Corporate development blog

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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!


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Women Leaders

How interesting that the world is opening up to female leaders.  It is irrelevant what you think about them, but the fact is we see more female leaders stepping forward to run countries in what can only be termed a very troubled and challenging period.  Hilary Clinton in the USA – will she become the next president?  Teresa May slipping through in the turmoil created by Brexit and Angela Merkel holding strong in Germany as the German Chancellor.  Then the Prime Ministers of Thailand, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, Bangledesh and Trinidad and Tabogo are all women, as are the Presidents of Lithuania, Liberia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil and Finland.


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Non assertive way in handling customer complaints

One of the biggest areas that I address with my customers through training and development of personnel is building and maintaining customer rapport and loyalty, whether that be from the very first contact with the customer or at any other stage in the customer journey, including when the customer is not happy with your services.

Assuming that everyone is in agreement with maintaining customers and building loyalty, rather than looking for new customers to replace them, what needs to take place when a customer complains? Here are two scenarios:

Scenario 1

Customer:    “Good afternoon, Mr X, I am calling about the recent holiday my wife and I went on which was organized and reserved through Sun Travel.”


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Leadership, productivity, staff morale

I have been working with a hotel client who has been undergoing a change in ownership from one owner to another.  Any kind of management buyout, transfer of ownership, or change of direction within an organization is guaranteed to create unease amongst the management and staff.   Fear of the unknown is always daunting irrelevant of how vital our position might be or how many times we have been through similar situations.


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Self Leadership

“There is more to life than just increasing its speed.”   Gandhi

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with your workload and issues in your personal life, that you don’t know where to start?  Consequently, you find yourself dancing on the same spot, further increasing your heartbeat, cortisol and stress levels?


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Working with Change as Effective Leaders

I have just finished reading “On Death and Dying” by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.  Sadly this lady is no longer with us, however the work she did whilst on this planet is so very special in many ways.  Through her medical work she not only created a model for working with the death and dying to help with, what for some is a very difficult time, the acceptance that their journey on planet earth is coming to a end, but also providing the corporate world with a model for handling change (Kubler-Ross Change Curve).  Who would ever put these two things together?

Whilst this book is not the easiest read, simply because of the subject, it highlights many things which as leaders we could do very well when applying it:

Communicate Openly


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Leadership and listening skills

How Good Are Your Listening Skills?

I like to listen.  I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.  Most people never listen.

Ernest Hemmingway

In order to manage the ever-increasing workload, our lives are focused to processing as much as possible in the shortest time,.  This is further compounded by social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, all of which demand time, and to which it is easy to become a “slave”.  How are these demands affecting your listening?  Look over the table below and remind yourself of the difference between poor and effective listening.

Poor v. Effective Listening Behaviour

The Poor Listener:


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Possible impossible sign

What is Conflict Management?

I was looking at the term  “conflict management” the other day and realized that it is often used interchangeably with “conflict resolution”.  The difference, however is that the concept of conflict management is based on a premise that not all disputes end in resolution.  Additionally, conflict management is the practice of identifying and handling conflict in a sensible, fair and efficient manner.  Therefore, in summary “conflict management” is any collection of actions, responses, processes, and/or systems that help manage, improve, or prevent the deterioration of relationship dynamics.


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Self leadership - create your own path

After many years of working in the corporate world as a manager and leader and as a person passionate about development of others, I have come to the understanding that self leadership is essential to effective leadership.  In other words, if you can not lead and take responsibility for yourself  as a totality, how can you lead others?

What is involved in self leadership?  Self leadership is taking responsibility for yourself, for your family and other responsibilities that you have “signed up to”.  This process begins with your inner core.  Inner core - who you truly are - your values around family, health, work, eating , leisure sport……, and the list goes on.