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Managers will have to handle uncertainty post Brexit

05 Jul
July 5, 2016

Susy Roberts, 6th July 2016

It’s a good thing the British have a steely resolve for remaining unflustered and carrying on during a crisis. We’ll need that more than ever in the coming months. Not only don’t we know how we’ll continue to trade with Europe and the rest of the world, nor how long the pound, FTSE and cost of living will take to recover, but we don’t yet know who the next Prime Minister will be, nor whether Scotland and Northern Ireland will use the result to break with the UK.

The only thing certain about Brexit is just how uncertain everything is. The upshot of which is that now, more than ever, managers, and leaders, need to be able to develop the key skill of managing ambiguity, so that they can continue to take steps forward, without yet knowing what the end destination might be.

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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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