Motivation: Stick? Carrot? Or is there a third option?

May 1, 2018

As a former Finance Director I bring an unusual insight into motivation. In my quest to build a strong and highly profitable business, I loved direction, clarity, structure and processes. We’d become ISO accredited in Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety, and had excellent Business Operating Systems. But even I eventually realised that authority, financial controls, stick and carrot only get you so far. I found ourselves creating more processes to catch out the people who weren’t complying – before realising I just need to understand why.

Wasn’t it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results?

‘Why?’ is intangible and open ended. It might open up questions and thoughts that we don’t want to explore. It’s not as simple and clear cut as a nice process. BUT, if you are committed to significantly improve business performance, we need to move beyond authority, processes and control. And by ‘we’, I also mean ‘you’. This is not a challenge we can leave at HR’s door.

In a world that’s focused on productivity, it feels crazy to leave untapped ability on the table. The UK is 20% behind the rest of the G7 countries in terms of productivity, which simply means it costs more to do business in the UK. It means there less money in the UK economy for wages, innovation and the NHS. And yet, 64% of people say they have more to offer in their skills and talent than they’re currently being asked to use or demonstrate. That’s 20 million workers. (According to Engage for Success.)

And whilst motivation is not as definitive as a nice process – but it’s a far better way to do business, especially with today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment and complex demographics.

So how do we motivate people?  Read more

Added ValueU for Aspirin Business’s Motivational Mapping Family

February 27, 2018

International coach and engagement specialist Sonia Gavira, of valueU, has successfully completed her training to become a Business Practitioner of Motivational Maps, with Aspirin Business.  This enables Sonia to license and train fellow coaches and consultants, which she’s already started.

Sonia was introduced to Motivational Maps by Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director of Aspirin Business and a Senior Practitioner with Motivational Maps.  Susannah explained, “Tools can provide excellent insights for coaches and their clients, and there are many to choose from.  Motivational Maps always seem to ‘hit’ the spot with both coaches and clients – with many coaches finding themselves re-energised by the refreshing style and insights provided by this ISO accredited diagnostic.

Sonia’s trained to be a Licensed Practitioner with Maps first, which we always encourage.  She’s then trained to become a Business Practitioner, further developing her expertise in motivation and co-delivering accreditations with me.  Her enthusiasm and collaborative workstyle are highly motivating, and she’s a great asset to Aspirin’s family of Motivational Map Practitioners.”

Sonia said, “Having worked around the globe in leadership development and engagement projects, I am accredited in many tools. However, having tried Motivational Maps myself and with clients, looking to improve both their personal and business performance, I’ve been impressed.

My clients and I find Motivational Maps provide an accurate window on the motivation of leaders, their teams and their organisations.  They tell you where you get your energy from and what will suck the energy right out of you.  They encourage and enable you to take action.  I’ve already started to train fellow coaches and consultants around the globe, and I know that Motivational Maps will enable them to make an even bigger difference to their clients, and maybe even to themselves.”

Why Top Talent Leave Great Organisations – Susannah’s Story

February 12, 2018

Retaining top talent is a key metric for successful businesses, and for good reason. As a leader, you might not be able to stop your top talent leaving, but my story might help understand some of the motivation behind it.

I’m in the business of transforming lives – the lives of employees, managers and HR professionals. The ability to make such an obvious difference is a privilege but, of course, it wasn’t always like that.

You see … I used to be a Finance Director of a technology business. It was a different way of making a difference, ensuring the business survived and thrived financially and commercially. There was little focus on the emotional health of the business amongst the compliance, legislation and technical standards. And that’s not to say we didn’t care. We did. We were awarded and commended for Investors In People, but we didn’t leverage our care, and left so much potential untapped. That made it harder for everyone, and left me unsatisfied.

In my free time, I received a Distinction for Personal Performance Coaching and read a small library of leadership, management and business books. I applied what I could and, after a successful Management Buy Out of our company, I set up my own business.

Ten years on, our business is thriving. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the best. We choose what we do and who we do it for. The failures and challenges are entirely our responsibility to manage, and the successes are ours to savour and share. We work with ambitious and big-hearted leaders and HR Professionals, in organisations of all sizes. Our clients include Merlin Entertainments, Waitrose, family businesses and independent coaches. Most are award-winning and all care deeply about both their customers and their team members.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the best.

Fundamental to our success has been finding a fantastic product –

Motivational Maps (created by James Sale). In pragmatic terms, this product leverages our most precious resource – time. In emotional terms, it leverages the value we add for our clients because it resonates so deeply and quickly. In business terms, it allows us to be passionate about what we do, love who we work with and have a successful business.

Also fundamental to our success is the need to be customer-centric. We’re not a huge brand with a huge marketing budget that can persuade people they need us. Nor do we provide must-have products and services – like accounting. Instead we have to be aware of our customers’ needs, wants and the challenges and opportunities they’re likely to face – often before they are. We have to deliver both welcome and unwelcome feedback, and so our ability to demonstrate credibility, build trust and long-term relationships is essential. In short – we’ve never worked harder, more innovatively, for longer hours. And we’ve never been as deeply satisfied.

In short – we’ve never worked harder, more innovatively, for longer hours.

And we’ve never been as deeply satisfied.

This life keeps us on our toes, and the ‘game’ never gets boring. It also provides so many examples we can share with our clients and their employees. And that’s one of the ways we transform lives – by walking our talk, by demonstrating it’s possible and by inspiring others to believe in themselves, challenging them, laughing with them and sometimes crying with them. Transforming lives, transforming businesses, transforming communities.

Aspirin & Merlin Cast a Spell on Engagement

January 30, 2018

Dorset based Aspirin Business, experts in employee engagement, are thrilled to have been engaged by Merlin Entertainments to support their strategy in raising employee engagement across their sites around the world.

Merlin Entertainments is the largest entertainments company operating in Europe. It runs 117 attractions across 24 countries in 4 continents. Their passion is putting smiles on people’s faces and giving customers memorable experiences….in simple terms they love what they do!

Aspirin Business define Employee Engagement as “the intellectual, emotional & physical commitment to deliver high performance for mutual success”. Organisations that have high employee engagement levels regularly outperform those which don’t across a number of metrics including profitability, productivity, quality, safety & customer satisfaction.

Committed to being the best company to work for in their industry, Merlin see employee engagement as a fundamental part of their people strategy ensuring their continued success around the globe.

Emma James, Group Employee Engagement Manager at Merlin commented on working with Aspirin, “Aspirin Business have made this experience a really enjoyable one – supporting us in our strategy and the development of our engagement training programme – I would highly recommend them.” 

Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director of Aspirin Business added, “Merlin are a great fit for Aspirin, as we work with ambitious and big-hearted leaders and organisations. We understand the challenge of embedding employee engagement into the daily activities of leadership and management, and enjoy creating pragmatic ways to approach this.”

Aspirin Business network of clients across the UK also includes Douch Family Funerals, ESET, Knill James Chartered Accountants, Lester Brunt Wealth Management, Shine Dental, Shire Leasing and Waitrose.

Are you a Leader People Want to Follow?

November 25, 2016

As a business leader, the ability to engage your team’s hearts and minds is the difference between:

  • enjoying your work and struggling,
  • a united force and a divided mass,
  • success and failure.

Read more

Your Weekly Aspirin: Scenario Planning – The Business World in 2025

November 4, 2016

Yesterday, with our peer group of top UK Business Advisors, we reviewed the capabilities we’d need in 2025! No one knows what the world will look like – especially in terms of technology, in 2025. Sounds bold – but in 2000 could you have predicted where we are now, especially in terms of smartphones, apps and the cloud? Read more