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Managing a Business is the EASY bit – the Problem Part is Managing the People!

I had not undertaken an interim project for some time (my choice!) when I received a telephone call from an agency that retained my details from several years earlier.  They asked if I might be interested in a rather unusual challenge which had my name written all over it (so they said) and so I was hired to effect a turnaround situation for a poorly performing professional services operation.


Our specialism is organisational effectiveness through better utilisation of people. Needless to say the first thing I did was to profile the management team.  This enabled me to develop an understanding of the behavioural strengths within the team and to identify what strengths were missing.  Now herein lies the challenge.  How can an organisation begin to turn performance around if the wrong people are in the wrong roles?  In short: – with difficulty.


Many businesses we work with create their own problems by hiring people they like, or because they’ve been referred by a friend, or sometimes, even worse, because they are related.  Few organisations, however, recruit individuals who have behavioural strengths to carry out tasks which are the lifeblood of the business.  Even fewer business leaders, know what strengths are required in the first place.


Recruitment is the last resort for many of our clients.  We always recommend profiling people who are already in the business first, looking at the business plan and the goals and objectives of the business owners.  It is easy for us then to advise on how best to use the current team to create better business performance to take the business forward to deliver on the plans, and whether external recruitment is necessary.  Often, it is a simple task of ‘shuffling the pack’.  Sometimes, when key strengths are missing, we advise what type of personal behavioural strengths are required, draft the advert to attract highly suitable applicants, manage the recruitment process and, of course, profile the candidates to find the best match for the role.


So often we see some good people in teams but who are doing the wrong things.  The result is misery.  Misery for the individual but potential disaster for the business.  The smaller the business, the more acute the pain.


The profiling exercise, team workshops and restructuring we undertook for this underperforming team worked wonders.  Morale rose by 73% and performance followed and guess what happened to their productivity?


Take a look at your business and consider who your ‘problem children’ are. We guarantee that these people are most likely the ones who you are expecting to perform well outside of their behavioural strengths.  Using Pareto’s famous 80/20 rule; 80% of your problems will be coming from 20% of your staff.  Engage us to identify these people for you – we don’t even need to meet them.  We will advise you what to do about them, and we guarantee your business will become more efficient and that you will have more time to develop your organisation in the way you want to instead of dealing with people issues.


Profiling a team is an inexpensive investment which ensures you are getting the maximum potential from your people and makes your organisation a happier place to work.  A happy team is a productive team, with the result that your profits will rise.


Contact Elaine Godley – for more information or telephone 0845 121 4742.  Train to Gain funding may be available subject to status.

Posted by Elaine Godley on 22/03/2010 22:03:26

Bizarre with Cocoa

I love chocolate and I love products from a certain store which sells lovely handmade beauty smellies made from natural products, or I did until recently!
Over Christmas I was lucky enough to be given some delicious plain chocolate and some lovely smellies.  Tucking into the chocolates one evening, I started to feel slightly edgy and woozy; naturally, I “persevered” eating the chocolates as they were yummy, but this nasty feeling persisted, so I stopped eating them.

It’s worth mentioning at this stage that I discovered a few months ago that I have a sensitivity to caffeine.  At that time, the only thing I knowingly consumed containing caffeine was the drink Coca-cola, I don’t drink tea or coffee, but I did drink rather a lot of Cocoa Cola.  The affects one day were not pleasant – severe palpitations coupled with a fuzzy feeling so severe that I had to tell “someone” that I wasn’t ready to go just yet!

I tested this feeling with a drink of Coca-cola now and again over a 2 week period and decided that I did not want a repeat experience, so now don’t drink Coca-cola at all.  I hasten to add that I am not given to psychosomatic tendencies.

So, back to the cocoa.  The box of smellies contained a deliciously smelling bar which promised to make my skin beautifully soft.  I surrounded myself in a heady aroma as I rubbed it all over and one particular evening before going to bed I rubbed it over my neck (which was looking a bit crêpey) and shoulders.  That night I had an horrendous nightmare.  The following evening I repeated the process of using the bar and again an horrendous nightmare.  Racking my brain as to why I should have nightmares, something I don’t recall having possibly since a child, I looked at the ingredients in the bar and, guess what? – cocoa and cocoa contains, caffeine.

They say we learn something new each day, this was a learning experience I could well have done without.  But it does mean that I can “research” and test lots of other lovely smellies!

Posted by Jackie Groundsell on 09/01/2010 15:46:54

Large Networks – do we need them?

There’s no getting away from the fact that face-2-face networking is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy – businesses ignore that fact at your peril!

I suspect that Thomas Power’s recent statement “You should not have to look for work if you are well connected” was set to cause discussion. So let’s see.

As to large networks…. 2 things here. Firstly, time and effort generate a large worthwhile network. How do you define “worthwhile”? Well, that’s the thing… In making contacts through networking you’re reaching out to a far greater network than the person you are talking to. Who do they know? And who do those contacts know? and so on. So you never really know who is “worthwhile”. Or do you feel that you do? Let me know.

Secondly, are we talking about meeting large groups of people at say a conference or exhibition? My experience is that all “events” are worthwhile. It’s what you do with the contacts you make after the event which are important. I just love being able to put businesses with synergy together.

I deviate! In answer to Thomas’s statement “You should not have to look for work if you are well connected”. Is he implying that we just wait for our contacts to knock on our door? If so, then I would suggest that this is foolhardy.

All things worthwhile take effort, not least our businesses. BUT if we are well connected with good networks ie contacts, then we have some tools to work with and we can continue to make the effort, maintain our contacts, arrange meetings to get work, grow our businesses.

What does anyone else think?

Jackie Groundsell – co-founder of 1230 The Women’s Company

t: +44 (0)20 8650 8015
m: 07930 756012

Posted by Jackie Groundsell on 29/10/2009 01:18:48

The true value of networking & why you should join 1230

Journey of a successful 1230 networker

I hadn’t been doing my jewellery sales for long. It started when a friend of mine set up a wholesale company selling jewellery and I started to help her by doing the trade shows and orders.

I thought “I could sell this!” So I bought a few bits from her and began asking my friends if they would have a party for me, which they did, but having exhausted all my friends I thought – what now?!

I couldn’t think of a way of getting out there, so one miserable day sitting at my computer, I started looking at networking as I had heard about it but was not sure how it worked.

I hit the Goggle button on “ladies networking” – 1230 came up, so I had a look. It was a good site, easy to use, I looked up where the meetings were held and when, and 1230 Purley came up – Bingo!!! It was meant to be as I live in Purley so I booked in for the next meeting on 1 April.

This is how my first year’s membership of 1230 started. Arriving at the meeting I was met by Val Apps of TasQuotus coaching and Charlotte Emery of S.E.A. photography. Even though they made me very welcome all the time there was a knot in my stomach as I knew that at some point I was going to have to stand up and talk in front of the group for a whole minute. This seemed like a lifetime, but I tried to put it to the back of my mind while I was introduced to other ladies.

We all talked, had our meal and then the time came – I stood up, felt myself go red and trembling with fear I blurted out who I was and what I did. I drew in a sharp breath and sat down – “thank goodness for that” I thought.

The one minute talks continued and everyone seemed to speak so easily and they were all really interesting. I made some good contacts that day and left feeling super-charged and ready for action. I also made an appointment with Val to discuss the way forward with my business which I found very helpful. I booked an appointment at Charlotte’s studio to photograph some of my jewellery – Charlotte also booked a jewellery party. Two of her friends booked parties and Charlotte put me in touch with the person who ultimately produced my logo and stationery.

I wanted to get to some of the other 1230 groups and at 1230 Oxted, I met some more great business women, including Sharmila Mohile of Sharmila’s Indian Kitchen and booked a cookery course with her; I couldn’t recommend that highly enough – fantastic! The contact I was given to have a stand at a village fete proved successful, as was the resulting fete.

By then I had the bug and realised I’d become a network tart! Attending 1230 Sevenoaks introduced me to Beverley Hamilton of Positively Life Changing. Beverley is an amazing networker and I started to help out at her meetings when I could. She has put me in touch with lots of women. I have also met some great women at her group – Ali Hollands booked a party with me as did Ann Marie Riva of Riva Energy. Karen Young from Utilities Warehouse bought some pieces of jewellery from me and has also helped me sort out my energy bills.

I’ve also met the wonderful Denny Gaskell of Metamorphasis; Denny can transform your property if you are trying to sell it – her home is a dream. Denny held a hugely successful party for me and her friends have also shown an interest in booking jewellery parties.

Attending 1230 East Grinstead I met Christine Wise whose business is also Utilities Warehouse; even though I could not use her services Christine had a party for me and I have been able to refer people to her. Christine’s friends also booked parties. Phew! Donna Rowe suggested that I contact some schools regarding school fairs which I did and they too have been successful.

It was now time to hit 1230 Woking. I arranged with Fiona Syrett the 1230 Manager to have a table for my jewellery, where I made some great sales and great contacts.

From there I went to 1230 Wimbledon where I met 1230 Manager Teresa Leong. Wow! what energy she has and what an enjoyable meeting. Taking some of my jewellery and handbags, everyone loved the items, this too was a successful meeting for sales. At the 1230 Wimbledon Christmas meeting, I won ‘Miss Sexy Santa’ in the fancy dress.

Meeting Meera Winder who owns a beauty therapy shop called Body Rejuvenation and Wellness Centre in Oxshott, my jewellery has now been in her shop for 3 months. I have had some wonderful facials by her therapists. Meera also carried out a body scan on me to see what was happening internally. Well there is no hope as I may as well give up now – I’m not giving up my wine !!!!! However, it was very interesting and if I had the will power to detox I would definitely go to Meera.

So now to 1230 Esher and a big group there with a caretaker Manager as JoJo was away. A great meeting where I sold some pieces. I’m amazed at the number of different businesses and skills all these women have.

Where is left I hear you ask – well 1230 Beckenham with Clare Parker – great meeting very relaxed and again I managed to sell a few pieces and book a party. I also booked a stand at the 1230 Regional Christmas event, but as I was at the clothes show in Birmingham my Mum and friend Candice stepped in and “manned” the stand for me – they too were made to feel very welcome.

I couldn’t turn down the table offered at 1230 Tonbridge my next “victim”. I took a friend with me who I’m encouraging to join because of the brilliant opportunities available at the 1230 meetings; she is an image consultant and helped the ladies with their choice of colours with the jewellery and shrugs – another enjoyable meeting. Also a big thanks to Estelle Gillett who has become a good customer, even getting her husband to buy presents for her from my Collection – Estelle has got it right!
I attended 1230 Bromley also run by Clare Parker where a fantastic speaker from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust provided tips on personal safety – another great meeting

From there – 1230 Sutton where Clare was caretaking the meeting and doing a good job. It was a small group but I took some new pieces along and made some good sales.
Meeting Rachna Sachdeva who runs the magazine Mums in Control for the first time, we arranged to meet for lunch where I placed an advertisement in her magazine and she bought me back some lovely pashminas from a trip to India.

The 1230 fund-raising event for Ovacome with Frank Usher Fashions at the Gherkin was a fabulous night – wearing one of my necklaces helped and I made two very good contacts. The fashion show and speakers were great and I won a raffle prize. I can’t wait until next year’s event which I’ve heard is on 25 September, 37th floor at Canary Wharf!

The 1230 We Mean Business! in Bromley at the Churchill Theatre was inspirational – I even took an event booking!

I had 30 events booked from October ‘till Christmas! How was I going to do all these? Thankfully Mum was on hand to help. By 20 December I was exhausted and Christmas did not really happen – what a year! And it has already started again – Maude from TheBestof Croydon has put me in touch with a fashion show where the models may well wear my jewellery. I’m talking to some interested wedding organisers who may want me to do the jewellery for the brides.

The meeting at the new venue for 1230 Tunbridge Wells in Southborough was a very well attended and successful for me. From this meeting run by 1230 Managers Mandy Shepherd of Bluebird Hypnotherapy and Karen Wilkinson of Molly Maid I have been given two possible events. The next meeting was 1230 Kings Hill also run by Karen and Mandy – another successful table sale!

More recently I attended 1230 Mayfair and am going to do a table in March. Also in March I will be attending a fashion meeting at 1230 Chislehurst with Manager Janet Woollett from VM Direct – this will be just with my accessories as there is a jewellery lady attending.

I ste

Posted by Fiona Coppard – Electra Collection on 30/09/2009 23:26:45

Many Women Still Don’t Know. . .

Many woman who are well informed and have extensive life experience still don’t know that drinking alcohol in pregnancy may harm their children. Unborn children exposed to alcohol may be born with lifelong mental or physical disabilities known as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Many women are not given this information by their doctors because they do not always have consistent information. It was only 2007 when the Department of Health changed their Guidelines: “Avoid alcohol in pregnancy or if you are trying to conceive”.

It is assumed that children with FASD are only born to alcoholic mothers. This is not necessarily true. The risks are greater if a child is exposed to alcohol throughout pregnancy, but some children can be affected by just one binge or a few episodes of social drinking. We know women with three children, two are healthy and the one child they were pregnant with over Christmas and New Years, when they drank socially, has FASD.

It is also true that all alcoholic women do not have children with FASD. Genetic and other factors play a part in the outcome.

What is FASD?

FASD is brain damage that can occur when the brain and nervous system are exposed to alcohol any time during the nine months of pregnancy. Heavy drinking can cause miscarriage and pre-mature birth. During the first trimester the facial features may be affected, the heart, the lungs and other organs may not develop properly. In the third trimester, when the brain and nervous system are in final development, it is believed that hyper-activity disorders, attention deficits, memory and learning are most profoundly affected. Children with FASD may not begin to miss milestones and exhibit delayed development until ages 3-7.

There is no way to predict who will be affected. Zero alcohol in pregnancy is the only way to be 100% certain a child will not be born with FASD Disabilities.

When I adopted my daughter she was a bright lively little toddler. I knew her birth mother drank during pregnancy but had no idea that it would affect the rest of my daughter’s life. I watch my daughter struggle every day.
But her disability doesn’t diminish my love for her. She has a wonderful personality. I am crazy about her and think that, maybe, I love her a little bit more because she is vulnerable.

Susan Fleisher
Executive Director

Posted by Susan Fleisher on 18/08/2009 23:15:52

Paying the Penalty

Networking Skill Tip

I was told of a wonderful solution recently to a common networking problem.

It’s one of the most frequent sights at a networking event. People from the same company spending the evening speaking with their work colleagues, before walking out together and telling each other “that was a waste of time”!

One business owner has come up with a different approach to the issue. If his staff attend an event together and don’t make the effort to meet new people, they have to pay for the events themselves. After all, he reasons, he doesn’t need to pay for a social night out for them.

Before you, or your staff, go to an event remind yourselves of the reasons for going and set challenges that keep you on track. If you are attending to build your network, make sure you meet new people…..or set a forfeit if you stay in your comfort zone.
Andy Lopata

Posted by Andy Lopata – Connecting is not Enough on 17/03/2009 16:43:33