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Why Johnson is no longer the ‘heir apparent’

28 Jun
June 28, 2016

Susy Roberts, 28th June 2016


When David Cameron announced his decision to step down before the last election, I predicted just how difficult it would be for him to fend off his potential successors once he named them, in how not to run a succession plan.

Not only did Boris Johnson, his biggest opponent, seize the first opportunity that came along to topple him (turning the referendum into a ‘schoolboy scrap’ for the Tory leadership), but Theresa May’s support remained unforthcoming throughout the campaign.

George Osborne, whilst seemingly in support of the PM, argued so strongly for a Remain vote – threatening anyone who wanted to leave with a ‘punishment budget’ – that he ended up doing more to deter voters than he did to win the day.

Unfortunately for Boris, even though the result is that a teary-eyed Cameron was forced to announce his resignation, just one year after winning a confident majority, the immediate and severe economic fallout means any plans to move into number 10 are now far from certain.

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Six things teams can learn from music

20 Jun
June 20, 2016

Susy Roberts, 20th June 2016


Having just incorporated another teambuilding session into one of our workshops by the wonderful Creative Team Events, it never ceases to amaze me just how effective music is at getting business professionals to do things they resist back in the office – from really listening to each other to allowing their creativity and intuition to take over.

So much so that I thought I’d share my top six things business can learn from music.

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What are people judging you on?

02 Jun
June 2, 2016

Susy Roberts, 2nd June 2016


It’s always good when a Harvard psychologist publishes research proving something you’ve intuitively known to be true for years.

According to associate professor Amy Cuddy, people not only judge you within seconds when they first meet you, but they don’t really pay any attention to what you can offer until deciding whether or not they can trust you.

Even though this affects every aspect of our life, from our ability to attract friends and opportunities, to our career progression, most of us give little or no thought to our personal brand outside of our physical appearance.

Of course how we look is important, we wouldn’t have a youth-obsessed culture and multi-trillion beauty industry if it wasn’t, but your personal brand is so much more than this. It’s the essence of you, the unique traits that make you special.

So how can you go about uncovering your brand essence and using that to create the life you want? Not least when you’ve only got seconds before someone else forms an opinion of you and it typically takes another 19 interactions to change someone’s first impression of you!

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Why Philip Green failed as a leader

06 May
May 6, 2016

Susy Roberts, 6th May 2016


As taxpayers find themselves liable for BHS’s £571 million pension fund deficit, questions are being asked about Philip Green’s leadership of the company.

Not only did he pay himself and his wife £358 million in dividends, while the pension fund swung from a health surplus to a deficit, but the Financial Times has discovered that by charging the store costly administrative fees and rent for properties sold to his wife, the cash extracted actually amounts to £1.2bn.

Unfortunately, as Green takes possession of his latest £100 million pound yacht and the public calls for him to be stripped of his knighthood, he’s become just one more individual on a very long list of people who’ve put personal gain ahead of the fortunes of the company and people they were entrusted to lead.  There appears to be no evidence of values based leadership.

So what can we do? If we don’t want to have any more pension deficits, cheating on car emissions, telephone hacking by journalists, bribes being accepted by sports officials, not to mention unethical behaviour by bankers, there’s one clear thing we could and should be doing differently…

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Is the Chancellor right to give up on UK productivity?

17 Mar
March 17, 2016

Susy Roberts, 17th March 2016


In this week’s Budget, the Chancellor George Osborne paved the way for further austerity measures when he gave up believing Britain’s poor productivity could be turned around and officially downgraded the UK’s productivity growth predictions.

Giving up on productivity so soon is a disaster. Not least because UK workers have already become so unproductive that we already produce 30% less per hour than workers in France, Germany and the US.

Workers in those nations could take every Friday off and they’d still achieve more in the working week than we do in the UK. So what’s the solution?

Although there are fundamental issues around investment in new technologies and education, economists estimate that poor management accounts for as much as a quarter of the gap in productivity between us and our main rivals 1.

Given that we already have high employment and work the longest hours in Europe, some organisations are simply not getting the best out of employees or directing their efforts in the right way. But while the government’s given up trying to find a solution, if this is an issue for you, there are three proven tactics you can adopt right now to boost productivity within your organisation.

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