News | Aspirin Business Solutions

Key Capabilities for Business Leaders in 2017

June Newsletter 3A key difference between leaders and managers is their FOCUS.

Managers need to focus on getting activities done through their team, whilst leaders focus on providing direction, resources and connections.

The most successful business leaders ‘sniff out’ the trends – the forthcoming opportunities and challenges, to get ahead in their market.

A great resource for those trends is the annual survey provided by our business partners, Mindshop, who’ve surveyed over 120 business leaders and advisors globally to identify their thoughts on how to create success in the year ahead. The results reveal the key capabilities needed to create the breakthroughs to your success in 2017.

Click HERE to read the report & discover:

  • 10 key capabilities for success in 2017
  • Suggested strategies for success
  • How you rate for each of the ten capabilities

Should we Expand our Business?

June Newsletter 2

This short training video by Susannah Brade-Waring, demonstrates a tool you can facilitate with your team for a robust decision everyone can get behind.

Click Here: to watch this 4 minute video

A bold decision is not an easy decision – and there will be consequences. Making bold and sound decisions is one of the most important roles of a business leader.

A fact-based structured decision-making process, such as Cartesian Co-ordinates, works by drawing out the pros and cons of particular decisions – and can take just a few minutes to do.

Making a Global Difference Through Business

June Newsletter 1Searcher is the desire to make a difference & have a purposeful life. It’s the No. 1 motivator of Aspirin Business, and fulfilling this provides our team with focus, energy, resilience and happiness.

For the past 8 months, our ‘junior Aspirin’, Kyle Brade-Waring has been teaching English (as a volunteer) at a Malay school in Malaysia, through charity Project Trust.

Kyle had to raise a massive £6,200 for his training and costs, and is hugely grateful to contributions from our clients and suppliers, including JPS Landscape Design, IEC Limited, Motivational Maps, Dorset Digital Print and Aspirin Business.

Project Trust promote Global Citizenship – creating experiences for young people across our globe to benefit from learning together. As his family, Heath, Susannah and Tyler loved meeting Kyle’s Malay students, answering their questions and facilitating learning games. Project Trust was Aspirin Business’s chosen charity for 2016/17.

Like his students, Kyle lives at the junior science school, MRSM Tun Ghazali Shafie, in Kuala Lipis – surrounded by lush jungle, approximately 3.5 hours from the capital Kuala Lumpur. Kyle returns from teaching in late July, ready to start at Brighton University in the Autumn

What’s the Biggest Waste in Business? It’s Doing the Wrong Thing Well.

Teresa May General ElectionSo, on June 8th the UK goes to the polls. The calling of the election has garnered extreme reaction, being hailed as either the biggest piece of political cynicism in modern times or a bold and decisive decision!

Whatever your political persuasion, one of the hallmarks of a great leader (business or otherwise) is the ability to make informed & effective decisions.

Too many businesses have lost opportunities, staff, customers and ultimately competitive advantage because they either made the wrong decision at the wrong time, the right decision at the wrong time or not made a decision at all.

We can all identify a few key decisions that have completely changed our lives – for better or worse.  We ‘intellectually’ know the importance of decision making, and of making BOLD decisions if we’re committed to creating the outstanding products and service that will create clear blue water between ourselves and our competitors, and a highly profitable business that’s a great place to work.

So… ask yourself this question:  How do we make the key decisions in our business?

If we acknowledge the criticality of decision making, do we use a proven best practice methods to ensuring our decisions are both bold AND sound?

part of our role as business leaders is to CONSTANTLY keep up to date with the kind of information that gives us the ability to move quickly and appropriately

So how are you making your key decisions?  Through … intuition? Data analysis? Individually or collaboratively?  Emotionally? The latest thing you read? Internally or with external input?

Firstly it’s better to make a decision that none at all! Even if that decision is do nothing, e.g. “We will not expand our business during 2017”.  Former President of Ford Motor Company, Lee Lacocca, said:

“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there.

If we screw it up – start over. Try something else.  If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”

If you want to improve the success rate of your decisions, here are a few hints & tips, from your Trusted Business Advisors at Aspirin Business.

Information

You need to take time to gather FACTS to inform your decision – FACTS not just opinions. Even if you need to make the decision quickly, don’t sacrifice the strong foundation of the facts for time pressures. One challenge – part of our role as business leaders is to CONSTANTLY keep up to date with the kind of information that gives us the ability to move quickly and appropriately. If we don’t, then we run the risk of increasing the pressure on our critical thinking.

too many leaders make the wrong decision at the wrong time, the right decision at the wrong time or don’t make a decision at all

However, the opposite problem also occurs in that if we have so much information it is impossible to see ‘the wood for the trees’. This situation is called ‘analysis paralysis’ and can be a refuge for us in that we don’t have to make a decision because ‘we need more information’ but is also used as a tactic to delay decision-making in the company by others who want to delay change.

It’s vital to get the right facts AND the right amount of facts, then DECIDE!

People

Involving the right people is vital, but decisions by committee can be difficult and slow. Whilst it’s important to know what these views are, and why and how they are important, ultimately you will, as the leader of that business, have to take responsibility for the decision.

Garner views, take advantage of the experience of your team, talk to trusted experts outside your sphere of experience, and then MAKE YOUR DECISION.

Emotions

Often, even with the best intentions, our team can be very attached to the status quo – or a preferred decision. Anticipating our team’s reaction is vital so that we can work together to gain the benefits of the decision, rather than fighting to implement our decision effectively.  If you’re already using Motivational Maps, you’ll be at a significant advantage in managing this change successfully.

Sometimes it feels impossible to make a decision because we’re not sufficiently invested either way – put simply ‘we can’t decide’.  This is where having a fact-based structured decision-making process, such as Cartesian Co-ordinates, works by itemising the pros and cons of particular decisions.

 

 

A bold decision is not an easy decision – and there will be consequences.   As a leader, making bold and sound decisions is one of the most important roles of a business leader.  Indecision is not an option because, as we say here at Aspirin Business “If you don’t choose, you’ve actually made a choice not to act!” – and that too has consequences.

Stop & Think!  What questions are either at the forefront of your mind and occupying your thoughts or at the back of your mind but with that nagging voice that won’t be silent?

If you want to talk to us in confidence about a bold decision you’re considering that could create that clear blue water you need to get ahead, then get in touch.  We have the tools & the experience, as both business leaders and Trusted Business Advisors, to help!

Call Paul on 07818 566 935

Call Sue on 07838 039 651

The Secret Source

Collective 1

This issue focuses on productivity, which is measured by ‘outputs’.  But outputs rely on the right inputs as well as how you ‘process’ those. One of the critical inputs is motivation, that ‘secret source’ that keeps energy & well-being levels high.

As you know, Aspirin Business are experts in diagnosing and increasing motivation. For example, our Paul Kinvig is motivated by Searcher and Creator – making a difference and innovation, and his ‘secret source’ is singing & performing.  Paul says, “There’s no doubt that being able to do the things I love outside of work, adds to my drive and energy levels IN work.  Being able to satisfy those motivators really does release more of that into what we do with our clients!”

As a leader & manager, part of driving productivity is to understand your own and your teams ‘secret source’ and foster it. You have a much greater chance of improving performance & productivity when energy & motivation levels are high……

Paul’s performing on April 6th, as part of The Collective, with songs by Prince at Canvas Loft Bar in Bournemouth. The group are also raising money for charity which satisfies Paul’s Searcher motivator.

To see Paul exhibiting his Creator & Searcher motivators (with a little bit of Star thrown in) click on the links below:

https://www.facebook.com/TheCollectiveDorset/

http://www.eliteticket.co.uk/portfolio/prince/

Improving Productivity

Productivity 2In the recent budget, the Chancellor once again highlighted productivity as a key focal point for the UK economy. The UK lags significantly behind the US in terms of productivity and our performance has not fundamentally shifted since 2008. This puts a significant strain our ability to compete.  In the words of Philip Hammond it remains:

stubbornly low…… we are 35% behind Germany and 18% behind the G7 average.”

But why? The case for the benefits of increasing productivity has been well made over decades in terms of improved profitability, time saving, customer retention & innovation and on a national level helping to improve wages & living standards….but it still won’t move! What’s wrong?

Well productivity at its base level is defined, in Harvard Business Review, as

Equation

 

 

 

And a significant part of the problem is to see it just in those cold terms of units of inputs and output.

Now it’s true that productivity measures often include output per hour, output per job and output per worker. However, it’s the right people allied to the right processes, doing the right things in the right time that deliver productivity growth……and people don’t act like processes!

Maybe to drive productivity and make it stick we should be looking at productivity in a more rounded manner – rather than just a set of numbers.

As a leader and manager, to paraphrase Peter Drucker, we “lead the people & manage the process” and productivity is a key measurement for the successful leader & manager. So in order to drive the discretionary effort which is so vital to productivity, we need to be the leader that our teams want to follow – rather than the boss they work for!

It’s our responsibility to instigate the correct mix of leading and motivating our teams with processes that deliver the established goals more quickly and cost effectively, using technology to automate where possible. It’s more than just getting our staff to work harder & longer!

But with an end game of what? Well the European Foundation For Quality Management (EFQM) in its Business Excellence Model postulates that the single biggest emphasis on driving excellence should be……customer results.

Process or people that improve an output metric, but do not drive customer satisfaction and growth, will never deliver sustainable productivity benefits. That road is littered with businesses who in their drive to improve the numbers, lost their people & their customers

So if we are going to really drive for sustainable productivity growth in our businesses & organisations it’s imperative we:

  • Put improving customer results at the heart of our productivity improvement plan. Remembering people don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it, and this includes our teams.
  • Regularly update our key business objectives and priorities to keep everyone focused on the key activities that will deliver these results.
  • Engage our teams in sourcing and implementing technology which enables them to deliver their work in less time, and frees them up to achieve more.
  • Engage and train our teams to identify ways to drive down costs & reduce waste (including overproduction, defects and waiting time) whilst ADDING to the customer experience.
  • Create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement based on ‘fail fast, learn fast & pivot’.
  • See your team as critical to the feedback loop of ‘Is this working?’ and involve them in continuous improvement, with goals and rewards.

You’ll notice this focuses on people to drive the increase in productivity.  It’s our people who create (or undermine) customer results, business processes and innovation.  If we are going to increase productivity, and therefore competitive advantage, then we have to start thinking as much about people inputs and not just capital, labour and material inputsthe inputs our people receive in terms of communication, focus, involvement, motivation, purpose, support and wellbeing.  If you want to see an improvement in the outputs, concentrate on the people inputs!

 

Aspirin Business Academy – a very ‘productive’ day for business leaders

Academy Photo“If you want to see tangible improvements in productivity, profitability, innovation and customer service then focus on creating conditions for employees to be engaged & motivated.”

That was the call to action at Aspirins’ first Business Leaders Academy of 2017, attended by senior business leaders and managers from a wide range of organisations, including DNPR, ESET, IEC Engineering, Quest Guardians, Volsen and Waitrose.

 

ONS figures for 2015 showed productivity at 18 percentage points lower than the rest of the G7 group of leading economies and 30 percentage points lower than the US.

However, attendees heard how research across the globe proved that organisations with high employee engagement & motivation levels regularly outperform those which don’t in this vital area of business – by a similar figure of 18%!

They also see improved performance in profitability, quality, safety & customer satisfaction.

Mark Potter, Operations Manager at Waitrose, fed back

Thanks for a brilliant morning. The content was good and challenging to the mind set – but most of all, it was great to network with external companies and like-minded people.

‘Motivated Performance’ defined as “How business leaders engage & motivate their people for mutual success & exceptional performance” was the core message of the Academy, which focused on understanding how to create Motivated Performance and what gets in its way.

After exchanging their views and experiences of performance management and the effectiveness of performance reviews participants watched a live interview on stress in the workplace with Stress Management Practitioner, Paula Thompson of Stress Right, before being challenged to reflect on four areas: How engaging are your managers? How clear and engaging is your company’s story? How listened to are your employees & how well do you ‘walk your talk’?

The Academy was hosted at the beautiful Wimborne offices of Lester Brunt Wealth Management.  Principal, Martin Brunt, reflected

We recognise the value of engaged & motivated employees – in a fast changing and competitive environment it’s people that make the real difference to business success. It was fascinating & inspiring to hear how Motivated Performance is key in this area.

Aspirin Business’s network of clients across the UK also includes Aster Property, Darren Northeast PR, Diverse Abilities, John Lewis Partnership, Shire Leasing, Volsen, Waitrose & many more.

 

Aspirin Business – Experts in Focus, Motivation & Performance

As business growth facilitators and coaches, we work with ambitious and successful business leaders with big hearts, who want to create more business and personal success for themselves and their teams.

With backgrounds as business leaders, our approach blends high-level strategy with day to day operations – integrating people and process to create long-term repeatable results.

 

Managing Millennials – a ‘Must Have’ Capability

‘Lazy’, ‘selfish’, ‘demanding’ – all labels attributed to Millennials.

Millennials will form 75% of our workforce in just 8 years’ time, accordingly to Deloitte.  ‘Managing Millennials’ was rated the number 1 ‘Must Have’ capability for business leaders in 2017, in a survey conducted by Mindshop. However, many managers feel at a loss to understand how to get the best from them without constant attention, and to truly engage them in their organisations.

  • Millennials (aka Generation Y and Gen ‘Me’) were born between 1980 and 1994 – which makes them 21-36 years old.
  • They are preceded by Gen X (aged 37 – 52), and the Baby Boomers (aged 53 – 70).

Each generation is influenced by the parental, social and technological environment they grew up in.

Managing Millennials – the number 1 ‘Must Have’ capability for business leaders in 2017 (Mindshop).

Millennials have grown up to be tech-savvy, open-minded, creative and flexible with a strong sense of social responsibility.  This is a generation who are told you can be and have anything you want, who get instant dopamine highs through social media, downloadable films, online gaming and next day delivery. Information, entertainment and even friends are just a few clicks away.  By contrast – school league tables, counting ‘likes’ on social media and airbrushed/ cosmetically perfected celebrities have, perhaps, created our most pressured generation.  This is a generation which has a marked increase in anxiety, depression and suicides.  It’s a generation who are still finding their feet, trying to look and feel successful, whilst being unable to get on the housing ladder.

When they enter the workplace, Millennials tend to look for instant achievement, visible and regular approval and rewards, to work with friends and move on when they’re bored or something better comes along.  But our workplaces are usually operated by Gen X and Baby Boomers.  Gen X are recognised as the most self-reliant generation, whereas Millennials are seen as the most demanding (Cascade HR Study).  As a result, delivering our day jobs is expected as standard by employers, and there are no 100% attendance awards. This contrast can leave Millennials, and their employers, frustrated and demotivated.

As employers it’s worth remembering that people join organisations and leave managers.

Employee engagement, coaching and mentoring have made a real difference in understanding how to get the best from Millennials at work.  For example, many employers have already learned to give feedback more regularly, to ensure each employee understands how their work contributes to their organisations’ success and to shape job roles around individual talents.  They’ve learned to provide more mentoring to teach life and work skills, such as creating trust, building relationships, patience, perseverance and to consider matters from others’ points of view.  They’ve also learned to create more work/ life balance, part-time work and job sharing and to integrate technology and working from home.

An ongoing challenge is employee retention, particularly for Baby Boomer employers.  Their generation believed in a job (and a relationship) for life. Therefore job development was often limited to specific roles and opportunities within their organisation.  By contrast, Millennials are used to change personally and professionally.  They look for development and jobs that will further them and their careers generally – emphasised through portable qualifications, personal pensions and online CVs (such as LinkedIn).  Millennials expect to enjoy their jobs and their personal lives.  Long-service with high performance will result from employees being engaged with – and not committed to – their work, on an ongoing basis.

As employers, if we are to truly engage Millennials, we need to:

  • balance our short-term focus on the numbers with long-term nurture and development of them as individuals (and not just as our employees),
  • teach them how to balance the use of technology and working from home, with the deep satisfaction of achieving as a team – of co-operating, trusting and working through problems together,
  • provide clarity, focus and support,
  • communicate our values and demonstrate our integrity by matching our actions and, perhaps most challenging of all,
  • believe that this generation holds the answers to our organisations’ continued success – not by following in our footsteps, but in creating their own in a digital, global and fast changing landscape that we haven’t encountered before.

As employers it’s worth remembering that people join organisations and leave managers.

Management is no longer focused primarily on the management of tasks and processes, of maintaining efficiency and getting things done.  It now includes the engagement of employees – of all generations, and managing change.  Managing processes AND people successfully can be a tricky combination, and one we help our clients with every day.

Aspirin Business’s UK Network Expands

Jason Langford-Brown (Lucid), Susannah Brade-Waring (Aspirin), Stef Langford-Brown (Lucid)

Dorset based Aspirin Business continues to go from strength to strength adding to their 30-strong network of Motivational Map Practitioners across the UK.

The Lucid Group, based in Birmingham, became the latest organisation to be accredited in using Motivational Maps. Lucid help clients in areas such as change management, strategic planning, marketing & sales improvement.

‘Motivational Maps’ are unique in their simplicity, application and usefulness, identifying and measuring motivation and enabling employee engagement.

Aspirin Business are 1 of only 7 Senior Practitioners in the world and work closely with the Dorset based creator of Motivational Maps, James Sale, on further development of Mapping tools.

Steff Langford Brown of The Lucid Group was full of praise for the Aspirin accreditation. She said “Using Motivational Maps, we are able to add extra depth to client profiling, offering them an invaluable tool to enhance Team and Individual Development. We chose the 1-2-1 Accreditation option, which enabled us to really focus on how we’d use Motivational Maps within our business.

Sue Brade-Waring, MD of Aspirin Business added,
The Lucid Group were already very knowledgeable in motivation and using psychometric profiling to facilitate change. Becoming Accredited Motivational Map Practitioners enables them to incorporate a world-class transformational tool, alongside the latest thinking in motivation, into their programs.

Aspirin Business’s network of clients across the UK also includes Aster Property, Darren Northeast PR, Diverse Abilities, John Lewis, Shire Leasing, Volsen, Waitrose & many more.

Douch Family Funeral Directors Re-engage Aspirin Business

Douch Press release 30-1

Dorset-based Aspirin Business were recently re-engaged by Douch Family Funeral Directors – a family owned & run Funeral Directors with 8 branches across Dorset.

Aspirin Business will work with and support the company in areas such as business strategy review, innovation & performance improvement, branch manager development.

This will be the third year that Aspirin Business have been a ‘Strategic Partner’ with Douch. In previous years, Aspirin Business have supported the company in areas such as strategy, customer service, leadership and motivation (including accrediting a senior Douch employee as a Motivational Map practitioner.)

Susannah Brade-Waring, Managing Director, of Aspirin Business commented, “It’s a privilege to work with Nick, Jonathan & the whole team at Douch. Their dedication is inspiring, and we love helping them provide outstanding service to the communities they operate in, by ensuring they have a clear strategy, which is translated into everyday practice through their strong and motivated teams.”

Aspirin Business’s ‘Strategic Partnership’ with Douch has seen group workshops, individual coaching, training sessions on innovative business tools and practices and regular review sessions take place to help the directors & staff achieve clearly defined business goals.

Jonathan Stretch, Operations Director for Douch said,
“Aspirin Business have brought to us not only expertise in key business areas but also their ability to engage with people at a level that is right for them. We have seen real change within our business & staff and we work so closely with them we consider them to be a part of the Douch family!.”

 

About Aspirin Business Solutions

As experts in focus, motivation and performance, we specialise in supporting ambitious and successful business leaders with big hearts, who want to create more business and personal success for themselves and their teams.

With backgrounds as business leaders, our approach blends high-level strategy with day to day operations – integrating people and process to create long-term repeatable results.

Team Contacts

Sue Brade-Waring 07838039651 – sue@aspirinbusiness.com
Paul Kinvig – 07818566935 paul@aspirinbusiness.com
Press contact Heath Waring 07727 284592 heath@aspirinbusiness.com