Tips, News & Views / 130 posts found

UK Government Gets on the Responsible Capitalism Bandwagon

by Iyas A
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It is good to see the government making noises about the role of values in the companies which it buys goods and services from (http://bsb.tips/ukgovtvalues). Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington said that the government will “extend the requirements of the Social Value Act to ensure all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value where appropriate, rather than just ‘consider’ it. By doing so, we will ensure that contracts are awarded on the basis of more than just…

Great processes don’t remove the need to have great people

by Iyas A
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“Turn it into a process”. Most businesses I work with are either doing this, or live in shame because they’re not! I enjoyed Sam Carpenter’s Work the System. Along with The E-myth, it creates a compelling case for proceduralising what your business does. Rightly so. But the key justification I hear leaders cite for process is that it replaces the need to have great people. “If we have great processes” the logic goes, “we can create quality work without having…

Leaders – pause before launching your team at your latest idea

by Iyas A
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More crucial than knowing which things to focus on is absolute clarity about what to not do altogether. Because those “not quite as important” things will block out your time, energy and focus, and prevent you giving those to the things that count. And that wastage gets amplified exponentially when you’re a leader. Those “wouldn’t it be great if …”, or “our competitor is doing …”, or “Simon Sinek says we should…” ideas…

Culture radiates to all your business relationships

by Iyas A
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There was no greater testament to me of the culture we built than the near-annual London to Paris or Amsterdam bike rides that we organised. Every year, a group of us from the ultra-fit semi-pros, to the overweight, unfit, anything-but-pros (i.e. me) would do the 3 day cycle to raise money, mostly for Hope and Play, the charity I co-founded. And it was always a blast, with memorable moments galore. In my books, a positive company is one that contributes to its team, owners, clients, community and…

Good people sometimes do bad things

by Iyas A
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Sadly, I all too often see criticism at work focus on the individual rather than their actions. While we contextualise our own actions, we generalise everyone else’s. For example, I was late because my train was delayed, but you were late because you’re disorganised and don’t build in contingency. Or my report wasn’t 100% because I’ve got a lot on, but yours sucks because you have bad attention to detail. Take that tendency to criticise the individual, and place it…

Founders – your team aren’t all entrepreneurs. And that’s a good thing.

by Iyas A
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A common story I find when working with founders is frustration with the managers that they appoint into their business. Not responsive enough. Not thinking big enough. Not hungry enough. I always need to remind them that this is why *they* are founders, and their team isn’t. Typical founder traits are both a strength and a weakness. If your whole company chases the latest shiny thing, stops what it’s going to return every call within minutes, creates new visions, then your company would…

Business is not a spreadsheet

by Iyas A
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I’ve worked in places where making the numbers right on a spreadsheet meant playing with people’s lives. I’ve also worked in places where supporting people’s lives made the numbers right on the spreadsheet. If you run a business, it’s your choice which way you want to go. It’s your choice what you make the priority. But I’ve always found that putting people first is not only the more human way to run a business, but also the only sustainable one.

Don’t let your clients’ lack of ethics or inefficiency endanger your business

by Iyas A
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Cash flow, revenue, sales. These are the oxygen for our businesses. They’re not what creates the value, but we’d be unable to create value without them. Which is why it’s infuriating to see small businesses often left at the mercy of late paying larger customers. Recent surveys by the Small Business Insights Index and Xero found that half of small businesses operate in the red, and that “on average 30-day invoices [from large to small firms] were paid after 46 days”.…

Promotion into Management isn’t always the best thing for your stars

by Iyas A
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When you promote within your team, bear in mind that different jobs are suited to different personalities, and don’t expect your promoted star to instantly become a star manager. Sure, sometimes it happens. But the best salesperson doesn’t automatically become a great sales manager. The greatest developer doesn’t instantly become a great team lead. And it’s not their fault. The skills to manage or lead a team are very different from those for doing the work within that team.…

Your company can only contribute sustainably if it is profitable

by Iyas A
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When discussions with my clients turns towards the contribution their company makes to their community or environment, I obsess that they need to be reliably profitable. Especially if their contribution is philanthropic. I’m a governor at my kids’ primary school. I was astonished how many children struggle to do their best simply because their families don’t have the means to give them breakfast. In 2018, in the UK. This impacts their day, and over time, their whole outcome from school. So…