Are you dependant on one supplier? It’s time to evaluate the risk

As you build a company and begin to scale, it is important that you build strong working relationships with all your suppliers. This naturally leads to a situation whereby your growth and their growth are intertwined and your supplier will benefit from your success. However, it is all too easy to get caught up in the mindset of restricting yourself to just one supplier and failing to prepare for all eventualities.

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Winter is coming. Can your staff work from home?

Winter months in the UK can sometimes come with severe weather conditions. It is quite rare to experience winter without hearing forecasts of ice or snow and weather warnings cautioning people to take care when commuting, or even to avoid commuting entirely.

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Re-focus your worrying

As a leader, it is your role to carry the map and navigate your team and company on a journey towards change and betterment. Sometimes it is easy to get lost on this path by focusing on the things that don’t matter and on the things that you can’t change. Worrying about what will happen after Brexit or how Trump can impact your business with his next misguided tweet will get you nowhere. Instead, you should focus on the important elements of leadership and bring your team on a journey that manages the risks that you can prepare for.

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Would you go on holiday to an earthquake zone?

The recent hurricanes and other disasters sweeping parts of the world may give you pause for thought about your holiday destination. Yet, every year, millions of us are herded into thin metal tubes with wings and fast-moving engine parts, all at various points in their fatigue-design lifespan. We fly to earthquake, flood or hurricane zones and mostly enjoy a lovely time. We ignore the risk of food poisoning, variable levels of medical care and even court danger on rickety tourist boats or volcanic/mountain/clifftop trips in the quest for a memorable holiday.

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When was the last time you read a newspaper?

For Warren Buffet, the route to success as a CEO was to “read five-hundred pages a week… That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest“. While this seems like a lot, newspapers are the perfect source of information for many and are a great way to shift towards hitting your weekly word-count.

But with the decline in print and the increasing demands on company heads, why should you commit so much time to perusing the papers?

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Hurricane Ophelia wrought havoc, will you be able to lead your team when disaster strikes?

The recent Hurricane Ophelia caused chaos for many in the UK, showing us an extreme example of unavoidable adversity that requires excellent leadership.

Adversity in the workplace can come in many forms, from unexpected fire alarms and burst pipes to more serious issues that can impact your team in prolonged, more negative ways. When disaster strikes, that’s when strong leadership is truly needed. Read on and find out how you can lead and inspire your team in the face of sudden adversity.

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Risk is the forgotten element of the business plan

Any business plan we develop needs to consider a number of factors when assessing the timeframe for progression and the targets that will reflect it. When we make a business plan, it is our ambition that drives us; an ambition to succeed, to make a difference, and ultimately to leave a legacy that just might immortalize us in the eyes of the public. We consider budgets, marketing, staff, expenses…but there is one element that has been so fundamental to many of the most successful businesses that we tend to forget.

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Is cash keeping you afloat or dragging you down?

A full order book is no longer a sure sign of company prosperity. These days, cash in the bank is the only real indicator of success.

In the current pressure cooker economy, the most effective leaders are the ones who have their finger on the financial pulse of their organisations. Leaders have long-term strategies to even out cash flow and flag bottlenecks, whereas managers focus on short-term gains.

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Do you have an emotional contract with your employee?

What is an emotional contract? According to Adrian Furnham, author of The Talented Manager, “The psychological contract is essentially concerned with a set of expectations and obligations. Employees come to believe […] that they are being offered various things, such as: security of employment; promotion prospects and opportunities; training and development programmes; help and care in times of trouble; and being treated fairly and with dignity. And employees usually offer something in return: a soft form of conformity and obedience: obeying the rules and abiding by the requirements of the job and the instructions of supervisors. They also offer loyalty by staying on in the job, perhaps when they have had attractive offers from elsewhere. And, linked to this, they offer commitment”.

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Do you know the family circumstances of every member in your team?

The Rottweiler school of management – insisting that employees leave their home lives firmly at the door – is thankfully dying out. There is a growing understanding that to get the best out of people, you have to actually treat them like human beings, not commodities, or resources, or worse still, robots.

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