Corporate development blog

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Leadership and Contingency Plans

The General Election results have for the second time in recent history demonstrated the importance of having a Plan B.  What I am referring to is the Brexit vote – for most people there was little thought to the fact that Britain would vote “out” seen through comments such as “If I had known we would be out, I would have voted to stay in!”  The Conservative government at the time, also did not consider the fact that the British people would vote “out” and therefore create a Plan B, or contingency to kick in if the unspeakable happened.  Thus, the hasty resignation of David Cameron immediately afterwards and the chaos that ensued to find another Prime Minister.  Not to mention the “no man’s land” that we all seemed to feel with no leader at the helm and the potential impact that had on


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Self Leadership and Perfectionism

Perfect or perfection is often thrown about in the business world as a desired state.  This might be voiced as an exclamation - “Oh perfect!”, as a statement, related to a particular desired outcome - “That is almost perfect?”  Clearly from the last sentence we can see that something is missing, not aligned correctly, has a small flaw and therefore in some way it does not achieve the status of “perfect” or “perfection”.

When looking into the dictionary at the definition of “perfect” and “perfection” we see:

Perfect -  “Complete and correct in every way, of the best possible type or without fault”. (Cambridge English Dictionary).


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Enthusiasm a leadership quality

“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”     Queen Elizabeth II

One of my clients some years ago, on arrival in England, with very little knowledge of English was told by one of his friends, “In order to be successful at getting a job you need to show enthusiasm”. What’s this “enthusiasm he thought?” and went away to find out. defines “enthusiasm” as “Absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; a lively interest”.  “Keen interest, excitement.”


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Goal setting stress and challenge

The dictionary defines stress as “a pressure or tension exerted on another object; a demand on physical or mental energy; or forcibly exerted influence usually causing distress or strain.”    In short stress is any factor, positive or negative that requires a response or change.  In medical research it is widely recognized that chronic ongoing stress can lead to illness, aggravate existing disease conditions and accelerate aging.


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Making mistakes and the role of the leader

What will the impact of no risk taking be on individual’s and how we learn, on organisations and levels of competitiveness, and on whole countries and nations?  Are we really advocating that we must stay within a known comfort zone?

It’s one thing messing things up in private, where mistakes can be rectified and nobody notices.  However the news at the beginning of last week after the Oscars was very special.  It was a 'case example' of how mistakes are made and the way in which reactions can spread….

“The winner of the Oscar for the best film goes to …................  Oops” 


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Positive language and optimism in leadership

Ever worked with someone who always seems to have a reason why something cannot be done, won’t work, didn’t work, wouldn’t fit, does not make sense or any other similar phraseology?

Apart from having an impact on those around this approach has an impact on the wellness of the individual also.  Negativity, in whatever form – inflexibility, stubbornness, or refusing or holding fast on to something such as a process, procedure or idea is unproductive, unfulfilling and infectious, and can lead to a lethargy that ensures we remain in a “comfort zone”.


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Effective Teamwork and Leadership

Successful leadership and trust go hand in hand.   Unless the leader has the trust of his or her team, leadership is likely to be ineffective and will probably fail on most levels.  Earning trust takes time, losing it is quick.  As leaders it is easy to find ourselves in situations that cast doubt over our trustability.  For example:

Have you ever been:


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Stress management

When was the last time you walked into a train and saw people just sitting or standing looking into “space” or out of the window?  When was the last time you walked in the street and everyone was mindful of where they are going, but not in a hurry to get there first?  When was the last time you walked into an office and everyone was relaxed, thinking, planning, calmly listening to each other and discussing matters of importance, but not urgency?


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The plusses and minuses of financial bonuses

I read with interest the article in a recent Sunday Times (Business section) “Bosses:  Is the Party Over?” by Ben Laurance.  The article was about Neil Woodford of The Woodford Patient Capital Trust, who after many years of paying bonuses to his fund managers has decided to scrap them altogether.  Woodford is compensating his team members with a rise in base pay.  The question is “Will these actions enhance or discourage performance”?

Woodford  believes there is very little correlation between bonus and performance, which can lead to short term decision-making and wrong behaviours.  


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Customer feedback - staff training

Can someone tell me what happens to the feedback that customers provide companies via electronic surveys, brief telephone surveys at the end of a call as well as the odd hard copy feedback questionnaire?  I have completed many in the last three years, both positive and not so positive and to date have not received any follow up, comment, notification to say certain action is being put into place or indeed an apology, if due!