Saturday, 29 March 2014

Trust matters

I've been in India for a week talking about a number of issues, including skills development.  India is making a big investment in Sector Skills Councils to try to work with industry to identify and fill skills gaps. Unfortunately, this dialogue is not proving easy.  Industry is not used to being consulted and to participating and is wary of government agencies asking for 'partnership'.

There is a general lesson here - building trust takes time - and takes mutual respect.  Without it, however, true partnership is not possible.

So, if you are entering a new business relationship - or seeking a new agreement with your employees,,... take the time to weigh the 'trust balance'.  If it doesn't balance, something is wrong - and your venture/agreement might fail.  So, slow down, build (or rebuild) trust first - and then create the partnership - on firm foundations.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

No help, please

What help do you get from 'support agencies'?

I expect your answer to be something like 'very little'.

I understand that such agencies work with the best of intentions.  However my experience is that the good small companies and entrepreneurs do not need help; and the bad will not benefit from the help.

So the agencies would be better saving their (normally 'our' money as it derives from taxation) and governments would be better working on the infrastructure that supports business.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


Change can be threatening - and disruptive.

But, of course, if you don't change - you can face more serious threats.

So, accept it , plan for it - and control it.

As the Dalai Lama (I think) once said..

If you are in control of a situation, there is no need to worry.

However he went on to say...

If you are not in control of a situation, there is no point worrying.

But if you are not in control , you'd better start planning for the consequences of unplanned, uncontrolled change

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Trust them

How many people in this world do you trust?

My answer is 'All of them' until they suggest to me that they cannot be trusted.  If we start from a position of trust, we normally end up approaching discussions and negotiations in a positive and constructive frame of mind.

If you trust your employees, for example, then 'industrial relations' can also be positive and constructive. If you want them to help you improve the business, starting from a position of trust makes it easier.  One or two of them may let you down ... but that is not reason not to trust the majority.  if you treat good staff with suspicion because of one or two exceptional cases, you loser their respect sand cooperation.

Whatever the personal, ethical and social implications, adopting a stance of 'trust first' makes good business sense.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Do they have what they need?

Our office is quite small - a few desks ... and computers of course.  One of our members of staff is a graphic designer (amongst other things, for of course we cannot afford single-specialism staff) and this week I provided him with a graphics tablet.

He was slightly surprised - but very grateful. More importantly it transformed his ability to do (some parts of) his job.

It is good to be reminded of how important it is to:

(a) have the right tools and technology
(b) ensure we allow all our staff to use their talents to the full.

You should undertake the occasional review of how well you do these things.  If you can improve - only marginally - the performance of each member of staff with a small investment in equipment ... or time ... it will be worth it.  Try it!