Workplace Goals in 2014

A 2014 Goal Increasing Workplace Skills (c) R Dennison December 2013

A 2014 Goal Increasing Workplace Skills (c) R Dennison December 2013

James Sproule soon takes up post as chief economist and director of policy at the Institute of Directors (IoD).  He has a vision of the UK economy in 2014.

Interviewed on the IoD website by the outgoing chief economist, Graeme Leach, Mr Sproule talks about cautious increases in consumer spending next year.  This new spending will trigger a response from companies that can demonstrate they offer value to consumers.

Companies that can respond in an agile way to digital, tech, or big data innovation will do especially well, Sprouse believes.

If this is even partially true then there will be a premium on staff with computing, coding, or analytical skills in the coming months.  It might also mean enlightened employers will encourage their staff to be flexible in gaining those broad skills, whatever their background.

I was thinking about the issue of confident and skilled staff when I read a call for advice from a demoralised 51 year old in the Guardian newspaper.  He is a strong performer in a hostile working environment.  His health is suffering; he is looking for other work options, and doubting he has skills to offer.  I believe he’ll do fine, once he embraces his opportunities.

I Tweeted my views on the situation as follows (by the way, how are you going to take action on your workplace goal for 2014?)

Contact me – by Friday 20 December – to discuss the coaching support you need to achieve your goals from January 2014.

Wealth: Three Questions For Your Future

Christmas Costs (c) R Dennison December 2013

Christmas Costs (c) R Dennison December 2013

Add up the cost of the presents, the parties, and pushing the boat out and this is an expensive time of the year.

It is not surprising that one person in four is dipping into their savings to pay for the festivities (according to research from the Moneysupermarket website, cited by Rebecca Choules’ in the Daily Telegraph on 7 November).

Hopefully using long-term savings for short-term gain won’t become common place.  If growth in the economy is being led by consumer spending, dipping into the savings pot might disadvantage consumers’ long-term financial security.  It might also make the recovery unsustainable.

Pursuing a wealth goal helps to make the future more certain 

Savings play an important part in prudent financial planning.  Savings have regularly featured in my discussions with coaching clients.  They found that pursuing a wealth goal helped to make their future more certain.

Certainty could also be very important if working life keeps getting longer and the distance until State Pension Age (SPA) keeps getting longer.

The Telegraph’s Andrew Oxlade looked at this issue on 5 December, in a piece entitled “State pension age: The logic that suggests it will rise to 84”.  There’s a link to the piece at the end of this post.

The article quotes a number of experts who speculate about the impact of current demographic changes and the link to possible increases in the SPA by 2050.

3 wealth-related questions this Christmas

All of this speculation suggests we could ask ourselves 3 wealth-related questions this Christmas, to establish some milestones for our own wealth plans:

  • What savings goals will you pursue over the next five years to become more financially secure?
  • What level of financial security do you want to have achieved in the coming decade?
  • How much actions are you prepared to take to achieve further financial security in the next 20 years?

(What answers do you have to those questions?  Why not have that conversation with friends and family over the holiday season, then get some coaching to start making progress in 2014).

The Business Show: Part Two – Connections

Here is the follow-up post I promised you, inspired by last week’s Business Show at Olympia (that’s #TBS2013 if you fancy looking at the coverage on Twitter).


Brochure from The Business Show 2013

The event was web heavy, naturally enough, since the internet is such a significant part of business today.  People without tablets, netbooks, smart phones seemed to be in the minority.  Most people seemed to be connecting to the world outside the event.

Felicity McCarthy, Facebook’s Head of Small and Medium Business Marketing Communications made a point which re-enforced the idea of connectivity.

Felicity noted that brands with an online presence are consumed by people who have developed a respectful and loving attitude towards the brand’s products and services.  A brand’s Facebook, or other, online profile helps to build warm relationships.

I was mulling that thought over yesterday, in light of two news stories.  I think the stories capture how the public’s feelings about a corporate and a personal brand can be affected by events.

The corporate story concerns the online banking offer from RBS.  This has, once again, failed to provide the level of seamless service customers expect.  The timing of course could not be worse.  People with Christmas shopping to do really don’t need to have their card transactions refused.

Ross McKewan – RBS Chief Executive – today said “…It will take time but we are investing heavily in IT systems our customers can rely on…”  I wonder how much respect, love, or loyalty the bank will receive from customers in 2014 whilst those IT systems are developed?

On the other end of the scale from the corporate brand there is 19-year-old Olympic medalist Tom Daley .  He has managed a change to his personal brand impressively, according to a piece in the Guardian today* by PR Consultant Mark Borkowski.   The consultant believes that by using his own Youtube channel to affirm his new relationship, and his bisexuality, Mr Daley has demonstrated “strategic control” over his brand.  That is a lesson to other and bigger brands Borkowski reckons.

As everyone – from corporations to individuals – has a story to tell; support to generate; and a reputation to manage perhaps the question is this:

What single step can each of us take to manage our brand better in the connected age?

* Tom Daley Youtube Video