Corporate development blog

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According to almost one million people (976,000) in the UK are suffering from work-related stress that is making them ill, resulting in sick leave and absenteeism.  It is estimated that 12 million working days are lost each year in the UK due to stress-related illness.  



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On the 8th March to celebrate International Women’s day it is appropriate to give credit to the many female Heads of State, CEO’s, Founders, Mothers and Grandmothers.  How interesting that the world has a strong representation of female leaders, 22 countries in total including New Zealand, Denmark, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Taiwan and Norway are all led by inspirational women.  This is quite a sizeable representation of women in top leadership positions, some in countries that are culturally showing more masculine than feminine qualities according to the Hofstede model of Intercultural sensitivity.


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The topic of mental health was already gaining momentum in the workplace prior to the onslaught of Covid. Often looked at in binary terms of those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness covers a huge spectrum. Even those who are "mentally healthy" can still improve their mental wellness. Is your mental wellness solely your responsibility or does your employer have a role to play in supporting you in this area?  Without self-awareness and knowledge of how to maintain our mental health, poor mental health is something that can affect anyone of us.


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The current national and international lockdown is impacting individuals in ways that may not yet be obvious.  Most organisations with the exception of those that are classed as “essential” are either working from home or closed, such as the hospitality sector including hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants and sports centres as well as many small businesses that are either temporarily or permanently closed as their cash flow could not stand the “forced” closures.

Whilst Covid19 has taken the world by storm and led leaders in governments to make extreme decisions by closing the economy to protect the vulnerable, what is the actual impact on individual health due to fear, anxiety and lack of social contact?  Is this being measured and is there a plan to address this?


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I was listening to a concert last night on Radio 2 with Rick Astley and the BBC concert orchestra. Rick led a rocking concert that was further enhanced by the wonderful orchestra.  Why do I refer to this concert?  In 2018 I wrote a blog around singer/songwriter Rick Astley and the release of his back then, new album entitled “A Beautiful Life”. 

At that time, Rick said something very pertinent in answer to the question “Why a Beautiful Life?  In his answer he explained that in fact he has had a beautiful life, with the exception of a few curveballs.  Most importantly, he continued with words to the effect that it is all about how you look at life and how you regard things that are thrown at you and things that happen to you, and I might add things you do to yourself.


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A Guest Post by Hannah Emanuel


In an age that demands a redefinition of ‘normal’, do we also need to redefine what it means to be ‘professional’?

To answer this question, we must first acknowledge what our current connotations of the term ‘professionalism’. Suited and booted? Reliable? Articulate? Unemotional? The list could go on I’m sure - and would undoubtedly be somewhat different for every individual we asked.

As offices are swapped for home studios, face to face meetings for online web-calls and synthetic shop bought sandwiches for self ‘starter’-ed sourdough, we also need to redefine what we understand the term ‘professionalism’ to encompass.


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“No magic bullet, not even the Internet, can save us from population explosion, deforestations, climate disruption, poison by pollution, and wholesale extinctions of plant and animal species.  We are going to have to want different things, seek different pleasures, pursue different goals than those that have been driving us and our global economy.”  Joanna Macy

There are many definitions of leadership and what or who makes a good leader.  I personally have been training high potentials and business leaders for many years. It takes COVID19 to make me stop and think about the question: What is leadership?


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A Guest Post by Shaheen Sajan

Can gamification make learning more meaningful or should we brace ourselves for a new wave of e-Learning courses diluted of any substance?  Here are 6 reasons why Gamification is not just a passing fad or trend and why it is here to stay.

1. A carrot instead of a stick


When it all comes down to it, gamification is really about motivation.  You can always motivate someone with the stick approach and the threat of failing.  Or you can take the Swedish National Society for Road Safety’s carrot approach that applied gamification principles to road safety.  Remarkably, they found a way to make it fun to drive below the speed limit by awarding safe drivers with lottery tickets. 


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A Guest Post by Shaheen Sajan

Transitioning to a remote classroom could sound as intense as learning to land a plane while reading the pilot’s manual. To add to the helplessness of the situation, it’s as if our children are the passengers of this flight of fancy and nobody knows how this thing’s going to land. What I know as an e-Learning professional is that it doesn’t have to be so dire.

Think of it this way, we learn best by doing and there are some amazing resources out there to help both parents and teachers, so they’re not faced with the daunting task of reinventing the wheel.


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A guest blog post by Shaheen Sajan