Checking in to specific locations earns players in-game badges while consistently checking in to a specific location at regular intervals can earn you the title of ‘mayor’ for that place. Controversy The principal concern with Foursquare, and a limitless supply of ammunition to its detractors, is the technology at the heart of the Foursquare experience. By sharing, in REAL TIME, their whereabouts with other web users players of the Foursquare game are voluntarily and willingly compromising their privacy. Anecdotes abound of people being approached in restaurants by strangers who have used Facebook profiles and Foursquare data to locate and identify them. This problem was cleverly and famously highlighted by the brains behind ‘Please Rob Me’. A logical use of the Foursquare service (from a criminal point of view at least) Please Rob Me publishes lists of Foursquare users who are not currently at home thus creating a list of properties ripe for the burgling. Its creators do not advocate burglary of course and they claim that they are merely trying to draw to people’s attention the dangers of sharing real-time location data. Autumn 2010
  8. 8. IBC Special Feature 08 One of the Black Country’s leading figures on enterprise was recognised for his achievements on 18th June when the region’s first ever Business Support Professional Awards came to a finale. The competition, which was sponsored by Advantage West Midlands’ Enterprise Board and organised by Business Enterprise Support (BES), celebrated the achievement of seven leading support professionals, who between them had helped 10,000 companies get off the ground and played a role in creating more than 15,000 jobs. Kulwant Chahal, who works for Black Country Enterprise, walked off with one of the main awards after beating off strong competition to secure the title of Business Consulting Professional 2009. It marks what has been an impressive year for the former entrepreneur, who has worked tirelessly to boost start-up rates in Sandwell and build a support network of public and private sector partners. “I’m extremely honoured to be recognised by my peers and the people I’ve tried to assist,” explained Kulwant, who advises more than 15 businesses every week. “With the current downturn having a major effect on the Black Country economy, it is more important than ever to support new start-ups and encourage young businesses to grow and create jobs.” The Institute of Business Consulting sponsored the award and its Chair John Wells was delighted with the outcome. “Kulwant is a model professional with a real passion for helping entrepreneurs, a passion that extends way beyond the 9-5 working hours.” Black Country adviser is named best in the business Winning Adviser Kulwant Chahal (L) pictured with John Wells John W Wells - IBC West Midlands Regional Chair Director Abio Ltd - 08704 111 101 IBC members and guests at Beacon Energy Farm Electric Beacon! Members and guests of the Institute of Business Consulting visited Beacon Energy Farm Loughborough, often described as one of the world’s best examples of sustainable energy utilisation, to see first hand the benefits of renewable energy. During a remarkable and truly enlightening three hour guided tour our passionate host, Professor Tony Marmount, talked about his work and aims of increasing public awareness about climate change and the things we can all do to address it. To be able to see first hand what Tony and his staff have achieved since the formation of the farm in 1992 was remarkable. The creation of an artificial lake and stream had not only transformed the landscape and wild life habitation but it is being used along with hydro pumps etc. to re-circulate the water and create electricity. Twenty-five year old wind turbines, manufactured by one of Tony’s previous companies, were still working effectively to create and store electricity; as do hydro pumps and solar panels. Hydrogen gas is produced and stored on the farm. Roof water is collected, filtered and used whilst Tony’s own home has been further insulated by building a four-foot straw bale wall outside of the original stone wall. This has then been covered and rendered to form an outer wall. All of these inventions and experiments ensure the farm remains independent from the National Electricity Grid with overall energy consumption less than half that of the average UK office. These state-of-the art technologies also provide research opportunities for the renewable energy centres at Loughborough, DeMontfort and Nottingham Universities. At the end of our visit, Tony showed us his helicopter and talked about his passion for flying. Perhaps that’s why he is working on Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS) a method of making fuels, ranging from petrol to diesel and Jet-A, using renewable energy with raw materials of water and carbon dioxide from the air. The innovation and experimentation shown in the creation of renewable energy was not only eye-opening but made us realise how lucky “UK Plc” is to have exceptionally capable and talented people like Tony and those who work with him. In appreciation of a wonderful afternoon the Institute of Business Consulting donated £200 to the Air Ambulance.
  9. 9. Corporate Governance and Investors in People – the New Approach, were the topics discussed at our June members meeting in Meriden. Chris Trigg started with a quote from Lord Goldsmith “We should remind ourselves that being a company director is a wonderful thing for the person who is a company director. But it is a position of great responsibility which involves running the affairs of a company for the benefit of other people. It is a heavy responsibility we should not water down”. By the end of the session, which covered various editions of the Companies Act delivered in a simplistic and easy to understand way, all delegates had a very good understanding and overview of directors’ responsibilities. It was recommended, as directors, we all: • Review Memorandum and Articles of Association. • Review company policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with current legislation. • Regularly review management accounts in order to meet the requirement to exercise an acceptable degree of care. Ignorance is not a defence. • Consider personal duties, responsibilities and liabilities under Companies Act 2006 and current legislation. • Ensure the company takes out directors’ and officers’ liability insurance (to pay for legal expenses if sued for negligence or breach of duty). Want more information? Contact Chris Trigg email: cjt@crucis-cosultants.co.uk Carole Fox, of the West Midlands Quality Centre, gave an overview of the Investors in People Standard (IIP) against which over 70,000 UK companies are already working involving UK nearly 40% of employees. The Standard which is appropriate for any size and type of organisation consists of: • Plan – developing strategies to improve • Do – taking action to improve, and • Review – evaluating the impact of on the performance of the organisation The results of a 2008 CBI Survey indicated - 71% said IIP had a positive impact on their business, whilst 52% reported an improvement in staff morale. It also stated, IIP helps all employees contribute more effectively to shared goals and it deliveries “bottom line” benefits; Increasing small companies’ annual profits by £303 per employee; medium companies by £602 per employee and large companies by £41 per employee. The new approach and additional recognition introduced in 2009 is an extended version of the 39 step evidenced Standard, whereby: • Organisations can ‘tailor-make’ a broader framework aligned to their own key business priorities. • Includes additional elements: - Leadership and Management - Work-Life Balance - Recruitment and Selection - Social Responsibility • Offers opportunities for a more extensive assessment process. • Can be used at a first assessment or at review. The new approach is based on bronze, silver and gold where the total evidenced requirements are: 65 (39 original + 26 additional), 115 (39 + 76) and 165 (39 + 126) respectively. Want to know more go to www.wmqc.co.uk By: John W Wells, West Midlands Regional Chair. Director abio ltd Carole Fox of the West Midlands Quality Centre 09 IBC Special Feature June Members’ Meeting In a recent presentation I gave I explained how in my consulting career path (from academic to management trainer to Internet Marketing consultant and coach), I had learned a lot – some of it more confessional than the rest since much came by way of mistakes I’d made. Mistakes such as not finding a discrete niche quickly enough, choosing the wrong clients, and being tempted to say “yes” to just about anything, were among the many early mistakes I made. These are mistakes I see many new consultants make (and a few not-so-new ones too!). And – not setting out a proper payment schedule with your client so that you get paid the right amount - on time! Even with this I’ve had numerous clients default on payment because of the economic difficulties we are still experiencing. On the more positive side – getting to decision makers, providing clarity, asking questions, bringing enthusiasm, building rapport and listening, listening, listening, are among the things I feel are important to get right as often as possible. I’ve had more business from people who felt I understood them and was enthusiastic about working with them than anything else. I’ve never had to negotiate on price. Resist the temptation to lower your prices – even in a recession. Rather communicate your USP – with energy! And demonstrate the value for money. Whatever consulting business we’re in, the importance of emphasizing the benefits of our service to a client rather than the features and the importance of being aware of the difference are critical components. Also to use the language of ‘investment’ rather than ‘cost’ is to indicate to a client that they stand only to gain from your intervention. Some my talk covered the possibilities for consultants, trainers and coaches in taking the internet much more seriously than they usually do and on how I now provide consultancy on this. Confessions Of A Consultant – Learning Lessons Use the language of “investment” rather than “cost...” The possibilities are endless online - offering consultants trainers and coaches the opportunity to scale up their businesses rather than just operating a time for money model or just build a much bigger client base. Learning about getting people to your site, converting those visits to quality leads and converting those to sales is a challenge but can be easily done with the right tools, techniques and knowledge. I also challenged the group to consider packaging their consulting and expert knowledge to sell in a more scalable way – through online seminars and webinars. Why sell your knowledge to one when you can sell to many all at the same time - and NO this doesn’t mean they won’t buy more consultancy from you! Be cautious though - don’t think that your web-designer can do this for you – most of them are brilliant designers and technicians but they’re not all marketers and that’s the key. Finally, I’m a huge fan of formal learning too - going to workshops or eminars to improve my knowledge. I attend these far more frequently than I used to. My excuse used to be that ‘I couldn’t afford it’ or ‘I didn’t have the time’. Which I’ve since learned is tantamount to saying I’m prepared to spend time and money in my business but not on it! Now that was a mistake. Mindset, business development, networking, internet techniques… it’s all important stuff and the smallest nugget can mean the biggest gold-mines. Michael Anderson - Internet Marketing Consultant www.sellmyknowledgeonline.com
  10. 10. IBC Special Feature 08 One of the Black Country’s leading figures on enterprise was recognised for his achievements on 18th June when the region’s first ever Business Support Professional Awards came to a finale. The competition, which was sponsored by Advantage West Midlands’ Enterprise Board and organised by Business Enterprise Support (BES), celebrated the achievement of seven leading support professionals, who between them had helped 10,000 companies get off the ground and played a role in creating more than 15,000 jobs. Kulwant Chahal, who works for Black Country Enterprise, walked off with one of the main awards after beating off strong competition to secure the title of Business Consulting Professional 2009. It marks what has been an impressive year for the former entrepreneur, who has worked tirelessly to boost start-up rates in Sandwell and build a support network of public and private sector partners. “I’m extremely honoured to be recognised by my peers and the people I’ve tried to assist,” explained Kulwant, who advises more than 15 businesses every week. “With the current downturn having a major effect on the Black Country economy, it is more important than ever to support new start-ups and encourage young businesses to grow and create jobs.” The Institute of Business Consulting sponsored the award and its Chair John Wells was delighted with the outcome. “Kulwant is a model professional with a real passion for helping entrepreneurs, a passion that extends way beyond the 9-5 working hours.” Black Country adviser is named best in the business Winning Adviser Kulwant Chahal (L) pictured with John Wells Financial Awareness is Key When Coming Out Of A Recession They key advice from UKBA is not to ignore the situation, and if necessary get external specialist advice. Consider all the options before committing more of your own cash or borrowings. Borrow and use other people’s money when possible, but do it wisely. Look inside your own business for resources. And ultimately if it really is game over, don’t despair, get help, deal with it, and get on with your life. Ralph Myers, a financial specialist within UKBA advises, “Historically, coming out of recession is very difficult for companies. Recognising the situation and planning a way through, is one of the key factors that divides those that make it successfully to a brighter future and those that don’t. Do ask for expert help, it will cost a little, but can make all the difference”. Ralph Myers at UKBA www.ukba.co.uk Coming out of a recession is a financially risky time for many SME’s; according to UKBA (UK Business Advisors) who are currently helping many companies struggling with finances. Signs of the end of the recession can actually increase company financial pressures. Orders can increase, but often in lower quantities (for the same sale price) with shorter lead times demanded. Supply chains have often emptied out producing shortages. Companies may need to increase people and other resources having cut back during the downturn. All of these are likely to increase costs, and just as importantly, negatively affect cash flow. Compounding the problems is tighter credit from the banks and suppliers demanding quicker payments. Consider all the options before committing more of your own cash or borrowings. 10
  11. 11. Corporate Governance and Investors in People – the New Approach, were the topics discussed at our June members meeting in Meriden. Chris Trigg started with a quote from Lord Goldsmith “We should remind ourselves that being a company director is a wonderful thing for the person who is a company director. But it is a position of great responsibility which involves running the affairs of a company for the benefit of other people. It is a heavy responsibility we should not water down”. By the end of the session, which covered various editions of the Companies Act delivered in a simplistic and easy to understand way, all delegates had a very good understanding and overview of directors’ responsibilities. It was recommended, as directors, we all: • Review Memorandum and Articles of Association. • Review company policies, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with current legislation. • Regularly review management accounts in order to meet the requirement to exercise an acceptable degree of care. Ignorance is not a defence. • Consider personal duties, responsibilities and liabilities under Companies Act 2006 and current legislation. • Ensure the company takes out directors’ and officers’ liability insurance (to pay for legal expenses if sued for negligence or breach of duty). Want more information? Contact Chris Trigg email: cjt@crucis-cosultants.co.uk Carole Fox, of the West Midlands Quality Centre, gave an overview of the Investors in People Standard (IIP) against which over 70,000 UK companies are already working involving UK nearly 40% of employees. The Standard which is appropriate for any size and type of organisation consists of: • Plan – developing strategies to improve • Do – taking action to improve, and • Review – evaluating the impact of on the performance of the organisation The results of a 2008 CBI Survey indicated - 71% said IIP had a positive impact on their business, whilst 52% reported an improvement in staff morale. It also stated, IIP helps all employees contribute more effectively to shared goals and it deliveries “bottom line” benefits; Increasing small companies’ annual profits by £303 per employee; medium companies by £602 per employee and large companies by £41 per employee. The new approach and additional recognition introduced in 2009 is an extended version of the 39 step evidenced Standard, whereby: • Organisations can ‘tailor-make’ a broader framework aligned to their own key business priorities. • Includes additional elements: - Leadership and Management - Work-Life Balance - Recruitment and Selection - Social Responsibility • Offers opportunities for a more extensive assessment process. • Can be used at a first assessment or at review. The new approach is based on bronze, silver and gold where the total evidenced requirements are: 65 (39 original + 26 additional), 115 (39 + 76) and 165 (39 + 126) respectively. Want to know more go to www.wmqc.co.uk By: John W Wells, West Midlands Regional Chair. Director abio ltd Carole Fox of the West Midlands Quality Centre 09 IBC Special Feature June Members’ Meeting Time management is one of those skills no one teaches you in school but you have to learn. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t organize information well enough to take it in and it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if procrastination keeps you from getting your work done. In today’s workplace, you can differentiate yourself by your ability to handle information and manage your time. “Careers are made or broken by the soft skills that make you able to hand a very large workload,” says Merlin Mann, editor of the productivity blog 43 Folders. So here are 10 tips to make you better at managing your work: 1. Don’t leave email sitting in your in box. “The ability to quickly process and synthesize information and turn it into actions is one of the most emergent skills of the professional world today,” says Mann. Organize email in file folders. If the message needs more thought, move it to your to-do list. If it’s for reference, print it out. If it’s a meeting, move it to your calendar. 2. Admit multitasking is bad. For people who didn’t grow up watching TV, typing out instant messages and doing homework all at the same time, multitasking is deadly. But it decreases everyone’s productivity, no matter who they are. 3. Do the most important thing first. When you sit down to work in the morning, before checking any email, spend an hour on the most important thing on your to-do list. This is a great idea because even if you can’t get the whole thing done in an hour, you’ll be much more likely to go back to it once you’ve gotten it started. This dash works best if you organize the night before so when you Ten Tips For Time Management In A Multitasking World: sit down to work you already know what your most important task of the day is. 4. Check your email on a schedule. It’s not effective to read and answer every email as it arrives. Just because someone can contact you immediately does not mean that you have to respond to them immediately. People want a predictable response, not an immediate response. So as long as people know how long to expect an answer to take and they know how to reach you in an emergency, you can answer most types of email just a few times a day. 5. Keep web site addresses organized. Use book marking services like delicious to keep track of web sites. Instead of having random notes about places you want to check out, places you want to keep as a reference etc. you can save them all in one place, and you can search and share list easily. 6. Know when you work best. Try to schedule things to do when you are the most productive. Each person has a best time. You can discover yours by monitoring your productivity over a period of time. Then you need to manage your schedule to keep your best time free for your most important work. Do The Most Important Thing First 11
  12. 12. 7. Think about keystrokes. If you’re on a computer all day, keystrokes matter because efficiency matters. On any given day, an information worker will do a dozen Google searches thus by finding ways to reduce keystrokes you save considerable time. 8. Make it easy to get started. We don’t have problems finishing projects, we have problems starting them,” says Mann. He recommends you “make a shallow on-ramp.” He breaks his projects into chunks, so he does not get overwhelmed by them.” 9. Organize your to-do list every day. If you don’t know what you should be doing, how can you manage your time to do it? Some people 12 Sixth form pupils from Waseley Hills High School who are part of The Career Academy Programme are always doing something that will help them to understand the world of business. This September the new recruits to the programme got their business wear on and went into Birmingham City Centre on a cold calling activity. Armed with business cards that they had created and letters they had written, they were ready for the task in hand. The purpose was to have their first taste of the business world and to try and engage employers who may consider ways of working with them to help them to understand the business environment. They returned back to school with a number of contacts and a air of excitement that business organisations had actually taken them seriously and taken a great deal of interest in the course they were studying. The Career Academy Programme at the school is for 16-18 year old pupils who are studying for two years and one of the subjects the pupils qualify for is the BTEC in Personal and Business Finance. This teaches them the role the financial services industry has in the market and goes into depth about the relevance of finance and the regulation and Future Leaders Begin Their Careers Can you help develop tomorrow’s business leaders? like writing this list out by hand because it shows commitment to each item if you are willing to rewrite it each day until it gets done. Other people like software that can slice and dice their to-do list into manageable, relevant chunks. 10. Dare to be slow. Remember that a good time manager actually responds to some things more slowly than a bad time manager would. For example, someone who is doing the highest priority task is probably not answering incoming email while they’re doing it. Obviously there are more important tasks than processing email. Intuitively, we all know this. What we need to do now is recognize that processing one’s work (evaluating what’s come in and how to handle it) and planning one’s work are also mission-critical tasks.” and ethics that are involved. As a Business and Enterprise School, we firmly believe that our pupils should engage with the business world as soon as they can and this programme allows them to develop their skills from school right into the workplace. It is evident by the growth that our pupils have from when they start in year 12 until they finish in year 13. If you are interested in what we offer and would want to engage with our pupils, below is a range of ways and one of those may be suitable to you. Our family day out each Summer is growing in popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception. We negotiated with the friendly and efficient events team at Ironbridge to provide us with a great itinerary (covering two sites), a fabulous meeting room for the annual general regional and local branch update, a wonderful talk from one of the operational managers and a tasty buffet with refreshments. Local branches subsidised the event so that it could be offered free to members and their families which represented terrific value. This meant places were limited to 100 and they were snapped up within a couple of days leaving us with a reserve list. People arrived promptly at 10am for check in at Coalbrookdale for a self-guided tour of the Museum and Old Furnace where people were free to explore the site and remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal. It was the secret that helped make iron the essential material of the Industrial Revolution. At 11.30, some forty people, attended the meeting in the Glass Classroom – a fabulous venue – to receive an update from Eric Hogg, West Midlands Regional Forum Chair, CMI regarding new strategic developments in the CMI incorporating a greater focus on members. He also reminded everyone of the significant benefits of membership (which many of us tend to forget) and urged us to log on to the web site and start benefitting more from specific services such as the latest research on the latest ‘hot’ management issues, provision of a vast array of useful information through the online management information centre as well as consultancy services and career information. Gerywn Jones, Branch Chair Wolverhampton, talked us through events, past and planned, and how well the combined Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Hereford & Worcester is operating and providing practical benefits. Faye Field, Branch Chair Hereford & Worcester shared her aspirations for the combined branch programme of events and appealed for more volunteers to join the CMI IBC Joint Family Day Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire, Telford TF8 7JP Saturday 11th July 2009 newsdesk The 3 Chairs…Faye Field, Gerwyn Jones and Eric Hogg (inset: Treasurer, John Wells) 02 Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before David was introduced by John Wells. Every now and again, you encounter an individual that invites/challenges you to examine the way you do things (however successfully) in more detail, perhaps from an unusual perspective or in direct opposition to how we are taught. It’s a little uncomfortable and takes some honest thought but it can prompt you to uncover some potentially limiting values and beliefs. If you understand these properly you are then on route to adopting a different approach and achieving so much more. David Hyner is one such individual. Firstly, David introduced himself, highlighting his journey from building a reputable catering and event management business for 15 years through 12 years of research into how top achievers realise their goals to his current role delivering high energy talks, worldwide, establishing himself as one of the top inspirational speakers in the UK. He then led an interesting discussion about assumptions; how we all make assumptions about others and what we will or will not do in our everyday lives. Interestingly, David’s research has shown that top achievers make fewer assumptions – preferring to deal more in facts. We then went on to demonstrate how assumptions can fashion our conclusions as we shared three things about ourselves – two true and one false – to see if our neighbour in the audience could correctly predict the false one. Clearly, we make a raft of assumptions about this person that we barely know, to arrive at our answers. It’s quite useful to carry out an occasional health check on what leads you to make such assumptions. Next step was to talk us through goal setting and how what all top achievers have in common is ‘massive’ goals and we discussed how that compares to the more common mantra of goals being ‘realistic and achievable’. David then took the goal of one attendee and demonstrated how, through use of the pyramid, it can be broken down into blocks on several levels until the very top where the goal to be achieved is stated. Sound easy and somewhat familiar? Yes, but David talked us through the most important elements to be included in the foundation row – leading with the most important: why? In addition, we were reminded how important it is to capture what we know and what we need to know and galvanise ourselves into action to find out the answers. David’s energy and enthusiasm for his subject was exceptional and it was transferred to the audience during this participative session as the contribution from all was very good. On behalf of everyone present, John Wells thanked David for a stimulating, interactive and fun session. Session feedback forms were completed by all (very positive) and David then drew three lucky winners for a copy of David’s motivational CD ‘The MASSIVE Goal Principle’ (retails £10) and a box of chocs. For further information contact David at: info@stretchdevelopment.com Inside the Minds of Top Achievers Presenter: David Hyner, Director, STRETCH Developments Ltd Wednesday 5th August 2009 at the Manor Hotel, Meriden, West Midlands newsdesk ...energy and enthusiasm from David Hyner. 04
  13. 13. Our family day out each Summer is growing in popularity and this year at Ironbridge was no exception. We negotiated with the friendly and efficient events team at Ironbridge to provide us with a great itinerary (covering two sites), a fabulous meeting room for the annual general regional and local branch update, a wonderful talk from one of the operational managers and a tasty buffet with refreshments. Local branches subsidised the event so that it could be offered free to members and their families which represented terrific value. This meant places were limited to 100 and they were snapped up within a couple of days leaving us with a reserve list. People arrived promptly at 10am for check in at Coalbrookdale for a self-guided tour of the Museum and Old Furnace where people were free to explore the site and remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal. It was the secret that helped make iron the essential material of the Industrial Revolution. At 11.30, some forty people, attended the meeting in the Glass Classroom – a fabulous venue – to receive an update from Eric Hogg, West Midlands Regional Forum Chair, CMI regarding new strategic developments in the CMI incorporating a greater focus on members. He also reminded everyone of the significant benefits of membership (which many of us tend to forget) and urged us to log on to the web site and start benefitting more from specific services such as the latest research on the latest ‘hot’ management issues, provision of a vast array of useful information through the online management information centre as well as consultancy services and career information. Gerywn Jones, Branch Chair Wolverhampton, talked us through events, past and planned, and how well the combined Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Hereford & Worcester is operating and providing practical benefits. Faye Field, Branch Chair Hereford & Worcester shared her aspirations for the combined branch programme of events and appealed for more volunteers to join the CMI IBC Joint Family Day Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire, Telford TF8 7JP Saturday 11th July 2009 newsdesk The 3 Chairs…Faye Field, Gerwyn Jones and Eric Hogg (inset: Treasurer, John Wells) 02 Partner in Business Each pupil has a partner from a business who guides them throughout their two year programme. (We can do your CRB check – free!) Guru Lecturer - Come and share your expertise, it will help them to understand the business world. Workplace Visit – Invite the pupils to visit your organisation to see what you do. Paid Internship – All our pupils on the programme take part in a paid internship where they are expected to conduct a job role for a minimum of 6 weeks. Just like any other employee at your organisation. If you are interested in this article, please contact: Mrs K Kalirai at Waseley Hills High School. kkalirai@waseleyhills.worcs.sch.uk 13 Don’t Take Marketing Issues At Face Value… 20 Years of marketing management in such corpo- rate giants as Rover Group, AT&T and ntl: taught me little about the marketing and development needs of SMEs. The objectives and imperatives of such companies are light years away from the focus and immediacy displayed by small companies who rarely have a clear view of their objectives and strategies prefer- ring to move forward on a day to day basis. This lack of clarity and simplicity however was not totally new to me. Before my marketing career among the corporate giants I had owned and managed business within the Travel, Leisure and Computer Services sectors and was very aware for the need to generate profit- able sales at minimum investment in cash and time based on clear and simple objectives. The size of business and market sector however has little impact on the essential truths of business marketing. All need to deliver the right products competitively but profitably priced; backed up by effective promotion and communication and supported by everyone in the business to deliver the best possible customer service and positive messages. It is therefore vital to remember that marketing is not the responsibility of a single part of the business tasked with generating enquiries. Marketing, like quality, is the responsibility of everyone. There is no point in investing thousands of pounds in websites, brochures and advertising if the installation engineers are scruffy and unhelpful! This holistic marketing approach is reflected in a number of projects on which I have worked. The first example is a business that imported and distributed electric and woodworking tools to hobby modellers. Distributing via a team of sales agents to the retail industry my client had a respectable and profitable turnover of circa £3m. Family owned, the problem was that the business was not thriving. It hadn’t grown in years and chairman dad wanted to retire and was pressuring CEO son to deliver the growth that would enable him to do so. Martin Parry Continued on page 14 Autumn 2010 By Martin Parry
  14. 14. friendly and effective joint committee. We then enjoyed a treat of a presentation from John Challen, Operations Manager, Blists Hill. We weren’t left in any doubt as to what John’s passion is: BRIDGES. This well researched and interesting talk included some vintage footage of bridges from around the world, including some that were doomed to failure, and brilliantly linked back to the start of the Industrial Revolution which is at the historical heart of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. John certainly knows how to make bridges interesting – you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone then regrouped to enjoy a buffet lunch and refreshments before departing for Blists Hill. Our group was free to enjoy Blists Hill Victorian Town at their own pace. With working factories, shops and cottages set in 50 acres of beautiful woodland where life is lived and demonstrated as it was in Victorian times, there was plenty to see and experience. Some exhibits are static and others are staffed by knowledgeable demonstrators (oh that Headteacher was strict and he did shout loud) who were happy to explain more of their particular role. The Post Office was a particular favourite of mine with ‘security’ no more than a chair in the gap between the shop and behind the counter, the postmaster explained how the post office formed the heart of the community providing crucial services for those who could not read and write through postal reading services (sometimes very tricky if it was something the recipient didn’t want to hear) and writing letters for those who couldn’t and parcels all wrapped up with string and a wax seal. Fascinating! Feedback from those who attended on the day was very good which was rewarding as the planning for next year has already started. Sue Crabtree Lucas Field browsing the latest edition of NewsDesk Jeff Elmore CMI Birmingham with Rachel Mallett of Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s very helpful events team 03 friendly and effective joint committee. We then enjoyed a treat of a presentation from John Challen, Operations Manager, Blists Hill. We weren’t left in any doubt as to what John’s passion is: BRIDGES. This well researched and interesting talk included some vintage footage of bridges from around the world, including some that were doomed to failure, and brilliantly linked back to the start of the Industrial Revolution which is at the historical heart of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. John certainly knows how to make bridges interesting – you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone then regrouped to enjoy a buffet lunch and refreshments before departing for Blists Hill. Our group was free to enjoy Blists Hill Victorian Town at their own pace. With working factories, shops and cottages set in 50 acres of beautiful woodland where life is lived and demonstrated as it was in Victorian times, there was plenty to see and experience. Some exhibits are static and others are staffed by knowledgeable demonstrators (oh that Headteacher was strict and he did shout loud) who were happy to explain more of their particular role. The Post Office was a particular favourite of mine with ‘security’ no more than a chair in the gap between the shop and behind the counter, the postmaster explained how the post office formed the heart of the community providing crucial services for those who could not read and write through postal reading services (sometimes very tricky if it was something the recipient didn’t want to hear) and writing letters for those who couldn’t and parcels all wrapped up with string and a wax seal. Fascinating! Feedback from those who attended on the day was very good which was rewarding as the planning for next year has already started. Sue Crabtree Lucas Field browsing the latest edition of NewsDesk Jeff Elmore CMI Birmingham with Rachel Mallett of Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s very helpful events team 03 Businesses Around The World Coming Together. Birmingham: Attracting National Icons. 14 After hard work from all involved I was given 10 product ideas to put to the leadership team. Of these, three were adopted by the business for initial development and my team were asked to be heavily involved in programmes that ultimately delivered two new and profitable products for the business. My purpose in selecting these two case studies for discussion was simply to demonstrate the truism that marketing is not websites, brochures or social networking. Marketing works at a strategic level within businesses to deliver high quality, profitable products and services by a trained and motivated team of people led by those who have a clear commitment to the company’s objectives. Lack of sales is often blamed on the web site or the sales manager. As advisors and consultants we should be prepared to look much deeper than that! Martin Parry Martin has 25 years marketing experience in the Travel, Leisure, Telecommunications and Computer Services industries. You can contact him at: martin.parry@mgba.co.uk The whole business was flabby! from the warehouse was slow; sales unremarkable; too many customers buying too little. The company lacked direction, strategy and meaningful targets. Working with the board we undertook a complete review of the business resulting in a re-organisation of the sales team; a sharp knife taken to the retail customers cutting out those who failed to reach sales targets, focussing on those willing to respond positively to a new retail incentive scheme. As far as delivery was concerned, we invested in the distribution centre reducing average dispatch from 5 days to 1 thus allowing us to improve cus- tomer service; speed invoicing and improve cash flow by cutting stock and debtor days. All this activity was underpinned the identification of management criteria and reporting available at management meetings and ensured that senior management took responsibility for their delivery. As a result sales revenue grew; profitability improved and morale throughout business recovered rapidly. Since the completion of this project the business has been successfully sold for a good sum; dad has retired and son is a senior director of the new expanded business. A second project involved a larger business, circa £10m revenue working in motor components. They manufactured suspension systems for manufacturers like GM, Land Rover and Scania. Their problem was simply despite having a number of successful product lines they had identified a product gap during 2011 – 2012 and wanted to develop a product to fill it. The excellent management team had discussed this on several occasions but had failed to agree. And it is true to say that my suggestion to ask the staff was met with a degree of scepticism. However I was given a team made up of machine operators and junior supervisors and we set to work. Our task was to make new product recommenda- tions that would make maximum use of existing skills and resources within the company. Three days was spent brainstorming the project and un- dertaking detailed SWOT and PEST examinations of each idea put forward. Circa 25 CMI and IBC members and guests enjoyed some networking, refreshments and a tasty buffet before David was introduced by John Wells. Every now and again, you encounter an individual that invites/challenges you to examine the way you do things (however successfully) in more detail, perhaps from an unusual perspective or in direct opposition to how we are taught. It’s a little uncomfortable and takes some honest thought but it can prompt you to uncover some potentially limiting values and beliefs. If you understand these properly you are then on route to adopting a different approach and achieving so much more. David Hyner is one such individual. Firstly, David introduced himself, highlighting his journey from building a reputable catering and event management business for 15 years through 12 years of research into how top achievers realise their goals to his current role delivering high energy talks, worldwide, establishing himself as one of the top inspirational speakers in the UK. He then led an interesting discussion about assumptions; how we all make assumptions about others and what we will or will not do in our everyday lives. Interestingly, David’s research has shown that top achievers make fewer assumptions – preferring to deal more in facts. We then went on to demonstrate how assumptions can fashion our conclusions as we shared three things about ourselves – two true and one false – to see if our neighbour in the audience could correctly predict the false one. Clearly, we make a raft of assumptions about this person that we barely know, to arrive at our answers. It’s quite useful to carry out an occasional health check on what leads you to make such assumptions. Next step was to talk us through goal setting and how what all top achievers have in common is ‘massive’ goals and we discussed how that compares to the more common mantra of goals being ‘realistic and achievable’. David then took the goal of one attendee and demonstrated how, through use of the pyramid, it can be broken down into blocks on several levels until the very top where the goal to be achieved is stated. Sound easy and somewhat familiar? Yes, but David talked us through the most important elements to be included in the foundation row – leading with the most important: why? In addition, we were reminded how important it is to capture what we know and what we need to know and galvanise ourselves into action to find out the answers. David’s energy and enthusiasm for his subject was exceptional and it was transferred to the audience during this participative session as the contribution from all was very good. On behalf of everyone present, John Wells thanked David for a stimulating, interactive and fun session. Session feedback forms were completed by all (very positive) and David then drew three lucky winners for a copy of David’s motivational CD ‘The MASSIVE Goal Principle’ (retails £10) and a box of chocs. For further information contact David at: info@stretchdevelopment.com Inside the Minds of Top Achievers Presenter: David Hyner, Director, STRETCH Developments Ltd Wednesday 5th August 2009 at the Manor Hotel, Meriden, West Midlands newsdesk ...energy and enthusiasm from David Hyner. 04

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