What is Commercial Acumen?

With Brexit on the horizon, in today’s competitive business climate, commercial responsibility drills deeper within and spreads wider across organisations. This means managers need to know how to assess potential risks and exploit the commercial opportunities that will drive business success.  Echoing our recent blog on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), this means that greater awareness of the financial and non-financial impact of day-to-day business actions and operational decisions is needed.

 So, what do organisations require from their leaders and managers?

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How do you make a matrix environment work?

Market changes, globalisation and advances in technology all contribute to the need to redesign organisations. Business leaders must be able to anticipate or respond to changing customer requirements and market opportunities (e.g. online shopping or new lines of business), as well as create agility and/or deliver operational efficiencies implicit in new operating models.

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Is Crisis a Catalyst for Organisational Growth?

Sometimes an organisation needs a wake up call to enable it to see what is happening and a crisis helps it to see something previously hidden.  Created by the US military to describe our environment, VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) is the latest acronym we can baffle our colleagues with.

It is a great summary of why organisations need employees who are agile, able to learn and brave.  However these behaviours are usually squashed by budget cuts, multiple unfocused meetings, policies, legislation and fear of change. 

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Coaching/Mentoring Case Study – Getting to No. 1

How did Ivan Lendl first help British tennis player Andy Murray, now ranked number 1 in the world, take his performance from ‘good to great’? This is a great example of what can be achieved through mentoring.  Please note we are not claiming any Morgan Clarke involvement in this case, it’s just a good story exemplifying the value of mentoring.

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Ensuring a return on investment from coaching

Most businesses now use business or executive coaching to address a whole spectrum of strategic, business and developmental issues.  These range from enabling people to become more effective as a business leader or manager, transitioning successfully to a more senior role, increasing sales volumes and revenues, or delivering important projects or change initiatives.

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Carnival in Rio

Well what an amazing performance by the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the Olympics in Rio.  Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport said “our athletes have prepared and performed quite exceptionally in Rio, to deliver arguably the greatest achievement in British sporting history”.

20 years ago in Atlanta, Great Britain won 15 medals including 1 gold medal.  In 2016 Team GB achieved 27 gold medals, 23 silvers and 17 bronze medals finishing second in the medals’ table behind the USA, ahead of China.  What has changed in 20 short years to spark this spectacular turn around?

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Executive Coaching – Setting Your People Up To Succeed In New Roles

The cost to your business of leaders and managers failing in new roles can be immense.  Typically, mission critical projects may not be delivered on time or within budget, or the business plan may not be realised, employees can become disengaged as a consequence and attrition rates can be high.

When you promote a manager or leader to a bigger or more complex role, they will invariably need to think, work and behave differently. To be successful, they must be able to drive their agenda and achieve results through others, lead change and allocate their time with a razor-like focus on both important and urgent business critical activities.

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The Glass Cliff or Why being good in a crisis can disadvantage women

Neela Bettridge is one of our most senior Executive Coaches and resident guru on Women in Business.  She has provided this month’s blog to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March.

When psychology professors Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam of the University of Exeter observed that women were more likely to be promoted to leadership roles that carried a higher risk of failure, they dubbed the phenomenon ‘the glass cliff’ – an obvious extension of the ‘glass ceiling’ and ‘glass elevator’ metaphors.  Continue reading

The Process of Achievement

Everybody seems to agree that teams are ‘A Good Thing’. For many people “the team” is something we should all aspire to join.  Surely only the most anti‑social and difficult individuals express unease with “team working”. Of course, we all accept that teams get it wrong sometimes, but building teams and fostering “team spirit” is usually considered a good thing throughout the corporate environment.

Everyone knows what “a team” is. Everyone knows how to put a team together. Everyone can select the best people to engineer the best available team. Everyone knows how to allocate the tasks to be done amongst the members of the team. But if it’s all so obvious, why do so many workplace teams struggle to deliver?

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