Archives for November 2013

Creating a Better Future

In preparation for the return of the popular Resilience Skills Workshop, Shari Khan offers an insight on resilience and creating a better future, and how it applies to the workplace…

When most of the world’s problems such as overpopulation, the environment, and inequality are created by human beings, why then can’t we humans resolve them?

ShariKhan_new_webWhy don’t we make a connection between our current actions and their future consequences? Some say it’s because we are too busy with the present to worry about the future. Certainly, if you are running your own business, there’s lots to focus on day-to-day.   But what do we need to be doing now to ensure a brighter future?  How should we behave so that we create the sort of future that we dream of?

The problem is, the more primitive parts of our brain conspire against us thinking about the future. The amygdala is designed to be alert to signs of threat, but only immediate threat. We are strongly pulled towards immediate gratification, even if this undermines our longer-term well-being. That’s the dilemma we face.

Let’s think how this applies to the workplace. There is now over-whelming evidence to support investment in employee well-being programmes. Research in the U.K. and U.S. show average savings from such programmes are doubled or tripled for every pound or dollar spent. But because investing in the care of employees doesn’t produce instant results, it is often jeopardised for the urgent, more pressing, short-term needs of the business.

futureLet’s not limit the discussion to employees in large companies.  As owners of small businesses, let’s apply this principle to ourselves and the few people we might employ.  Keeping ourselves well; in mind, body and spirit ensures we are resilient and able to deal appropriately with the world around us, not just in the present but by future-proofing ourselves.

It’s not that we lack potential solutions to our problems, be they world problems, local or personal, it’s more that we are not willing to give up our short term gains in place of future returns.

To reverse this (very natural human) behaviour, we need to learn to better regulate our emotion, which begins with gaining more control of our attention, but that’s the topic for another blog.

If you want to know more about our guest blogger, Shari Khan, click here

To book on to Shari’s Resilience Skills workshop, click here

 

How To Increase Your Network in 3 Simple Steps

networkIn his book, Networking Is A Contact Sport, Joe Sweeney offers an insight into why networking is a vital tool for the success of any business and suggests ways to make it work as efficiently as possible. Like Joe, I am in huge agreement with the philosophy that your knowledge, experience and passion will certainly play a major part in the growth of your business, but it’s the people in your network who will determine its ultimate success.

One of the tools that is offered up in the book is the 5:10:15 rule which he developed over 30 years ago and suggests that for each of the next 30 days you complete the following:

5 – Meetings/encounter
The suggestion here is not to set aside a minimum of 3 hours per day and go to the expense of hiring meeting rooms, but to make even a face-to-face contact with a person. I recently visited a B2B exhibition and, while waiting in the long queue for a much needed coffee, I started talking with the person stood in front of me. As it turns out, it was a conversation that proved beneficial for us both and it’s this type of encounter that Joe Sweeney refers to.

10 – Pieces of correspondence to be sent
This is targeted and specific correspondence on corporate or personal stationery or by email. Newsletters and “impersonal e-blasts” do not count and nor does copy-and-pasting the identical message to each recipient. And remember: we’re talking 10 letters or emails every single day.

15 – Phone calls to be made
Like the author, your phone may be your best friend in business and 15 phones call to your network can help to enhance relationships and discover opportunities that may otherwise have been missed. Make sure you find a reason that you’re calling that person though, so you don’t create a feeling of resentment born from the fact that you’ve just wasted their time.

What I like about Joe’s plan is that it is very achievable (although I can confirm some self-discipline and focus is required), it’s easy to record and measure the return on investment that is spent in each area and it does work. All you need to do now is to download the The 5/10/15 Rule Template and give it a go.

Tell me how the rule works for you at info@cambridgebusinesslounge.com, on our Facebook page or on Twitter  @edagoodman.

Our Coworkers are Taking a Step Forward for GEW 2013

This week our coworkers are committing to reaching their goals by making a change to their business or behaviours and taking a step forward, in support for Global Entrepreneurship Week. Download your Hold Up Poster here and email your image to info@cambridgebusinesslounge.com or tweet using the hashtag #GEWfwd.

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An Amazing Testimonial

Thank you so much to Liz Weston at Weston Communications for this amazing feedback which we received after using our facilities to host their workshop yesterday…

Hello Cambridge Business Lounge – aka Ed and Jodie. Just wanted to write and say thank you for a brilliant day of training using your meeting rooms today.

The room was set ahead of schedule, there were extra cables to ensure that our powerpoint set up work, pens, paper, water, hot drinks, excellent wifi and it gave a really professional first impression to the people attending our Facebook workshop today.

From Jodie shaking attendee’s hands on arrival, to signing them in, to refilling out water bottles and arranging lunch – no detail was left to chance, and it really enabled us to deliver our workshop with confidence.

Thank you again for providing a fabulous meeting place, venue and networking space. Look forward to using it again soon – the session went so well that we’re going to have quarterly workshops and update sessions!