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Wellmeadow Consulting https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk Providing NED support to SMEs Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:16:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Moreton Hall Time Management Talk https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2020/06/moreton-hall-time-management-talk/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2020/06/moreton-hall-time-management-talk/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2020 08:32:46 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=9991 David Parry was invited to give a talk to the students at Moreton Hall on the subject of Time Management. Here are a few links from that talk that might prove useful.

www.bit.ly/Moreton7H – Stephen Covey’s even more best selling book on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – once again a link to the Google preview of the book

https://www.blinkist.com/magazine/posts/read-seven-habits-highly-effective-people-3-minutes Blinkist is a book summarising service

www.bit.ly/MoretonGTD – David Allen’s best selling book “Getting Things Done (the art of stress free productivity)” – this is a link to the Google preview of the book

Pickle Jar Theory of Time Management – (Just Google it – https://www.google.com/search?q=pickle+jar+theory+time+management)

https://www.eisenhower.me/eisenhower-matrix/ The Eisenhower Matrix

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle – 80/20 Principle

www.trello.com Trello

https://www.upwork.com/ Upwork is an incredible market place of freelancers who you can pay to do all sorts of useful things

Outlook tip – when you are working, minimise the ‘Today’ section of your emails. You can process yesterday but you can’t change it. If you respond to emails and they trigger another response then it ‘bounces back’ and you are interrupted from getting through the list.

Manage your stress levels and notice the early signs of when you are getting stressed. Have some coping mechanisms. Try removing yourself from the room, write a list, take a walk, do some breathing exercises.

Make time to learn some basic programming techniques so you use your computer efficiently. Try recording macros in spreadsheets or even learn how to write macros using VBA. You can also use a program called ‘AutoHotKey’ to automate regular key presses.

Create Habits to make you do things that you often forget. Every time you turn on a light switch or brush your teeth.

Agree to do important things with other people and diarise them. Then you have the pressure of not letting them down.

You can access this page quickly in future using this quick link: bit.ly/CarolineLang

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Roger Martin-Fagg Year End Headmaster’s Report https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/12/rmf-2016_report/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/12/rmf-2016_report/#respond Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:15:52 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=9152 Traditionally at the end of each year, Roger confesses to his mistakes and humbly points to his successes. He reviews all his predictions from a year ago and updates them based on what has actually happened.

Of course this is also the time when he issues his predictions for 2017. You can download it here. Happy reading, and Happy Christmas from all at Wellmeadow. Good luck with your businesses in 2017.

Click here: DEC 2016 update

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Roger Martin-Fagg October 16 Economic Update https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/10/roger-martin-fagg-october-16-update/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/10/roger-martin-fagg-october-16-update/#respond Tue, 18 Oct 2016 19:34:57 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=9118 It’s him again! Roger has produced his latest missive, in what must be the most uncertain of times he has ever had to commentate on. Roger is our guest speaker at the November Vantage event so if you want to quiz him on his opinions, or hear him expand on them, then get over to meetup.com and register to attend. You can find the membership details there.

October 2016 update FINAL

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Magic Minutes – your meetings, made smarter https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/09/magic-minutes-your-meetings-made-smarter/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/09/magic-minutes-your-meetings-made-smarter/#respond Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:35:41 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=9102 One of the key things we help our clients with is the facilitation of their meetings, be it a board meeting, sales meeting, operations meeting, etc.  Over the years, we’ve chaired upwards of 2,000 meetings and have picked up a thing or two about what makes a meeting effective.

Over the past six months we’ve been developing a software tool (Magic Minutes) which incorporates much of our learning and helps organisations manage their meetings, take minutes and review/track actions.

To find out more about Magic Minutes go to the website (www.magicminutes.co.uk) or read our article on the Shropshire Chamber website (click here).

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Brexit – a dream come true or has the nightmare just begun? https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/06/brexit-a-dream-come-true-or-has-the-nightmare-just-begun/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/06/brexit-a-dream-come-true-or-has-the-nightmare-just-begun/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2016 06:43:51 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=9060 Many people are still digesting the news from Thursday’s referendum outcome and emotions are running high on both sides of the debate.  As the UK enters uncharted waters we will all be watching the events of the next few months with great interest.

The British sentiment that “a cup of tea will make it OK” is unlikely to resonate with some in this instance.  However, if you’ve got time, make yourself a cuppa and have a read through the post-Brexit thoughts of Roger Martin-Fagg.

Click here to read Roger’s thoughts.

A old proverb says “the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward to challenge it” so in the interest of balance we also have a link (click here) to some thoughts from Lord Digby Jones.

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Are you a high flyer in Shropshire? https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/06/vantage/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/06/vantage/#respond Thu, 02 Jun 2016 11:08:14 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=8991 Do you have a Rising Star in your Company?

In Shropshire we are competing against the big cities to attract and retain good quality people to come to our county to build their careers. One of the reasons they give for leaving is that there don’t seem to be other like-minded people in businesses around here. They feel they can learn more if they go to Birmingham or London. We are trying to fix that perception, and to provide support to the county’s high promotable people.

Wellmeadow Consulting in Shrewsbury has invested money and time to set up a forum with nationally recognised professional speakers to talk to rising stars. It meets four times per year at the new University Centre Shrewsbury, and aims to provide professional development for ambitious business people in all sectors at a very low cost – subsidised by us.

We have formed this group and have called it Vantage. We have had three meetings so far and the next meeting is planned for 9 June. It will run from 4pm to 7pm. Our next speaker is Dr David Hall who is an expert on Creative Thinking in business. Future speakers we have lined up include a team dynamics specialist and a government economist who is actually quite funny!

All we ask is a contribution towards the speaker costs of £200 per year per attendee. As speakers can sometimes cost £2,000 or more (and there are four per year) we think this is pretty good value, and not something you can access anywhere else in Shropshire. We have found that in many cases, employers are prepared to foot the bill as part of training and development.

You can find out more about the Vantage group here.

If you are interested, or someone jumps to mind, please contact us to book in and reserve a place. Of course if you have any questions, then feel free to get in touch with Andrea in the office who can explain more. Thanks for your help.

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PSC Register Template https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/05/psc-register-template/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/05/psc-register-template/#comments Mon, 16 May 2016 12:00:19 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=8952 Do you know what a PSC Register is? It could be 2 years in Jail if you don’t!

I would be prepared to bet that the vast majority of companies are unaware that the Small Business and Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 means changes came in to force this April which affect most directors – and they could in theory be subject to a 2 year prison sentence for not complying with it. Scary. As usual though, if you know what forms to fill and what to do with them then you’ll be fine. The current Annual Return is being replaced with something called a Confirmation Statement, and by the end of June you have to submit one instead of your Annual Return – and it is a criminal offence not to! Additionally, you now have to keep an internal PSC Register of what used to only be kept at Companies House – and you have to show it to anyone with proper cause that asks for it. You can download a PSC Register Template below.

As an addition to what the old Annual Return asked for, you now have to include other people – not just the shareholders. You have list persons with more than 25% voting rights, as well as some other provisions – including other entities that may have control over the company.

What surprised us though, is that whilst there are several websites helping you to understand the provisions, there wasn’t a single template that we could find. So we made one. You can download it here:

Download the Wellmeadow PSC Register Template here for free

 

Hopefully it is fairly self-explanatory, but here is a quick primer if you haven’t heard about it yet.

An officer of the company must identify people with significant control (PSC’s) over the company and confirm their information.
An officer of the company must record the details of the PSC on the company’s own PSC register.
An officer of the company must identify people with significant control (PSC’s) over the company and confirm their information.

An officer of the company must keep the PSC Register up to date and provide an extract of the PSC Register information to Companies House as part of the annual Confirmation Statement.

The PSC Register may also be accessed by any individual or organisation “with proper purpose” free of charge, you may charge up to £12 for providing a copy. They must make a request to you which sets out their name, their address and the purpose they are seeking the information. You must respond within 5 days. If you believe the request was not for a proper purpose then you must apply to court within 5 days of receipt and reply to the request saying you have done so. It is a criminal offence to refuse a request without applying to court.

An officer of the company must update the information on the company’s own PSC Register when it changes, and update the information at Companies House when the next Confirmation Statement is made.

 

What are the 5 conditions for going on the PSC Register?

An individual who holds more than 25% of shares in the company
An individual who holds more than 25% of voting rights in the company.
An individual who holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors of the company.
An individual who has the right to exercise, or actually exercises, significant influence or control over the company.
Where a trust or firm would satisfy one of the first four conditions if it were an individual. Any individual holding the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or control over the activities of that trust or firm.

 

Where to find out more

Download the government guidance document here Download the Wellmeadow PSC Register Template here for free Contact someone at Wellmeadow on how to use the template

 

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Too small for a Board Meeting? https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/04/too-small-for-a-board-meeting/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/04/too-small-for-a-board-meeting/#respond Thu, 21 Apr 2016 19:42:10 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=8934 This is a billboard campaign running at the moment by Lloyds bank, advertising their business banking. Quite eye-catching I thought, and get’s their message across well. I wonder how many small business think “Oh great – I was thinking we need to get more business like and do some board meetings – let’s ring Lloyds Bank?” Or how many laughed it as ridiculous, saying “We’re too small for a board meeting”.

As regular readers of our blogs and this website will know, we do board meetings. We chair around 300 per year, so this sort of campaign got me to thinking. How many businesses do you think see the board meeting as a waste of time, or perhaps a necessary evil? And how many see it as an effective way of stepping back from the day-to-day and getting some focus on the important things rather than the urgent things?

We’re sufficiently convinced from seeing businesses transform their rate of change through starting to hold board meetings, that we are investing in some software to make the running of a board meeting much less painful. It will be interesting to see what sort of reaction it gets when we launch it later in the year. More of that in a later blog post no doubt. For now though, if you want to get some free advice on what makes a good board meeting, what is in a good agenda or how to chair it effectively, then give us a call. We’ll happily share what we do if you’re a business wanting to get better at getting things done. After all, we think no company is too small for a board meeting.

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Employee motivation 2.0 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/04/if-you-have-to-motivate-someone-do-you-really-want-to-employ-them/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/04/if-you-have-to-motivate-someone-do-you-really-want-to-employ-them/#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2016 17:41:08 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=8921 “Expending energy trying to motivate people is largely a waste of time” writes Jim Collins, author of Good to Great (one of the most read management books).  He goes on to say that the key to a successful business is to ensure you have the right people “on the bus” who should be self-motivated.  The key challenge to leaders and managers is to then ensure that their actions don’t demotivate their employees.

Historically, many businesses subscribed to the management theory that, provided employees were given the right mix of rewards and/or punishments, they would be motivated to do what the senior team wanted.  This may have worked at a certain point in time and for a particular type of work.  However, more recently behavioural scientists have found that for many people this “if-then” form of reward (or punishment) does not always produce the levels of employee motivation expected.  In fact, in many studies, “if-then” type of rewards have proven to be detrimental to participant motivation.  For many businesses, the view of what does/doesn’t motivate employees is lagging behind the science.

Today, there are also a number of social, economic and technological factors of which managers should be aware as they may well have an impact on levels of employee motivation.  The work/life balance expectations of Millennials and Generation Z are different to that of Generation X and Baby Boomers, and consequently there will be different motivational drivers.  The idea of a “job for life” is now by and large consigned to the history books as people look for new and more exciting challenges and opportunities.   Technological advances have resulted in a massive amount of information being available at our fingertips, opening up career possibilities that were simply not available to previous generations.  Additionally, automated processes are increasing taking over the roles that people traditionally undertook across a wide range of industries (e.g. manufacturing, data processing, legal, etc.).

In amongst this paradigm shift of external factors impacting today’s businesses, managers are increasingly looking to recruit and retain highly motivated people to maintain a competitive advantage.

In Dan Pink’s book, Drive, he explores what the science is saying about the key drivers of human behaviour and what motivates us to get out of bed in the morning.  A key distinction is made concerning what is termed extrinsic motivation verses intrinsic motivation.  Extrinsic motivation is the term used to describe motivation that comes from external sources (commission structures, regulatory compliance, etc.).  This is the typical “if-then” type of reward (e.g. if you sell X you get Y) or carrot-and-stick motivation.  Whilst this has its place, it also has a number of downsides as it can lead to a culture of “I’m only going to do it if I’m paid to”.  As any parent who has paid their child to tidy their room knows, getting them to do it for free next time is not so easy!

Conversely, intrinsic motivation focusses upon a values-driven system where the reward an individual seeks is often found within doing the task at hand.  That’s not to say that financial reward is not important, but for many people there is an internal drive to “do a good job” or to experience the joy of overcoming a challenging problem with a creative solution.  Employee expectations are increasingly rising with regard to the challenges they are seeking in the workplace.  In Drive, Pink identifies and examines three critical elements of developing and cultivating intrinsic motivation, namely, autonomy, mastery and purpose.  These are indeed three interesting attributes to consider when looking at recruiting or developing your talent pool.

Taking these in reverse order, consider the following;  Does your business have an overarching sense of purpose that employees (or prospective employees) can relate to?  Without a compelling purpose that employees can identify with, the likelihood is that many staff will just come to work for the money.  On visiting NASA, President Kennedy asked a man sweeping the floor what he was doing, the response was “helping to put a man on the moon” – a clear example of an employee identifying with a purpose greater than his individual role.

Do you allow time and space for your employees to become masters of what they do?  Is there sufficient time dedicated to learning, sharing and passing on knowledge within the business?  It takes time to create a culture that fosters continuous learning and development but it can be an investment that pays dividends in the future.  Mastery is applicable at every level within an organisation from the board room to the shop floor.  Encouraging employees to get better at what they do and helping them to add value to the business (at all levels) is a powerful motivational driver.

Recently, a client was expressing frustration that their employees rarely took the initiative and had to be constantly chased to produce results.  It was quickly identified that the level of autonomy, (i.e. the desire to have control over how we work/live) that was being given to the employees in this situation was minimal.  This was creating a culture where employees expected management to do everything and management didn’t trust the employees to get stuff done.  By giving employees more control over their work (e.g. home working, flexible hours, and increased freedom to promote and market the business) the culture is becoming more results focussed without management having to push people as hard as they used to.  A work environment that wants to create a more autonomous way of working is going to require a high level of trust on the part of both managers and employees.  In today’s workplace, more businesses are going to have to think harder about how they meet a growing demand from employees for more flexible, lifestyle-orientated working conditions.  Results-only work environments (as opposed to a more traditional 9-5 set-up) may still be few in number but are likely to increase in popularity over time.

In summary, business owners and senior managers need to think long and hard about how they want to motivate their employees.  Motivated employees are likely to be more productive, happy and fulfilled in their work.  Consequently, when a company is able to produce a culture that fosters the elements of intrinsic motivation, it stands a better chance of creating an environment that is attractive to both existing and potential employees.  One final thought, with all the goodwill in the world, if someone needs you to motivate them, you probably don’t want to hire them.

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EU in or out? Some data… https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/03/eu-in-or-out-some-data/ https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/2016/03/eu-in-or-out-some-data/#respond Sun, 20 Mar 2016 20:08:35 +0000 https://www.wellmeadow.co.uk/?p=8902 It’s time for another update from Roger Martin-Fagg – our favourite Economist who came to speak at the December meeting of Vantage – the group to hear top-level professional speakers here in Shrewsbury.

This time he has published a paper to inform the debate on the EU. Whether you are for staying in, or getting out, it pays to be well prepared with some of the facts instead of relying on what gets served up in soundbites by the media. It’s probably fair to say that Roger prefers in, but he has tried to put together an unbiased piece to appeal to either side.

BREXIT PAPER FINAL

And if you’re tight for time and you just want the one-page summary, this is for you:

BREXIT PAPER FINAL EXEC SUMMARYBrexit

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