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Consultancy Vs. Coaching - The right choice could save you money

So many people I speak to these days from business owners, MD's to senior leaders in SME's aren't clear around whether they need a consultant or a coach to help them to grow their business! This is mainly down to one or a combination of factors:

Not being clear on what a consultant or coach can do to help them Not being clear about specifiallcy what they need Sadly the consultancy/coaching firm are marketing or selling themselves in the wrong way. If the wrong one is chosen and the coach or consultant is happy to take your money, then this can end up costing the company £100's if not £1000's as they are two very different services!

So to help SME's who are looking to grow or scale their business and think they may need a coach or consultant I have detailed simple definitions below:

A Coach is to develop existing skills that are already there and more often than not this involves supporting around the mindset of the individual that is being coached, they also tend to be task/action based conversations. They would normally ask a lot of questions of the individual being coached rather than giving answers so that they learn and improve the skills that they have. A Consultant helps with filling a skill gap, so that they can complete actions or projects within a company to help it to grow. This is needed when individuals or teams within a company doesn't have the skill set to complete a project. So in conclusion if someone or a team of people don't currently have the skill set that is required to complete a project then don't hire a coach as you can't be developed in something that you don't currently have, it will waste money and probably will be quite annoying as a coach will be asking questions to individuals that they have no idea what the answer is!!


Top Tips to Improve Engagement and Performance across all KPI areas.

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How important are the words “How” and “Why”, the short answer is Very!

If someone or worse still a manager of a team doesn’t know “How” to implement something and also “Why”. This could be the difference between completing the project to the standard required or not! And also keeping to the standard required consistently across the team or having dips in performance.

Lets take a look..

Values - Do your team know “Why” they have them? “How” to demonstrate them? and on top of this do they relate to these values?

Performance - Does your team know “How” to sell to different customers? and “Why” this is important to them and the company from performing well or not

Risk - “Why” do certain risk procedures have to be followed and “How” should they be implemented to reduce or remove risk.

This rule will work across almost any KPI in a company.

Action - When you are looking to implement a new project with your team, remember to ask them “Why” it is important and “How” it should be implemented.


Top Tips for Organisation of Actions to support Engagement

Following on from my post two weeks ago, It is a common challenge that people have so many actions in their jobs, they don’t know how to organise themselves to either:

  1. Complete them within agreed timescale
  2. Ensure that they are completed to the required standard,

By trying to juggle a number of tasks could mean that none of them get completed to a good standard so they are completed within timescales.

ACTION Try this - Have an A B C list for your actions:

A List - Actions to be completed today/tomorrow B List - Actions that need to be completed within 1-2 weeks C List (Strategic) Actions that need to be completed with 1 -2 months

Ensure your specific with your action to make it manageable:

Don’t say - Admin Break it down to - Upload A-C of customer details, D-E and so on

Implement this with your team, coach them and follow up to ensure it is working


Top Tips for Engagement - Funeral Vs Ball Park

I recently heard a great analogy to say when an employee goes to work is it like going to a “Funeral” or a “Park

I’ll explain:


  • No buzz, very quiet, peoples heads always down
  • People’s eyes roll when their manager walks in the room
  • Lack of motivation/engagement
  • Notice boards which are out of date and just have company rules/laws

Ball Park:

  • Fun, exciting, you can feel the buzz when yo walk in the door
  • Balloons up from celebrating a recent birthday
  • Notice boards up to date sharing successes of individual and teams
  • People always will to help others

Which one of the above would you like to have??

Culture and engagement is whatever the people within the business want it to be. This can be a positive one or a negative one.

Two important factors:

Manager credibility:

  • Is the manager respected
  • Are they trusted If they don’t have any of these attributes then it is very difficult to “light the fire” within people to learn new things and believe in the vision

Does someone have the fire within

  • When you look into people’s eyes do you see the fire to learn or do you just see sand?


Top Tips for Engagement & Recruitment

Work load and people having sufficient time to action their tasks is key to the level of engagement

If people have too much work Vs the time available, will reduce engagement from loss in motivation. They will either not complete the tasks in time or complete them to a poor standard rushing to get them all completed

So its fair to say your “Staff Pipeline” process is key because:

  • If you don’t plan for people leaving then the work gets spread across the people who are left
  • Some managers may try to hold on to staff when they know they should be supporting them into a new role

What is the answer then…

  • Create a “Staff Pipeline” which records the risk level of staff member moving on and for what reason.
  • Ensure effective PDP’s are being completing and review these quarterly
  • Setup a mentoring scheme to coach potential candidates who could move into a role after someone has left.

Bottom line - If someone leaves, in order to replace the person who has left. The answer shouldn’t be: I will open a job post and see who applies!!

Recruitment can take months and you need to plan this to make sure you get the right candidate as quick as possible to put less strain on the remaining staff.