Archives for posts with tag: power of the mind
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’?

Success Ladder

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.

IMG_6958

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

The Positive Revolution! 

Positive People.001

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

ROLIS-descent-image

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!

John Lennon Happy

Ever thought what direction your life would take if you weren’t doing what you are doing right now?

As the late Steve Jobs of Apple said, a good few years ago… ‘You can only join the dots of your life, looking back’… but just imagine, if you had made that decision, or changed your career path all those years ago? Where would you be now?

The fact is, you are where you are, right now, but that doesn’t always mean that your path is pre-determined from this moment on. I was recently reminded of that quotation ‘The best time to plant an apple tree was twenty years ago… the next best time is now’!  How very true that is.

If you feel you are at a crossroads in your life, career, hobby, etc. and are maybe unsure what is in store for you, then you may want to consider attending one of our workshops coming up soon.  If this is something that may interest you, please register your interest NOW (under no obligation) by simply emailing us for further information. change@imduk.com

As I write this, I am reminded of John Lennon, assassinated in New York in December 1980 at the age of 42.  Today, the 9th October would have been his 74th Birthday!  Little did he know what was in store that day when he signed an autograph for Mark Chapman, although maybe Chapman new how his life would pan out with a murder charge on his head.  I wonder how, nearly 34 years on, how the music scene would have possibly changed with Lennon’s influence over those years?

Richard Branson Opportunity.001

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.

Phil-Mickelson-surges-to-first-British-Open-title-with-5-under-66

Phil Mickelson, the pro-golfer from the States, recently won The Open, held at Muirfield, Scotland. Mickelson has won many tournaments during his professional career, including three Masters and a USPGA Championship, yet, even after twenty attempts had never won The Open title, in fact up until this year had never won on British Soil! Without doubt he has one of the best short-games in golf, yet playing on a links course, as befits The Open Championship he seemed to struggle.
Now, he had two choices, either accept that whilst he had mastered the game in the States an Open Championship would always allude him… or… change his strategy and tactics, practice hard and have the belief in himself and his game to win on a links-style course.
The rest is history, for not only did he put in hours of practice on courses similar to where Open Championships are held, he made the journey to Scotland the week before and won, after a play-off, The Scottish Open. Perhaps buoyed by this inaugural win on UK soil, exactly a week later he was lifting the Claret Jug, his name written in history.
Sometimes the final piece of the jigsaw is to have that belief that one day, when all the factors are in place, you have put in the preparation, then the prize is yours?

Never ever underestimate the power of the mind! How many attempts do you give something before giving up? It took Phil twenty years to achieve his target, how long will yours take?

On a recent Golf day, albeit not as grand as The Open, I had a pretty average front 9 holes, nothing spectacular, and to be honest going through the motions. The back 9 started, to say the least, pretty average again, bogeying (1 over par) the 10th hole before sinking an 8 foot putt for birdie (one under par) at the Par 3 11th. Sometimes you need that little piece of ‘lady luck’ to kick-start what you are doing and I confidently strode onto the 12th Tee before dispatching my drive down the fairway. A wedge to the green left a 20 foot putt that I carefully lined up… and sunk! Two birdies, back-to-back… I was on a roll! Next came a Par five and having found the green in two I narrowly missed the Eagle putt (2 under par) but tapped-in for birdie. The 14th hole, a par 4 was long, but downhill and having driven the centre of the fairway my second shot was pulled to the left. My playing partner commented at the time, ‘That’s a shame, you’ve spoiled your sequence’ to which I replied, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll chip it in’. Yes, you’ve guessed it, with a sand wedge in hand, from about 32 feet away, the ball sailed over the bunker, bounced a couple of times on the green before running up to the hole and dropping in the cup! Birdie number 4!! How long could this run continue? At the 15th, another par 4 I was 5 foot from the pin in two, and confidently stroked the putt home (I was beginning to rue the sloppy 3 putt on the par 5 tenth now)! Holes 16, 17 and 18 were uneventful… but were all played in level par, in fact I missed a 6 footer for birdie at the last, but wow, what a round of golf! Take your opportunities when you have them, and keep believing!

If you would like to know more about accessing your own power, then contact us at IMD (UK) Limited on 01277 821651 or simply email us power@imduk.com

Welcome to Day 5 of our Twelve Days of Christmas. Ever felt the need to set yourself targets for either business or in fact, your life? Ever found yourself setting those targets, as an example, New Year Resolutions but then not having the motivation to carry them through? Look out for our new workshops for 2013 by either ‘liking’ our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/IMDUKlimited or ‘following’ our blog at http://www.imduk.org