Monday, 25 February 2013

Of Castleward Country Park - all in green

I was at Castleward Country Park yesterday with Mrs P pursuing our latest mutual hobby of mountain biking. It was a glorious sunny day. The park was virtually empty and we had the cycle tracks all to ourselves.
The countryside looked so green that her ladyship was stopping to photograph fields every minute that looked even greener than the last photographed set of fields moments earlier. "My parents in Moscow wont believe how green everything is" she kept saying convinced they'd think it was a problem with the camera.
But she was right. It was beginning to get so green even I didn't believe not only the photos but my own eyes.
So how's the weekend been? Green. Very green.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Of DISC at Work

We're rolling out DISC profiling in the organisation at the moment.
When I first took a DISC test I did so with a certain amount of scepticism. When the results came through yes I recognised myself but only like I would if I had read my horoscope or someone else's for that matter. Some parts of the summary were very accurate. Other parts were well off centre. I learnt I was a DI - high in both dominance and in influence. I took the test again last week and sped through the questions giving myself little time to think of my answer to each question. The results game back again that I was a firm and clear DI. Next stage individuals, then teams then finally the company.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Of Ten Management Principles

We're working on management principles here at Legal-Island. This is our latest draft for managers :

Ask yourself the following and regularly :

1.      Do have I have a coaching style with my supervisees which empowers them to take ownership of what they do?

2.      Do my supervisees know what is expected of them at work? Have I agreed with them clear tasks and goals?

3.      Do my supervises have the resources, the materials, equipment and skills to do their work well?

4.      At work, do your supervisees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day?

5.      In the last seven days, have I given praise or recognition for good work?

6.      Have I shown my supervisees that I genuinely care about them and taken a genuine interest in them as a person?

7.      Do I encourage the development of my supervisees? Do they have opportunities to learn and grow.

8.      If I asked my supervisees would they say that I make them feel their views and opinions count?

9.      Does the mission/purpose of Legal-Island make my supervisees feel like the work they do is important?

10.  Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Of Ski-ing Just Ski-ing

Why is it I wonder I'm surrounded by people who love ski-ing and I don't? A friend of mine is a ski-instructor. Another is on holiday in Slovakia ski-ing at the moment. My wife was out cross country ski-ing only today.
Snow is lovely and great fun but give me a good sledge and a dozen snow balls any day over queuing for lifts and suffering from boot squeeze .

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Of Eddi Reader

I went to see Eddi Reader last night at the Old Court House, Antrim. She's very unassuming. She walks on stage with her play list wrapped in an old Boots carrier bag, kicks off her shoes and gets stuck right in.
As the oldest child of seven brought up in a Glasgow slum in the 60s she's clearly experienced life at its most raw. Maybe it's this start in life that has shaped her into the marvellous down-to-earth person that she is today. For last night she left me with the feeling that I had not so much seen her but met her so good was her rapport with the audience and so personal was her communication.
Eddi Reader is grounded, funny, witty and tells a great yarn. She has the kind of voice that takes you to places you've never been to before and never want to leave.
What you see is what you get with Eddi Reader. And what you get is something rather wonderful.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Of Cars and Growing Up

The Phillips partnership now have a new car. It's a Nissan Juke, acquired because according to the web, it's one of the safest cars on the road. It's white because statistically I'm told that's the safest colour of car to drive. Granted, it does look a little like a "Popemobile" but that's a cheap price to pay for driving safely should one of the aforementioned partnership forget to drive on the left or for whatever reason decide to go the round way around a roundabout.
I left my previous car in the parking lot of the car dealers without so much as a good bye. The Z4 had been good to me but I had grown tired of crouching and twisting to get in it and having to drive around with things on your lap because there was nowhere to put it. For now and the foreseeable future its space, height and all awful lot of safety for me. Finally, when it comes to cars, I think I've grown up!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Of Two Great Days

We've just had two superb days with the marketing genius that is Grant Leboff. I like this guy. He's to the point. There's no bullshit. There's no fluffy stuff and he gets right in there with you.
Legal-Island's marketing and sales team are still digesting everything he took us through but here's my summary of the wisdom he left us with :

* The most precious business resource is people's attention. Get as much of this from your customers as possible
* Higher purpose in business is important. People don't buy what you do but why you do it. Martin Luther King had a dream not a plan. People bought into his dream.
Importantly :
* Marketing should no longer be a means to an end but the marketing should be the product.
* Marketing needs to be 3 dimensional. It needs to speak to people not things
* Getting first mover advantage can sometimes be critical and is often the best way to create clear blue water between you and competitors
*Critically you have to understand where do the value in what you provide reside.
* Social proof in selling is critical. People will buy because others have bought your product.