Catching Up

It has been a busy old time both personally and here at OMCUK. So much so that my plans for keeping an updated blog has long fallen by the wayside. Never-the-less, I am not one to go back on my decisions, so I will do my best to catch up, as much as I can.

Life is about persevering – that’s what wins the race. So here goes.

During the last 6 months OMCUK has seen such a rise in activity, that I may well have forgotten some of the things we’ve been doing.

South Africa

Well some of you recall my visit to South Africa in November, where I worked with a small team providing Perspective 360 degree assessment & feedback to nearly 50 senior managers for Services SEETA – a large government department.  The experience of visit South Africa is something I will never forget.

Just before my South Africa trip I was asked to speak at the BAE Submarine Solution’s Women’s Conference in Cumbria. The title of the conference was Open Your Eyes to Success. It really was an excellent conference. I got to meet some passionate and inspirational women from within the organisation itself. It was a pleasure to be part of the conference. I am looking forward to what they might be doing this year.

Survey

This got me thinking about the differences in the approach to success that men and women have; I wanted to do a little research on this point. I wondered if the type encouragement we receive as children and in the work environment might be different for men and women; and how this might affect in our responses to how we blow our own trumpet.  Raising your profile was  just one of the elements of my speech.

So I started a very small survey and asked many of you to take part. Thanks again for all of you who helped out on this one. It was not a big scientific research piece but it was interesting and fun. I was also quite please that we had quite a lot of response from my male counterparts. I was not sure if the male amongst us would take part. I’m glad you all did. It served to give a bit more of a balanced view.  I will be providing a brief report of the sum of my findings shortly.  If you haven’t had a chance to take part and you are still interested, I have not taken the survey down so you can still respond by going to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=CM053pZt_2fbNJuAN2mhuCmQ_3d_3d

Networking

Many of you will know that I am a networking fanatic. I don’t mean necessarily attending every networking event available, but for me it is more about making quality connections.  So during this time I have been working on these quality relationships and have met up with many old and new friends.  This I will certainly be keeping up with throughout the year.  And those of you I haven’t seen yet this year, you’d better expect a call soon.  Book me a place in your diary.

Chartered Manager

I successfully completed the Chartered Manager Award with the Chartered Management Institute during this time.  I must admit, for me this was quite an achievement.  Of personal benefit, was the exercise of recounting and reviewing what I had achieved over the past two year period, how I have helped my clients to succeed and what management and people and team development skills I have used.  What is also good is that my claims were required to be supported by evidence from my clients. So their testimony, recommendations and contributions were good to receive.

I’m not sure if you are like me, but sometimes I forget the detail of what I have done, what skills, knowledge and previous experience were used to support clients in achieving success. So this was a wonderful, albeit, nerve racking at times, exercise.  Doing this has helped me to update my business and personal strategy for the next 2-3 year period.

In achieving this accreditation,  it will show my clients that I practice what I preach, in terms of continuing professional development.  I am currently working on completing two further qualifications a Diploma and a Strategic Diploma in Business Support.  I believe that all consultants should continue their professional development to ensure that they are keeping their skills, knowledge and ideas fresh for the benefit of their clients and and quality of service. Yes, you can tell I am a trainer at heart.

The Leicestherday Trust

I have been working with LeicestherDay Trust this year. They are an excellent charity working to improve life choices for women across Leicester and Leicestershire.  They are running a series of events entitled  Mind Your Own Business, across the county to support and encourage women who might be interested in starting their own businesses.  These events are also for women (and men) who have already started their business too. You may want to have a look at their website www.leicestherday.org.uk to find out a little bit more.

Another really excellent project that the trust has been working on is the Alice Hawkins project – inspired by the life and work of this great Leicester woman.  The project is making a record of the life and experiences of women across Leicestershire.  Women of all ages and races who live in the county.  The record or interviews are being taken by students, who at the same time are developing the skills of interview techniques, which will certainly be of benefit to them in their future lives and employment. The history being recorded will serve as a record to what women have endured, overcome, and achieved – a record for other generations to learn from – a record of living history as it were.

The celebration of this project took place today (5th February 2010) at the Pheonix Square, Leicester.  It was attended by a great many women, many of whom took part by giving their stories, whilst others were involved in doing some interviews.  The records of these stories will be kept at the Wigston Records Office.  Again more information will be found on the Leicestherday Trust website.   The book Alice Hawkins and the Suffragette Movement in Edwardian Leicester is on sale. Do contact Leicestherday trust and purchase your copy.  The foreward for the book has been written by Peter Barratt, the great-grandson of Alice Hawkins and the book it’s self is written by Dr Richard Whitmore.  It makes for a good read.

CMI East Midlands Regional Conference

During all this time I have been working on and organising the CMI East Midland Regional Conference, which was held at the Tigers new stadium in Leicester.  We were privileged to have some very high profile speakers – Professor Monder Ram OBE, Sheila Lock CEO Leicester City Council and Dorothy Francis CEO CaSE-da.

This year the conference combined both the annual conference and the annual diversity event. The title of the conference was Creating an Environment for Growth.  I guess the main focus here was the need to ensure that in our preparing for growth, we do not miss the wealth of resources available to us through the diversity in our communities and workforce.

The conference heard from Professor Ram who shared from his research of local and regional ethnic business.  He shared that numbers of owner managers from ethnic minority business within the East Midlands amounted to around 3.5 million.  The lack of foresight for some managers, leaders and the banking community to make use of such resources was not only very short sighted, but a waste of financial and skill use opportunity.

The latest research findings from the CRÈME De Montfort University will be published shortly by Professor Ram and his team of researchers.

Then the conference heard from both Sheila Lock and Dorothy Francis on their experiences whilst progressing up the corporate ladder and some of the things they still encounter in their current senior positions within their organisations.  The speeches were all fascinating and informative.  I wish we had recorded them, as there was so much information presented I would have liked to have had the opportunity to listen to them again.  A thought for the next conference maybe.

As managers and leaders, on the fore- front of change and progress within organisations across the region, we need to be aware of the experiences some people still have to deal with within the work place.  No matter how much legislation is in place, development and change comes from the decisions and actions of the managers and leaders in the workplace and their day to day commitment or not to equality and diversity for all.

A few conference delegates though that although it was an excellent conference the title did not necessarily reflect the speaker’s contribution. On one side, I can understand the comment, but whilst the speakers address the diversity element, the workshop sessions provided additional support to this looking at preparing further for growth.  The workshops were lead by Mat Summers, Simon Bozeat and yours truly.

To add a little variety this year,we thought we would include something different.  We had the pleasure of a local poet Victor Richards, who entertained delegates during the tea & coffee intervals. This added some extra culture and quality.   Victor’s ability to describe and create a picture with word and voice was exceptional.  A joy to hear.  You can find out more about Victor via his website http://www.vjaytheatre.net/index.php

OMCUK Website

Some of you will have noticed that we are  constantly working on further developing the website to reflect the quality and level of service that we have been providing for some time on a daily basis.

We have introduced a number of services and products such as the Perspective 360.  We also have told you about the Leaders First Funded government grant for training, available for business owners and managers.  If you have not made use of this government funding, then you need to find about it before it’s too late . Please give me a call and I will be happy to tell you more about it.

We are also in the process of updating and improving the content of our training pages, particularly with regard to  workshops – providing more description of our sessions. There is still some work to do on this.

We’ve also added PayPal to the site to enable clients to be able to book both their coaching and training workshops more easily. Other methods of payment are still available.  I know for some of you this is nothing new, but I am proud of our achievements.  Flexibility and easy access to our services are our action points for 2010.

And finally, I have managed to send out our first official OMCUK Newsletters.  My website wizard Peter Lucus created a proper template for us some time ago, but it has taken me quite some time to learn how to use and change the template.  Well I am happy to say that I’ve learnt enough to get the process going.  Thank you to those who have fed back that you found it interesting and informative.  I am sure even these will improve over time.  I like to learn to use these forms of communication myself – a bit of covert techie really. I wish I had more time for it.

I am sure that my team will tell me I have forgotten to mention something, but if I have, maybe I will catch it in the next blog entry.  I think I’ve caught up now – maybe.