OUR NEWS & BLOG 

Stranger Danger! Posted on November 14th 2017 by Derek 

Sex in the workplace has never provoked such feeding frenzy. Everybody, it seems, whoever, had an unwanted approach, heard a wolf-whistle or suspected being casually brushed by a passing hand recalls the assault, in techniciolour, as a paid-up member of the Victims’ Club. Anyone can join. Men, women, girls, boys – it’s a perilous world out here. 
 
Stranger Danger! 
 
Over-protective childhood renders the young less resilient than their mothers in dealing with sex pests. Men and women really are different. It’s surely unreasonable to imagine women wish to be attractive to their female colleagues alone. Males in competition with each other are of the narcissistic persuasion 
 
Predators in positions of power are rightly condemned. Cowardly attacks under threat or promise are crimes. Alcohol plus laddish bravado creates unsafe spaces for everyone. But overheated outrage at the merest casual remark, suggestion or unwelcome perhaps accidental and misinterpreted contact threatens the harmony of the workplace. 
 
Men will be men – and militant feminists demanding equality to be regarded ‘one of the boys’, no longer welcome male protection. It’s a tragedy that what’s sacrificed in the process is the respect that is their due and the self-respect of the offender. 
 
Business efficiency suffers in the working environment when men must be constantly concerned in avoiding words or actions that might inadvertently upset the sensitivities of female colleagues.“Inappropriate behaviour “in word and deed marks a further curb to free speech in the continuing battle of sexual politics. 

Upskill for Tomorrow Posted on October 23rd 2017 by Derek 

It’s never too late to learn. Tirelessly repeated, but a mantra too frequently rejected in the comfort of the working day. 
As the employment model continues to change from occupation-for-life to short-term contracts, experience gained in earlier jobs requires adjustment at best. 
 
Far-sighted managers recognise their responsibility in maintaining a workforce fit for purpose. Training in today’s changing technology-driven climate has never been more important. 
 
Past decades have witnessed the demise of whole swathes of occupations that took years to master. Now hardly an aspect of life remains untouched by technology. The relentless speed of IT development brings its own specialised form of lifelong learning headlong into workshop and office, surgery and ward. 
Careers blighted by progress should never be written off. Experience and transferable skills provide a strong platform on which to train these casualties of progress eager for new and emerging opportunities. 
 
And difficulties of staff retention emphasise the fact we cannot afford to lose those with proven value by neglecting to build on their core skills to overcome new employment challenges. 
 
It’s vital to upskill today to be ready for tomorrow. 

Shaft thy Neighbour Posted on August 4th 2017 by Derek 

All that business about an Englishman’s home .. 
Turns out it’s not his or her castle after all. Somebody else is probably proud owner of the ground it’s built on. 
To be secure behind your own front door it seems you need to own the freehold to enjoy the security everyone buys into when they sign on dotted line and arrange the life-long mortgage commitment. 
 
Trouble is freeholds are market commodities. They can change hands. And while the house or flat may have attached a lease that suggests a lifetime or more the owner or tenant might find the ground agreement can move under their feet if a shadowy new owner of the freehold decides to increase the cost. And they surely will – there’s little point in acquiring it unless they own the property. 
 
One of the major problems facing Britain is the lack of housing where supply has yet to go far to meet demand. Yet our laws make it simple for cynical sharp-suited predators working the system to make a killing in trading and enhancing freeholds. Resulting in heavier burden on householders anxious to make ends meet. 
 
Years ago business was far more supportive of the aspirations of the community than it is today. Building societies and banks were about making house ownership possible for as many as could afford the regular payments. 
 
Something then happened to the culture. Benign assistance to self-help and doing the right thing developed into sharp practice and a help yourself syndrome that trapped the unwary and the vulnerable to personal profit. Respected institutions fail standards of probity they once enjoyed; individuals fall short of the confidence in which they were held. 
 
‘Customer care’ has in too many cases been reduced to three or four lines at the foot of the agreement. Search help? “Read the small print!” 
Is it too much to hope that in the struggle to survive harsh financial pressures business will refrain from feeding on itself and return to the standards of fairness and morality for which it was once world-renowned? 

Thinking for Ourselves Posted on July 6th 2017 by Derek 

There’s an awful lot about leadership these challenging days. And precious few candidates brave and acceptable to grasp the role. 
It’s no denying there’s a lot to be concerned about. Twists and turns of politics, terrorism, and the ins and outs of Brexit – as Shakespeare almost said our troubles come not alone but in battalions. 
 
Day by day, night by night revelation at home and abroad, explanation, speculation, confrontation all are laid out in the rolling news that is the gift and the curse of technology. Reported by faces instantly identified as bringers of bad news. 
 
It is no surprise the burden of the stories they tell of tragedy and outrage, duplicity and ineptitude, is coloured by the voice, the emphasis and choice of words; correspondents, commentators are human, too. Watching, trying to comprehend each fresh new problem, along with some analyst’s seldom uncompromised reading of what’s going on, it’s often easy to be almost overcome by guilt if we do not respond to the same emotional degree. 
 
There is demonstrably a danger in allowing others, often offering as much speculation as fact, to allow our reactions to be engineered, leading our thoughts in this way. 
 
Like actors in the theatre, they are telling us what to think. 
 
Just when we need clear-headed, unvarnished news reports, those on whom we rely to relay the truth, however horrifying, without emotion, without making themselves a part of the story appear to be few on the ground. 
 
Journalism further loses integrity when tragedians and drama queens – we’ve got to know the usual suspects since the nation was drawn into immoderate and vicarious grief for Diana – display fulsome empathy to an audience long susceptible to pre-packed information. 
 
But soft hearts subvert good judgement. In national life as in business, leadership demands hard-hearted, dispassionate evaluation of challenging situations to create outcomes that bring order and trust. 
 
The greater the trauma, the higher the emotional demands. Known in the trade as shroud-waving, tears make great television. 
 
But actors belong on the stage, not on the streets and not on our screens. 

The War of the Words Posted on June 2nd 2017 by Derek 

The people, as they say, speak at the ballot-box. But that’s not the end, not even an armistice of the War of the Words. 
Sure, the noise from the social medianites clutters cyberspace. But the movers and shakers ever aiming to bully the public, lean heavily on traditional broadcast media to peddle their fake news and half-truths. 
 
The touchy tournaments between desperate politicians and excitable journos trying to worm from them tomorrow’s regrettable headline, wield tried and trusty formulae as weapons of choice 
 
 
The inquisitor (on behalf of you and me, you understand) has surfed the archive for the political iceberg, while their quarry turns on some deceptively simple figures of speech to steer clear: 
“The truth is …” suggests the listener is about to hear the facts. They’ll be those that, currently, suit the speaker 
“Let’s be clear …” is a signal of upcoming obfuscation. Usually a ploy to reverse a failing policy 
“We all know …” if we don’t know, we’re out of the loop, deluded. Demands an instant reservation of judgement on the statement following 
“You’ll recall …” history about to be re-written. Something brought completely fresh to the party. 
The hand-book of political clichés is updated, if not enriched, daily. 
But when the smoke finally clears, the casualties shaken down and put back for the next bout, the public – having made its choice for better, for worse – returns to challenges of the real world. 
Just about managing - as usual. 
Because those shamelessly manipulating us with fears and promises , rely on us – Joe and Jane Public – to keep the wheels of the economy turning. 

Cabby’s Extra Mile Posted on May 4th 2017 by Derek 

Easy to forget that in today’s cynical society trust and service is still to be found in business.  
 
Co-operation and communication daily makes the world feel a better place than it might appear, thanks to those stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for others. 
 
Above and beyond the call of duty. 
 
Take this nightmare in Liverpool Street. A Black Cab driver dropped his fare and sped to another call, not to know until a new client later handed it to him the last passenger had left her life-supporting handbag. On a busy day the cabbie might have deposited it with lost property. Instead he contacted the anxious owner – already contemplating the steps necessary to securing identity and credit details – with a reassuring text and arranged its return by secured post. 
 
City taxi-drivers have much to cope with; competition, regulations, an uncertain environment and equally uncertain future. In the hope of rescuing the bag she missed within minutes the fearful owner found warm sympathy and advice among the amiable group of waiting drivers, demonstrating the traditional camaraderie of cabmen is far from dead, and generous towards the public finding themselves in need. 
 
An example of the co-operation vital in all aspects of business, where responsibility is not only recognised but exercised. In a world of increasingly complexity this incident demonstrates how in times of crisis we all rely on the kindness of friends. Like that driver in his Black Cab who not only safeguarded an item of value; he restored a life! 
 
“Just what we do,” he says. 

Out of Touch –Out of a Job Posted on April 4th 2017 by Derek 

The work was essential, but not urgent. Bob the builder’s website was impressive, his ballpark estimate was acceptable. What was more he was free to size up the job. We agreed a date, a couple of days ahead, and a time. Cometh the day, cometh the hour but not the man. 
 
His business landline answered, helpfully, with his mobile number. His mobile switched to voicemail. 
 
Bob himself was speechless. 
 
There could be any number of reasons why Bob missed our appointment. He could be held up on another job, so tricky he was for the duration incommunicado. 
He could be ill. Or had an accident. He might be fighting a fire to save his workshop. Either way, he lost the business to a competitor who turned up, completed the job and, more importantly, added a new customer to his database and a chance of positive referrals. The best laid schemes can go awry; had Bob responded within a reasonable time he would have saved his reputation. 
 
Neglect communication and the core business is in peril. 

Sparks Required. Now! Posted on March 2th 2017 by Derek 

As the car effortlessly winds itself into a space the experienced driver might reject, it’s no small flight of fancy to agree the robot could become tomorrow’s multi-tasker. 
 
As Poles, Czechs, Rumanians and Bulgarians say farewell to the taskmasters heading for home post-Brexit, they leave the way clear for technology to do the dirty work they were prepared to carry out while home-grown low-skilled just couldn’t be arsed. 
 
It’s a pretty chilling scenario. 
 
So what’s left for those of us “remaining”? 
 
Regarding themselves too posh to wash, are many likely to fill gaps yawning, for instance, in the care sector? The insurance giant Aviva is said to have challenged 16,000 of its British staff to consider whether their jobs could be done by robots so as to free them for higher-value activities. So as algorithms coalesce to service many of our basic needs, the decades-old predictions that automatons will bring the blessing of increased leisure no longer seem far from reality. 
 
Government sources and some employers – notably farmers who cannily maintain a weather-eye on their future labour requirements –seem gung-ho in the ability to replace low-skilled workers with technology. And make savings into the bargain. Even the Governor of the Bank of England has warned that over time - however long that may be – up to 15 million UK jobs could be automated. A huge chunk of the workforce. 
 
Two thoughts spring to mind. 
 
If in such a future there remains no more skill or inclination of a significant proportion of people to work, how do they pay for their life of leisure? And what contingency plans can be put into operation should by some reason, accidental or malign, the power plug be withdrawn? 
There might be a case for all not otherwise engaged, to be pressed into apprenticeship. 
 
In electrical engineering! 

Tim’rous Times Posted on February 9th 2017 by Derek 

Pity the poor mouse! 
 
Snatched from the security of its carefully-controlled laboratory nest, this poor wee hard-of-hearing beastie exists only to have its ears washed out. 
 
Then in its scary new environment, it hears for the first time. And what it hears are the strange, apparently unconnected, words Brexit and Trump. Not so much a gift as an assault on its animal rights. 
 
Hard not to sympathise! Branded by some as our own Mickey Mouse media, it’s hard to pass an unguarded moment without assault on the airways by the B word. Or the T word. Or, come to that, the NHS acronym beating a tribal tattoo on the senses. 
 
Fat on alternative facts, confused by alternative truths, it’s even more important in business these contentious times to be sure of what we mean. Within the workplace, with clients and customers there is no room for uncertainty.  
 
Efficiency depends on reliability and trust in communications among relationships. So let’s leave the politicians to their grandstanding to argue that black is the post-truth white. Yes, it’s good to talk. But in the real world it’s essential to mean what we say. 
 
No ifs, no buts! 

I Need a Word … Posted on January 5th 2017 by Derek 

Anxiety-prone families will be glad to have survived intact the midwinter festivities. Though some might have exchanged words that strained the harmony of the season of goodwill. 
 
In these uber-sensitive times it’s not just sticks and stones that hurt. Political correctness along with a degree of malice strays into all forms of communication. Lapses send the susceptible into attacks of the vapours. 
 
But the use and misuse of words and terms within a heated exchange can also become a form of bullying. An effective means of closing down the opposition. 
“The simple truth is ...” suggests an alternative view to the speaker’s is unsustainable. 
“Let’s be clear… “says in effect: “I know what I’m talking about and have mastery of the subject, though you clearly don’t.” 
 
There is any number of verbal put-downs, forms of words used in argument as delaying tactics or simply to muddy the waters. 
 
A diplomat seems to have used less than diplomatic means to criticise his Whitehall masters and the media goes into its predicted frenzy. 
 
At a more mundane level, diplomacy is equally important in the world of work. There just a little thought is needed to maintain the wellbeing of colleagues and the preservation of good order and efficiency. Even when criticism is necessary, the hasty, ill-considered word is frequently counter-productive. 
 
It’s true that ‘a wonderful thing is the cliché – it says things much more clever than we say!’ 
 
But use it carefully. At the end of the day … it can bite back! 

Honesty Best Policy Posted on November 20th 2016 by Derek 

We struggle still with the conundrum dismissed so casually those 2000 years ago by Pontius Pilate. “What is truth?” 
 
Experience establishes fairly swiftly what might be true and what’s fake. The newly-furbished term ‘post-truth’ gives a spurious, creepy respectability to the fact that those seeking to influence are excused saying almost anything, however outrageous, however dangerous, to win the argument. 
 
The truth is we have allowed ourselves to be victims. We have become complacently receptive of highly regarded spin-doctors and the facts they massage. We kind of know it’s all in the game, so seldom bother to challenge what’s read in print or heard on the air-waves. 
 
Statistics are reliable weapons to prove anything. Anyone seems able to take part. When challengers do have the temerity to intervene they are met with the denigrating label of the day. 
 
Business, keeping calm and carrying on, maintaining the necessary rhythm of day-to-day life, could not to take part in this dystopian parlour-game and survive. But it can, with good practice, provide for upcoming generations a kind of role model that the political classes fail of offer. 
 
The principles of trust and clear communication have been the foundations of trade since the beginning of time. Supplier and consumer hold each other in mutual trust. 
 
Not so those commanding the headlines cynically and arrogantly blurring the facts. 
 
It is disturbing to suspect major decisions might be influenced by lies. 
 
In all honesty let’s hold them to account. Challenge them to come clean. Tell the truth. 
And stop taking us for fools. 
 

Let Us Get On With It! Posted on October 18th 2016 by Derek 

How many times have we heard that reassuring affirmation: The strength of the British economy lies in its small businesses? Yes, well. Maybe. But business is struggling to survive. And it’s nothing to do with Brexit! 
 
Small business is penalised by ever more demands placed upon it from not only from big business competition but government and its grasping agencies too. 
Fathers need time to bond with the new baby? He deserves time off. 
 
To share with the mother whose desk at work requires cover if targets are to be met. 
 
Nobody seeks to discriminate against disabled job-applicants. But their special needs must be seriously considered, regardless of cost. 
 
The Home Office signals that stats may be required to reflect the demographics of the office – age, ethnicity etc in order to satisfy some report commissioned by a faceless civil servant for some future inquiry to chew over and discard. 
 
The tools of marketing are being constantly eroded by the introduction of procurement processes designed to make it easier for organisations to select services but in fact make technical hurdles for providers to overcome. 
 
Relationships built over long periods between suppliers and potential as well as regular customers are a thing of the past. Instead offers are made, providers selected through an arid series of on-line applications, form-filling and tick-boxes. 
 
The heart is being systematically torn from the enthusiasm and inventiveness of the small business. Without human communication there can be no satisfaction for organisations seeking tailor-made solutions to problems they face in their day-to-day experience. 
 
Without infinite resources, small businesses are staffed by a minimum of committed specialists required to fulfil the purpose which drives the economy along. To continue to demand more of their time and cost is to risk their failure. Where will be the strength of the British economy then? 
 

When modern art ain’t fun!  Posted on September 27th 2016 by Derek 

Nobody likes to be excluded. It can be very lonely not to share the laughs and the complaints enjoyed by the group. So to be accepted it’s necessary to conform, do what the others do, go where the crowd goes, accept their values to win approval and trust. 
 
Maybe that accounts for the current craze for body art. 
 
To brandish a colourful forearm, display a technicolour leg, is a message that says here’s someone confident, comfortable in their own embellished skin. 
Best not to pass into the parlour before going for that job, though. 
 
The evidence is that employers are not keen on taking on staff who reveal themselves feckless followers of fashion. They have concerns that someone with such an overriding self-regard may not be prepared to give the attention demanded for more serious occupations. 
 
And medical opinion suggests they are right to do so. Common sense, like a consultant dermatologist at Kings College Hospital, cautions against the introduction of foreign body – ink – into a relatively inaccessible part of the skin, with the risk of infection, allergic reaction, and the exacerbation of pre-existing skin complaints such as eczema and psoriasis. 
 
Going for job interview where impressions are established in the first few seconds is challenging enough. To present a fleshy kaleidoscope of colour is a display of self-indulgence too far. 
 

Tragedy to Triumph! Posted on September 12th 2016 by Derek 

British Paralympians once more have proved a huge inspiration. We marvelled at their resolution and single-minded determination throughout those Rio 2016 sessions as they excelled repeatedly on track, mat and water.  
 
The hoard of treasure they garnered is but part reward for the manner in which they share with us chair-bound spectators their well-won wellbeing. 
 
They display to an extraordinary degree the value of setting goals. 
 
Until the Paralympics became an integral part of the Olympic movement, disability was largely regarded as unfortunate. The individual was often shunted out of sight if not forgotten in a society where success and perfection was the aim. 
 
That aim has not changed while attitudes have. 
 
The Olympics remain the stage where nations compete with their best-performing athletes. But the Paralympics are becoming to some extend the main event, a display of courage and sacrifice that outshines even that of able-bodied champions. 
 
Disabled athletes themselves, many overcoming the challenge of life-changing injury, demonstrate how, marrying muscle and mental stamina, they turn tragedy to triumph, 
 

Honesty – best policy? Posted on July 22nd 2016 by Derek 

Cheats never prosper. One of those admonitions once sternly passed on by grannies. 
 
What did they know? Nothing about professional sport, clearly. Or state-assisted machinations boosting national prestige. We’ll never know just how many scheming under-achievers clutched precious metal on an Olympic podium. 
 
Were they ever blame-free? Certainly not when sport became big business exploited by unscrupulous executives and muscle-flexing nations. 
 
How comforting it would be if each wave of whistleblowers achieved transparency in some muddied water of deceit and subterfuge. 
Sport is but one aspect of life where things are seldom what they appear to be. 
Mrs Trump endorsing her outrageous husband’s softer side shamelessly steals sequences from the speech of Michelle Obama. 
 
A freedom and information request admits that over the past three academic years more than 1,700 nurses have been disciplined by their university for cheating in their exams. Much easier, it seems in some cases to use the services of a Pakistan website which for less than £200 will supply an essay. 
 
An expert in plagiarism claims the high hundreds or low thousands of nursing essays in this country are bought every year. All students cheat, it is admitted, but nursing students do it more than others. 
 
Not a comfortable fancy should you happen to feel helpless in hospital care. 
So what happened to Trust? Business is not immune from sharp practice; not all is revealed in the City pages and whistleblowers require the courage of martyrs lifting the lid on some of it at its worst. 
 
Crusaders exposing unfair dealing and dishonesty in every walk of life deserve more honour than we are able to award them. 

Summertime’s you-time! Posted on July 12th 2016 by Derek 

The springtime feel good factor’s long gone, the Brexit autumn challenges the months ahead. So let’s, through these summer weeks, draw breath to consider the importance of the wellbeing agenda. 
 
The one that points ways to combat those key links - low productivity, staff morale and absenteeism. 
 
Wellbeing is about more than pay rises and parking. Staff retention and talent-management reflect the need to motivate and empower our people, make them feel valued and happy so they get a buzz from meeting the challenge and working effectively with colleagues. 
 
As schools close for the August holidays, routine - with smaller teams, constant demands for more from less - is only-too-briefly shelved. So: 
 
will you be resilient enough so survive the break? Or will you succumb to the stress of trying to do everything? 
will you recognise limitations? Be practical? Prioritise? 
will you be brave and delegate when finding anyone not fully occupied? 
 
Summer holiday’s a time for relaxation, charging the batteries. So enjoy it. 
You’ll be best equipped then to take up the tasks ahead. 
 

Cowardice, Conscience & Self-Censorship Posted on June 28th 2016 by Derek 

When Shakespeare declared that ‘conscience doth make cowards of us all’, he was surely commenting on decency restraining those outrageous secret fancies all of us occasionally must repress.  
 
A psychotic may possess no such safety-structure. Fantasy for those with only a tenuous grip on reality can so easily translate into opportunity. Stark tragedy as evidenced in the headlines. 
 
Who talks today of conscience? Who, in a climate when rights and claims of personal liberty are so self-referencing, talks of restraint? 
 
Cowardice lies behind the rash of anonymous authors of outrage through social media. Ridicule and the application of pain from the sidelines is the sport of spite, played out in a succinct 140 characters free of responsibility or attribution. 
 
Those coming to terms with reality of Brexit can only react with horror at the outlandish threats and jibes aimed at people taking another view. 
It is curious that at a time when in business and the wider community we are keenly promoting wellbeing, the first casualty is respect – a fine word not alone among others hijacked shamelessly by politicians. 
 
Without respect there is no trust. 
 
Previous generations feared that a vengeful God listened to their very thoughts. In a more secular age, faced with the choice between right and wrong, we look to our conscience. That ‘wee small voice’ powerfully drowns out the painful tweet. Because there’s no censorship like self-censorship. 

A Heavy Cross to Bear, Inner or Outer – that is the question. Posted on June 9th 2016 by Derek 

Whether ‘tis saner in the mind to weigh the promises and fears of outrageous statements .. or by ignoring, dismiss them. 
 
And this referendum has developed into Shakespearean tragedy. One house divided against itself and against another. Outside the warring Westminster bubble, we struggle in the crossfire, beaten down by hyperbole. 
 
John of Gaunt is on parade lauding this land, this earth, this England. So is Napoleon with ambitions of a European empire. In a quest for truth, Google this time is no help. Staying above the fight, confused.eu. is apparently not available. Visit comparethehyperbole.co.uk? No help there. 
 
As a company Focus for Change trades on helping people deal with difficult questions but like many of our clients we have no answers to the conundrum that must now be addressed. 
 
Uncommitted, we hear a Government eating itself alive. An Opposition labours deep in civil war, not fit for purpose. The choice is ours – and both sides admit whichever way the votes go, milk and honey is likely to be in short supply. Undecided? 
 
Here might be a clue in all the clamour. Leaders of the Out faction, with the exception of one shouty long-term Brexiteer, are innocent of any public office in international matters. Several of the Remain brigade have experience in the conduct of foreign affairs. Which might of course be said to have contaminated their argument. 
 
Correct me if I'm wrong (and sure as day in this increasingly unpleasant argument there are plenty who will) but surely the EU is a club whose members stick together. That's the nature of the beast Unsympathetic to those outside that relationship. You might call this protectionism; Get out, stay out, go away is the joint opinion of the signed-up members. 
 
Who can say that would not be the attitude of the EU to even former members? Globalisation? The EU clubbers can trade with whom they want - acquiring from eager competitors all they once did from the UK. Unwelcome travellers would expect to find the English seaside easier to breach than the razor wire at Calais. 
 
Decide we must. The question is in black and white on the ballot paper. 
 
This is a cross we must put down. 

Cheers Toni! TJN Associates director Toni Negus was the winner of a taste of the Val de Loire’s best at the prize-draw on F4C’s busy stand at the Discovering Business exhibition at Chelmsford Racecourse.  Posted on June 6th 

Barack Obama stars in spoof retirement video as he nears the end of his second term as President of the United States.  Posted on May 10th 

In the Line of Duty Posted on May 3rd 2016 by Derek 

Regular followers of these musings (glad you’re there, even if - especially if - we don’t always agree) will recall we mourned a role model. re 
 
So were happy to find one, shining as brightly as his highly-bulled boots. 
 
Step up Officer Cadet Kidane Cousland, recipient of Sandhurst’s most prestigious award – the Sword of Honour. 
 
And, just like London buses, as soon as one turns up, along come more. Like the feisty 88-year-old who takes London Marathons in her stride. And let’s not forget the lads pulling up their bootstrings to climb from the bottom to the top of the Premier League, unfashionable Leicester City! 
 
But more on Officer Cadet Causland. He’s an inspiration not because he worked his way up through the ranks, nor because of his colour. But because he has triumphantly overcame the scourge of a childhood in a north London estate and a climate hostile to authority. A climate he says that without believing he could achieve something better and at 16 chosen to sign on he would have been dead or in prison. 
 
Officer Cadet Causland’s success also speaks well of his superiors through his basic training and his active service in Afghanistan hell-holes spotting and nurturing an individual of high potential. 
 
As in the Army this is an important element of business management, where the outstanding employee is remarkable in demonstrating leadership skills and winning the opportunity of heading the company’s future. 
 
F4C’s leadership and management workshops, among them overcoming diversity issues, helps offer a framework in recognising talent existing in the staff. 

Do they care? Posted on April 6th 2016 by Derek 

Why are so many of our educational institutions selling their graduates short?  
 
Why are they not more caring? Launched from study into the world of work too many youngsters are left to stumble through that difficult transition without essential tools? 
 
Low-grade jobs are packed full of bright young men and women passing valuable time, waiting for the next round of apprenticeship opportunities. They’ve not been sufficiently well advised that serious job-search begins well before the college doors close behind them. 
 
The fill-in job meets temporary needs. But it can blunt the enthusiasm to discover the long-term post for which their skills have been developed. 
 
There is a widening gulf between candidate and prospective employer that urgently needs to be bridged. Further and higher institutions must not neglect to ensure those they have taken pains to qualify for life at work are equipped with basic necessities. The missing link is an understanding of what employers expect and students understand. 
 
Employers complain of the insufficient preparation many young applicants have received, particularly the shortcomings disclosed by an inadequate CV. 
 
Along with the qualifications, the job-seekers are more and more required to be able to sell themselves at application stage, long before they win an interview. And their primary tool is the good CV. It not only outlines their achievements thus far but in its construction and care is a good indication of their all-round worth. 
 
It’s the shop window which says: “Choose me!” Because you need to be seen! 

Wanted - a Role Model Posted on March 1st 2016 by Derek 

They dug up Oliver Cromwell, desecrating the corpse to prove to the restored Merry Monarch, Charles II, just how right-on they all were. Cecil Rhodes rests in peace in his hilltop tomb at Bulawayo. But his effigy stands on less firm foundations under attack from the Oxford cell of the PC brigade. 
 
Converting national treasures into base metal is a game anyone can play. Polar hero Robert Falcon Scott failed to find a way home; Edith Cavell might have stuck to nursing. And isn't there said to be something fishy about some sporting champs? 
 
We're running out of role models. 
 
Traditionally the position was assumed by the father of the family. in the workplace, in more gentle, paternal organisations, the boss. 
 
But in business today, where relationships are key to production, good managers who win respect know they benefit from a contented staff. The leader taking sometimes unpopular decisions without losing the support of the team delivers efficiency. And, equally important, the reliability the workplace demands. 
Great Expectations – with a Sprout? 
Posted on December 7, 2015 by Derek 
text here 

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Frequent Flyer – Frequent Offender 
Posted on November 2, 2015 by Derek 
Text here 

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What Price Equality? 
Posted on October 4, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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The Way to Goal 
Posted on September 9, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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Depression: How to Beat It! 
Posted on July 31, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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Givvus More! 
Posted on July 9, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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You’re Never Too Old! 
Posted on June 2, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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Older – and Wiser! 
Posted on February 10, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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Impatient Patients 
Posted on January 1, 2015 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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All I Want for Christmas 
Posted on December 18, 2014 by Derek 
 
Continued article here. 

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