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Expert Exchange

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Preparing the supply chain for Brexit

by Omera Khan on 13 Aug 2018

There's no doubt that Brexit will disrupt businesses, bringing both uncertainties and opportunities. As strategic supply chain risk expert Professor Omera Khan tells us - organisations need to transform their supply chain now in order to prepare.

With both business transformation and Brexit, there are three important stages in the journey to implement real change: mapping out a vision, identifying the people and capabilities required, and planning and designing the transformation. Each of these phases calls for time and investment to affect the best possible outcome.

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Why your business needs to get personal data under control today

by Simon Cordrey on 30 May 2017

A topic that is popping up more and more in many of the meetings I am having these days have been around how companies are readying themselves for the impact of GDPR. What questions are they asking, what are their pain points, are they dealing with it internally or have they got someone external to come in to assess their level of compliance?

With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to get an expert's opinion on the topic from one of our Associate Partners, James Stevens. James is a European Distribution Big Data and Analytics Leader and has a background in data, through working as a Partner for IBM. Below are his thoughts on why your business needs to get personal data under control today:

Businesses have been talking about data, big data, Hadoop, R and many different aspects of data for years. Big Data is big business but more importantly, Big Data is about to become “Big Risk” like never before.

We have all seen the news and media storms that occur when organisations publicly lose data, and the impact that has on the businesses involved. In the UK this has been covered by the Data Protection Act but there is a new kid in town, GDPR, and it has teeth!

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Career progression: Why you shouldn’t change your job

by Kersty Bletso on 26 May 2017

This statement might seem a little counterintuitive considering the role I perform but do bear with me.

As a recruiter I want to know that by the time you reach out to me that the reason you want to leave is a) genuine, and b) not a knee jerk reaction to something that has upset you. Are you looking for career development? Progression? The opportunity to test yourself in a new environment or sector? Or have you finished a period of transformation?

What is important to consider is that when you are unhappy in your role it is a lot easier to start looking for another job than to try and resolve the issues you may have. It is human nature to avoid confrontation and avoid possible rejection. However, regardless of your level within your business, where possible you should try to resolve the issues you have first.

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How to create a change-able organisation

by Anna Davis on 19 Dec 2016

The need has never been greater for organisations to be adept at managing change. Whether driven by innovations in technology or global disruption, the unpredictable nature of change means organisations need to be "change-able", where managing successive change is no big deal.

Change as part of the organisation's DNA

Up until now, most change efforts have focused on the change itself and, with relief, project leaders have managed to deliver change despite the organisation. That's not good enough to deliver change in the current cyber-driven era. We need to mature our thinking about the role of the organisation in delivering change.

A change-able organisation is one where leaders have been intentional about wanting to create a change mindset, culture and change expertise that is part of the DNA of the organisation. It's one where you move from change being the remit of a few, to putting the capability into the hands of many. This is no small achievement as it is as much about taking down past practices and barriers, as it is about creating new ways of thinking and behaviours.

What we need to remember is that if we want to create a change-able organisation, we need to develop change-able people. The expectations and standards placed on leaders, through to the expertise developed in employees and the permissions we give them, are what create agile, adaptable organisations. 

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In the Spotlight – Simon Clarke, BIE interim FD

by Kate Scammell-Anderson on 06 Dec 2016

Simon Clarke is an interim FD with experience across sectors, including FMCG, retail, logistics and healthcare. Simon combines the skills of a finance director with commercial and operational nous.

The client is a privately-owned UK healthcare provider, which was undergoing a business turnaround.

The brief

Entering the fray as interim FD in early 2014, Simon's initial brief was to support the recently-appointed managing director (MD). Having recognised that the existing senior management team were not operations-focused and did not possess the right skillset, the MD had set about recruiting a new management team, with the FD role being the last to be put into place.

The business recognised that many of the issues being faced were well outside of their comfort zone and as a seasoned interim, with experience in a variety of sectors and situations, Simon was well-equipped to manage these seemingly daunting challenges and to add value.

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How can business leaders change with confidence?

by Suparna Malhotra on 05 Dec 2016

Most change occurs because of disruption. In fact, change is a form of disruption - quite often, not one we choose. It is, however, inevitable. So why are most of us (yes, including me) resistant to it?

Change in life is a certainty: as the seasons; as the cycle of life. Yet it is met with trepidation and hesitation. One of the reasons this fear arises is due to a sense of a loss of control over outcomes. Yet we volunteer away our power in the guise of resistance.

My work involves supporting business leaders through situations where they have to redesign how they work, most often in situations of career progression. Once again, while we seek progress and promotion, we sometimes fail to realise that underneath that is that "C" word again.

Most people are happy enough to get the promotion, make the VP role, or secure that new job – but they're not delighted about the prospect of the actual differences in circumstance and processes that will entail.

So, what are the reasons that "change" is so daunting? And how can you ensure you transition with confidence? These are some of the questions I would like to explore with you here today.

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How can businesses rethink their organisational design and mindset?

by Kate Scammell-Anderson on 28 Nov 2016

With the business landscape shifting on its axes, companies are recognising the need to make fundamental changes to the way they operate; the way they exist. Today, success cannot be defined per the old standards. The organisations that are making waves are those that are breaking free from old parameters. Think: Uber, Airbnb and Netflix.

Therefore, many businesses are finding that they need to review their organisational design and mindset. Otherwise, they risk being left behind. They need to consider how they approach what they do and whether this fits with what's expected today.

So how can organisations make the changes required in a disrupted environment

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Organisational Change: Delivering Change in a Disrupted World

by Anna Davis on 14 Nov 2016

The penny has dropped that we now live in a disrupted world, where technology drives speed and customisation into our increasingly convergent home and work lives, and where societal staples take on new meaning. Consider how we are starting to apply new meaning to the following: work and our jobs, organisational structure and hierarchy, sharing resources, justice and values. Our interpretations and aspirations are now influenced by opportunity in the broadest sense of the word.

Much is being written about the challenge and opportunity leaders face in creating and sustaining change-able organisations to remain competitive in this era. Leaders need to create an environment where a change mindset and culture of change is secured as part of the organisation's DNA. These are important macro considerations but let's spare a thought for those employed in the work of planning and delivering change; the people who might be in change leader or project leader roles, or unsuspecting line managers given the work of leading a change. 

What makes a great change professional in a disrupted world? Do we need to rethink the meaning of managing change and change management?

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Why the traditional career path is no longer relevant

by Ettie McCormack on 31 Oct 2016

Career development is a core component of "total rewards" – an organisation's value proposition. Having a career framework can help organisations understand where their talent is concentrated; how prepared, or ill-prepared, they are to meet future resource challenges; and how key employees can be developed and retained. It can also improve the functioning of the organisation to support business needs.

Trend surveys consistently show that, after leadership development and employee engagement, employee development is the third highest priority area needing urgent attention. Yet little is done to look at this critical area for an organisation's progress and well-being, outside of the long-standing practices that have been applied over many years.

It's time to look at this afresh, in view of two significant drivers that are forcing business leaders to take a different approach.

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Dealing with disruption in the recruitment and consulting industries

by Kate Scammell-Anderson on 10 Oct 2016

"Business models are less durable than they used to be. The basic rules of the game for creating and capturing economic value were once fixed in place for years, even decades, as companies tried to execute the same business models better than their competitors did. But now, business models are subject to rapid displacement, disruption, and, in extreme cases, outright destruction."

Marc de Jong and Menno van Dijk, McKinsey

The scenario outlined above is occurring across industries, throwing into flux the systems and processes of the past. Against this backdrop, business leaders are finding that they do not necessarily have all the appropriate skills needed to overcome the challenges they face. In seeking to adapt their organisations to the current climate, they inevitably require external capability.

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