Simply common sense… or otherwise


HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Monarchy in general, possibly one of the most sustainable institutions in the UK and Commonwealth of our modern time… perhaps they have adapted more than we give credit…

Those of you who have followed me for some time will be familiar with the phrase, ‘Change is the only constant,’ indeed this has been magnified by the goings on of the last 5 years or so as companies seek to adapt, change, re-align, rightsize and lean themselves for the challenges ahead…

During such times, where the pace of change is so rapid it’s all too easy to get swept along and lose track of the end game. Here are 10 thoughts I’d like to share for getting ahead, remaining competitive and building a Sustainable future in this ever changing World Economy. Personally I don’t think any of them are ground breaking, far from it. I think they’re a common sense approach to be honest and are based on my own humble experiences and observations of UK plc over the last few years.

So your starter for 10…

  • Take time to connect and engage with your employees. Get to know them as people, their strengths and weaknesses and play to them. Build teams around the strengths of long serving employees and learn to integrate new members  to compliment them to create a team which covers every base
  • Hire for enthusiasm and train for skill. Recruitment has changed with more and more prospective employees presenting themselves as a Brand. When recruiting therefore, employers are investing in a brand and how people position themselves in today’s uber-competitive market place… This is the start not the end of the journey
  • Nail compliance. Invest what is necessary to put this worry and risk to bed. You are legally obliged to do so. Find a system that works for you whether this be electronic, integrated or a manual system of recording and monitoring critical and compliance related maintenance and servicing of plant and equipment. This allows you to concentrate on other aspects of building your business and adding real value
  • Likewise, have a robust back up plan in the event of an emergency which allows continuity of business at the flick of a switch and test it regularly – it gives piece of mind and confidence in times of emergency, not to mention mitigating any risk of downtime and lost revenue
  • The ‘customer is king’ philosophy is old. Ignore your employees and any service philosophy will remain just that. A philosophy
  • Reward simplicity – people who are able to keep things simple in these ever increasing complex times are worth their weight in Gold. People who are able to cut to the chase and quickly make sense of the complex in order to make the right decisions are the types of people who need to be rewarded and promoted for growth. No one can make the right decision all the time, we are all human; the most successful however make the least mistakes. NB – These people may not be the archetypical extroverted types who excel at schmoozing
  • Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum   (B. Luhrmann 1999)
  • Reward Outputs but recognise that if these are good and plentiful then the Inputs must be correct in equal measure if not more so
  • Similar to the fallacy of insurance or mobile phone companies rewarding new customers over existing loyal customers with improved deals and incentives – ‘do not,’ adopt this approach towards your most valuable asset – your people. Foster Sustainability. Knowledge and experience cannot be bought in many complex industries. Invest in existing staff members, reward and acknowledge people’s loyalty more than presenting them with a carriage clock after 25 years service
  • Encourage people to be Mentors and to be Mentored. This not only helps to build connections and trust, it also helps engagement and supports Sustainability and succession planning. In the ensuing war for talent, the best strategy surely has to be to keep hold of what you currently have


  1. Sustainability is a very important one – we’d probably add something about the importance of innovation and collaboration, but then innovation is probably summed up in the idea of change, and collaboration in team-building… but interesting article. We tend to think technology can also help get you ahead of the game, as you get less and less bogged down in the same old styles of meetings, conversation, design, etc.

  2. Thanks for your comment – appreciated. Sustainability was wrapped up in all the above points which should if carried out correctly lead to a sustained business model and performance. Technology, however underpins a business and if implemented correctly can certainly give competitive edge and lead to continuos improvements; we don’t have to look far for these examples. Agreed also; Collaboration is becoming a must-have skill for organisations and people within those organisations as the boundaries continue to blur. Complex times require simple solutions. Will red tape hinder this?

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