Management skills – my range of services
Consultation visit – no charge
I will come to your place of business to get to know you, find out what’s going well and not so well and listen carefully to your ideas. I set no time limit on this and I make no charge. I then go away and prepare a crystal-clear proposal based on your requirements. It will outline what I will do for you, how I think we can address any management skills issues appropriately and how much it will cost. The proposal acts as a starter for ten in our further discussions.
Leaving A Business Legacy
I provide a lot of support to owner managers who wish to gradually exit from day-to-day involvement in their business and would like to see it continue as a healthy going concern. An increasingly popular route is via employee ownership, whereby they sell the business to the employees on e.g. a ten-year loan (“deferred consideration”), which is very tax-efficient from both standpoints. Where I come in is in educating the employees and future leaders in the commercial acumen and business skills they need to take the reins. There are significant cultural changes that need to happen to make sure the transition works. I facilitate these, and act as a Trustee to make sure the Directors in the new structure are accountable and that governance is sound.
More information is at http://employeeownership.co.uk/about-the-employee-ownership-association/
So, if succession planning or exit planning has been on your radar for a while and you would like a no-obligation chat to get things moving, I would love to hear from you.
Developing Your Organisation
Planning a change ? See the need for a shake-up but want to make sure it works ? Wondering what to do about your working culture ? I have coached over 300 clients in thinking through what they need to do. I’ve seen a few of them tumble into huge traps, and a great many others show how good they are. I can share these experiences and this insight with you in review and action planning meetings either one-to-one, with senior management teams or with dedicated project teams.
Through carefully-planned workshops and events, I facilitate discussions to agree what the values of the tean are, and the practical behaviours to support these values. I get key individuals to express their commitment to these. Beacause the values come from the words used by the team itself, they carry a great deal more weight than the normal values statements seen on the walls of many corporate offices.
I have successfully completed major projects to overhaul appraisal systems and introduce 360 degree feedback systems. I have adapted these methods to create simple, straightforward versions for smaller organisations.
With my experience of representative groups such as Works Councils, many clients have benefited from using me as independent facilitator when such groups meet either for the first time, when there’s a major change or when they are taking on a major cultural project.
Troubleshooting / Counselling
What a lot of my clients seem to appreciate particularly is my expertise when human relationships run into difficulties. Key people not talking to each other, conflict in the workplace, jealousies or “silo thinking”, these are all problems I have taken on gently but fearlessly, and with positive outcomes.
Testing The Culture
If your business proclaims its quality, service, excellence or being the best, you really should have a way of proving that you are at least moving in the right direction. To your clients and your employees, when thinking about how happy they are with you, reality is nothing; perception is everything. Before planning any change, get an independent specialist to gain real insight into what they are really thinking.
There are many ways to test perceptions, chief among which are one-to-ones, focus groups and questionnaires. We will agree in advance which combination of these is right for you and I will set up everything that is needed. The output is a report which we use as the basis for your culture change programme – with management skills training likely to be high on the agenda.
I am licensed to use a great bit of survey software that produces attractive, high-impact reports that really help management to decide on how they will respond. This puts the spotlight on the managers’ role in the process of follow-up improvements.
Team-building events and outdoor activities
When you’re trying to communicate an important message to your team, there’s no substitute for a get-together where people can speak up, get to know each other better and share views. Also, the importance of sharing a meal together is not to be underestimated. Arranging and facilitating one of these events involves more than you might think, so get an expert in.
Let me show you what can be achieved in just one day ! I am partnering with a really top class outdoor activities provider, so if you’re after a team awayday with added value that makes a big difference, I would love to talk to you.
I am a big believer in the power of laughter and physical activity, so I have a wide range of games and exercises which always generate a big buzz. I am expert at extracting the So What For Our Business from these when the time comes for the group to reflect on the point of these activities. The result is that no one leaves thinking that the event was Just A Jolly.
Management skills training
Being a leader; managing people. Not an aspect of the job that some people relish, but it is a skill that can be developed. The bespoke in-house learning events which I design, deliver and evaluate for you are aimed at creating a relaxed, non-threatening environment which acknowledges the experience and existing management skills of the participants. They are based on real issues that need to be fixed in the workplace, and focused on improving effectiveness.
If you are to motivate your people, you need to understand them, and if you are to understand others, you need to understand yourself. That is why I use a wide range of simple self-awareness questionnaires that act as eye-openers for managers to gain insight on :
- Leadership styles
- Working styles
- Career motivations
- Sources of authority
- Belbin team roles
- Learning styles
- Emotional intelligence
… and more
Developing Your People
I never expect anyone to come to me to be trained. Instead, I will listen carefully to what you need and design a series of bespoke learning workshops for you. You can have this delivered in house, and can be confident that it will be enjoyable, as my main belief with training is that it must be based on active fun. See my Training page for a list of topics. I also do one-to-one coaching.
I maintain a library of learning resources which acts as a toolbox we can dip into whenever appropriate.
Health and Wellbeing
You can find a full explanation at https://lancecross.co.uk/business-performance/health-and-wellbeing/. This is a framework/standard I am accredited to use to carry out an assessment of all the activities an organisation offers to promote health and wellbeing in its workforce. The output is a detailed report comparing these activities to best practice. It is very valuable in gaining insight so my clients can keep improving.
Investors in People – Gaining the Standard
This proven management framework is now recognised as a business ‘superbrand’. 15,300 organisations in the UK are accredited Investors in People with many more working with the Standard. Whether you choose to go for the Award or not, I will act as your no-nonsense guide as you follow the management disciplines the Standard sets out, focusing relentlessly on valuable insights and measurable gains for your business. I have a 100% record – as a result of my advice and guidance, every client has gone on to successful accreditation.
Investors in People – Maintaining the Standard
If you already have the award, you may be wondering what next ? The answer is plenty. Winning the award is an early stage of your journey, and I will help you decide what to do to keep up the momentum as your business continues to improve, and make sure your good practice doesn’t slip between award assessments.
Investors in People – Raising the Standard
There is so much more to Investors in People than the core Standard. The ‘Your Choice’ parts of the extended framework can be really illuminating if you want to be tested at a more advanced, more stretching level. This is a chance to gain further insight and grasp hold of the practical meaning of areas like developing values, working together, different approaches to training and setting meaningful objectives. If you are interested in Silver, Gold or Platinum accreditation, I have had a lot of success with helping clients to achieve this.
Mid-project review – no charge
Rather than press on with a set programme which was first agreed months ago, I will check with you that what I am doing for you still meets your needs. I recognise the need to keep talking, adapt to circumstances and to make sure the work (for example, on management skills) is going in the right direction for your business and having the desired effect. I will discuss with you successes and difficulties you are experiencing and make any necessary changes to the programme. I make no charge for this visit.