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Blogs and Vlogs
A lovely bowl of cream of carrot and coriander soup. Just the thing for a cold winter’s day, and pleasing because I made it myself, using carrots I’d grown myself and pulled from the garden 2 days before.
Though of course, I didn’t make it entirely myself. Yes, I grew the carrots, chopped the carrots, added the leeks and seasoning, set the soup maker going and stirred in the cream. But I didn’t grow the leek or the herbs – or transport them to the shop where I bought them. I didn’t raise or milk the cow that made the cream. I certainly didn’t invent or build the soup-maker that actually took all the effort out of making my homemade soup.
However, all these things happened behind the scenes. In my mind, I made the soup. I’m proud of myself and it tasted good.
In the same way that you (quite rightly) feel proud when you design your own training and development programme, even if you buy in a lot of the raw ingredients you need to create your masterpiece.
You select the ingredients. You pull it all together. You season to taste. You can use our training materials as a starting point and add your own home-grown elements and alter the balance to create something that unique to you. Even though the modules are delicious on their own (and stand alone as a complete module), you can buy editable versions to allow you to act as the head chef and make your own signature dish – our materials are just the basic ingredients with which you can create something amazing. It isn't cheating!
So why not browse our topics and make something special?
Recently, I’ve had a number of reminders of fundamental things that we all need to practice to be successful, and last night at my Zumba class, there was another.
I haven’t done a Zumba related blog for a while, and it’s actually more of a Leadership one. Management and Leadership development is important. No question. A good management induction helps new leaders to understand what’s required of them, and leadership development helps them to learn to execute these things well. That’s why I offer both a New Manager Development Bundle and a Leadership Package!
But there something more crucial than any of these (important) skills. And it’s something ALL leaders and managers can do from day 1 in the role.
And this is where the Zumba analogy comes in.
At my last class, my teacher did not have the same energy and enthusiasm as usual. She seemed distracted, and almost like she didn’t want to be there. As a result, MY energy wasn’t the same as usual. It was as if subconsciously, I didn’t want her to feel alone. It wouldn’t be right for a mere class member to be better than the teacher, so I didn’t put the effort in. I didn’t work off the same number of calories, and neither did I enjoy it as much.
You see, she is our role model. She’s the one who shows us how it’s done. The one we all want to be like. She is our leader. (As it is, she wasn’t feeling well, so actually didn’t want to be there – she’d rather have been at home in her pyjamas with a Lemsip).
But it made me realise that the single most important thing that any leader can do, and any level, in any organisation is to role model the behaviour they want to see from their team. If the team sees the manager being negative, cutting corners, blaming others and having no enthusiasm for their work, it is likely that they will follow suit.
Leaders simply need to be the person they want all their team members to be.
I’ve made a career of designing bespoke management development programmes on behalf of busy L&D managers, and of course, I believe that they add value. However, this one thing can be done by ALL managers and leaders, from day 1, with no cost and no resources.
Customer Service, Employee Engagement and People Development can NEVER be delivered by Smartphone.... and here's why...
I saw a show advertised that we all wanted to go and see and got so excited when I saw it was playing on my husband’s birthday. In a state of giddiness, I quickly ordered the tickets before he got home. Birthday sorted. Job done.
So I thought.
I was looking a few months later for a show to take my mother to, when I noticed that the date for the play was wrong. It wasn’t on my husband’s birthday. It was a month later. WHAT???? In my excitement, I’d obviously made a mistake. He couldn’t go on that night due to work commitments.
I searched the website for help but could find none. I emailed the ticket company and got quite a rude email back basically saying “Tough. The tickets are non-refundable” So, without much hope, I phoned them. Even with a bad line, the lovely Yetta not only transferred our tickets to another date, but she signed me up for membership (a win for them) AND got me some freebies for the evening (a win for me).
People are better than apps. An app can give information, but it can’t react and adapt. It can’t give customer service, provide care, engage or develop people. For that, you need a person. People rock!
To further illustrate this, I’m seeing a number of tweets coming out of Learning Technologies exhibition and conference that focus on apps and systems to improve employee engagement.
You will NEVER increase engagement via an app. You may be able to improve communication, but communication is just a part of engagement.
Like training and development – providing information is just part of the service. Apps can provide information about product, process and procedures, and this means trainers shouldn’t have to cover this in a classroom. But the interactive skills that most people need ought to be covered differently: face to face.
Everyone is starting to wind down now, and thoughts are turning towards 2018. Maybe end of year reviews are taking place and people are considering their career development.
If you are promoting people to a management position for the first time - make sure you don't leave them to 'sink or swim'...
I don't know about you, but my inbox has been saturated with Black Friday emails for weeks. I delete the vast majority of them without reading them, because they are promoting products that I'm just not going to buy. Either I have no need (e.g. for a man's grooming set) or the time isn't right (I bought a new dining suite last year - you could be selling them for £20 and I still wouldn't need one).
Black Friday deals work for impulse buys, treats and (of course) if you were going to buy anyway.
Training isn't purchased on a whim. It shouldn't be considered a treat, and price should be one of the last things that influences the buying decision. To be honest, our prices are low anyway, (and subscribers to my mailing list get 10% off everything all year anyway - you can join the list here) and lowering the price makes no difference to sales. What drives the purchase of training material is:
- Relevance to training needs identified at that time
- Ease of use
And that's why I'm not doing a Black Friday Sale. I prefer to offer great value all year round and allow you to purchase the right material and the right time after making a considered choice.
And my explanation about why Power Hour hasn't joined the digital revoution yet!
This article is doing the rounds on LinkedIn. It's very sad if it's true! I can only hope that the organisations surveyed forgot about all the informal development that occurs on a daily basis - the one-the-job training, the in-the-moment coaching conversations, and the self-directed learning that people to find a solution to a problem. This is all learning - just not formal!
This highlights the main reasons Power Hour was created though: For those organisations that don't have a lot to spend and can't release people for full days. Can any organisation REALLY not find £40 to buy a session and run it internally?
The great thing with bite-size training like this is that its a bit more formal and structured than the just-in-time informal methods, but not as disruptive and costly as external workshops.
Anyway, here's the article... What do YOU think?
If you are certain age, you may well remember Cathy Dennis. She had short but credible pop career in the 1980s, and then she disappeared.
But she only disappeared from public view. She still has a thriving career in the music industry as a song writer. She has written songs for a host of highly successful pop artists over the years including Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, The Spice Girls, Little Mix, Katy Perry, S Club 7, Will Young, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and makes her living that way.
She was a good performer, but maybe it didn’t satisfy her as much as writing. Maybe the touring just wasn’t for her. So she’s decided to support other performers by giving them decent songs to showcase their talents. Maybe these other performers write songs – but perhaps they aren’t GREAT songs. By taking a song written by Cathy, they can still have an involvement in the writing process by adapting it and making it their own, and making sure it plays to their personal strengths.
And that’s what I do. I am a credible ‘performer’ (trainer) but I would rather support other trainers who have the potential to be great if they have the right material to work with. Our Power Hour materials act as the raw song – the person who will perform it can edit it and adapt it to make it their own – add those little flourishes that they know will work well with their audience.
So why not cut down your writing time? Take something good that’s already been written and make it your own. If it’s good enough for Kylie Minogue, The Spice Girls and Little Mix, surely you can do the same?
And at the moment, theres an opportunity to get ANY of our standard sessions completely free - simply enter the draw here