It was a busy end of the year for COL. Throughout the year, COL always makes sure that our consultants regularly spend time with clients, take time out to learn about what is new in their fields of interest, and what developments are taking place in our clients’ sectors. The end of the year is a great time to focus on this learning. Our consultants attended an average of 20 events in the past month – a prodigious amount if we do say so ourselves. With all that knowledge gathered, we wanted to take some time as we kick-off 2017 to share some of the best, with a breakdown of some of the key learnings and takeaways.
November 29th saw COL at The Clubhouse for an event with KPMG and Adrian Moorhouse – an Olympic Gold Medallist and CEO of Lane4 – discussing the challenges of being a business leader in today’s environment. Adrian broke down the importance of leadership in a company and the best ways to go about being an effective leader.
Adrian is a strong believer in guiding – not telling – employees on what to do. If you demand they do something, they will not produce their best work. It is important to allow them to achieve their goals (both short and long term). This management style helps focus leaders on overall performance, not on individual task management. Leave task management open to the people who do execution. Leaders need to be the ‘keel of the ship,’ so to speak. They keep the organisation on track while allowing the rest of the ship to do what it needs to do.
The next event we enjoyed was on 5th December at PwC’s offices on Embankment. This event was a Data Forum on social media risk management. Companies from a wide range of industries contributed to the discussion. These ranged from Lego to smaller social media agencies, like Crisp Thinking. The discussion was primarily around how companies continue not to put processes in place to deal with social media issues. Social media is like any other PR channel. Depending on how you act throughout a crisis, it can greatly affect the public’s (and your customers’) opinion of your company. Therefore, it is imperative that company’s set-up processes and communication channels to deal with any social media crises.
The last event we want to cover was on the 8th December. This time the event was at the Institute of Directors (IoD) for a breakfast seminar with Chris Lewis, owner of an award-winning agency and an author of the book ‘Too Fast To Think’. Chris’ thesis was that the modern world inhibits creativity. We no longer have time to ourselves and, as such, we no longer have time to let ourselves be creative. This is due to always checking our phones, going online and not letting our brain ‘do nothing’. This ‘do nothing’ phase is important for creativity – it allows the brain to think subconsciously and create a eureka moment.
Chris made the argument that business needs to allow employees time to do nothing to take advantage of this phenomenon. For example, this may mean telling your employees not to use their work phone (for work) after 6 pm. Another example is to mandate employees taking an hour lunch away from their desk – there is no need to eat your lunch in front of the screen.
The major takeaway from these events is that the business environment is changing. Traditional modes of management and organisation are changing, and many companies are failing to keep up with new norms. It can be difficult for any organisation to make changes to corporate structure and culture, let alone for large multinationals, but it can be (and has been) done very successfully. Those that fail to adapt – or adapt haphazardly – are often left in the dust or wallowing well below their potential.
Finally, it’s clear from our experience that events of this sort are an important source of information and ongoing professional development. Attending these events allowed our consultants to glean important insights from the speakers, in addition to meeting new people from a variety of companies and backgrounds. We then diffused this new knowledge and insight throughout our company. We recommend that you and your organisation take advantage of attending similar events wherever possible in 2017. We may well see you there.