Blog

Fronting up back-to-back meetings

by Linda Feerick

“I really don’t mind when a meeting overruns and we don’t get much done” said no one. Ever. At a recent Alliance meeting we were reviewing some key themes from our coaching portfolio, mining for insights that may be gold dust for our clients. Said clients include law firms, financial services, media, public sector, charities, retail, telecoms and more. The theme of too many and poor meetings came up for all of us and sadly, it has been around for ages. It doesn’t seem to matter which profession you are in, what level you work at, or how you harness technology there is a depressing familiarity that it is hard to get meetings right, either in quantity or quality. Even giving it a different name (fancy attending a “huddle” anyone?) doesn’t help. In times of financial pressure, meetings are very expensive. Indeed, one of us had pointed out to our client that their meetings cost the business £000s and the return was negligible. (more…)

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Alliance Good Reads: What we’re reading – the sequel

As we shared book recommendations with each other after the Easter break (which now seems like a long time ago!), we realised that between us, we in The Alliance read a lot! Inspired by this, we decided to share with you brief reviews of some of the books that have made an impact on us, whether work-related or just for fun. This post is the second in our pair of reading review posts: we hope you enjoy them and that they motivate you to compile your own summer reading list. And if you’ve read any books lately that have made an impression on you, we’d love to hear your thoughts! (more…)

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The Power of the Power Hour: How to get more done

by Liz Gooster

I love my Power Hours. Can’t get enough of them! That’s true in a very real sense, because I don’t manage them as often as I’d like, and if I could, I’m sure I would be more productive, more effective, more satisfied, happier … all that wonderful stuff. So what am I talking about? For me a Power Hour is a dedicated time of uninterrupted focus on something I really want or need to make progress on. (more…)

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What we’re reading – Alliance book recommendations

As we shared book recommendations with each other after the Easter break, we realised that between us, we in The Alliance read a lot! Inspired by this, we decided to share with you brief reviews of some of the books that have made an impact on us, whether work-related or just for fun. This post is the first in a short series of two, so we hope it whets your appetite for future tips. And if you’ve read any books lately that have made an impression on you, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Leadership Profile: Kenny Wilson leads the home of modern vintage as CEO of Cath Kidston

kenny-wilson-chief-executive-cath-kidston-xlarge

‘You have a long working life, you need to enjoy it.’

When I meet Kenny Wilson, the affable yet determined powerhouse heading up Cath Kidston as its CEO, he certainly seems to be enjoying his job. The news that the company has been bought out by private equity group Barings Asia has just gone public. Wilson describes the transaction as representing a continuity of ownership and indeed, a simplification of the stakeholder structure, leaving just one investor and giving access to more funding to drive their next phase of growth. A smooth deal then, but even if the takeover waters had been choppy, Wilson strikes me as a man who can cope with pretty much any difficulty thrown at him, not least because he is open-minded enough to be on an ongoing journey of learning and self-development and has both the courage and humility to surround himself with capable people. But more of that later. (more…)

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Flow into Autumn: How to recharge your batteries with a new challenge

By Ann Orton

1-img_0289It’s the Autumn Equinox, when we officially move into autumn and the day is evenly split between light and dark. It feels like a timely point to share my reflections on an aspect of my summer. In early August, I took myself off to the wild and unspoilt countryside of the Welsh Borders to a stone carving course. It was an experiment:  on two consecutive summers several years ago I had attended a four-day stone carving course at Chelsea College of Art next to Tate Britain, learning the basics in the original mortuary of what was the Royal Army Medical College, and commuting from home.  But the course had been dropped. (more…)

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Change Our Habits, Change Our Lives

By Liz Gooster

Gretchen Rubin

Do you make your bed in the morning? If you do, that’s good. If you don’t – yet – starting to do so could make a drastic difference to your clarity of mind. Sounds trivial, and yet in her extensive research into the habits that work for us, and against us, Gretchen Rubin, author of bestselling The Happiness Project and now Better Than Before, has found that there is significant truth behind the notion that outer order contributes to inner calm. And what about those people who make their hotel bed on the day they checkout? Well, that’s a whole other category … (more…)

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… And it ended with three little words

By Linda Feerick

i-love-youMy previous blog (It started with a kiss) described how we start our Alliance meetings, highlighting why we think the start a meeting is critical. Well, we also think that the middle and end are important too. Typically, it is the middle section (‘the business’) that gets all the attention and by the end we are in danger of morphing into Usain Bolt as we sprint to our next meeting (for which are probably already late).  (more…)

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It started with a kiss …

by Linda Feerick

It started with a kiss…. kiss

…well it didn’t actually but at least I have your attention! Last week I chaired our monthly Alliance meeting. The first item on the agenda is always ‘Positive Beginnings’ and it is one of the items that never gets cancelled or shifted. So, we sat in silence for a couple of minutes and then slipped into a discussion on the question ‘If you were invited on to Desert Island Discs’ (which happens to be on my bucket list but I think I have some work to do to get an invite) what would be your luxury item?’ (more…)

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The Bottom Line: Lonely at the Top?

by Ann Orton We were pleased to see Executive Coaching profiled in Evan Davis’ R4 programme The Bottom Line: Lonely at the Top? with Evan and his three guests:  two very senior clients Melanie Richards, vice-Chair KPMG, and Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Group, along with a coach or self-described ‘trusted leadership advisor’, Jonathan Bowman […]

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