August 2013 Newsletter: Success

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Business Growth, Change, Francis Christie News, Leadership, Learning & Development, Monthly Newsletter, Personal Development

In this issue…


The 3 Rules for SuccessThis time, we’re  talking about success. How do you get success in your business?

We look at what others have achieved, at investment opportunities in the West Midlands and at a piece of extensive research that boils the ingredients for business success to 3 simple rules. Finally, we examine the celebrated long-term success of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United’s recently retired manager. What were the pivotal commitments he made as a very young man that led to his success as a manager?

We hope you enjoy reading this and related articles – do come back to us with any comments or questions it raises for you.

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Grow Your Business

Questions for Your Board

The secrets of business success - 3 rules to standout from the crowdDo you wonder what the secret of your future success will be? Where should you focus your efforts? What should your guiding principles be?

We’ve looked at our clients who remain healthy despite the economic challenges of the last 5 years. One thing is clear from their experience – they have focused on the value of what they offer, not primarily on cost reduction.

The results of extensive research into the performance of 25,453 companies over 44 years, is featured in April’s Harvard Business Review. Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed set out the ‘Three Rules for Success’  which form basic principles on which you can build your business strategy:

    • Rule 1: Better before cheaper – compete on differentiators other than price
    • Rule 2: Revenue before cost – prioritise increasing revenue over reducing costs
    • Rule 3: There are no other rules – so to change anything you must follow Rules 1 and 2!

Click here to go to our full article, where we illustrate this from examples among our own clients and provide some challenging questions you can pose at your next Board or Senior Management Meeting. You can also find a link to Raynor and Ahmed’s research article.

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Business Support

The ‘Missing Middle’ Businesses

Are you leading one of the UK’s ‘Missing Middle’ businesses? If so, you are working in one of the key engines of UK economic growth. Sadly, you are likely to be missing out on the government support and initiatives which are offered to your smaller and larger cousins.

In a previous Newsletter we identified the missing middle managers, who create the vital link between strategy and delivering results, but who are frequently starved of the time and resource for their own professional development. These companies can be thought of as a ‘Missing Middle Business’ community or sector. These businesses are usually privately owned, have a turnover of £20 million or more and have bucked the recessionary trend of loss making and shrinkage. Indeed, since 2007 these Mid-Cap companies increased the number of people they employed and punched well above their weight.

Despite this success, the support they get from government is not matched by that available to smaller, start-up or micro businesses or to large, well known companies. However, there are at last signs that this is beginning to change.

You can find both local success stories that can indicate where your opportunities could lie; and details of recent research by Warwick and Aston Universities that indicates government may be waking up to the potential in this ‘Missing Middle’ sector, in our full article on the Missing Middle Businesses.

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Pivotal Moments in Leadership

The Less Famous Past of Sir Alex Ferguson

erguson how investment in your own training and development pays long term dividends

Ferguson’s early years created his future success

Amongst all the column inches on Sir Alex Ferguson, when he retired as manager of Manchester United at the end of the last football season, were a few gems that caught our eye.

They point at the years of hard work and determination focused on learning the job – out of the public eye.

Read our thoughts on the learning side of Sir Alex and address the challenge of what you are doing to prepare for your future opportunities.

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