Archives for posts with tag: IMDUK
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Team members on a sales training workshop from Gates Group, an organisation INVESTING in their staff.

How much time, money and effort do you invest in your staff?  Yes, I appreciate that you pay them a wage or salary, but is that it?  If you consider the notion that staff are one of the most fundamental and crucial parts of any business, then surely you should invest in them?

So how do you do that? Well for a start, when did you last TRAIN your staff?

There is sometimes a big ‘fear factor’ about training staff within organisations, which, whilst I categorically do not agree with it, I can understand it, to a degree.  One of the biggest fears is that once the staff member has been trained… they can then take over the boss’s role!  You could argue it stems from perhaps being insecure in the role of the boss!

Training and Development on the Gears.

Training is synonomous with development.

Many of you will have heard this conversation between the Managing Director and The Training and Development Manager?  For those that haven’t, here we go:-

Training Manager; ‘We really should be training our staff’.

Managing Director; ‘But what if we spend all that money on them and they then leave’?

Training Manager; ‘What if we don’t train them and they stay’?

I’m sure many of you reading this will have experienced working for someone who had this attitude, or scarily enough, maybe they just could not see the benefit in training.  Given that many of you reading this will be the retail industry, statistically, the main reason consumers do not return to a shop, pub, supplier or organisation, is not down to the product or product range, the location or even the price; it’s down to staff attitude.  Now what this effectively means is, you are employing staff, paying them a wage, and they are scaring off customers!! Not only that, but those customers are going out of their way to tell others.  Sound ludicrous? Well I can tell you it is happening right NOW.

Another huge assumption is that if you train staff initially when they join the company, then that is it; the rest they simply ‘pick up as they go along’.  But have you noticed how your industry has changed massively over the last 20-30 years… and yet we still, often, do not recognise a need for up-skilling and refresher training.  I’ve often used the analogy of a fully qualified Heart Surgeon, who did their training 30 years ago and has performed plenty of transplants.  If you were about to go under the scalpel…. with the knowledge that they had not up skilled or re-trained in all those years… how confident would you be?  EVERYONE needs ongoing training, as the job, products and environment changes, although bizarrely (and this has always worried me a little)… once you have passed your driving test at 17, you have no more training or refreshers for over 60 years! Is it any wonder that maybe that is a contributory factor to so many poor drivers on the roads and so many road accidents and deaths?

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How many Managers ‘stress’ because they do not delegate or empower their team?

So what is the true cost of NOT training your staff?  It’s an open ended answer and depends on many factors, but what has been proven time and time again is that without training, you are not getting the very best out of your staff.  So what training should you undertake?  Well look at it another way; What is it you would like your staff to do that they currently are not doing?

Legislative Training should be carried out, regardless of the size of your business, so Health & Safety and Fire Safety training needs to be a regular part of your training and whilst many can view this as a ‘cost’, I believe it to be an investment.  It is far far less expensive than actually having an accident, together with possible fines for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

You may want to take a look at business specific training, perhaps your own stock control methods or ‘till’ training, just to decrease the amount of ‘No Sales’ rung up on the till?!  Generic training, which again, should still be tailor-made to your own business can include Sales training, Customer Service (yes I know this is a quick win for most organisations, but in my opinion, we are generally appallingly bad at this as a nation), you may even want to look at PEOPLE or MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT training?  It’s not just the football world that has mind-blowingly brilliant players that produce very poor Managers or mediocre players that turn into brilliant Managers!  An incredible observation in business is the amount of times a person gets PROMOTED to a management position, often because they are VERY good at their job… and fall flat on their face!  The amount of training given, if any, is minimal and yet we expect this person to hit the ground running, which clearly is a BIG ask.  New Managers tend to want to come in and ‘make their mark’, changing things instantly.  Now, I am all for CHANGE… but change to improve, not change for the sake of it.

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How much training is purely carried out as a ‘tick-box’ exercise?

If the person has had the fortune previously, to work for a GREAT manager, then a lot of those skills will hopefully have been picked up, yet I have seen it time and time again, where superb employees are given management roles, with no support.  That ‘failing’ then infects the whole team and those with a little ‘get up and go’ tend to do exactly that… GO!  Those that remain generally fall in line with the poor standards, failings and under-achieving that often go with the bad manager.  Consider who has really failed though, the newly promoted manager or the company?

Organisations invest in premises, IT systems, products, marketing (sometimes!), and other essential items, but staff training is often neglected.  Why not make time NOW to invest in your most important asset?

It’s not about cloning our staff into being super slick sales people, but rather enhancing their skills, updating their knowledge and motivating them to achieve even greater success, for both themselves and the organisation.

If you would like to explore the training aspect of your staff but are not sure where to start, then give me a call, under no obligation, and we’ll have a conversation.

For more details of workshops that can help YOU and YOUR business, simply contact us on info@imduk.com

Please feel free to forward and share.

Gary Boyes – Director

IMD (UK) Limited

Bad Manager

 

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How do YOU operate? Minimum Standards or Best Practice?

At what stage should you compromise on quality, in whatever you do? I have long been an advocate of ‘Best Practice’ as opposed to ‘Minimum Standards’ and the majority of people I speak to, agree wholeheartedly with that opinion… yet why, on so many levels do we insist on merely going through the motions, to ‘tick-the-box’ without giving any real thought to the outcome?

Now before the accountants and financiers of this world shoot me down in flames, yes I know and understand there is only so much in the budget (though I would question where and how thought out that budget was initially) and that stakeholders want to see a return on their investment, but how many budgets are simply ‘made-up-numbers’?  It’s a forecast! It’s based on what you think will happen, what the market forces, say (think) will happen and it is based on previous past history and an attempt to see into the future. In effect, it’s a guess!

I well remember when I was in a Sales Team being given my budget and sales target for the following year.  On questioning how my Manager, at the time, had arrived at the figures (which were out of proportion with realism), he started to explain they were all calculated after in-depth analysis.  Upon further questioning, he admitted he had plucked a figure out of the sky and added 10%!! Madness!

The main issue I have with forecasting budgets and targets is that those that hold the purse strings remain inflexible throughout the year, reviewing performance against targets but never changing the budget or target, given the impact of external forces, such as the market, economic influences and in many industries, environmental impact.  I am not for one moment suggesting we shouldn’t be setting targets, goals and budgets, but always be prepared to review and adjust them mid-term.  Consider the LOSS IN BUSINESS that could occur if there was a prime investment opportunity, but you limited your budget because the ‘made up’ forecast said you can only spend £x,000 per month!

Now, budgets and targets aside, wouldn’t you agree that you should strive for the best quality and aim for the best of everything that you possibly can?  Again, I’m not suggesting that you are wasteful, and squander capital, but have a clear vision of the outcome that you want to achieve and then follow the best process to get there.  If you have a sound process then the outcome will take care of itself.

Training and Development on the Gears.

How much TRAINING actually does DEVELOP People? Minimum Standards = Minimum Development.

When it comes to training staff, clearly it would follow that you would strive to get the best trainers that you possibly can.  How do you deem them to be the best?  Well in essence, a trainer must have two major qualities.

  1. Knowledge/Experience of the subject taught
  2. The ability to impart that knowledge in such a way that it is clearly understandable 

It has not gone unnoticed in the past couple of years of the amount of ‘fast track’ courses that potential trainers can attend, sometimes less than one day in duration, gain a certificate that says they have attended and off they go passing this new-found knowledge on, with little or no previous experience, and with the delegates attending the course, totally unaware of the lack of experience the so-called trainer has!  By attending just a couple of half or one-day courses you can apparently be ‘qualified’ to train Manual Handling, Health & Safety and Personal Safety, as an example, without ever having previous experience in these areas! Astounding really, when you think about it.  Therefore the question must be asked, how important is ‘Experience’?

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Climb the ladder of EXPERIENCE.

Consider you are going into hospital for an operation.  Which surgeon would you prefer, the one that finished medical school last week and this is their first operation, or the surgeon that has been carrying out similar operations for the past 10 years.  Both, however, are ‘qualified’!

You’re about to have root canal treatment on your troublesome tooth!  Which dentist would you prefer, the one that has carried out thousands of similar treatments, or the dentist that passed their final exam last week?  Again, both are ‘qualified’!

This of course occurs in every walk of life and experience will be gained on a daily basis, but why compromise your business and livelihood by cutting costs severely and leaving your employees at potential risk of being ‘uneducated’?  Remember, ignorance is no defence!

A large organisation that I have worked with for many years had largely built their success on bringing in specific external trainers to train their staff, using the specialised skill set of the external trainer.  In a move to ‘cut costs’ the internal training team that previously have been used as trainers for ‘generic’ company areas have now been fast tracked to deliver First Aid, Manual Handling, Health & Safety, Personal Safety (surprisingly, they don’t train on breakaway and/or restraint, as their policy is to de-escalate issues before restraint is required… even though they sometimes work in an environment of customers with mental health illness.  They are of course leaving themselves wide-open to criminal charges, should an incident occur)!!  Sadly, and possibly due to having grown too quickly without the right infrastructure in place and poor leadership in some departments, they have resorted to ‘ticking-the-box’ as opposed to quality, sustainable, suitable and sufficient training programmes.

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Is there any REAL value in ‘Ticking-The-Box’?

The term ‘sheep dipping’ is used where all employees are put through a programme, regardless of whether it’s individually needed or not, purely so that when they undergo an inspection, they can show the boxes, duly ‘ticked’.  Remember, as with anything in life, you are only as strong as your weakest link.

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How do YOU operate? Minimum Standards or Best Practice?

Has it cut costs? Yes, undoubtedly, as they potentially have no external training costs and so the procurement department are overjoyed in the budget preservation!  Has it benefitted employees?  That remains to be seen, but of course, just one issue and an ongoing legal investigation could result in court appearances, fines and potentially custodial sentences.  Remember, when you appoint trainers, certainly to train on ‘legally-bound issues’, please ensure they are giving advice that is currently legally accurate and that they are trained to a ‘suitable & sufficient’ level to deliver that information.  The balance sheet may look great and as a Manager who appoints these trainers, be prepared to have pats on your back for saving the company money…. but also be prepared to face the law courts, should an incident occur that happened as a result of putting cost before quality.

Aversely, another organisation I work with has seen tremendous growth, certainly over the past ten years, and in a market that is currently declining, continues to show year on year growth.  Their staff retention, again, in an industry that traditionally has high staff turnover is well below the national average and it will not surprise you to learn that they have a robust, first class training department, using external trainers across all skill sets.  The training delivered is reviewed on a regular basis and continually tweaked and updated to provide the delegates with their specific training requirements.  Employees can clearly see a progression through the company, should they choose to seek promotion, and feel part of the whole team rather than a payroll number.  The training costs to deliver this training are staggering, so why do they do it? Well their return more than outweighs their expenditure.  You see, they consider training costs as an investment in their business rather than a necessity.  They also want the very best return on their investment and by providing the best quality training possible ensure that this part of the jigsaw is taken care of.  Virgin Atlantic are another organisation that invests heavily in their training, even when the market is strained and on a downturn… their philosophy is, when the market picks up again, they are ready and waiting to capitalise!  Perhaps it’s no wonder they are the benchmark in the aviation industry.

Man jump on the sunset day time.

What is a successful life? An accumulation of good days!

Which returns to my original question… At what stage should you compromise on quality?  Review your own organisation, perhaps the one you work for.  What quality has been compromised, purely on a cost basis and how does that reflect on the organisations investment in staff?  We are constantly told that employees are the life-blood of organisations, so by providing poor quality training, how good do the employees feel about themselves and their ‘worth’ to the company?!

Food for thought, indeed, and something to consider over the next few months.

Feel free to drop us a line and share YOUR experiences of Best Practice.

info@imduk.org

In the Zone in Manchester!

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David Tingey & Gary Boyes – The Mind Factor Workshop 2015

We recently had the opportunity to spend three days, enhancing our knowledge of and taking a new angle, sometimes, on the power of the mind.  The fact that the course was delivered by The Mind Factor and Dr. Karl Morris with a huge emphasis on the ‘Golfing Mind’, then we knew we’d benefit and enjoy!

We first met Karl a few years ago at Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club when he was delivering a short Mindfactor Session to the members.  Naturally, being a scholar of all things that go on in the mind, we wanted to learn even more and the weekend in Manchester seemed an ideal opportunity!  As with everything, if you are in control of your mind, you stay calm in pressure moments, or of course in decision making opportunities, where the outcomes may have serious consequences.  Now some would say there are no ‘serious consequences’ when you play golf, certainly at an amateur level, but take this a step further… how good could it be to control your mind in all aspects of your life, both in business and in your personal life?

Friday morning started early, with a train into London at just after 5.00am, a seamless tube ride to Euston, and then the 6.36am Virgin Train to Manchester Piccadilly saw myself and colleague, David Tingey, a PGA Professional, arrive in Manchester just before 9.00am.  Whilst we’ve flown Virgin Atlantic, it was the first time we’d used the services of Virgin for rail services, and what a joy!  2 hours 20 minutes of comfort, without having to concentrate on the roads (and potentially taking twice as long)!  Next time we’re Manchester bound, it’ll be Virgin Trains all the way!

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Gary Boyes, Chris Walton, Karl Morris, David Tingey

We checked into The Radisson Blu, in the centre of Manchester, where the course was to be held, and settled down for three great days of realising just how awesome the mind is, in EVERYTHING we do.

When you think back, it’s incredible to recount the number of times teams and individuals have progressed to be successful by having the belief in their ability and remaining calm under pressure.  As many of you will know, it can be so easy to have many thoughts coming into your head at the same time, especially in the field of golf… head down, swing through the ball, knees flexed… Is it any wonder we have the potential to hit a poor shot? Take that a step further; Is it a surprise to anyone that we sometimes turn up for work, mind overflowing with thoughts, ideas and ‘things that we need to remember’, and then have a poor outcome? How much of that information, at that moment in time, and the ATTENTION that we devote to it, is either ‘useful’ or ‘useless’?! And that set the tone for Day one, and in fact the whole workshop… Decide what is useful, or useless… and deal with it accordingly. Something useless at one moment, could become useful at a later stage, and vice versa… but forget the before and the after, we’re talking about the NOW! Stay in the present moment, give it your full ATTENTION.

 

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Philip Zimbardo – What ‘Time Zone’ is your mind travelling in?

Habitual time zones was an interesting concept, with our phenomenal mind being able to race, at the slightest thought to something previous in our lives or fast forward to something that we ‘imagined’ might happen.  Philip Zimbardo, the American Psychologist, carried out numerous studies to demonstrate this, over a period of many years.  Whenever we need to stay in the present moment, it’s about selecting the time-zone ‘Present Absorbed’!

An interesting session followed by Guest Speaker, Chris Walton, introducing the work he has carried out on the Gamma Mindset.  Our brainwaves go through various stages, dependent upon what we are doing, from a state of high alert to resting and to sleep.  Intriguing stuff from Chris and should you want to know more, check out www.GammaMindset.com

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Gary Nicol & Gary Boyes

Day two continued with the same momentum, and a look at belief systems and possibly, more importantly, how you could change those beliefs? We had another Guest Speaker, Gary Nicol, who spent 16 years as a coach on the European Tour and is now based at Archerfield Links in North Berwick.  Gary recalled many stories, working with touring Pro’s and brought his philosophy of ‘simplicity’ to everyone.  Demonstrating his belief that ‘impact’ was the crucial area of a golf swing, how you got there, i.e. Back swing & follow through, was largely irrelevant, as long as the impact was sound.  Of course, if someone’s back-swing affected the impact, then it will need adjusting, but to him, it was a case of ‘cause and effect’ and simply coaching that.  Keeping it simple, HAS to be the best way to stay in the moment.  For more information on this and the work that Gary now undertakes, go to www.tpegs.com

We particularly enjoyed the session that covered ‘perception’.  The Cambridge Dictionary defines perception as ‘a belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem’, which means how we interpret information on a personal level.  (I recall recently asking someone with a fear of flying what they saw when I showed them a picture of a Boeing 747.  Now, I enjoy flying, and I see planes as a means of travel to a nice place! There answer? They saw a ‘metal coffin’!  Based purely on how that information was received in their own head, that was their perception).  Again, the work that we did about changing perception was time well-spent.

Day three looked at the four quadrants of golf, BEFORE, DURING, IN BETWEEN and AFTER and how each quadrant had an impact on the next.  This again, can be directly correlated to business.  Active Visualisation and creating strong neural pathways formed the bulk of the morning, with our final Guest Speaker, Dave O’Sullivan giving us some fascinating and cutting-edge insights into his work around breathing.  As we know, if your breathing is controlled and calm, then so too is the mind. Dave has been involved as the head physiotherapist for Huddersfield Giants Rugby League team and has been instrumental in their recent success.  For more information, www.physiohuddersfield.co.uk

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Two key points for us, coming from the workshop, can be summed up in two words! ATTENTION and PROCESS.  Whatever you are doing, be it personal life, sporting activity or business, you must FOCUS on and give it your full ATTENTION.  With regard to PROCESS… Well if you focus on the PROCESS, and ensure your process is right… then the outcome will be as PLANNED.  We’ll be looking at these two important areas in a future blog, so make sure you don’t miss out and sign up NOW.

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Making new friends is always important! 

As with many enjoyable workshops, you wonder how the time seems to go so fast, but as all good things come to an end, in order for the next one to start.  We were back on the train to London, tired but with an abundance of knowledge and skill, not forgetting belief, that we will start to put into our golfing as well as our business lives.  As with many external courses, you find yourself making great friends with people of all ages and all walks of life, that I know will be a USEFUL resource in the future.  Thanks for making our three days so enjoyable and a huge thanks to Karl, Nadine and the guest speakers.

Sign up to our blog site www.imduk.org by simply putting your email address where indicated and you’ll be kept informed of all future workshops and courses.  Workshops and courses that could have a POSITIVE IMPACT on you and your life.

The Positive Revolution! 

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With recent events in the world headlines and of course the general ‘bad news’ that the media seem to thrust down our throats 24/7, it’s very easy to fall into a negative mindset.  But today, look around you and see how many ‘positive’ people you can spot?

Positive people are those folk that you feel good to be around, they have the ability to help you ‘be yourself’ in a natural relaxed state.  They can turn up absolutely anywhere, and may be the person that supports you when you are feeling down and joins in the fun when you’re on the up!  You may go to them for advice and appreciate their words of wisdom or as someone who looks at you and notices your strengths, when, often, you are completely blind to them.  Consider how many people you know that are open-minded, kind and caring, maybe even compassionate and generous in many ways.  Maybe they just have the ability to believe in you and inspire you?

I recall a story, from many moons ago, that a fish will only grow as big as its environment will allow it to.  If you keep it it a small tank, it will only grow a few centimetres before becoming stunted, whereas keep it in a pond and it can grow up to a metre in length.  How many times do we ‘stunt’ people by not allowing them to grow in the right environment?  Spending time with positive people, due to many factors, including their belief in you and their support will enable you to grow to your maximum potential, where the boundaries are endless. Just consider how good that will feel, giving you new ideas and new possibilities.  Choose very wisely who you mix with; you become like the company you keep!

Good people bring out the good in people

Who do you know that could tick the majority of the list below?

  • Someone who makes you feel good about yourself?
  • Someone you can totally be yourself with?
  • Someone who listens to what you have to say?
  • Someone you can talk to if you’re worried?
  • Someone who makes you laugh?
  • Someone who inspires you?
  • Someone who introduces you to new ideas or new people?

Now, you may just have one person in mind or several that tick a few of the situations.  The people you have on your list could be absolutely anyone, even people that you have never yet met, but these are the people to start to model yourself on, to ‘hang onto’.

Just start, over the next few days to look around you and notice the people that are there for you.  It will be no surprise that the more you mix and socialise with them, the more you will start to pick up their traits and characteristics.  Again, choose wisely!

In the very near future, small workshops, based on positivity and mindful awareness, are to be run.  Please come along and join us!  To register your interest, simply contact us via the email address info@imduk.com and you’ll be one of the first to hear the news.

These workshops could possibly change your life, do you want to miss out? 

Contact us, under no obligation, right now info@imduk.com

Who has the right MIND to win the 144th Open Championship?

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So, who will win the 144th Open Championship?  Ordinarily, on a Sunday evening, the Champion would have been crowned and, many photographs later, no doubt be in the bar, celebrating their win… but not this year!  Due to a rain delay, followed by a severe wind delay which wrote off most of the third day, the 2015 Championship will be decided, for only the second time, on a Monday.

It’s interesting (and pleasing) to note, going into the final round there is a three way tie for the lead, with one of those, Paul Dunne, an amateur.  I’m sure his eye will be on the trophy, though any cash prize will go to the second placed person, should he win!  The top three only lead by a single shot, with Current Masters and US Open Champion, Jordan Spieth in 4th place, two-times Open Champion Padraig Harrington in 5th place and a further 9 players, tied in 6th place, just three shots off the lead.  When you consider that Paul Lawrie, in 1999 won The Open from 10 strokes behind on the final day, you could be looking at 70 players having a chance.

What will make the difference?

Without any doubt, these guys can play! Technically, they are magicians with the ball, seemingly able to control the ball, hit high balls, low balls, balls that move left to right, right to left, depending on the shape of the hole and position of the flag… so will it come down to just getting lucky on the day?  Well, we all need a little luck, but as I’ve said many times previously, you tend to put yourself in position to make your own luck in this world.

Once you can play golf, as with many sports, it is mental strength that often defines your success.  The player that truly believes he can win, is focussed on the win and can actually visualise himself lifting the Claret Jug will be the person that wins.  There will be some that start to doubt themselves, not committing fully to the shot, not trusting their own ability… they will be the runners up.

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Jason Day, Joint 3rd Round Leader

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Louis Oosthuizen, joint 3rd Round Leader

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Paul Dunne (A), joint 3rd Round Leader

So who would you put money on?  Paul Dunne, the Amateur from Ireland played a blistering third round and has only good memories… a surprise contender, he looks calm and confident in his ability.  Louis Oosthuizen, an Open winner in 2010, again, knows how to get past the finish line but when he won five years ago, he had a reasonable lead going into the final round.  Jason Day, the Australian, is surely due a major win, having been runner up in several previous Majors, although that could work against him, if he believes he will only be a runner up.

Jordan Spieth just HAS to be a favourite, going for the Grand Slam of Majors and only a fool would bet against him.  His mental strength to cope with the pressure has been proven in both of this years earlier competitions.  As an outsider, Padraig Harrington knows how to win, yet having been out of the limelight for a good few years, perhaps a third Claret Jug is a bridge too far?

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Jordan Spieth, Great mental strength has captured him The Masters 2015 and the US Open 2015.

Dustin Johnson, leader of the first and second round saw himself fall to five shots off the lead, with three bogey’s over the final three holes of the third round.  Dustin has been very close in a number of Major’s, yet, has made sloppy mistakes and seems fragile and unable to finish off the job, a true sign that he doesn’t have the mental strength.  I believe he deserves a Championship and will achieve it one day, but I doubt 2015 is his year.

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Dustin Johnson, a fantastic player with the ability to boom drives down the fairway.. but maybe lacking in mental strength for him to finish the job?

With technical ability not in question, who do I expect to win?

Jordan Spieth would be my tip, with a close second, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Dunne.  Watch out for Justin Rose, as an outside bet though.. a technically gifted player and one that has proven mental strength.  One thing I am sure…. this Open Championship will go to a play-off!

For more information and workshops that can increase your OWN mental strength, either in sport, work or personal life, DO drop us a line!

I was fortunate, recently, to be able to travel to Guernsey, working with Aurigny Airline. My involvement was to join the back-end of a five day Train the Trainer workshop, hosted by a good friend of mine, Fleur Johnson, from Insight Solutions Consulting Group.  It was the first time in Guernsey for me, and I got to experience the short flight from London Gatwick in the ATR aircraft, a great deal smaller than the aircraft I would normally take from Gatwick!

Gatwick South Terminal, busy people, off to different parts of the world, all with their own agenda.

Gatwick South Terminal, busy people, off to different parts of the world, all with their own agenda.

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Passengers embarking on the Aurigny Airline ATR, from Gatwick South

Following a pleasant crossing, slightly delayed, due to a fog-bound Guernsey I arrived and without further delay met the team we were working with.  Of course, having worked with the group for three days already, they had bonded well and I was interested to find out how they would react to a ‘new’ member joining the team.  Whilst I was there to deliver parts of the workshop and undertake feedback sessions on the final day, as always, I was determined to further my knowledge of the airline industry (having worked with different airlines for over 15 years).  Remember, we are always learning no matter how much we think we already know.

So what did I learn?  A Top Six Learning Points from my time in Guernsey (in no particular order)!

  1. How much does an aircraft weigh? Got that? Now, add on a load of passengers (of varying weights), luggage, crew, food and drink, fuel… and anything else you care to add… because we need to know this, in order that the aircraft is ‘light’ enough to effect a take-off.. AND… to land safely.  How many of us would even consider this, when we are queuing at the airport, on our return from holiday.. with those little extra’s in our suitcase.  Such is this calculation, that if the aircraft is painted as part of its maintenance, then that has to be noted also!  When you think about it, thats a colossal additional weight.  Consider how much paint would be needed to re-paint an aircraft (bearing in mind, the original coats are still on the plane) and then consider how much a can of paint actually weighs when you collect it from your local DIY store! Thanks Travis, for always getting the calculation right!
  2. What happens if you are on a flight and you become ill?  Not just unwell, but something serious, such as a heart attack?  Defibrillation equipment is carried on all of these flights together with trained staff… but how’s this for a few facts:- In Europe, every 45 seconds, a cardiac arrest takes place.  That sounds like an awful lot of people, but relate it to how many people are in Europe.  With intervention, early resuscitation and prompt defibrillation, within 1-2 minutes, a greater than 60% survival rate can be achieved.  Thanks Monika for raising our awareness and making us feel a lot safer.
  3. Ever considered what requirements certain passengers need on an aircraft?  Just how do you get a wheelchair user along the aisle of a plane?  What about a deaf or blind person, either looking or listening out for departure/boarding times?  Thankfully, there are procedures in place to assist with this, so thanks Martyn, for the enlightening training session!  Things we perhaps ‘know’ but never put into practice, because we never come across that scenario on a regular basis.  It was a pleasure to be able to use my acting skills for your session! 🙂
  4. It’s always important to have all bases covered and I’m always impressed by the amount of safety procedures we have, but I have to admit, knowing how much Oxygen is stored on a plane, even a relatively small passenger plane, such as the ATR or the Embraer Jet, in emergencies or times of decompression makes us all feel comfortable.  As we know, safety is paramount and I’ll confess to always watching and listening to the safety instructions from the flight crew, regardless of how many times i’ve seen it.  Thanks Faye, for your training session, together with some new phrases I learnt!
  5. Ever wondered, when you’re sitting on the plane, ready for take-off… what those guys and girls are doing, walking around the plane in their Hi-Viz jackets?  Well again, they are there for your safety, making sure there is no damage, ensuring everything is in order and carrying out a procedure that most of us take for granted.  Who’s in control of the plane during this time? Well most would say ‘The Pilot’, but it is in fact the ground crew, standing on the terra firma, during the ‘pushback’ procedure… once the plane is then ready to taxi to the runway.. The Pilot takes control.  Thanks Rob for passing on your knowledge and you’re right… you wear the Hi-Viz well!
  6. Finally, again on the theme of safety, how important is it that EVERYONE carries out their job, to the best of their ability and leaving nothing to chance?  Mike took us on a journey around the world, in particular the middle east, and highlighted the National Air Cargo’s Boeing 747-400 freighter crash in Afghanistan, that many will have seen on You Tube and rather than jumping to conclusions that because it was in Afghanistan, it was the subject of terrorist activity or military intervention.. the most probable cause was that a heavy item of cargo was not secured properly, thus becoming unstable.  For want of a simple procedure, the crew lost their lives.  What a responsibility… but this of course is not just limited to the aviation industry.

So you see, even though I was in Guernsey ‘training’, as always it’s a joy to increase my own knowledge.  Basic, little things, that we take for granted, or, more realistically, don’t even think about as they possibly may never affect us, directly… (until something goes wrong)!

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Gary Boyes & Fleur Johnson from Insight Solutions Training Group, Quayside in St. Peter Port

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St. Peter Port Harbour as the sun starts to fade.

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St. Peter Port Harbour as the sun starts to fade.

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You really can’t go to St. Peter Port, Guernsey, without sampling the Surf & Turf in ‘Mora’! Fillet Steak and Lobster.. Luscious!

You never know, what you don’t know… just think about that for a while.

Put this into the real world situation, of everyone’s busy schedules and whilst you’re undertaking your chores and work, why not glean some additional knowledge.  You’ll never know when you may possibly need it?  The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple attended Caligraphy lessons, just because he found it interesting… but of course, never needed it in his life.  A good few years later, when the initial font-types on computers were being thought over, there was Jobs, with his knowledge of different styles.  He refers to it as ‘joining the dots’, but you can only join the dots looking back, not forward.

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The sun shines on the tail fin as we leave Guernsey. Great place, great people and I look forward to returning in the very near future. Work days like these, never seem to be ‘work’ 🙂

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I took an ATR on the way to Guernsey and had the pleasure of returning to the mainland in the newest member of the fleet, The Embraer. Here’s the view, heading due North North East 🙂

For more information and workshops that will be useful to your life, simply drop us a line.

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The ROLIS instrument took a snapshot of comet 67P/CG as Europe’s Philae lander descended toward the surface on Nov. 12, 2014.
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR

So has anyone else been captivated by the recent events concerning the Rosetta Space Mission? I mean, just consider that the launch date goes as far back as March 2004, when a certain Mr Peter Andre was number one in the charts with ‘Mysterious Girl’! What was the point of the mission? To rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and undertake a lengthy exploration of a comet at close quarters to watch how it is transformed by the warmth of the Sun along its elliptical orbit.

Now, when you take into account, the journey to the comet alone would take over 10 years, that the mission was ‘put into hibernation’ to conserve energy and would be ‘woken’ at an arranged date when it moved closer to the sun and was warmed by the suns rays, that the comet was 317 MILLION Miles from earth and that the comet is travelling at 34,000 mph… to land a ‘washing machine’ sized probe (Philae Probe) is truly AMAZING! Already data has been sent back, including pictures which will give mankind even more information about our solar system. A comparison has been made that it was like a fly landing on a fired bullet!

Some will say… what is the point (when you consider that the mission has cost over $1 billion, but then, you can always argue… what is the point of anything, people will always have opinions and opinions are what makes the world go round! Whether you agree with the mission or not, you cannot fail to be impressed with the vision.  I mean… who would have ever dreamt up the fact of landing a probe on a speeding comet? (Well, we can all dream), yet who would have this dream/vision but actually have the commitment to see the mission through?

Too often, I, and no doubt you, hear that ‘This is impossible’ or ‘That is impossible’… and once the words have been said (even if this is in our minds, talking to ourselves) it gives us the right to give up.

If you are that determined, then this mission alone should give you all the motivation that you need to discover, whatever life may throw at you, that there is normally a way.  It may not happen instantly, it may take years of planning and there will doubtless be risks and potential problems involved.  Even after all the meticulous planning in the world, it is very possible that the outcome was not what was originally visioned, (as in the case of the Philae Probe, where it appears that the landing on the comet has left the probe in a crater’s shadow thus not allowing the sun to recharge the solar panels.  It is currently in ‘hibernation’ and will await recharging, when and if, the probe can absorb some sun energy).

Next time you have a dream, and people tell you it’s impossible… give them the Rosetta Space Mission Story!…. Just like the Philae Probe…To be continued!