Archive for the ‘New Today’ Category

Auditing and Developing your Team

This presentation to Rugby Council helps leaders understand what they can do to develop groups of people into effective teams.

Team Working Presentation

The presentation focus’s on 7 stages or interventions for the leader and included an example of an auditing process.

Team Audit Criteria Example

There also includes a couple of options for leaders to follow for team development.

Team Development – The Great Training Company

Leadership Activities for Effective Change

For large organisations strategies for change are driven from a corporate or global perspective and require huge effort to redirect resources. This is the realm of large consultancies providing extensive research and coaching services and may take years to develop and implement. The reality of many business environments however is that leaders often need to make smaller process, structural and cultural changes to their teams or business’s without the benefit of combined consultancy best practice and support. For these leaders working with real people at the front line of the business these smaller incremental changes provide a more personal and visible challenge to their leadership skills.

Read the full article Leadership Change Activities

This article aims to identify steps to thinking through and implementing change on a local level although the approach could provide a template for larger process. The focus is on the leader and their people. There is no way this approach can be described as rocket science or groundbreaking however it covers the areas that have contributed to or stalled success over some of the projects I have worked on. It provides more of a thinking template than a tick list.

How to Manage Conflict Positively

When leaders talk of conflict they usually position it in negative terms with the goal being to minimise the repercussions rather than manage the process. Unless autocratic leaders or aggressive individuals always make the best decisions then this has to be viewed as a mistake. Respectful conflict management can lead to better decisions that have the engagement of all parties and be a route to better relationships and broader modes of thinking.

For the full paper click on the link 

Dealing with Conflict Positively

for more information contact

Andrew Semple

07970 646895

How to Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is a presentation format that has gained popularity as a leisure activity all over the world but it can be used in business for concise and clear presentations. I think the benefit would be the effective use of time as on most presentations slots it would leave plenty of time for questions where you can often make the most impact. This might be great for sales presentations.

I’ve done an example  here is the link


I’ll post some more tips for this so check out the Know How section

comments welcome

Thinking about Strategy

A very interesting book by Richard Whittington of the Said Business School in Oxford. Not meant as a review but i used a few of these slides on a presentation.

Thinking about Strategy

Measuring Intangible Assets

Here’s a paper i wrote on how companies might approach measuring their intangible assets ie those other than premises / plant and capital. Although it is a couple of years old it might serve as an introduction to the topic – comments are welcome

Measuring Intangible Assets

Executive Summery

This paper uses existing research on intangible assets and creates a generic framework that can be used for comparing other models. It defines intangible assets as including many definitions such as Human Capital and Intellectual Capital and focus’s them into three areas, Leveraging Internally / Leveraging Externally and Leveraging People and Knowledge. This approach is used to compare other bespoke models. The paper explores the reasons for and benefits of measuring intangibles before exploring four different methods.


  • The Italian Intellectual Capital Value method uses a bespoke method to define and measure assets.
  • The Swedish Intellectual Capital Rating method uses a tool box approach which is comparable to other companies.
  • The Technology Broker method attempts to measure the value of intangible assets on a financial basis
  • The Standard Accounting approach attempts to use agreed accounting methods to put a financial value on intangibles.

This paper provides an explanation and comparison of these tools as well as some example of their approach. Each tool is critiqued for its strengths and weakness and conclusions drawn. The paper then explores the options the organisation may need to consider in embarking on measuring intangibles before providing a basis for a best practice approach featuring a facilitated workshop that could be used within an organisation for exploring the themes.

The paper ends with a series of conclusions drawn from an analysis of the material.





The Challenges facing Middle Leaders

A report from Teaching Leaders the education based training provider identifies three challenges to what business would call middle managers in their report;

Challenges middle leaders face in raising achievement – Click to view the report 

TL Report

The three most challenging areas are

  • Stepping up to leadership
  • Managing team performance
  • Time management

Its interesting to see replicated in education the same issues that arise with new leaders in other organisations from call centres to retail. Whilst all organisations would like to perceive themselves as unique the issues they face are not and it would seem there is a growing recognition within the education sector that effective leadership at all levels will contribute to the success of students.

The paper suggests that the collegial nature of teaching makes stepping up to a senior position challenging. Whilst this may be true for teaching my own experience would suggest that the same is true in other organisations. I doubt that teaching is any more or less collegial that other roles and the amount of team building and team development i have been involved with over the years suggest that all organisations realise the value of effective personal and business relationships.

Leadership Delegates Focus on the Big Questions

Delegates in Leeds identify their top ten questions to learn more about helping their people to deliver their best. By focusing on their real time issues Great Training can help focus the learning to make a real difference to people’s performance and help immediate implementation back in the workplace. Would these be your questions?

  1. How do I stay consistent?
  2. How do I set standards and objectives?
  3. How do I gain respect?
  4. How do I stay approachable?
  5. How do I manage my time better?
  6. How do I learn to trust my people?
  7. How do I motivate staff?
  8. How do I delegate
  9. How do I build confidence?
  10. How do I stay focused
Delegate Comments;
I enjoyed it very much and can see the course being invaluable to me in my line of workJal Patel- Aqua

Very helpful for my job – I feel I will take a lot away Michele Campbell – Orsis UK Ltd

Enjoyed the course very much – best for a long time. Great trainer – Great knowledgeRachel Mearel – Irwell Valley Housing.

To view a copy of the objectives and content click on the link

Total Refrigeration review their Customer Service

For an easy print PDF handout of this post click on the link  Customer_Service

To view the content and approach of the day click on the link bellow  TF Overview Slides

Total Refrigeration

Understanding the emotional side of customers 

 Total Refrigeration the Manchester based market leaders in refrigeration services to the retail industry spend a day reviewing their customer service by getting inside the customers shoes and understanding the emotional states that drive their customers.

They undertook an activity to identify what excellent customer service looks like by using their own experience and recorded the descriptive words that they would use to describe it.

Excellent Service

Poor Service

Focused Can’t be bothered
Helpful Ignorant
Polite No compromise
Approachable Not interested
Knowledgeable Sarcasm
Happy / Smiling Evasive
Friendly Attitude and tone
Attentive Take to long to get back
Personal Consideration
Good greeting


The key points arising from this were;

  • People’s view of customer service is based on their own views and experiences
  • Those views on customer service were more emotional than rational
  • That getting the right product is not the differentiating factor it’s just expected
  • That any one can unwittingly project poor service approaches
  • That we need to be consciously competent of our own approach 

An output from the day was an identification of the different emotional states that customers may contact the company in. This enabled the group to segment their customers by the nature of their contact and better empathise with the customer’s requirements. The customer groups were called “me’s” reflecting the importance of seeing customers as individuals with specific needs.


As a starter they identified five customer groups and began discussions on what they could do to meet the customer’s needs. This enabled the group to share their experiences of best practice and examples of where they had helped customers. Some of these approaches reflected the positive customer comments received by the company.


Short Notice Me

  • Reaffirm the delivery terms and take internal steps to try and make the delivery earlier.
  • Ensure customer has the exact day of delivery so they can plan.
  • Plan courtesy call to ensure delivery has been made to customer’s satisfaction.

Emergency me

  • Ensure engineer attends next working day.
  • If possible engineer to attend same day.
  • Courtesy call from technical manager.
  • Follow up call from customer services.

I need information me

  • Ask questions and listen to understand the customer.
  • Direct to web site for more information / reference.
  • Summarise call and requirements.
  • Stay in contact for future business development.

Help me plan me

  • Ask questions and listen to define the customer’s requirements.
  • Provide advice and options to help them make decisions.
  • Discuss potential delivery dates and preparation.
  • Summarise information / link to website.
  • Explain after sales service.

I know what I want me

  • Identify options and extra services.
  • Take information quickly and accurately.
  • Call back for feedback / business development.

Other elements of the day included a review of customer feedback and internal research on how customers viewed the service the company offered.

The group also took part in a scenario activity to benchmark themselves with what they felt the best service they could offer would be. This included the question

“how good do you want to be?”

Also used as a reference was an example from Mike Peggs excellent book The Art of Encouragement that outlines the gymnastics gold winner Peter Vidmars approach to gaining the perfect 10

To get the perfect 10 an althlete must reach the Olympic standard and then gain extra marks through Risk / Originality and Virtuosity. From a customer service perspective an organisation must provide great products for the 9.4 but then excel in customer service by providing their own .2’s to wow their customers. The question is

“what are our .2’s that differentiate us from our competitors?”



Classic Readings on Motivation

If you’re interested in taking a broader view of motivation then take a look at these two articles. The first is the motivation classic from the HBR available on the net through this link

The second gives a critique of the article and an overview of what the research may mean

Neither of these articles are behind pay walls and are publicly available – enjoy!


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