Leadership – a new approach to nature-nurture

How we lead needs to radically change in a world that is itself constantly changing. The world is changing, often unexpectedly or unpredictably. So is business. And therefore not surprisingly so is leadership. Or is it? It certainly should be. Shouldn’t leadership be leading, ahead of the game? Visionary. But recently history and precedent suggests

Leadership – a new approach to nature-nurture

Do you need a critical friend?

Why do so many of us find it hard to ask for help? Could it be that as we grow up self-sufficiency and independence seem to be what we aspire to as part of being grown up? If so, is this a blind spot that keeps us from unlocking our full potential? As leaders in

Do you need a critical friend?

How do I prove to myself that I have ‘arrived’?

If you’ve ever found yourself asking this question internally, you’re not alone. Whether you’ve been a CEO or MD for months, years or decades, what keeps us challenging ourselves is our underlying ambition to succeed, usually combined with a healthy dose of self-doubt. Whatever the size of this fear (rational or irrational) it’s often the driving force behind our on-going desire to grow, accept bigger challenges and push ourselves and our business forward. If we fail to recognise and acknowledge self-doubt as a real fear, it can often dominate our lives but also overshadow our personal and professional relationships.

How do I prove to myself that I have ‘arrived’?

Ten minutes with Kriss Akabusi

It’s not difficult to pinpoint the reason people warm to Kriss Akabusi; his familiar laugh, energy, enthusiasm and openness come at you in waves when you’re talking to him. It’s over 25 years since he won Gold in the 400m hurdles, at the European Championships in 1990. Since then, the athlete has gone on to study for an MBA, become a sought after Keynote Speaker and Training Facilitator, working with business leaders across the country.

Ten minutes with Kriss Akabusi

Setting the pace

As the first snowdrops and bulbs burst into view, the momentum inside the Academy is reflecting the energy of early Spring. Many of us are planning, or have already been on an Academy group retreat. They’re a vital part of our calendar where we take time out, to look forward and set objectives for the next 12 months. I was delighted to attend the South Downs and Solent retreat in the New Forest, along with one of the Academy’s co-founders Sue Cheshire. Not only was it a great opportunity to explore the themes of Personal Resilience and Mastery but a real chance for some self-reflection, so easily overlooked when running a successful company.

Setting the pace

Members have their say – Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson is Managing Director of Constant Power Services Ltd - the largest independent supplier and servicer of UPS in the world.

Members have their say – Kevin Wilson

A New Year means fresh opportunities

A very Happy New Year to you. For those of us who’ve had a fortnight away from office, have you managed to step away completely? As business leaders we often don’t switch off from our day-to-day schedules and look at the wider issues and challenges ahead. A New Year can be a symbolic way of starting afresh and implementing new ideas, while looking for great opportunities. Focusing on how and where we might learn new lessons, allows us to develop both our teams and ourselves.

A New Year means fresh opportunities

Political risk continues to dominate investment markets

Prepared exclusively for the Academy by Ben Kumar, Investment Manager – Seven Investment Management | If you just look at the top level numbers for financial markets, 2016 could be viewed as a conventional year. Healthy economic data in the UK and the US translated to the stock markets - the US, in particular, saw the Dow Jones and S&P 500 equity indices reach all-time highs. Europe and Japan were slightly more sluggish, but their markets ended the year in positive territory. However, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would denote 2016 as ‘conventional’.

Political risk continues to dominate investment markets

Boosting efficiency with your fingertips

A huge and successful (billion dollar) industry has been built around increasing our productivity and ‘improving’ our time management. If 2017 is the year you’ve resolved to spend less time sorting your email inbox, then why not embrace technology and cut the amount of time you spend on simple tasks?

Boosting efficiency with your fingertips

Members have their say – Malcolm Miller

Welcome to the section of our newsletter where we share with you what our members have to say and take away from their Academy experience.

Members have their say – Malcolm Miller

Developing your Execution Muscles

A recent survey of 1526 business professionals commissioned by the American Management Association found that only 3% of respondents felt that their organisation was ‘very successful’ at executing strategy. In conversations I have had with Academy members, many echo these sentiments, citing strategies and initiatives that have not been implemented yet to a standard that

Developing your Execution Muscles

My Academy – Jon Hiscock

Fundamentals is a high-quality manufacturer of voltage control systems for electrical power grid infrastructure. It is a Swindon-based family firm – Dr Jon Hiscock, son of one of the founders, is the current chief executive. We asked him what he sees as the key to the current expansion of his business and what he can

My Academy – Jon Hiscock

Are you Cyber-Aware?

How to protect your business from cybercrime? It starts with #thinkrandom When was the last time you used your child or partner’s name as an online password, or shared your password with someone else? Was it last week? Last month? Last year? Or, is the honest answer that you just can’t remember! You’re not alone.

Are you Cyber-Aware?

Life – it’s a Team Sport

This year’s Academy speaker list has included some quite exceptional individuals, including gold medal-winning Olympic athletes Matthew Pinsent and Kelly Holmes. One of the things we learnt from them is that whilst media coverage will always focus on the individual, behind each winner is a winning team. When we interviewed rower Matthew Pinsent for our

Life – it’s a Team Sport

Major showcase in high-profile Times CEO supplement secured by the Academy for Chief Executives

Academy for Chief Executives Press Release 1 December 2016 The Academy for Chief Executives has taken a significant step to raise its profile by supporting a major national newspaper supplement about ‘The Future CEO’. The 16-page Raconteur produced supplement, run in The Times newspaper on 1 December, features the Academy in a prominent position on

Major showcase in high-profile Times CEO supplement secured by the Academy for Chief Executives

Budget Wish-List

Philip Hammond has some difficult choices to make in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, his first budget speech as Chancellor. So amid a background of ominous economic forecasts and continuing post-Brexit uncertainty, we asked our Academy Chairs what they would like to see him do.  Here’s what they had to say.   Justin Grace is the Academy

Budget Wish-List

Recommended Winter Reads

1. Great Answers to Tough Questions at Work (Michael Dodd)   Difficult questions can be thrown at you from your first job interview through to challenges you get when you’ve made it to the top. If you find yourself on the firing line on a regular or occasional basis this is the perfect go-to guide

Recommended Winter Reads

The Digital Imperative

Guy Levine is a well-known digital strategist and marketer and has been a popular Academy speaker for more than 10 years. We asked him about the key factors Academy members should bear in mind when they think about digital innovation. 1. Not all businesses are tech start-ups or fashion labels. So is there a place

The Digital Imperative

My Academy – Eleni Renton

Eleni Renton, founder of Leni’s Model Management, discovered the Academy at just the right time – even if it started as a misunderstanding. She’d met a networking group organiser called Hilary Rowland on a trip to New York, so she assumed it was the same Hilary Rowland who then invited her to the Academy shortly

My Academy – Eleni Renton

Advice clinic: performance anxieties

  “I know I won’t be the only Academy member who has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to performance appraisals, particularly when that means sitting down face-to-face with someone. But equally, it’s obviously vital for any business that we can establish how well individuals are performing and how they’re contributing (or

Advice clinic: performance anxieties

Want to learn more in 20 minutes?

At the Academy we are passionate about reading, learning, personal development and helping people become the best versions of themselves. I am delighted to announce that we are offering all our members a year’s subscription – starting from 1 November – to Joosr, the mobile learning app. All you need to do is to activate

Want to learn more in 20 minutes?

The Price Advantage

Understanding your customer’s thinking helps you get a better price, says David Abbott. On 23rd October Microsoft announced it is increasing its prices by up to 22% following the fall in the value of the pound. Whatever your views on Brexit, if your business costs depend upon imported goods or services then you face a

The Price Advantage

Economic Update from Roger Martin-Fagg

At the end of September, leading economist, Roger Martin-Fagg spoke at an Academy for Chief Executives event and outlined some of the factors that businesses need to take into account as they prepare for an uncertain post-Brexit future. Now in his latest economic update, he examines some of these in greater detail. As he points

Economic Update from Roger Martin-Fagg

Advice Clinic: A Family Affair

“Despite saying that he wants to hand over the reins of our family business to me, my father has put off his retirement once already.  He is reluctant to discuss a proper handover process and agree a transitioning period for me into the CEO role. Additionally, he wants to stay on as Chairman. I am

Advice Clinic: A Family Affair

Price vs Value

Academy speaker, Nevil Tynemouth, explains the importance of value pricing. Do you position your price effectively with your customers? Customers are far more interested in value than you might think. I say this because so many people we meet when we deliver seminars and training tell us, “well, in my industry everyone is price-driven”. This

Price vs Value

Event Report

Our ‘post-Brexit plan’ evening on Sept 29 with economist Roger Martin-Fagg proved to be a great event packed with useful takeaways – and it underlined how the Academy community helps each other to develop and find the key opportunities to take their businesses to the next level. Roger didn’t pull any punches; he flagged up

Event Report

My Academy – Wendy Duckham

Cast your eye over Wendy Duckham’s bio on her company’s website and you’ll find two rather contrasting pieces of information. First, that she is the managing director of the firm – Construction Specialties UK Ltd, which specialises in architectural and interior fittings for commercial buildings – and second, she is a keen saxophonist and has

My Academy – Wendy Duckham

Motivated teams come from baby steps, not giant leaps

Academy speaker, Patrick Lucocq, invites us to rethink how we approach team performance. The traditional approach to motivating teams centres on incentives, bonuses and positive feedback. These are mostly geared to results. But research by Professor Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer (The Progress Principle, 2011) shows that recognition of continuing ‘small wins’ is a better

Motivated teams come from baby steps, not giant leaps

Dame Kelly Holmes inspires Yorkshire business leaders reminding them; ‘there is an ‘i’ in team and it’s you!’

YORKSHIRE business leaders enlist double Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes and sales guru Philip Hesketh to inspire them as they tackle challenges of Brexit.Speaking at the Academy for Chief Executive’s keynote conference, Dame Kelly Holmes DBE, MBE inspired her audience of invited business leaders as she emphasised “There is an ‘I’ in team, it’s

Dame Kelly Holmes inspires Yorkshire business leaders reminding them; ‘there is an ‘i’ in team and it’s you!’

Welcome to The Next Level

Welcome to The Next Level – we hope you like our new approach. We’ve redesigned the newsletter to be more collaborative than its predecessor, with the focus very much on helping to nurture, grow and add value to our community. We have also introduced a new advice clinic section, which provides an opportunity to tap

Welcome to The Next Level

Fall into our recommended reads for Autumn

1. Great Answers to Tough Questions at Work (Michael Dodd) Difficult questions can be thrown at you from your first job interview through to challenges you get when you’ve made it to the top. If you find yourself on the firing line on a regular or occasional basis this is the perfect go-to guide to

Fall into our recommended reads for Autumn

Medalling in your business

Now that the Rio Olympics are over, what lessons can we take from the Games that have implications for all of our businesses? How can we “medal’ in our business every single day? Here are my top takeaways from the Olympics for business. 1. The power of dreams. In front of the camera, many athletes

Medalling in your business

Hitting the Sweet Spot

Mo Farah’s historic ‘double double’ last week was just one of the highlights of Great Britain’s amazing performance at the Rio Olympics. That makes him only the second man in history to retain the 5,000m and 10,000m titles and helped team GB to a record medal tally. So what is the secret to these amazing

Hitting the Sweet Spot

Behind every successful individual is a winning team

Reading some of the coverage of Britain’s bronze medal in synchronised diving and you might be forgiven for not realising that it is a team event.  Superstar Tom Daley has received the lion’s share of the limelight with some newspapers ignoring his less well-known diving partner, Daniel Goodfellow, altogether. It’s interesting that some of the

Behind every successful individual is a winning team

Lessons from Rio – how to deliver a gold-medal performance by Nikki Owen

Sometimes the flames of naked desire team with steely resolve and causes the brilliant to transform into the best. Adam Peaty has just won gold at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 in the 100m breaststroke. Adam was born with a passion for swimming, sacrificing most of his childhood in pursuit of the biggest dream of

Lessons from Rio – how to deliver a gold-medal performance by Nikki Owen

The Keys to Organisational Agility

It used to be said that the only two certainties in life were death and taxes. In business life there is a third certainty: change. And in today’s atmosphere of deep uncertainty, it’s clearer than ever that the success (even survival) of many organisations will be partially determined by their ability to adapt and respond

The Keys to Organisational Agility

VUCA Times Call for DURT Leaders

The first time I saw the word ‘VUCA’ I had no idea what it was. A quick Google search produced the answer. VUCA means: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Simply stated, this is the world we live in today! It is a valid description of what happens in our business and economic environments. Technology drives

VUCA Times Call for DURT Leaders

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The acronym VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) sums up the circumstances we are living in perfectly. In their book Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change, Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Soloman described a VUCA world as one in which organisations face constant surprises from all directions. “VUCA world is

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Navigating Uncertainty

We are living in a period of huge uncertainty. So how do people in business ensure they make the best decisions they can when there is so much confusion? John Reynard, author of ‘Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success – From Harassed Sole Trader to Visionary CEO’, offers some advice: 1. Resist Blaming Others Whilst it

Navigating Uncertainty

Change is hard – I’ll be ready tomorrow

Having breakfast with a CEO recently and talking about organisational change, he came out with the memorable line, “change is hard – I’ll be ready tomorrow”. It wasn’t a personal reference but rather the unspoken response he seems to encounter from his senior leaders at every turn when it comes to the organisational change he

Change is hard – I’ll be ready tomorrow

Grosvenor Contracts (London) recent new business win signals shift to agile SMEs

Ollie Austen, MD of Grosvenor Contracts (London) Ltd and new member of Harry Wyndham’s South East London group shares news on recent contract wins within the healthcare sector. He states, “Grosvenor Contracts are committed to offering the highest quality products and service to the Healthcare sector. “Our continual investment into new laundry technology, systems and products

Grosvenor Contracts (London) recent new business win signals shift to agile SMEs

The Bottom Line – It’s All About Balance

Making decisions is something that business leaders are expected to do every day. But some of us possess better decision-making skills than others and none of us are immune from making poor or wrong choices. Read our latest edition of The Bottom Line ‘It’s All About Balance’ Subscribe to the Bottom Line FacebookLinkedinTwitterGoogle+EmailPrint

The Bottom Line – It’s All About Balance

It’s all about Balance . . .

We learn very early on in our lives that when we lose our balance, we fall. It is a salutary lesson. But hopefully, as the years pass, we learn that balance is about the emotional as well as the physical and start to understand the benefits of a positive emotional equilibrium. Another imperative is to

It’s all about Balance . . .

They said it… Six Views and a Video

“If you are struggling to juggle your home life with your career commitments, both can suffer. Part of the solution may be to treat time with your family as a priority. When you’re facing an avalanche of appointments, book time to spend with your family — put it in your work diary.”Richard Branson “The best

They said it… Six Views and a Video

Brexit; Stop, Pause, Plan, Implement. Repeat.

“You are being watched. As a leader your influence has a magnified effect… Your personal response to Brexit will serve you into the future… and develop resilience… unexpected events simply lead us to find unexpected solutions.”Ian Price, CEO, Academy for Chief Executives Ian Price, CEO of the Academy for Chief Executives emphasises the value and

Brexit; Stop, Pause, Plan, Implement. Repeat.

A Balance of Busy-ness

It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a busy fool. The pressure to run faster can come from many different sources. It might be clients who want everything yesterday or a boss who always want us to deliver more in less time. But for many of us, the biggest source of pressure that

A Balance of Busy-ness

Striking an Emotional Balance

Have you ever been heavy handed, too emotional, aggressive, over-the-top or even too shy? These are all examples of when our emotional regulation is not working properly. Most of us are unaware why this happens or that we can change how we react. The definition of emotional regulation is the degree to which the emotions

Striking an Emotional Balance

A Menu for the Mind

We all know that we need to eat a balanced diet to maintain our physical equilibrium. Too much of the wrong foods can quickly knock us out of balance and – in the long term – can seriously damage our health.But our brains are part of our bodies, too. And like our other organs, the

A Menu for the Mind

A Healthier Balance? There’s an App for that…

Never has ‘to wash your hands’ of the problem been so apt. Could a clue to healthier organisational behaviour – and a healthier workplace – be found in the humble paper towel? A raft of research has already established that context drives behaviour. In business, we control people’s behaviour by the way we measure their

A Healthier Balance? There’s an App for that…

Media Release in the wake of the Brexit Referendum

Collective thinking is the key to great decision – making in times of uncertainty ‘Managing uncertainty and opportunity are hallmarks of outstanding leadership – we experience this, we harness this and we achieve this with our members week in week out.’Ian Price, CEO, Academy for Chief Executives Welcoming the clarity of the decision made in

Media Release in the wake of the Brexit Referendum

What would be the impact on smaller businesses of a vote to leave the EU?

At last week’s Academy discovery event in London, we asked Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management, about Brexit and the potential impact on smaller businesses and the economy as a whole.  His analogy that confidence is a bit like a balloon – it takes a long time to blow up, but can be

What would be the impact on smaller businesses of a vote to leave the EU?

The Bottom Line – Decisions, Decisions

Making decisions is something that business leaders are expected to do every day. But some of us possess better decision-making skills than others and none of us are immune from making poor or wrong choices. Read our latest edition of The Bottom Line ‘Decisions, Decisions’ Subscribe to the Bottom Line FacebookLinkedinTwitterGoogle+EmailPrint

The Bottom Line – Decisions, Decisions

10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making

The future of our organisations depends on our capacity to replace old habits with decision-making skills that are more suitable for today’s fast-moving and complex business environment. Here are some tips to improve your decision making process. 1. Don’t base your decisions on beliefs (what worked in the past) as these beliefs also serve to

10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making

They said it . . . 10 Timeless Truths about Decisions

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. [Plato] Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives’ decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake. [Peter Drucker] It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. [Tony Robbins]Never cut a tree

They said it . . . 10 Timeless Truths about Decisions

How to Make Hard Choices

The hardest choices we have to make are those where there’s no clear ‘best option’, where both choices are equally good – or equally unpalatable. That’s especially true of big choices we need to make, says Philosopher Ruth Chang in this TED talk. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way.    

How to Make Hard Choices

Decisions and Bias

We may be able to explain why our brains have evolved to make decisions in the way that they have, but the fact is that they haven’t evolved as quickly as our society has. That gap explains why we naturally develop biases and habits that help us make good decisions. Yet these same biases and

Decisions and Bias

Decisions, Decisions

As Erik Larson, MIT graduate and entrepreneur noted in a recent HBR blog post, “managers make about three billion decisions each year, and almost all of them can be made better.” Effective decision-making is a core competence for successful business leaders; it can make the difference between profit and loss, corporate survival and failure. When

Decisions, Decisions

Avoiding Bad Decisions

In the aftermath of last decade’s financial crash, the question “how could they have been so stupid?” was on many peoples’ lips. One of the best answers came in the form of Think Again – Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You, a 2009 book by Tuck

Avoiding Bad Decisions

The Bottom Line – The Power of Purpose

What’s the Point? Why are we doing this? As business leaders, we need to be able to answer this almost without thinking, because without a clear sense of our own purpose, how can we expect to inspire others? Read our latest edition of The Bottom Line on ‘The Power of Purpose’ Subscribe to the Bottom

The Bottom Line – The Power of Purpose

The Academy for Chief Executives is Expanding its Presence in Scotland

The Academy for Chief Executives, the UK’s leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation, is expanding its presence in Scotland with the launch of two new groups following the successful launch of its first Scottish group in Glasgow last year. Scotland Chair, Justin Grace, a former MD of Carrier Transicold, is launching a new group based in

The Academy for Chief Executives is Expanding its Presence in Scotland

Leadership, Emotion and Purpose

If you want your people to perform at their very best, collaborate effectively, pull together but still show initiative and stick with it no matter how hard it gets, it all comes down to three simple factors: Having trust in those around them; How they feel about the job they do; having a strong sense

Leadership, Emotion and Purpose

In Search of your Real Purpose

If you don’t know what the purpose of your business really is, and you don’t know what the outcomes are that you want to have happen as a result of trading, then you will find it hard to be compelling, or even comprehensible when you talk about your business. It’s important to recognise that it

In Search of your Real Purpose

Start with Why?

Simon Sinek’s 2009 TED talk, Start with Why, has rightly taken on almost mythical status for its simple message about putting purpose – the ‘why’ – at the heart of strategy. Think about the organisations you most admire. How far do they put purpose at the heart of their operations?     Image from shutterstock

Start with Why?

Defining your Strategic Vision

We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s why we form communities, follow sport teams or volunteer our time for the greater good. It is one of the reasons that we get up in the morning. Another reason to get up in the morning is to go to work. Besides wanting

Defining your Strategic Vision

A Reason for Being

Everything in life has its purpose. Purpose is the force that keeps all of life growing, creating and thriving. When life steps out of line with purpose, or fails to adapt to changing contexts, unintended outcomes result. In the worst cases life declines rapidly and ultimately dies. So it is with organisations. Those that are

A Reason for Being

The Power of Purpose

Why are we doing this? As business leaders, we need to be able to answer this almost without thinking, because without a clear sense of our own purpose, how can we expect to inspire others? Moreover, if we are not finding purpose at work, the chances are that we’re finding the other aspects of our lives

The Power of Purpose

PowerPoint Surgery: Top tips to create presentation slides that make your message stick not suck!

“If your words or images are not on point, making them dance in colour won’t make them relevant…Power corrupts, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.” Edward Tufte, Yale Emeritus professor  It is estimated that there are a million presentations happening right now. But most of them are dull or even bad. There is a better way.  1. Don’t

PowerPoint Surgery: Top tips to create presentation slides that make your message stick not suck!

Home Truths …

Here are 10 timeless gems about running a business that go to remind us that some things never really change.    We were hoping to build a small profitable company; and of course, what we’ve done is build a large, unprofitable company.Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com Corporation: an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual

Home Truths …

Don’t Pluck a Price Out of Thin Air

Perhaps you have a product that is so unique that you cannot begin to imagine how much you can charge for it. Perhaps it is a software product that has no direct cost attached to it, so there are no clues to be had there – it is always going to be a 100% margin

Don’t Pluck a Price Out of Thin Air

Stars, Cash Cows and Dogs

One legacy of all the uncertainty of the past few years has been that many businesses have got stuck in a cost-cutting mind-set. They have become conditioned to automatically saying ‘no’ to spending new money and often continually try to reduce their expenditure. In effect, their focus is on efficiency – spending less and hoping

Stars, Cash Cows and Dogs

Making the Numbers Count

There are many essential elements to a successful business. You need a clear idea of where you are heading, a smart strategy, a persuasive proposition, great products and services, passionate people and effective operations. You also need to be able to understand how your business is performing, day-to-day, month-to-month, to make sure you stay on

Making the Numbers Count

Take Care Where You Cut

There’s a big difference between short-term, unplanned cost-cutting – which is often not sustainable and can come back to bite you – and prudent cost-control. Just like caring for a garden, it’s better to adopt a long-term, strategic approach to cost control – a regime of careful pruning – rather than risk damaging your crops

Take Care Where You Cut

Seven Deadly Sins of Outsourcing

Outsourcing activities that aren’t core to your business is one way to manage costs. But the results from outsourcing can vary considerably. Getting it wrong isn’t only costly, but can damage your reputation with customers and leave you picking up the pieces. So how can you avoid the most common mistakes around both outsourcing and

Seven Deadly Sins of Outsourcing

Key tips to get a restful night’s sleep

Adequate sleep on a regular basis is as essential to well-being as the air we breathe. Proper rest is necessary for maintaining cognitive sharpness, emotional balance and the efficient functioning of all our physical systems.   Benefits of Restful Sleep Wake up refreshed, ready for new day. Overall improved sense of wellbeing. Increased mental awareness,

Key tips to get a restful night’s sleep

When did Dinosaurs Become Exclusive to Boys?

I was confronted with something this weekend that compelled me to comment; dinosaur bedding! Stick with me, there really is a connection here. My daughter has recently had a new bedroom. It is purple, at her choosing, with white and pink furniture and Matilda wallpaper, again all of her choosing. On Saturday I bought her

When did Dinosaurs Become Exclusive to Boys?

Surviving the Future

Here is a five step guide to future-proof any business, based on my new book The Future of Almost Everything.  1) Bring in outsiders to challenge your world view The greatest risk to any business is institutional blindness.  The greatest risk to any leader is being seduced by one’s own world-view.  The greatest risk to

Surviving the Future

All ideas are made of old ideas

When we think about the sort of world that might exist in 100 years’ time, it’s easy to be seduced by sci-fi style flights of fantasy.  But very often, it isn’t radical innovations that fuel progress so much as a mash-up of ideas that have come before. In about 460 B.C., for example, Greek philosopher,

All ideas are made of old ideas

100 Jobs of the Future

A new report from BrightHR, a ‘A Future that Works’ , investigates how workplaces will evolve in the future and key trends that are likely to emerge to affect all of us. Its key findings include the claim that a fifth of workforce tasks are expected to have an element of robotics in them by

100 Jobs of the Future

The Rise of the Robots

Too many organisations have chosen to displace workers rather than think through how technology and humans can work together symbiotically, a set of choices described as the automate or informate dilemma. In practice, automation can be deployed by either “automating”, “informating”, or both. So in the not-too distant future, we may come to see robots

The Rise of the Robots

Round in Circles

Ever since the industrial revolution, our economic model has relied on using large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy in a linear, ‘take, make, dispose’ process. But this is a model that is reaching its physical limits. But what if the things we throw away today can become the resources of tomorrow?  That’s

Round in Circles

Look to the Future but Don’t Forget the Past

It can be all too easy to forget what we’ve learned from the past as we try to future-proof our businesses and plan for what comes next.  In my new role as Chief Executive, I am aware that the Academy has an important heritage based on our twenty years of history.  So it seems appropriate

Look to the Future but Don’t Forget the Past

Former Energy Chief Launches Academy for Chief Executives South East London Group

The Academy for Chief Executives, the UK’s leading executive coaching and mentoring organisation, launches a new group in London and the South East for senior business leaders and entrepreneurs with a former energy chief at its helm. The group is formed of non-competing businesses and leaders and it will be run by Chair Harry Wyndham,

Former Energy Chief Launches Academy for Chief Executives South East London Group

Lift Off for Academy for Chief Executives Surrey Entrepreneur Board

The Academy for Chief Executives, a leading UK executive coaching and mentoring organisation, launches a new Entrepreneur Board group in Surrey next month for senior business leaders and entrepreneurs with a former construction chief at its helm. Entrepreneur Board 8 is formed of non-competing businesses and leaders in the Kingston, Twickenham, Walton, Woking and Guildford areas

Lift Off for Academy for Chief Executives Surrey Entrepreneur Board

5 Reasons to Join an Academy Group

“The Academy takes up to 5% of my time but now I know what I should be doing with the other 95%!” “I think I now look up at the horizon more, not just down at the bottom line.” “The Academy’s speakers help my business to stand out from its competitors rather than just stand up to

5 Reasons to Join an Academy Group

The Fifty Year Evolution Of The Account Manager

The Cheesy Entertainer – In the seventies, Sales Representatives left their caves and set off to hunt their commercial prey armed with little more than a bag full of good stories and bad jokes. Life was so much easier then! If a sales call lasted forty minutes, at least thirty minutes could be devoted to

The Fifty Year Evolution Of The Account Manager

Give your Away Day a Boost

Away days are often criticized for being ‘fun’ but having no productive outputs But if they’re planned and facilitated well, they can encourage creativity and innovation by breaking routines and changing dynamics. So for anyone responsible for organising an away day, here are our top tips for success. Be clear on your outcome This is

Give your Away Day a Boost

Seven Secrets of a Successful remote team

It’s increasingly common to work with people who you’ve never met or who may be in a different town or even be a different time zone. Working in a remote team isn’t intrinsically more difficult than working with people who are sitting across the room from you, but it is different and it does demand

Seven Secrets of a Successful remote team

Dealing with Discord

Wherever you have a team you have the potential for conflict. And the secret when conflict arises is to deal with it fast to stop any lasting damage being done. Here are a few thoughts to help to deal with discord.   Work out the Root Cause Only once the reason for the argument is

Dealing with Discord

A Few Great People Make One Great Business

Whether we are running a large organisation or a very small one, the top team rule always applies. Look around the boardroom table at the people entrusted with making our company great and ask this simple question. “Are we making do with mediocrity? If we are, why?” The answer is often that we’re afraid to

A Few Great People Make One Great Business

The Art of Team Selection

Last year’s Rugby Union World Cup showed, amongst other things, how a great team can often out-perform a collection of superstar individuals. Often the fifteen more talented individuals were surpassed by seemingly ‘lesser’ opponents. Teams like Japan and Argentina illustrate this point and reinforce the enormous value that comes with a strong team. I also

The Art of Team Selection

Advice Clinic: Toxic, but Irreplaceable

“One of our business development people is very skilled and a huge asset to the company, producing about 30% of all our new business. The problem is that behind the professional mask, she has a pretty toxic personality and causes a lot of drama. She is ‘high maintenance’ – shouting at other colleagues, talking about

Advice Clinic: Toxic, but Irreplaceable

What if your coffee cup could talk?

Just as ‘social media’ was the big buzzword five years ago, today it’s ‘the internet of things’ (IoT) that is tipped to be the next internet revolution.  The media is awash with stories of how it is going to reshape business, change consumer behaviour and generally make the world a better place.  We are told

What if your coffee cup could talk?

Seven Tech predictions that were wildly off the mark…

“Computers in the future will weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” (Popular Mechanics, 1949.)  “I think there’s a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.) “I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is

Seven Tech predictions that were wildly off the mark…

How the Internet Changed the World

The internet has been a hugely powerful enabler for many SMEs: in a survey of more than 4,800 firms in 12 countries around the world, management consultancy McKinsey found that those which use web technologies grew more than twice as quickly as those with little internet presence. “The internet’s biggest impact on SMEs has been

How the Internet Changed the World

Staying Ahead of the Game

This spring, the Harvey Nash CIO survey revealed how heavily digital disruption is weighing on the minds of business leaders worldwide. According to the survey of more than 3,500 IT leaders, 66 percent of CIOs report that digital disruption (the change resulting from digital technologies that disrupt established business models) is driving significant change across

Staying Ahead of the Game

Confronting Disruption

We’re living in a period of unprecedented uncertainty and volatility, which is being compounded by the disruption caused by digital innovation. As a result, business leaders have to recalibrate and course-correct far more often than they did in the past. Here are three top tips to surviving and thriving in this sort of environment: Get

Confronting Disruption

Marketing in a World of Distraction

I’ve recently run an experiment for the last 12 months, taking myself off Facebook, and the results are in… I didn’t miss it at all.  Running a marketing company, my aim is to help clients get in front of their customers and touch them in some meaningful way. My professional brain tells me the age

Marketing in a World of Distraction

The 14 Truths of Motivation

Money motivates neither the best people nor the best in people. Don’t be a karaoke leader. It’s better to be a first-rate version of yourself rather than a second-rate version of someone else. People will deliver mediocre work if they are driven. But they’ll deliver exceptional work if they drive themselves! Don’t ask people to

The 14 Truths of Motivation

Sliding to success

Cosatto is a company that is on a mission to save the world from boring baby stuff, producing a distinctive range of prams, pushchairs and car seats with an instantly-recognisable style, bright colours and bold patterns. Andrew Kluge, a member of Peter Hills’ Academy group 18, bought the Cosatto brand in 2003 and relocated the business

Sliding to success

Success has many parents, failure’s an orphan

In May, supported by a fantastic team, my riding partner Charlie Mitchell and I broke the 49 year old record for cycling non-stop from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a tandem, shaving over 5 hours off the record to complete the 842 miles in 45 hours 11 minutes and 2 seconds. As a businessman

Success has many parents, failure’s an orphan