Insights, ideas and inspiration
Most of our blog entries can be read in two or three minutes. One or two go into greater depth and others are bite-sized. All are intended to share with you insights, ideas or inspiration that we hope you will find useful, interesting or energising.
As experienced business coaches, we are yet to meet a Client who wakes every morning wanting to buy time from a B2B service provider. Yet we regularly meet service providers who sell their value as an estimate of the time required to create and deliver it.
One reason for this is an absence of a clear product and service proposition. The outcome is invariably that the service provider’s cost to serve is higher than estimated, and the value delivered to the Client is lower than it should be, leaving the relationship vulnerable. Why does this come about and how can we build value into sales that achieves better outcomes for both parties?
Read past the idealism of the first few pages and this book develops a powerful and optimistic vision of how free enterprise capitalism ought to and can operate to achieve an optimal balance of interests between all of the stakeholders in a company; rather than focusing on returns for some at the expense of others.
The vast majority of the entrepreneurs we meet are deeply committed to the people who work for them. They respect that their employees have commitments and obligations outside the workplace, and recognise the mutual benefit of offering them the flexibility to balance these sometimes competing demands.
A lot of the same entrepreneurs are also exhausted. Their commitment to everyone else results in them plugging the gaps that arise from flexible hours, sabbaticals, statutory leave, extended holidays and so on. Even years after they founded their business, the original risk takers are still the ones pulling the late nights and carrying the can. Sound familiar?
Increases in turnover and profitability are often thought of as growth in business terms. Of course, this is true to a point. That point being that these and similar increases are outcomes that flow from growth in the capability, accountability (including the culture that supports it) and then the capacity of an individual, team or business. If these issues are the roots of sustainable growth, how do we prioritise between them and determine where to start?
The way our human brain creates meaning dictates that if we cannot encode something in language, then we will struggle to make sense of it. This suggests that shared language and meanings are essential for groups to function efficiently and effectively.
Numerous management articles tell us that if we want to be great leaders, we need to ask the right questions. This preoccupation with questions can blind us to their flaw - which is that they invite answers. Our questions, then, had better be perfectly designed to prompt the answers we need to lead effectively. Or is there a more effective approach to gaining the insight we need?
In a world of smart speakers, to find out virtually anything we need only ask it out loud and Alexa, Google or Siri will come back with the answer. Information, and increasingly mis-information, is ubiquitous. Finding out about potential suppliers or business partners is no different.
The point of teams is surely that the sum is greater than its parts. We bring together individuals from different functions with varied skills, aptitudes and experience in order to create a collective capability to achieve something. But what, exactly?
Recent advances in medical technology are accelerating our understanding of the human brain. Neuroscientists already know enough to put rational, proven explanations to some of our felt, inner experiences. In this blog, we consider how these insights can help us increase our own and others’ productivity at work.
This hugely enjoyable book unearths fascinating insights into the causes and effects that give rise to the success enjoyed by individuals, teams, companies, communities and societies across the world. One to read for the pure pleasure of it and to top up your store of stories to share with friends and family!