17 March, 2015

Consolidating & Evaluating Behavioural Change

One of the biggest challenges that we face is getting the most from learning and development. The danger is that we don’t always evaluate the specific impact on people skills and productivity; we focus on monitoring the training. Of course, making the time to really evaluate potential and performance is a real commitment, but can we afford not to?

An approach that has a real impact is built on three specific areas:

-       360  degree evaluation/feedback (where you are now)
-       Training/development interventions (supporting the gaps)
-       Accreditation/development centres (supporting and evaluating development).

360 Degree Evaluation/Feedback

The first stage focuses on developing a 360 tool based around current competency measures. These are then completed and forwarded to Trafalgar anonymously who pull together the information which is then sent to the Individual and Manager for a development discussion. This drives the next stage.

Training/Development Interventions

A series of interventions will need to be developed using a mix of e-Learning and development programmes to cover the key competency areas. Some interventions may be core and mandated whilst others optional. Pre and post discussions with the Line Manager would be a pre-requisite for all activities.  Core programmes may focus on leadership, management, change, team development etc. whilst optional interventions may consider options e.g. assertiveness, presentation skills etc.

Accreditation/Development Centres

The final stage includes the attending of an internal accreditation/development centre where the behavioural skills will be ‘tested’ through group and individual activities. Attendees can also undertake specific work based projects, the results/outputs of which would show a clear business benefit which goes some way to cover the cost of the programme. Using internal Managers of attendees as observers also has the added value of developing the skills and ownership of the Line Manager population. Activities would be observed, feedback collated and then made available to the Individual and Line Manager. This would lead to a very specific and focused discussion and personal development plan.

The time frame involved for an individual, from start to completion, may be anything from nine months to two years depending on the gap in development.


-       A focussed and measurable framework for development
-       Commitment to people with the option for internal recognition
-       Support tool for succession planning
-       Developing Line Manager skills
-       ‘Self-financing’ through work projects
-       Partnership, owned by the business with option for external support.


10 March, 2015

Difficult Situations need Different Responses!

The LMS (Law Management Section) are holding the second Managing Partners discussion group: on 16th April, 2015 at The Law Society, in Chancery Lane. Join me, (Patricia Wheatley Burt) and the others for a lively and insightful exploration into what can help or hinder the many difficult situations we can all find ourselves in, in business. Often the fall out can include damaged business relationships, unbalanced teams, anger, stress, or maybe that nastiest of all, the hidden, malignant smiling assassin of the passive aggressive.

Whatever your experience, this is designed to help those newly in post who would appreciate the support of others, and tapping into our experience. Go online to book your place.

see you soon on another lovely day:

26 February, 2015

Concept of Leadership

Do we really recognise and reward leadership?

We talk a lot about leadership at all levels and its importance, and then potentially pay lip service to it.  Organisation's Learning & Development interventions can easily put the emphasis on “processes”, and performance conversations often do the same.

We encourage or force change onto people and can ignore the power and impact of ownership and buy-in.  The outcome is potentially ineffective, but we still feel that we have 'ticked the box'. The problem is that we might follow rules and processes (management) but it is how we do it (leadership) that really makes it work.

We need to spend more time on developing ownership and recognising our role models.  Let’s also not forget that leadership as well as acknowledging positive behaviours, also has the courage to challenge poor performance, be it productivity or behaviours.  Always with  the emphasis on development.  In that way we actively drive the culture that we need, not just write it in our brochures and manuals.

Leadership drives the behavioural change that develops an environment of positivity and motivation.  Management gives us the processes, structures and tools, leadership is the way that we communicate (the how).
So next time we plan process training, let's also focus on the leadership buy-in to achieve real results.


19 February, 2015

The Journey to 2025 - A Decade of Discovery - investment!

I first met Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future Research over 12 years ago and remain amazed at the extraordinary developments going on in our world: Check out his latest thoughts.

Our world is being transformed by rapid advances in sciences and technology that are touching every aspect of our lives. So what changes could these developments bring about for life as we know it? We only have to look around us to see just how much can change in a relatively short space of time.

Our lives have been shaped by developments which most of us couldn't have imagined a decade ago. For example, handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets now allow us to have live video conversations with our friends, translate instantaneously between multiple languages, watch full length videos and monitor diverse aspects of our health from blood pressure to oxygen flow and stress levels. 3D printing is now available in every home and is being used to create everything from blood cells to entire houses, while new aircraft such as the A380 can carry over 800 passengers on a single flight.

As we look ahead, the decade could be shaped by advances in nanotechnology, information technology, vertical farming, artificial intelligence, robotics, 4D printing, super-smart materials, neuroscience, the biological sciences and genetics. Below we take a brief look at ten scenarios exploring how some of these developments could come together and impact different aspects of our world.

1. Human 2.0 - Human augmentation will accelerate in the next decade. By 2025 we will be witnessing a new breed of human 2.0 and 3.0 who have "hacked" their own bodies. Mind-enhancing drugs are already a reality and we can now have super-smart prosthetic limb replacements that have greater functionality than the ones we were born with. Both fields will continue to progress and we will see genetic treatments to eliminate conditions such as rage and obesity.
All of these enhancements will be monitored and managed 24/7 by a variety of wearable technologies and devices implanted into our bodies. These will help us track every vital sign and link directly to both our own hand held devices and to monitoring services provided by our healthcare providers. 3D printing already allows us to create replacement body parts. The evolution to 4D printing will enable the manufacture of body parts that can self assemble and adapt their shape and properties over time - giving us limbs that could reinforce themselves as we age.

2. National Sovereignty - The map of the globe will change - driven by economic forces. Many smaller and poorer countries may find it impossible to cope on their own with the accelerating pace of change and the cost of keeping up to speed with a globally connected planet. By 2025, we could see 20-25 country mergers as 'at risk' nations seek to come together to create the critical economic strength and attract the investment required to serve their populations and compete in the hyper-connected era.

3. Corporate Giants - 50% of the Fortune 500 index of the largest publicly listed companies in 2025 will come from firms that were not even born in 2014. We will see an ever-increasing number of so called 'exponential companies' that achieve rapid rates of growth by using science and technology to disrupt old industries and create new ones. For example, the taxi app Uber didn't even exist in 2008 and is now valued at over $40 billion while a number of new technology-based businesses such as AirBnB and Snapchat are already valued at over $10 Billion. Many more mega-growth players will emerge in sectors such as driverless cars, 3D and 4D printing, genetics and web-based applications and services that we can't even imagine today. Some argue that the notion of public stock markets will have been transformed by more efficient online crowd funding platforms and the widespread use of digital currencies that effectively create a single global monetary system.

4. Financial Services - By 2025, the financial services landscape will have been transformed by digital currencies like Bitcoin, open markets and a wave of new providers offering crowd based solutions for everything from insurance to equity investment and commercial financing. These community platforms will let us lend to and invest in each other - bypassing the existing providers of saving, business investment, loans and personal insurance.

5. Brain Uploading - By 2025 we will have mapped how the human brain works and technology companies will be competing to host the 'back up' of our brains online. Three major projects in Europe, the USA and China are currently involved in major research activities to understand how the brain stores information and memories. This will ultimately allow us to create memory back-ups with the information stored remotely via an online service provider in exactly the same way as many of us already do with the data on our computers and mobile devices.

6. Immersivity - By 2025 technology advances will give rise to new immersive live and virtual leisure experiences. For example, we will be able to become participants in live action adventures games from Roman battles to re-running the Olympic 100 metres final with robots performing the roles of the other contestants.

7. Mixed Reality Living - The boundaries between virtual and physical worlds will have disappeared by 2025 as we overlay multiple layers of digital sensory augmentation over our physical environment. Augmented and virtual reality will have advanced to the point where we can stimulate all our senses over the internet and via our handheld devices. So, for example, when booking a hotel, these developments would enable us to feel the bed linens, taste the food in the restaurant and smell the bath products - all from a device in the palm of our hands.

8. Robotics - The replacement of humans by robots in manufacturing has been taking place for two decades - it is now spreading to a wide range of other sectors such elder care, crop spraying and warehouse management. By 2025 robots will have entered every aspect of human life and will be commonplace - performing functions as diverse as nursing, complex surgery, policing and security, through to construction, retail and hotel service roles. All of the major vehicle manufacturers are working on autonomous or driverless cars - a form of robot that we will see coming to market in the next few years.

9. Artificial Intelligence - Breakthroughs is Artificial Intelligence (AI) are accelerating - with the development of computer software that has the capacity to mimic humans' ability to learn and adapt over time to changing circumstances. AI is already in widespread use in applications such as satnav systems, aeroplane autopilots, assessing credit and loan applications in financial services, automated call centres and healthcare diagnoses. Advances in AI will gather pace in the next decade. For example, by 2025, the interfaces to all our devices from phones to computers, cars and home appliances will be highly intelligent and adaptive - learning from our behaviours and choices and anticipating our needs.

10. Internet of Life - In the next decade upwards of 100 billion objects from smartphones to street lamps and our cars will be connected together via a vast 'internet of everything'. This will impact every aspect of our lives - for example it could transform the criminal justice system. By 2025, evidence in a court case will include data taken from body worn cameras and microphones and sensors in everyday objects such as clothing, furniture and even our coffee cups - proving exactly what happened and who was present at the scene of a crime.

To arrange for your corporation to meet Rohit - please contact me asap: before it is too late!

Patricia & Adrian

17 February, 2015

Who's got Blended Remuneration right?

At the end of February / early March, the 2nd Edition of the report I have written: The Role of a Law Firm Partner in a Changing Legal Market will be re-published by Ark Publishing, which is very exciting.

What is not exciting is that many firms are still struggling to find that perfect balance between:

* profit sharing and equity balance
* getting the behaviours you expect for sustainable business
* performance related elements of pay
* successful energising of Top Talent
* managing succession planning

As one headhunter said the other day: 'If you need to call me in to help you find talent - then you have not been applying yourself to leading and managing your firm effectively'. Whilst this is a little glib, here are some questions to ask yourself:

- How confident are you that your firm will still exist in 10 years' time?
- What are you doing to ensure today's leaders are building tomorrow's leaders - and in whose likeness?
- How confident are you that your partners and associates are building relationships?

The Report has some answers, and James Parsons and I have further thoughts you might like to explore with us: do get in touch for a no commitment meeting: 0208 870 9781.

Talk soon

12 February, 2015

Help? I'm a new Managing Partner...... LMS 19th Feb

Supporting the Law Management Section's Regional Managing Partner forums, I will be facilitating a short discussion group on Thursday 19th February, in the afternoon. Aimed at Managing Partners who are new in the post, we will explore how to manage the role depending upon whether this includes fee earning, lots of client relationships, and managing other partners: plus all the rest.

if you are interested, do book your place now:19th February LMS for Regional MPs..

I look forward to meeting you at the Law Society.

Have a good week

09 February, 2015

Art in your offices: How to do Business Development

As part of my developing Portfolio Career, I have set up Value Art Fairs Ltd., which takes original art works into your offices, helping you have reasons to gather clients and colleagues together and at the same time be contributing to charity.
Building and developing business relationships takes time, and it is important to have a range of reasons and ways to gather people together in a relaxed atmosphere to learn more about them and their current and future business needs. Many city firms have large office spaces with blank walls that need to have attractive artwork, but if it is always the same - it can become like wallpaper: and no one sees it any more.

By holding say, a drinks event in the afternoon or early evening, you are supporting local and emerging artists to display and sell their works to new audiences, with 5% - 10% of sales proceeds going to the charity of your choice.
Thus meeting your CSR targets, and also providing everyone going into your offices with a wonderful visually stimulating environment.

For more information do get in touch by emailing: patricia@valueartfairs.com.

Watch this space for more information about exhibitions.

Patricia and Adrian