Archives for posts with tag: leadership
best practice

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.

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How many business opportunities are turned down on a regular basis (and life opportunities), purely because we lack the confidence to carry it out or doubt ourselves that we have sufficient knowledge or skill to undertake the task? Take the opportunity and use it as a motivator, to learn a new skill or increase your knowledge. Can you imagine how impactful that could be?

Next time an opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands… and then go about increasing your knowledge or skill. Consider what resources you may need?

If this is something that you’d like to investigate further, then be sure to watch out for our forthcoming workshop, where the focus will be on making you a far more confident person than, perhaps, you are at the present time.

Contact us on 01277 821651 or simply email us on info@imduk.com to register your interest.

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On the 6th May 1954 Roger Bannister accomplished the ‘impossible’ by running a mile in UNDER 4 minutes.

I say the ‘impossible’ because up until then, advice from medical experts was that if a human being ran at that speed then their lungs would burst, their heart explode and effectively it would result in death!  Now, if you knew no better… you’d listen to the ‘experts’, right?

Well, what if those so-called experts were wrong, (as Bannister, a Medical Student at the time) believed and ultimately proved?

Beliefs are hugely powerful tools that we can use to achieve the ‘impossible’ if only you allow them to.

For more information about how YOU can enhance YOUR own belief system, and achieve greatness, CONTACT us NOW!

New Workshops are currently being developed to assist you in reaching your full potential. Drop us an email at info@imduk.com to register your interest.

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How HAPPY are you at work? Yes, I mean YOU.

Are you caught up in the cycle of working in a job you don’t love, to earn money, to put a roof over your head and food on the table, simply to exist, so that you can go to work tomorrow, to a job that you don’t love, to earn more money, to put a roof over your head and put food on the table, simply to exist, so that you can go to work tomorrow….. get the picture?

If YOU want MORE, then look out for our forthcoming workshops that can have a SERIOUS IMPACT on your life!

Interested? Then please contact us to register your interest (life@imduk.com) or look out for workshop announcements on our  Facebook Page (Please just LIKE). http://www.facebook.com/IMDUKlimited

More details are on our Blog Site, which you can FOLLOW now by going to www.imduk.org and entering an email address under the ‘follow’ button.

Remember, If time flies, be the pilot!

Be IN control, NOT controlled.

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It’s a new dawn,

It’s a new day,

It’s a new life

For me….

And I’m feeling good!

(Feeling Good.  Words by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley)

 Many New Year Resolutions will be made for 2014, but just how many will be acted upon, long term?  How many will actually be written down, as a form of commitment? (Often, seeing goals written down can further motivate us and of course, the writing part is the ‘activity’ side of thinking).

What are your ‘goals’ for 2014? 

By goals, I mean, what are your real goals? It may mean, on a personal level, giving up smoking or alcohol, maybe losing some weight?  This is not what will drive you on however, the real goal will be, if you have given up smoking, alcohol or have lost weight, how you will feel in yourself, how will you view yourself?

On training workshops and courses throughout this last year I often ask people ‘What will make you happy’?  Well, it’s no surprise, that for many of them, they say ‘winning the lottery’ or ‘being rich’!  That is not a ‘goal’ though, what would that money or new-found wealth actually do for them, that surely is the ultimate goal? When they then start to think about that aspect, the goals become a lot clearer.  So ensure any goals you make have a clear outcome.

Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know you have got there?

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At the turn of the year, we often reflect over the previous twelve months and sometimes with regret?  Next time you sit down and think back, think of the highlights only… and watch what happens to your state of mind!

Highlights of 2013 for me?  Well too many to name, but here’s a shortlist… what one is top of my 2013 list? Maybe I’ll let you know next time!

  • Meeting ‘strangers’ on training courses throughout the year, many of whom have now become ‘great friends’! Thank you.
  • Spending a week with 40 Year 6 Leavers on the Isle of Wight, huge fun watching them grow as people. Thank you.
  • Registering 5 ‘consecutive’ Birdies on the golf course, a feat that someone researched and said the odds were over 46,000/1 🙂 I guess those lessons do pay off?
  • On the golfing theme, scoring a hole-in-one.  Is it all luck? 😉
  • Seeing my daughter’s face on her 17th birthday when she opened her present… the ‘car key’ with the car waiting outside and then passing her Theory Test at the first attempt.
  • Watching my son’s football team gain promotion with him being top-goalscorer on 41 goals!
  • Tearing around London with McMullen’s Bar Person of the Year nominee’s. Good times, Thank you.
  • Meeting a great friend I lost touch with years ago.  Thank you.
  • Working with some fantabulous people which makes my job seem nothing like a job is meant to be (or what we are told)! Thank you each and every one of you.

Be happy in 2014, Be healthy in 2014 and if you have that, you will have abundant wealth.

Now if you are serious about goal-setting or simply having a great year and would like a helping hand, then stay tuned to the IMD UK Facebook page or our blog www.imduk.org where we will announce forthcoming workshops that can directly improve your life next year.

Please share this with people you think will benefit, they can then make their own choice as to whether 2014 will be a great year.

Thanks for everyone of you that has followed this Blog during the last year, check out the link and please share on Facebook or Re-Blog.

For every ‘Share’ or ‘Re-blog’ you’ll be entered into a prize draw for one of two prizes, a fabulous bottle of Champagne or a £25-00 i-Tunes voucher.

Have a Great New Year!