The Culture Series:...unlocking the influence of a business climate, the C5 model explained

The Culture Series:

...the C5 model explained

Achieving outstanding business performance is not just an ambition but something that all organisations strive for in today’s results driven business environment. However, attempting to balance both client and employee satisfaction can prove to be somewhat difficult whilst maintaining a high functioning company. The three-fold process, the C5 Model, measures the prevailing climate and provides leaders with data and insights enabling an effective action plan for business performance and improvement both internally and externally, providing the efficient framework for formulating an effective roadmap towards sustainable improvement. A better climate at work not only motivates “discretionary effort” in people but delivers advanced bottom line performance, which will then filter through the rest of the company creating a more motivated and productive working environment. Recent studies by the Hay Group across a wide range of sectors found that business performance improves by over 30% when employees experience a greater climate. These can be assessed through five dimensions that can be easily reflected and acted upon:

Clarity: everyone knows what is expected of them. People are clear about mission, values and goals.

Congruence: challenging but attainable goals are set that are aligned to the company’s strategy.

Control: employees are given authority to accomplish tasks and act without checking and there are no unnecessary rules, policies and procedures.

Contentment: employees are recognised and rewarded for good performance, performance management work effectively, and constructive feedback is given and well received.

Commitment: people are proud to belong to their team and organisation, give discretionary effort willingly and are committed to the common purpose.

Whilst the aforementioned factors influence largely the climate of a company it is integral that you create a process in which these can be put in place to continue to reinforce and adhere to the practices and beliefs of your company. Climate is influenced largely by;

Alignment of structure: This is the degree to which as leader defines and aligns their own role and the roles of their people toward attainment of the organisations goals. It looks at the nature of people’s jobs and examines areas of gaps or overlaps; headroom distance and compression and optimisation of spans of control.

Behaviours: Leaders who provide a clear sense of direction and purpose, encourage the commitment and enthusiasm of others, build trust, energy and momentum, and involve others in decision making, will be more successful in creating a favourable organisational climate than leaders who do not employ these behaviours, leadership behaviour has the greatest impact on climate.

Conventions and progress: these are the rules and regulations that prevail in organisations e.g. reward and recognition structures that are fair and equitable; two – way communication channels that are open; decision making is easy and there are no unnecessary rules; clearly understood business planning that is cascaded through the organisation.

To truly realise the potential and meaning behind this however each element of the process should be followed up and actioned to ensure the dynamics of a company are kept smooth and channels of communication kept open. A hugely significant factor in this failure rate is leaders not paying sufficient attention to culture and climate synergies and differences. Using a three stage approach to the previous collation of data allow for an in depth understanding of the climate prevailing in the work place.

Stage 1 – Stakeholder Interviews

The assessor conducts a series of interviews with nominated stakeholders. spending on the size of the organisation. During these sessions participant should be asked to share these experiences in relation to “What it feels like to work here”

It is important to point out both what’s going well and what should be improved on to ensure a focused balance on both parties, focusing purely on the negatives can create a negative working enviroment whereas an entirely positive focus is not accurate and does little to aid the task at hand.

Stage 2 – Leadership Assessment

Leaders should be asked to complete a predisposition inventory. Leadership behaviour has the most impact on Climate so should be a large focus. It has critical impact on a team’s performance and ultimately aids in the development of organisational capability and performance. This in-depth psychometric tool gives insights to leaders about how, and why they are most comfortable in communication with other, their preferred approach to problem solving and implementing actions, and their most comfortable and predictable leadership style.

Stage 3 – Client Feedback Workshop

An in-depth feedback workshop is then held with the client using the C5 model which will highlight what is working well in the business and enhancing the Climate and most importantly, the areas that are negatively influencing the climate.

The application of the Business Climate Diagnostic has been proven to add value and improve business performance across all sectors. It applies locally as well as globally. It delivers for Leaders and executive teams the insightful data they need to make good decisions and design intelligent road maps for their organisation. The result is a clear agenda for sustainable, profitable business improvement.


Helen Sweeney

The Culture Series: safe space for safe work

The Culture Series: space for safe work

A Partner and I recently met with a group of managers to discuss ways to improve meetings. Our goal was to figure out how to create a space that people actually look forward to being in. We each began by describing a meeting we remembered as especially powerful.

One story stood out.

My colleague told us about a time when he was a young engineer working on several project teams in a manufacturing facility.  He said, “Neil, my manager, would take everyone out for pizza when he came to the factory, and we’d have a ‘no secrets’ meeting. Neil asked us about whatever he wanted to know and we did the same in return. It was a meeting where everyone had permission to say or ask anything. It was amazing.”

Neil used these meetings to discover how his team was doing, how their projects were progressing, and what they needed in terms of support and resources. He asked broad questions to initiate open conversation:

  • What do you think I need to know?
  • Where are you struggling?
  • What are you proud of?

There was no pressure to have a perfect answer. The only requirement was to be honest and sincere. Of course, it helped that Neil was a thoughtful, authentic, and caring manager — qualities needed to create the psychological safety such a conversation requires.

The quest for better meetings ultimately lies in leading with mutual respectful, inclusivity, and establishing a space that is safe enough for people to speak their minds. You may not need to do exactly what Neil did, but you can increase the freedom, candor, and quality of conversation in your own meetings by focusing on two key areas: giving permission and creating safety.

Here’s how.

Let’s start with permission. Permission to say or ask anything is priceless. It allows us to fully express ourselves: to seek what we want, to give feedback, to speak up about issues when we find the need. By announcing that he would like to have a “no secrets” meeting, Neil was giving his team permission to display a level of candor that isn’t reached in most settings. He asked those who spoke not to hold back or edit their thoughts. He asked those who listened to give their peers a chance to be fully heard, which is what we all want — to say exactly what we are thinking and be respected for saying it.

In your own meetings, talk about permission up front — it’s best to address it directly rather than assume it’s already there. What permission would you like from the group so that you can lead effectively? What permission does the group need from you to successfully participate?

As a leader, ask your team permission to:

  • keep the conversation on track when it diverges or gets repetitive
  • call on people who have not yet spoken
  • hold people back if they are dominating the conversation
  • ask clarifying questions when you need someone to elaborate

Empower your team by reminding them that they have permission to:

  • ask questions at any time
  • invite colleagues into the conversation if they have not spoken
  • ask to spend extra time on a topic
  • ask other people to say more about where they stand on an issue
  • express concerns that haven’t been fully addressed

Finally, encourage your team (and yourself) to ask permission before making a comment. It will help ensure that your comments are non-threatening and received thoughtfully. Before speaking out, say:

  • May I ask you something?
  • May I tell you something?
  • May I give you some coaching?
  • May I push back a bit on what you are saying?

If that feels like too much to remember, the main takeaway is: You and your team have a right to ask for whatever you need to be effective in a meeting — to lead for results, to fully express yourselves, and to add value to the discussion.

Now, let’s focus on safety. The degree to which a person feels safe in a meeting setting is largely based on their previous experiences. Many of us have — at one point or another — experienced feeling as if we were not heard or appreciated when we spoke up. But when people feel their comments will be listened to and treated with respect, they are more likely to be vulnerable and say exactly what they are thinking. Conversations become broader and deeper when everyone is involved and feels safe enough to speak their minds. To create psychological safety during a meeting:

  • ask the group to devote their full attention to each person who speaks (do this at the start of the meeting)
  • allow each person to take their time and complete their thoughts
  • ask follow-up questions for clarity if necessary
  • share what is valuable about someone’s question or comment
  • use people’s names and refer back to earlier comments they’ve made
  • invite people into the conversation who have not spoken
  • answer any and all questions truthfully
  • summarize what you learned as the meeting comes to an end
  • explain what actions you will take to put those insights to use and ask your team for their suggestions as well
  • acknowledge the quality of the conversation and thank the group for it

After the meeting, follow up by:

  • completing the action items by the deadlines you set
  • not sharing the conversation with others without permission
  • sending written thank you notes to participants (when appropriate)
  • following up with people to ensure their comments were addressed to their satisfaction

People don’t just want to belong, they want to contribute. You can give your team the opportunity to do so by applying the above principles. In the process of having more candid, mutually respectful conversations, your team will become more cohesive and able to work together more powerfully. They may even begin to look forward to your meetings because of the remarkable conversations that permission and safety create. And better still, you may even start to look forward to leading those meetings.


First published by HBR

The Culture Series: The psychology of unethical behaviour

The Culture Series:

The psychology of unethical behaviour

On a warm evening after a strategy off-site, a team of executives arrives at a well-known local restaurant. The group is looking forward to having dinner together, but the CEO is not happy about the table and demands a change. “This isn’t the one that my assistant usually reserves for me,” he says. A young waiter quickly finds the manager who explains that there are no other tables available.

The group tries to move on but is once again interrupted by the CEO. “Am I the only one annoyed by the view? Why is there construction happening today?” he demands to know. The waiter tries to explain, but to no avail. “You really need to up your game here,” the CEO replies. The air is thick with tension. After the waiter walks away, someone makes a joke about the man’s competence. This seems to please the CEO, who responds with his own derogatory quip. The group laughs.

If you were present at that dinner would you let the CEO know that you disapprove of his language and behavior? Would you try to better a better example? Or stay silent?

This scene encapsulates three psychological dynamics that lead to crossing ethical lines. First, there’s omnipotence: when someone feels so aggrandized and entitled that they believe the rules of decent behavior don’t apply to them. Second, we have cultural numbness: when others play along and gradually begin to accept and embody deviant norms. Finally, we see justified neglect: when people don’t speak up about ethical breaches because they are thinking of more immediate rewards such as staying on a good footing with the powerful.

The same dynamics come into play when much bigger lines get crossed in the corporate arena: allegations of corruption at Nissan, sexual harassment charges in the media sector, privacy breaches at Facebook, money laundering in the financial sector, and pharmaceuticals’ role in the opioid crisis.

While it is hard, if not impossible, to find evidence that leaders in general have become less ethical over the years, some are sounding the alarm. Warren Buffett, explaining Berkshire Hathaway’s practices in the annual letter shareholders, notes that he and vice chairman Charlie Munger

“…have seen all sorts of bad corporate behavior, both accounting and operational, induced by the desire of management to meet Wall Street expectations. What starts as an ‘innocent’ fudge in order to not disappoint ‘the Street’ — say, trade-loading at quarter-end, turning a blind eye to rising insurance losses, or drawing down a ‘cookie-jar’ reserve — can become the first step toward full-fledged fraud.”

Buffett’s note is important because it’s really about the majority of us:  neither saints nor criminals but well-meaning leaders who sometimes fail to consult their moral compass while speeding ahead in a landscape full of tripwires and pitfalls. For that majority, moral leadership is not simply a question of acting in good or bad faith. It is about navigating the vast space in between.

So how do you know when you, or your team, is on the road to an ethical lapse?  Here’s more on how to identify omnipotence, cultural numbness, and justified neglect in yourself and on your team, and a few tips on fighting each dynamic: 

Omnipotence. Many moral lapses can be traced back to this feeling that you are invincible, untouchable, and hyper-capable, which can energize and create a sense of elation. To the omnipotent leader, rules and norms are meant for everyone but them. Crossing a line feels less like a transgression and more like what they are owed. They feel they have the right to skip or redraw the lines. In the dinner party example above, it is no coincidence that the CEO’s entitled and condescending behavior comes after a day of strategizing and masterminding the next big moves.

Omnipotence is not all bad. Sometimes the rush you get from bold action is what’s required to make breakthroughs or real progress. But, the higher you climb on the ladder, the more it can become a liability. This is especially true if fewer and fewer of the people around you are willing and able to keep you grounded. If no one tells you “no,” you have a problem. One way to gauge whether you’ve reached “peak omnipotence” is if your decisions are met only with applause, deference, and silence.

The psychological counterweight to omnipotence is owning your flaws. It’s a mature capability to look in the mirror and recognize that you are not above it all. Especially if you’re in a leadership position, assume you have weaknesses and think about them regularly.

Sometimes, you’ll need help with this. The best performing executives I see have close colleagues, friends, coaches, or mentors who dare to tell them the truth about their performance and judgment. You should cultivate a similar group of trusted peers who will tell you the truth even when it is unpleasant. In addition, make sure to encourage an “obligation to dissent” among your core team.

Cultural numbness. No matter how principled you are, you must recognize that, over time, the bearings of your moral compass will shift toward the culture of your organization or team.

From my work with police and military units infiltrating criminal groups, I have seen examples of how cultural numbness makes leaders cross lines. It usually starts subtly. Officers need to get to know and infiltrate a new culture. They need to fit in by speaking the language, acting according to code, and dressing to fit in. But, in doing that, they risk going too far — mimicking the culture of the gang members they are out to stop and getting caught up in a group’s values system.

The same kind of “moral capture” takes place in companies, not overnight, but gradually. Psychologically, you’re making a trade-off between fitting into the culture and staying true to what you value.

At first, cultural numbness can take the shape of ironic distance or disillusioned resignation when there is a discrepancy between the two, or between the ideals your company espouses and what you see demonstrated and rewarded. But the mind needs resolution. So, over time, you stop noticing when offensive language becomes the norm or you start to behave in ways that you would never have expected to be part of your repertoire.

Cultural numbness is where I have seen the most severe breakdowns in ethical leadership because it’s so hard to detect. Leaders who have crossed a line never describe this as a clear choice on that path but as wandering down a muddy road, where there they lost track of what was right and wrong. They describe a process where they became numb to others’ language and behavior and then to their own and lost their sense of objectivity. In essence, their warning bells simply stopped ringing.

So, start looking out for signs of moral capture:  those brief moments when you don’t recognize yourself and any other indications that you are subjecting your own personal agency to the deviant norms of the collective. Another regular gut-check you can use involves asking whether you would be comfortable telling a journalist or a judge about what’s going on.

At the same time, you can’t always trust yourself in these situations. As with omnipotence, it can help to get an outsider’s perspective, turning to a trusted friend or family member, who might be able to detect changes in you that you are not able to see. Also remember to regularly extract yourself from your organization to compare and contrast its culture with others and remind yourself that the rest of the world may not work the same way.

Justified neglect. The human mind is skilled at justifying minor incursions when there is a tangible reward at stake — and when the risk of getting caught is low.

On the production line of a pharmaceutical company, for example, a hurried lab assistant forgets to remove all of her makeup. A speck of mascara accidentally drops into a batch of medicine large enough to serve a mid-sized country for a year. For a brief moment, the miniscule impurity draws a thin, yellowish color trail, but then it is gone, impossible to detect. The medicine is life-saving and very valuable, with just a hint of makeup that’s probably harmless.

Would you report the incident? If you were a manager who was quietly asked what to do, would you destroy the batch?  Would you change your mind knowing that patients might suffer or even die from a serious production delay? Would your ballooning production budget and the tenuous financial situation of your company factor into your decision? Would you push the problem up to your superiors knowing that those with a greater stake in the outcome might turn a blind eye to the incident?

Many leaders have faced a choice between getting the reward or doing the right thing. The slippery slope starts right when you begin to rationalize actions and tell yourself and others, “This is an exceptional situation,” or “We have to bend the rules a little to get things done here,” or “We are here to make money, not to do charity.”

These initial slips cascade into more, which turn into habits you know are bad but which start to feel excusable and even acceptable, given the circumstances, and eventually, become part of your moral fabric. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when an important line is crossed, but it’s much easier to course-correct at the very start of the slippery slope than when you are gliding full speed away from what is right.

Remember that power corrodes more than it corrupts, often as a result of clever justifications of ethical neglect. You can combat this psychological dynamic by creating formal and social contracts that obligate both you and your colleagues to do right; rewarding ethical behavior; and defining and sharing your boundaries. The latter could be as simple as making a list of things you will not do for profit or pleasure, keeping it in a convenient place to read regularly, and occasionally showing it to your team as a reminder.

The reality is that, for many leaders, there is no true straight-and-narrow path to follow. You beat the path as you go. Therefore, ethical leadership relies a lot on your personal judgment. Because of this, the moral or ethical dilemmas you experience may feel solitary or taboo — struggles you don’t want to let your peers know about. It can sometimes feel shameful to admit that you feel torn or unsure about how to proceed. But you have to recognize that this is part of work life and should be addressed in a direct and open way.

Even though most companies have some cultural and structural checks and balances, including values statements, CSR guidelines, and even whistleblower functions, leaders must also be mindful of the psychological conditions that push people — including themselves — to cross ethical lines. Understanding the dangers of omnipotence, cultural numbness, and justified neglect are like installing the first few warning signs on the long road of your career. You will inevitably hit some bumps, but the more prepared you are to handle them, the likelier you are to keep your integrity intact.

McKinsey & Co.

The Culture Series...the alchemists’ next quest

The Culture Series:

...the alchemists’ next quest

Global M&A activity was strong in 2018, and it’s expected to remain healthy this year. As companies go forth and integrate, what do they need to know about successful mergers?

The biggie is culture. Leaders across industries know that the most challenging—and rewarding—aspect of an integration is merging two distinct cultures. Even so, leaders often don’t give it the attention it warrants. Some 95 percent of executives describe cultural fit as critical to the success of integration. Yet 25 percent cite lack of cohesion and alignment as the primary reason integration efforts fail.

Mark Heimbouch, the president of Worldpay Group, which successfully integrated with Vantiv in 2018, told McKinsey recently: “Frankly, I’ve never seen two companies that have the same culture. Companies work differently, people engage differently. Don’t underestimate the size of that challenge.”

Culture can be defined as the vision that drives a company; the values that guide its workforce; and the management practices, norms, and mind-sets that characterize how work gets done. To put it simply, culture is the soul of any business. When two cultures come together in a merger, a new one must be clearly defined by the C-suite and leadership team, and reinforced by middle managers, communications teams, IT departments, and so forth. And the faster the better.

So how do executives successfully avoid a culture clash?

First, ask yourself how each company makes decisions (centralized or decentralized)? How do they motivate their people (through financial or emotional incentives)? And how do they hold people accountable—individually or collectively? A holistic view uses a combination of diagnostic approaches, from management interviews to employee focus groups to surveys. Much like well-oiled business partnerships, the goals here are to generate a fact base about the existing cultures and to build a single common language around this understanding. Find the similarities, opportunities, and differences that could cause friction.

Once leaders understand the existing cultures they can begin to set priorities, including maximizing the value of the deal (such as moving to a higher-performance culture to achieve ambitious sales targets). After these coherent themes and initiatives have been identified, they can be plugged into the new company’s operating model and daily practices. The redesign of policies, processes, and governance models must reflect these important cultural aspects if change is to stick.

Companies often fall short when they try to realize their cultural aspirations during this third step. But if they track the implementation of themes and initiatives with the same rigor they use for financial targets, all will be well. And, as a bonus incentive, they should remember that treating M&A as a strategic capability can give their companies an edge that their peers will struggle to replicate.

McKinsey insights



CAP30 is an exclusive, client-centred development community for leaders of local businesses who are focused on scaling up during 2018, and for whom a tailored and flexible workplace-based approach works better than an MBA.

CAP30 is for businesses that are looking for faster, more reliable growth, and a robust strategy to support their business goals.
CAP30 delivers increased skills, confidence, business focus, and the opportunity to direct more of your time to the things that matter most to you.

If you are interested in finding out more about CAP30 please contact [email protected]

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Exploiting new technologies - Repurpose your governance

The World Economic Forum “The Global Risks Report 2017: 12th Edition” initiated a discussion on Emerging Technologies. It commenced with “The emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will inevitably transform the world in many ways – some that are desirable and others that are not” and went on to discuss the following twelve key emerging technologies.

WEF 12 emerging technologies

  • 3D printing
  • Advanced materials and nanomaterials
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics
  • Biotechnologies
  • Energy capture, storage and transmission
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger
  • Geoengineering
  • Ubiquitous linked sensors (IOT)
  • Neurotechnology
  • New computing technologies (quantum and biological computing, neural network processing)
  • Space technologies
  • Virtual and augmented realities

Whilst we may disagree with some of the perceived benefits or adverse consequences of the technologies that made the list, it is clear there are significant risks for all enterprises with the accelerating emergence of new technologies.

How to govern these emerging technologies is a complex question. Governance regimes need to be sufficiently robust without being constraining. As the report makes clear, the governance of emerging technologies is patchy, both from a regulatory point of view, where the legal profession just is not keeping pace, and commercially.

Emerging technologies exacerbate both global and enterprise-wide risks, but their potential benefits are also huge if managed correctly. To do this you’ll need to assess the risks and manage them. Independently test and, where needed, refresh your governance arrangements. The old accepted norms don’t give you the balance and agility required. They will either impede progress or expose you to unintended consequences. Be prepared to embrace new thinking and exploit emerging technologies better than your competition.

Cambridge Advisory Partners was founded to provide clients unfettered access to the type of innovative thinking only possible when you’re constantly observing and analysing how different worlds intersect and collide, and when you are informed by experience but energised by the future. CAP doesn’t provide “repeatable propositions” delivered en mass. Everything we do is re-imagined for your specific circumstances and delivered by Partners recognised for their relevant expertise.

2018 has to be the year to revolutionise your business. Be bold, stand out and lead from the front. Contact us to find out how we can help you realise this.

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Our year in review

For us, 2017 will forever be remembered as the year that Cambridge Advisory Partners was founded. A year of seriously hard work but rewarding in ways we could never have expected. The creation not just of an organisation, but the founding of a completely new way of working, embracing diversity because it makes us whole, exploring different because that’s where development thrives and creating collaborative systems that morph and evolve.

By February 2017, we had the nucleus of a vision. By March the leadership team was emerging and in May we were officially formed. The energy was immense and the team dynamics truly creative. We had a web site up and running within a month and, three months ahead of plan, we were delivering engagements. It can be honestly said that across three of the “Big 4” partnerships, nothing has been so exhilarating, so real and so meaningful.

By the start of September we had signed a lease on new office space and by the end we were delivering engagements in Cambridge and London for SMEs through to FTSE 100s. We were doing it through Specialists, experts in their own fields, each committed to giving practical, pragmatic advice that was always advancing through a commitment to continuous development. Not the “repeatable” propositions that are the domain of large scale consultancies, but tailored, partner led, targeted interventions that got to the heart of matters without delay.

In October the concept of “consultancy repurposed” was gathering pace and after our mid-year partner strategy review in November, we concluded that we needed to redevelop our website to deliver the full #ConsultancyRepurposed experience. The focus for December was developing our “capability” offer for earlier stage growth companies.

So, roll on January and 2018 for more momentous developments here at Cambridge Advisory Partners! If you want to be part of our journey then let us know!

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Balancing stress with Professional Management

A recent survey by The Chartered Management Institute identified that, for those individuals who had invested in professionalising their skills:

  • 93% had developed greater self-awareness which allowed them to connect more effectively with co-workers
  • 86% had heightened self-confidence
  • By making significant “better decisions” they delivered, on average, £362,176 in added value to their organisations

But what does investing in professional management mean?

Stress against performance graph

Professional management, or professional managers, covers many areas of people’s working lives. One such important area is stress, as a motivator and a detriment.

Too much stress can lead to a cataclysmic drop off in performance needing weeks if not months of recovery time. We also know that without enough stimulation, or background stress, performance suffers and motivation dips. It’s a fine balancing act to ensure that performance is optimised without risking overwhelming. As people are often an organisation’s most valuable asset, professional managers need to understand what drives this and which interventions to be apply.

Professional managers set goals and objectives to manage that balance. In setting goals that are achievable with the resource, skills and talent that exists, they also support the development of a company culture with employees’ values.

Stress and goals chart

When goals are set which can be delivered entirely within the control of a given individual, as long as they are sufficiently challenging, stress levels should remain low and objectives should be met. More often than not an objective requires team co-operation or enablement from another. In these cases, the objective may initially heighten stress but as the individual accepts and starts to act on the need for support, realising that it is coming, goals and objectives should be met without undue stress.

However, once it becomes clear that the goal cannot be met either alone or with others, problems start to arise. This is when it’s necessary to look at alternative options or to re-set goals and objectives. Decisions need to be made if the individual is to avoid the dreaded realm of overwhelmed.

These will range from recognising the impossibility of the situation and retreating from the environment, compromising on values to achieve the desired outcome, or struggling on attempting to succeed but knowing that failure is inevitable and recurring. Clearly, neither the second or third options are acceptable, and the first is only acceptable if there is a fundamental mismatch between the individual and the organisation, at both a capability and values level.

This is where professional management needs to step in. The professional manager will look to how individuals and teams can be supported, joined and enabled for success. No-one goes to work with the aim of doing a bad job. The professional manager will facilitate access to people or tools that can help. They will allow sacred cows to be challenged and support new ways of working.

Investing in professional management is to create more “Win Win” situations for both the employee and the company. And where this isn’t possible, to say “No Deal”.

To put your people first, come and talk to us today.

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A strong, stable and dynamic base

An U12 cricket squad and business. They’re more alike than you think. The success this season of this group of able, but not unnaturally talented, individuals can be attributed to the same skills and approaches used to consistently create successful businesses.

Cricket squad

This team has always been good. It has always performed well but it often lacked belief and consistency. Over the course of the last 12 months however, it has won every match it has played and, in the course of that, won both the winter indoor league and the main summer league. No mean achievement. So, what has brought about the change?

This team does not rely on just one or two players, it understands that mistakes happen. It accepts that no one makes them on purpose. It also knows that when something doesn’t go to plan, the player(s) concerned know it and feel it more than anyone and don’t need to be told they got it wrong or what they should have done. This team is supportive, understands it’s strengths and looks to execute against them. It also has fun and finds ways to enjoy the time it has together, exactly what a good business should do.

An experienced cricketing coach has a number of tools in their kitbag:

  • Instruct
  • Demonstrate
  • Analyse
  • Observe
  • Listen
  • Question (and discuss)
  • Silence

In the cricket team the balance of these tools has changed over time and, as players have taken greater personal responsibility for their own growth, results have improved.

As a consequence, the coach takes a facilitator’s role, creating an environment that allows the team to succeed, shape its own future and defines its ambition. The coach helps it go further, faster and more consistently. Effectively, using tools 4 - 7 much more.

So just as the team’s mantra of “strong, stable, dynamic base” works in junior cricket, so it will in business. Do you agree? Let us know!