Recruit In Haste, Repent At Leisure

The mere thought of recruiting new staff makes many hearts sink and it’s all too easy in the heat of the moment, (e.g. you find yourself with a vacancy as the result of a resignation or promotion), to launch headlong into the search for a replacement without thinking through the real needs of the business – not just today, but with an eye to future, as the company grows and develops.

Before you go ahead and hire a replacement in the exact likeness of the most recent incumbent take time to carry out a Gap Analysis for your business. This involves first assessing where you are now, then where you want to be in say 3-5 years’ time and finally, an honest assessment about the changes you need to make in order to get you there. One of the headings in your analysis should be People – is your current structure and team aligned to your strategy and future state? Or should you be using this opportunity to consider moving people within the existing team to match their skills to the current/future reality and recruiting the right candidate(s) to fill the gaps? Do you currently have job descriptions that set out the role purpose, responsibilities and reporting structure, etc. and what about Person Profiles to outline the skills and behaviours necessary to fulfil the role successfully? These documents are valuable (i) in making us think about what we genuinely need, and (ii) communicating that clearly to the jobholder. NB These are not set in stone, but should be up-dated as circumstances change.

Having established the nature of the beast you are now looking for, you can start the hunt!


If you would like to learn more about how you could improve your ability to recruit the right candidates for the right roles in your business give us a call for a no pressure analysis of your current system and a discussion about who to move forward. Alternatively, why not join our Recruitment Workshop, which will give you all the procedures, tools and skills you need?



The AuthorFran McArthur is a no-nonsense Business Coach and Trainer with Your Ideal Business Partner. She works with leaders of small and medium sized enterprises, who are interested in taking their organisations to the next level. If you would like to discuss your aspirations and how she might help you achieve them, (that’s a coffee and no sales pressure), give her a call on 07789 520205.



Tick-Tock Time Management

Have you ever run out of day before you’ve achieved all you intended to? That tick-tock feeling of time draining away? Have you noticed that some people never seem to and, what’s more, they make it look effortless? How do they manage their “to-do” lists without stress and still have time left over for leisure? Well, here are some clues:


Top Ten Time Wasters:

  1. Losing or misplacing things
  2. Technology – turned on all the time
  3. Unproductive or unnecessary meetings
  4. Unnecessary levels of perfectionism
  5. Task-hopping
  6. Fire-fighting
  7. Dodgy delegation
  8. Distractions
  9. Procrastination
  10. Interruptions


Top ten time management tools

  1. A well-organised work space
  2. Effective filing (electronic or otherwise)
  3. Confidence in acting decisively
  4. Delegating effectively
  5. Using Covey’s time matrix* (spend most of your time in Q2 high importance / low urgency)
  6. Checking emails only at specific times of the day
  7. Using technology effectively
  8. Scheduling everything
  9. Carrying your schedule and contact list with you all the time
  10. Looking after yourself i.e. enough sleep*, adequate exercise, healthy diet etc.


There are plenty of books, TED talks etc. which help you to use your time more efficiently and enjoyably. One of my favourite TED talks – and I am not alone – is Arianna Huffington – how to succeed get more sleep

*The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Well worth a re-read and a must for all libraries – personal and business. It includes the time matrix mentioned above.



If you would like to learn a bit more about time management and some practical tools for getting more out of your life in 2016, make a start by joining one of our half-day workshops.



The Author: Rachel Ward Lilley is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal.



Execution – Getting Things Done

Execution of Strategy

70% of failure of strategy comes from poor execution by leadership. It is rarely the fault of lack of vision or thinking. Ram Charan – Execution the discipline of getting things done 2005

When you think about it, you were taught strategy at business school, not execution. Did you ever think execution of your strategy would be so difficult, after all, your people work for you, nobody else is paying them.

So why does it feel so much harder than it should?

Is it because of the enormous amount of energy required to maintain the operation? ‘The Day Job’ what we call the whirlwind, will suffocate the activities required to execute the strategy.

Think about the strategies that you have seen fail. How did they die?

Did they come crashing down with a big bang, or die slowly, quietly smothered by the day job?

Your people are not lazy or defiant. The problem is, they are busy with what they call real work.

It is also a fact that like most creative, ambitious leaders you may be trying to pursue too many goals at the same time and as the numerous priorities become jumbled within the whirlwind, your people lose sight of where they stand.

You measure everything, but the numbers are after the fact. It feels like you are driving a car looking out of the review mirror.

Your managers spend their days either battling the whirlwind or praying they achieve the goal. So people return to their day job, having lost sight of the strategy. They are clearly playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

There are four rules for executing in the face of the whirlwind and unknowingly you are not aware of them.

If this sounds familiar to you, and you would like to know the four rules, contact me and let’s see if your team is up for executing your strategy in the face of the whirlwind. Your Ideal Business Partner

Why not hold a strategy day with your team. Learn more…


  • Ram Charan – Execution the discipline of getting things done 2005
  • Stephen R Covey, Chris McChesney 2012 The four disciplines of execution


Going Business Class

Going Business Class

Going Business Class

Going business class is taking your business to a level where you run it and it doesn’t run you. It’s automated and is hitting the growth and cash targets you have set. The phases of business growth as we see them are described below:

Start Up. The majority of us start a business that is based on our trade, occupation or profession. Some of us base it on a passion, whichever route though; it is born out of a desire to achieve something out of the ordinary.

Some start-up owners study business before they launch and others just dive straight in. The one thing they all have in common though is the very rapid learning curve they go through. The lucky ones, stay in business and move into the next phase.

Struggle. Does this sound familiar? The next phase for most start-ups is struggle. We define this stage as having taken your business to your limiting ceiling; measured in turnover, this could be anything from £100k to, say £5m, depending on your business. Very few businesses actually break through this level to the next one; it is our aim to help you achieve this.

Business Class. Is where you really want to be, it is where your business is achieving the goals you set without you having to be right in there. It is taking your business to the next level and is the hardest level to achieve. The businesses that do achieve this are those that put a plan in place. With a good plan it can be achieved within a reasonably short period of time, anywhere from one to three years might be considered acceptable. The mentoring system is designed to take you business from struggle to Business Class.

So, what is the difference between struggle and business class?

Business Class company owners:

  • Have a “big picture” perspective and a vision for the future
  • Have well developed goals and objectives
  • Build a team to deliver the objectives

FREEDOM is the final phase for any business owner.

We define this phase as:

“Building a business that can run effectively without you constant involvement”.

At this point you will have gained both financial, as well as, time freedom. This is our ultimate objective for you.

Bob Evans
Your Ideal Business Partner

My Employees Drive Me Mad

If people are not doing what you want them to do in the work place, ask the question why?

It’s a question about behaviour.

“It’s Mary’s job to sort out the post by 4:30pm and it does not always happen and it drives me mad!”

Does this sound familiar? Let’s take a look at the Behaviour model.

  • What drives behaviour? – Feelings and emotions
  • What drives feelings and emotions? – Attitude
  • What drives attitude? – Beliefs
  • What drives belies? – Conditioning

The Article

When someone is not behaving in the way they should or they are avoiding something, it normally comes down to a belief.

Normally people do things for the right reason in their world, they do not do things or do things to upset people, they just do not understand what is important to other people or the business.
In our case Mary may consider that what ever she is doing at that time is more important that sorting out the post.

It’s your job to re-condition her thinking and give her the belief that getting the post sorted is a top priority for the company. You are changing her belief structure and putting this task at a higher importance level in her mind.

At the end of the day it’s all about communication.

Positive ways to make sure your operation run’s smoothly is to carry out regular appraisals to make sure you and Mary are both singing from the same song sheet in terms of job roles and responsibilities, as these change from time to time especially as a company grows, you may be giving day to day instructions to someone and slowly changing that persons roles and responsibilities with out knowing it.

An appraisal will sort this out.

Monthly coaching sessions with individuals, giving them support and a change to give you feed back is another excellent method of improving performance. Coaches use questions, and listen to the answers. Coaches listen 80% of the time and only talk or ask questions 20% of the time. This is the art of coaching, letting the other person get out, what is going on.

Action Points

To get the best use out of this article, my recommended action points are:

  1. Prepare an appraisal
  2. Carry our regular appraisals (every six months)
  3. Learn how to coach using the GROW Model