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Healthy Leaders

Mens sana in corpore sano

A healthy mind in a healthy body; if I heard my father say this to me once he said it a thousand times. Perhaps this is the route to my interest in personal well-being.

The expression is a truism for businesses too – the office of national statistics refers to start-up businesses as births and you may have already guessed what they call closing businesses – deaths!!

In my line of work, helping businesses to grow, the two things are intertwined; it is essential to gain an initial understanding of the health of the business I am working with:

Culture; customers; cash-flow; profit

It could just as easily be:

Weight; nutrition; blood pressure; activity
Each element has a unique impact on the well-being of the business or the person and cumulatively the impact can be profound – positively or negatively.

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Do you have an up to date strategy for your business?

In a report published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills it states that three quarters of small UK businesses report an ambition to grow. Interestingly amongst all the discussions held with the business owners it was common to find that ‘they saw no way forward and no viable alternative on particular issues’. Evidence was found that grouped together a ‘lack of faith that business improvements yielded demonstrable benefit’.

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20 million UK workers are not actively engaged

Preston based business consultancy nxo hosted an exclusive event attended by over 40 local businesses. The topic of the event, Practical Engagement for Profit, was delivered by Professor John Oliver OBE, former Chief Executive of Leyland Trucks who shared with the audience his wealth of experience in culture change and the impact of employee engagement on the bottom line.

A startling fact presented was that only 29% of the UK’s workforce is engaged, putting us ninth in the world’s leading economies. This means that 20 million UK workers are not actively engaged with their employers.

Philip Dyer, Chairman of nxo said “There is little doubt there is a strong correlation between productivity and a healthy workplace culture. Changing the management and leadership to one which supports team working and motivation could lead to an effective GDP improvement of £26bn per annum.

The key success factors are the business metrics: culture, customers, cash flow and profit; this is not an exercise in social engineering.”

Participants were encouraged to introduce basic building blocks into their organisations for workforce engagement; communication, recognition, management style, behaviours and continuous improvement.

The event has proved valuable to the businesses attending, one participant stating “I found John to be a very inspirational speaker and thoroughly enjoyed the event. The self-reflection and peer reviews are just two points of action that will be immediately introduced to my business.”

Contact us if you are interested in attending future nxo events.

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10 TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLANNING

Know your current position. Where are you now? What’s working; what’s not working so well and what things need to improve within your business.

Understand who you are. To be authentic in your messaging you first must understand your ‘why’ and raison d’etre. A company mission and values set will crystallise your focus.

Know where you want to be and how you will bridge the gap. A goal without a set of achievable objectives is merely a wish. If you do not set clear objectives then how will you even know when you have got there? Read more

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Online innovation – help or hindrance for Small Business?

There have been some amazing developments in new technology over the last few years which on face value offer huge opportunities to small businesses to create or build an online presence without incurring crippling infrastructure costs or having to hire in expensive “experts”.

Good examples may include e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Bigcommerce and WiX which allow you to create your own e-commerce business with relative ease and for a modest cost.

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A time for reflection & forward planning for Continuous Improvement

Wikipedia’s definition of Continuous Improvement is: ‘A continual improvement process, also often called a continuous improvement process, is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once’

The Kaizen principle mirrors this. Kaizen is Japanese for ‘improvement’. Kai meaning Change and Zen meaning Good, so changes for the better, however small, contribute towards an organisation’s long term competitive strategy.

Kaizen is continuous improvement that is formed around a particular set of guiding principles:

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Ego – the great enemy of growth?

Ego: noun a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. A word we typically interpret in the negative when we are observing the behaviour of others and we may say of an egotist that they are selfish or self centred.

What does ego have to do with business?

We certainly know a person’s ego significantly influences their behaviour. In turn, we know that leadership behaviours significantly influence business performance; through the way leaders shape culture and motivate and engage others.

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Attitude

We are all aware that attitude matters; a positive one we feel is good, a negative we feel is bad.  You don’t have to look too far for a self-help book that purports to assist you to achieve that all important “change” of attitude!  Given that there are literally thousands of books out there to make this change come to fruition it would be fair to assume that something is not working – either the content of the books is poor and irrelevant or – here is the crunch – we (as in humans) are pretty poor at adapting and evolving our behaviour.
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4 Pillars of Business Growth

There are 4 pillars of focus which will provide discipline and clear direction for businesses in the process of developing their plans for business growth: Culture, Customers, Cash-flow and Profit. If there is correlation, it will result in better outcomes for your business and it’s long term performance.

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Countdown to the BIBAs!

With just over a week to the big event, excitement is building in the nxo office! We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected as finalists in the Micro Business of the Year category 2016.

With so many businesses of our size in the Lancashire region, the honour of being heralded amongst the finest applicants is a testament to our team at nxo. Read more