14 August, 2014

A Brief History of Time - outstanding video in 2 minutes!

You may have seen this before.............

This is outstanding.
Hold onto your seat, don't blink your eyes for a second! This is amazing.
Seventeen year old Joe Bush got a high school assignment to make a video reproduction.

He chose history as a theme and tucked it all into two minutes. He took pictures from the internet, added the track Mind Heist by Zack Hemsey(from the movie Interception) and then created this spectacular video.

Hold on tight!

A brief History of Time: http://marcbrecy.perso.neuf.fr/history.html

12 August, 2014

Glorious 12th: Development Centres are The Way Forward!

Companies are often put off assessment centres because of the time input required and also the potential cost involved. With Trafalgar's Development Team, we have an eye on both which gives you the ownership and control, with cost effective support and external expertise when required, and with comfort in the knowledge that you have an objective recruitment process in place.

The first stage is to agree the process:

 Agreement on the Objective//Purpose
 Agree Competency Measures/Indicators
 Identify Activities to Cover Competencies
 Agree Feedback Options
 Produce Timetable
 Produce Paperwork to Support
 Run the Event
 Deliver the Feedback

Clarity around skills required is essential, both technical and competence. From there the planning of the event can take place around competencies, indicators, activities, timetable and paperwork. This may also involve the up skilling of internal assessors/observers.

Managing the logistics is critical with the co-ordination of both the attendees and observers. The smooth running is the basis to creating the right environment for people to excel.
Decision Making
The objective process takes place to determine the right candidate(s) for the position(s) available.

One area that sets organisations apart is the commitment to feedback both internally and externally. It also forms the basis of an effective personal development plan.

- Managed by the organisation giving ownership and control over costs
- A practical approach for maximum objectivity
- ‘Personalised event to fit in the organisational culture
- Development of internal skills (observation/assessment)
- Credibility both internally and externally (the experience)
- Feedback for individual development.

Next Step For You
For more information contact: Adrian Towell, Director, adrian@trafalgarpeople.co.uk
- Mob: +44 (0) 7785 988944

06 August, 2014

Evaluating Behavioural Change - a Case Study

One of the biggest challenges that we face is evaluating the impact of training and development on behavioural change. It’s not just the time delay following development to seeing the change but also the commitment to the actual evaluation.

In this situation, the organisation focused on new managers and built in three specific areas:
- 360 degree evaluation/feedback
- Training/development interventions
- Accreditation/development centres

360 Degree Evaluation/Feedback
The first stage was to develop a 360 tool based around current competency measures. This was then completed and forwarded to Trafalgar anonymously who pulled together the information and then sent to the Individual and Manager for a development discussion. This then drove the next stage.

Training/Development Interventions
A series of interventions were developed using eLearning, CBT and training programmes to cover the key competency areas. Some programmes were core and mandated whilst others were optional. Pre and post discussions with the Line Manager were a pre-requisite for all activities. Core programmes focussed on leadership, management, change, team development whilst optional interventions concentrated on assertiveness, presentation skills etc.

Accreditation/Development Centres
The final stage was to attend an internal accreditation/development centre where the behavioural skills were ‘tested’ through group and individual activities. Attendees also had to undertake a specific work project, the results/outputs of which covered the costs of the programme. Observers were internal managers of attendees, which developed the skills and ownership of the Line Manager population. Activities were observed, feedback collated and then made available to the Individual and Line Manager. This then led to either immediate accreditation, a plan towards accreditation or the need to re-attend. All outcomes led to a very focused and specific development plan.

The timeframe involved from start to completion was anything from nine months to two years depending on the gap in development and the benefits……

- A focussed and measurable framework for development
- Internal recognition
- Support tool for succession planning
- Buy-in from Line Managers
- Commitment to people
- Self-financing through a work project
- Partnership, owned by the business with external support

Next Step For You
Contact: Adrian Towell, Director
- adrian@trafalgarpeople.co.uk
- Mob: +44 (0) 7785 988944

02 August, 2014

10th August: Mega London Cycle race - Prader- Willi-Syndrome (PWSA)

I know we all get lots of these requests and I know everyone starts their e-mails like that…BUT…my son, James Burt who's at Barclays Capital, is trying to raise some money for charity and is in need of your generosity.

15 of his friends and James are doing the Prudential 100 mile race (optimistic term) on Sunday 10th August. They’re raising money for the Prader Willi-Syndrome Association (PWSA) as their friends’ son, Sam, sadly has this condition. This is a great charity that will help make his life and that of his family’s better.

So…if you can, do please click the link above and let loose with the credit card.

Thank you

This makes for great practice at teamwork, leadership, focus and staying power which complements some of our development programmes.

and thank you in advance from the rest of the Trafalgar Team

21 July, 2014

Preparing for PI insurance: have a desktop review

The term “Risk Management” has now been with us for as long as most of us can sanely remember.

But what is Risk Management? How can you make sense of what can work in your practice without ploughing blindly on and risking failure because you didn’t see that risk coming, or jumping at shadows and not fulfilling your potential?

Every practice is different but there are lines of latitude and longitude that run through them all and you can put sensible measures in place to manage risk robustly and dare I say, still make a profit.

The Law Society’s Practice Management Standard, Lexcel, is an excellent way to introduce structure, policies and procedures into your business and to ensure that everyone plays their part in making it work well. The fact that you must be independently assessed every year will give you helpful feedback, keep you on track and save you tearing your hair out.

It is a great business management tool.

You may have already achieved membership of other Law Society quality standards such as the Conveyancing Quality Scheme or the more recent Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme, but you need to be working to the Core Practice Management Standards and be confident that you will make the grade in an assessment.

• The SRA Handbook can be a rather daunting read, and Outcomes Focussed Regulation must be interpreted and applied effectively.
• There are straightforward and practical ways to help you to meet the required quality standards and give you peace of mind that you won’t fall foul of regulation.

You may be a newly authorised ABS who wants structure in place from day one; or a long established Partnership or a Sole Practitioner who has had, for a long time, good intentions of getting a handle on compliance but finding it bewildering so it keeps getting shelved.

You could be a criminal defence solicitor wondering if you dare take on privately paying clients for fear of accepting proceeds of crime; or a practice doing fast track work that only takes fixed fees and you are going dizzy trying to get your invoicing processes and transfers between client and office account working smoothly - do not despair, your business model can work and be compliant.

It is that time of year again when applications to the Professional Indemnity Insurance forms need to be completed and submitted which means your risk profile will be under the spotlight. So don’t exhaust yourself – seek advice, get help, address the issues and continue with confidence.

If you are interested in an initial, no commitment, meeting or desktop review, then contact Patricia Wheatley Burt and her expert team of Consultants and Coaches on: +44 (0)20 8870 9781 - it could save you hundreds of pounds, time and energy.

30 June, 2014

Survival of the Shifters-Paradigm shifts, drifts, rifts and gifts

Happy Birthday, Donald!

In the 1800’s, Charles Darwin wrote about survival of the fittest in our natural environment. Today, it may be survival of the shifters in our working environs.
I gaze down from the top floor of the National Library, honoured to deliver the Singapore Institute of Management’s 50th anniversary transformation lecture.
The city below has undergone phenomenal transition, itself, since rising from destruction after World War 2. In Year of the Horse, this country exemplifies getting right back in the saddle after a fall; a tiny county with no natural resources, forced to rely purely on human resources to transform into a dynamic nation.
What can I possibly add to the topic of transformation? I settle on the somewhat risqué title: ‘Shift Happens’; although Australians often omit the ‘f.’ Let’s face it-life isn’t perfect and sometimes the more things change, the more they remain the same in terms of human response to such shift. Certainly, this may occur faster in today’s high tech world but in this Year of the Horse, I ponder the paradox that:

-My great grandfather rode a horse to work but was frightened of that ‘new-fangled’ technology called a train.
-My grandfather rode a train but was frightened of the horseless carriage we call a car.
-My father drove a car but was frightened of that new innovation called a plane.
-I fly to conferences all over the world-but can’t ride a horse. (at least, not very well!)

Yes, some things may go full circle but it remains constant that you can’t go forward if you are looking backward and tethered by outmoded paradigms.

Paradigm shift is a term familiar to most and basically refers to a change in a long established pattern of behaviour. But do we simply pay lip service to the concept without actually altering our modus operandi? Here’s a few variations to ponder on the popular phrase:

Paradigm shift or drift? Are you passive to go with the flow even when you can sense things drifting in the wrong direction-or will you be courageous enough to stick your neck out to help shift the course of events?
Horse sense: Don’t put the cart before the horse…unless that’s where the cart needs to be!

Paradigm shift or lift? Do you feel bogged down by changes outside your control-or do you embrace evolving environments and use your energy to focus on changes within your control; to lift yourself to a higher level and become a victor-not victim-of change .
Horse sense: If your work doesn’t feed your dreams, seek new pastures but beware-the grass isn’t always greener.

Paradigm shift or rift? Does your team work together for positive change-or is there a rift amongst peers who fight internally to protect their own little patch of turf? Never forget that the competition is external.
Horse sense: What sort of horse are you…a thoroughbred-workhorse-show pony-old nag -or wooden horse? Be bold and be unique to run your own race as a stayer-not just a sprinter.

Paradigm shift or sift? With the increasing volume of information cascading down on us in avalanche proportions, do you allow yourself to be buried in trivia or able to sift fads from fundamentals; to filter the urgent from the important?
Horse sense: Be sure to sift the wheat from the chaff so you don’t recklessly ride off in the wrong direction.

Paradigm shift or gift? Change is a threat to many but a priceless gift to those who welcome it. I’m reminded of the old fable of two young brothers who asked for a horse one Christmas. One received a beautiful wooden rocking horse but was bitterly disappointed and burst into tears. The other only received a bag of manure but excitedly told his brother: ‘With all this s**t , there must be a pony nearby’ And sure enough there was one waiting outside.
Horse sense: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Remain positive as every problem presents an opportunity.

Yes, shift happens-and will continue to happen in mother nature and human nature; in organisms and organisations, It’s how we adapt to those paradigm shifts, drifts, rifts, lifts, sifts or gifts that will determine our future.

It may be an old adage to pick yourself up and get back on the horse-or back on course. But, as in generations past, it remains true for everyone today. What are you waiting for?

Catherine DeVrye MSc & CSP Change-Teamwork-Resilience-Service-Motivation
2010 Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year-former Australian Executive Woman of the Year-Best-selling Author

09 June, 2014

How Novel does a 'Crisp' CV need to be?

May 22, 2014
IN TODAY’S tough job market, it’s important to stand out from the crowd.

That’s why Parisian Yves Bonneyrat decided an ordinary CV wasn’t good enough when he applied for a job with Tyrells, the English crisp manufacturer.

He decided, instead, to send his resume to the Leominster-based company printed on a packet of crisps.

I faithfully followed all Tyrells original design but instead of consumer information, I added my CV and a cover letter,” he told French employment blog blog-emploi.com.

“The idea came after I’d enjoyed Tyrells crisps on a weekend in London. I realised only five or six flavours are available in France, compared to many more in Britain,
” he said.

He decided to offer his services as sales manager in France.

But he didn’t just fire off an application. He put a lot of thought and effort into his unique CV. He told blog-emploi that he spent some time researching the company, its products, its brand and their market before putting his CV together.

He said that he even deliberately chose to duplicate the design of Tyrells product that is available in Britain but not in France.

It cost €300, but Mr Bonneyrat has high hopes his speculative application will pay dividends - as he said, it’s a unique CV, not one he is planning to send out several times. Now, he is waiting for a response to his application from the company.

What sort of experiences have you had with keen applicants? Do share them.

Best wishes