News

30
Jul

If I Had a Hammer

The man who only has a hammer sees every problem as a nail, is a very poignant aphorism. Wherever we are in life and business we seem to have our own bag of tools.

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23
Jul

In Praise of Pareto

You may never have heard of Vilfredo Pareto the Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, and philosopher who died in 1923 but you will almost certainly be familiar with the law for which he is most well known. Often referred to as the 80;20 rule Pareto’s law states that 80% of our results comes from 20% of our effort. This can be extended to infer that 80% of our profit comes from 20% of our customers and that 20% of our customers generate 80% of our problems. If I am completely honest I don’t know how much statistical validity this claim has but what I do know is that whenever I have tested the principle it seems to hold true to a remarkable degree. It is relatively easy to test for yourself.

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14
Jul

Core Customer

Who is your core customer? Do you know? Can you describe her? In detail? At Gazelles coaches we define a core customer as someone who will buy your product or service at the price you want to charge and in sufficient quantities. That is why knowing who your core customer is, is so very important.

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09
Jul

The Five Big Strategy Questions

There are literally thousands of books written about strategy. But at its heart strategy is about being able to answer the following five questions.

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02
Jul

Learn, unlearn and relearn

The futurist and former associate editor of Fortune magazine Alvin Toffler once said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." Well here we are 15 years into the 21st Century and I think his comment is becoming more and more relevant every day.

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24
Jun

It's All About Character

It’s All About Character Steve Hansen former rugby union player and the head coach of the All Blacks said, “Test rugby is all about testing your character. It’s about putting you under pressure and seeing how you cope”. Any endeavour or enterprise carried out at the highest level will be a test of character, whether that be climbing a mountain, walking to the north pole, swimming the channel, running a newsagents or leading a multi million pound enterprise, it will be a test of at least two things; character and skill.

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17
Jun

Three Types of People

Three Types Of People. I have just come across a Myers Briggs report that I completed almost 20 years ago when I was studying at Durham University Business School. Personally I use DiSC and Talent Dynamics assessments with my clients and I have been fascinated by personality types and personality traits for a long time. So I am fascinated to read it and understand whether it still applies and how those traits have played out retrospectively.

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10
Jun

Core Competencies

Over ten years ago when I first became a professional business coach, one of my very first clients said, “ I bet you are constantly frustrated because wherever you go you will be able to see how that particular business could do things better”. We laughed about it, but it is true to a large extent. Something recently brought that conversation back to me.

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05
Jun

Role Play For Real

For a long time I have tried not to use too many sporting analogies when speaking, writing or coaching, partly because I am conscious that the differences between sports people and business people are so massive. A professional sports person might practice for 30 hours and perform for 90 minutes a week. A business person will try to perform for 40 to 50 hours per week and may get one or two days training a quarter.

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29
May

Value Proposition

“Above all I provide value first”. That is my mantra. I believe that the only reason that businesses have the privilege of being in business is that they provide enough value to enough people who are prepared to pay for that value which allows the business to continue to grow and operate. Simple really when you think about it.

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