Feb 232018
 

CEO opportunity for a Chartered Director.

chartered directorI have been asked to identify a Chartered Director who is expert in the extraction industry to head up a new organisation which will exploit a novel solution to recovering elements from waste developed in a German University.

Initially the requirement would be to arrange for independent verification that the technology works through testing at an internationally respected test house. Given the green light then the task would be to set up an international operation based in the UK. The principals regard the UK as the best base to start technologically based business.

If you are interested and want to be considered, please initially contact Alan Hindley C Dir by e-mail at alan@cedar-associates.com

The technology is summarised below.

CEE Clean Element Extraction OPPORTUNITY

  • A cost effective, global solution to ‘clean-up’ environment damaging, heavy industrial processes
  • Developed in Germany, with all R&D completed and technology patents registered
  • Facilitating the emergence of a new industry with applications across multiple market sectors
  • Company registered and carrying out ‘soft operations’ in Germany

TECHNOLOGY CEE

is a patented process of Clean Element Extraction, which can be summarized as:

  • Clean - a safe, non-toxic, environmentally friendly process
  • Element - applicable to any element, or group of elements
  • Extraction - with close to 100% yield of targeted element/s extracted from any medium

CEE RELEVANT INDUSTRIES

  • Oil & Gas
  • Rare Earth Elements (REE)
  • Precious Metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum etc.)
  • Metals
  • Toxic Waste

GAME CHANGER FOCUS ON OIL & GAS - FRACKING: FLOWBACK CLEAN-UP

Fluid referred to as ‘flowback', a bi-product of fracking that contains toxic and radioactive materials, like Radon, present significant challenges that are both costly and hazardous to the company and the environment. Legal requirements are enforced to ensure ‘flowback’ is treated to achieve a standard equitable with drinking water before this fluid is legally allowed to be released into the water table. CEE technology provides a safe, non toxic and cost effective solution to treat ‘flowback’ to achieve the required quality for release into the water systems, significantly reducing the challenges currently being faced by all fracking companies worldwide. This would initiate a significant advancement for the process, which ordinarily faces strong opposition from governments and environmental agencies and therefore generate both cost and operational gains.

OTHER APPLICATIONS

  • Rare Earth Element Extraction - These elements are critical to the development and production of modern green energy technologies, high-tech defense systems, computers, mobile telephones and advanced IT. Meanwhile, rare earth extraction is one of the most environmentally destructive and toxic of all mining practices. Excessive rare earth mining has resulted in landslides, clogged rivers, environmental pollution emergencies and disasters, causing great damage to people's safety and the ecology of the environment. However, CEE totally transforms this process. Precious
  • Metal Extraction - Traditionally, the process of extracting valuable metals like gold, silver and palladium uses sodium cyanide, which is related to extensive environmental hazards. However, with CEE the use of sodium cyanide is completely avoided making the process both clean and safe, whilst yielding nearly 100% extraction rate. Also, the processing time of CEE is one day per cycle, compared to 7-30 days for the traditional process using sodium cyanide.
  • Oil Extraction - From oil shale, oil sand, oil sludge and oil containing waste materials as metal processing waste - the worldwide known deposits of useable oil shale near the surface could replace crude oil and gas for hundreds of years. However, current technologies are costly and immensely damaging to the environment and not competitive. CEE however, can extract oil from these conditions with nearly 100% yield, is environmentally safe and cost effective.
  • Other Extractions - Tungsten carbide, cobalt, uranium, vanadium, phosphates and alumina-silicates.
  • Toxic Clean Up - CEE can also clean toxic waste stockpiles, extracting the poison and toxic substances, and uncovering usable rare earth elements and precious metals, turning toxic waste into an asset with monetary value and sellable material.
Aug 242017
 

BLM partnered with the Institute of Directors South West (IoD), who arranged for a panel of chartered directors to discuss the key challenges facing leaders in business and industry. The findings are published in this feature from the July - September 2017 issue

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES FACING DIRECTORS IN THE ROOM?

David Doughty: “From my own business, and from my clients, it is that lack of confidence and insecurity that delays buying. It seems to be worse if you are older. There seems to be a lot more reasons for not making a buying decision…Christmas, New Year, Skiing, School Holidays. “I think once we have government with a
good majority – whatever flavour it is – and once we have seen the way Brexit is going, I think then it takes out two of the reasons. People tend to look for excuses. It is the
entrepreneurs who aren’t looking for excuses though, they are looking for reasons to take opportunities.” 

“It is easy to think that everything has been invented but there is still a lot of things that can be done and are being done. Investors, in our experience, are backing those thing’s.”
Nick Sturge

HOW IS INVESTOR CONFIDENCE HOLDING UP?

Nick Sturge: “I have a very local perspective in that respect, both in terms of a sector view and from a geographical perspective. Within this context, we have seen a significant step up in terms of the level of investor activity and that is critical in the initial stages. “So, we are seeing more activity which is my closest estimation to confidence. I do think that, having spent time out of Bristol and the South West, there is a difference in the sectors and the markets here in this part of world compared to other places like London and Manchester – who have a larger volume of activity, so some of these businesses are formed on a false premise. “There is a lot of hype around start-ups and some them don’t get anywhere. What we see is perhaps less start-ups but the ones who do start-up are more likely to stay and be solid. “It is easy to think that everything has been invented but there is still a lot of things that can be done and are being done. Investors, in our experience, are backing those thing’s.”

WHAT CHALLENGES ARE IOD MEMBERS FACING MORE BROADLY?

Simon Face: “The range of challenges is almost unlimited, but one people are worried about is around the future of the workforce and where future labour is going to come from – particularly post-Brexit. So, while we have a little time to work things through, it is not a huge amount of time – about 18 months. Things are going to change, particularly in manufacturing and food.”

Mark Saxton: “I don’t think we have 18 months, I think the issue is right now. Certainly, in the health sector – it is here now. We celebrated diversity day – 49 different nationalities in a small district general hospital – that is quite staggering for Yeovil. “There are a couple of things I would also like to say. I think this pay vs Retail price Index (RPI) is just a train coming down the track. That is a big issue I think certainly in the health sector with a 1% cap. “Generally, too, I worry about the global trend of disengagement, the Trump type of reaction. Two major political parties in France were eliminated and it is a new model in France. I think the have’s vs the have-nots are also a major issue facing us locally and globally.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE MAIN GLOBAL RISKS FACING DIRECTORS?

David Doughty: “Globalisation is having an affect but I am not sure it is having the affect that people think it is. I think the trade markets are as healthy as they ever have been. I was a director of a manufacturing business which exported most of what it produced and we never discussed tariffs or trade agreements. If there was business there, we went after it.”

ARE PEOPLE NOW TALKING ABOUT TARIFFS?

David Doughty: “Politicians and the media talk about it but the reality for most businesses is that it is never discussed. They sell around the world and deal with the agreements afterwards, with what you must pay in tax or not.”

Mark Saxton CDir
Ballintrae Partnership

Simon Face
IOD South West

Nick Sturge CDir
Engine Shed

David Doughty CDir
Excellencia

“It is a lot easier to close offices here then it is in Sweden or France, for example.”
Mark Saxton

Nick Sturge:“Some of these things (such as trade tariffs) have been business as usual for a long time but suddenly they become issues, perhaps unnecessarily. “Regarding trade with Europe, some companies are fearful of that what the new climate may mean for them and the challenge will be for early stage companies to bring expertise on board, which they don’t have.”

Simon Face:“I think whatever happens, the UK is going to become a much higher cost of economy. We are already seeing inflation coming through, food prices and in automotive goods as well. If we start seeing more tariffs and import duties, which is the likely scenario then this will have an impact. “Businesses will have to look to where they can make money and add value – it is around innovation, it is the knowledge economy – that is the where the future of the UK is going to be. We will probably end up looking more like Switzerland or Norway.”

COULD WE END UP BEING LIKE A SINGAPORE WITHOUT THE SUN?

David Doughty: “We are seeing signs of this already I think. If you look at the housing market, the house prices in London and the South East – that smacks of a high cost economy. Whether the city will survive or be able to help sustain that is another question. “We are still one of the most attractive countries for inward investment though, mostly because it is very easy to set up a business. That is the primary factor, the taxation would be an added sweetener and there is no reason why we couldn’t have a corporation tax regime, that is more attractive than the EU.”

IS THE UK AN EASY COUNTRY TO DIS-INVEST FROM?

Mark Saxton: “It is a lot easier to close offices here then it is in Sweden or France, for example. “Anecdotally we are hearing of more global businesses investing in Ireland for example, to make sure they still have access to the EU market as well as having an international, English-speaking base. “What we are also hearing is that people working in the city can more cheaply buy a house in Ireland and fly into an airport every week than work in London and fly home at the weekend. “That is another example of the world becoming more global, whether you like it
or not.” 

“We are still one of the most attractive countries for inward investment though, mostly because it is very easy to set up a business.”
David Doughty

HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WOULD JEREMY CORBYN AS PRIME MINISTER BE?

Simon Face: “I don’t think most business people would see a return to the nationalisation of utilities as necessarily a good thing. It might sound attractive as an individual, if you’re voting for what appears to be a free service but at the end of the day it still must be paid for and accounted for. “The reason why most water companies were privatised in the 80s and 90s was because
they needed huge investment – they were running 100-year-old infrastructure which needed replacing.”

Nick Sturge: “Some of his policies will of course be popular but staggeringly expensive and that logic has not been articulated.”

David Doughty: “He also demonstrates a lack of understanding of the way that pensions are funded because he is talking about taxing investors as if they are private individuals but they are mostly pension funds.”

Nick Sturge: “There was one thing in the Labour manifesto that the IOD would be nationally supportive of, subject to detail, which is the idea of more worker representation at board level.
“It would be interesting to get some thoughts on that. The IOD is supportive of better engagement at board level with the workforce. There is much to be discussed because if you elect an employee to sit on the board, then they need the skills to be a company director. It is an easy sound bite for politicians but in practice it is difficult.”

Aug 182015
 

Business bosses are being urged to boost their workplace performance by taking on the Institute of Directors' Chartered Director Programme.

Chartered Director

Boxing clever: from left, Lisa Keys of the IoD, Peter Martin of Director Development Ireland, and Fiona Hampton of Ulster Rugby

By John MulgrewBelfast Telegraph 18/08/2015

The organisation has launched this year's scheme and exam, which aims to give senior executives additional workforce skills, and help managers to become chartered directors.

Paul Terrington, chairman of the IoD in Northern Ireland, said: "Last year's results and the fact we were oversubscribed for the course is evidence that the business community recognises that leading professional qualifications such as the Chartered Director Programme will equip the directors of today and tomorrow with the skills which their companies will greatly benefit from."

The programme is delivered by Director Development Ireland Ltd, headed by former management consultant, Peter Martin.

Fiona Hampton, head of sales and marketing at Ulster Rugby, said the course had been "hugely beneficial".

"It must be the most practical, business-focused course and I thoroughly enjoyed it," she said.

 

Mar 192015
 

Proving the Business Value of a Strong Organisational Culture: Four Keys to Serco’s Success by Chartered Director Robert Smith

chartered directorRobert Smith, Director Assurance at Serco Group PLC (Serco), shares his thoughts on how he and his team are helping Serco build and sustain a strong organisational culture that reduces reputational risk, and better protects the business. Serco is an international service company supporting government and private sector customers. The company has more than 100,000 employees in over 30 countries. Robert has been with Serco since 1989.

About two years ago Serco was confronted with a number of reputational challenges that resulted in lost confidence from some of their key customers in the U.K. To urgently address these issues, below, Robert tells us how Serco developed a corporate renewal programme to increase awareness of their business values and bolster their corporate culture from the inside out.


I am often asked what the business case for ethics is and I simply reply, “reputational risk management.”  The root causes of many reputational failures are ethical or cultural failures. I’m not alone in this sentiment—many surveys, including a recent one by Deloitte, places reputational risk at the top of their surveys of strategic business risks.

At Serco, we needed to take strong steps to create a stronger organisational culture of ethics and respect. As a first step, we had NAVEX Global’s Advisory Services team undertake a culture and ethics assessment across our business. The assessment not only confirmed what we knew, but also raised a number of issues that we had been blind to.  It challenged our views and made us think—something we all need to take the time to step back and do.

Our focus was really culture rather than just compliance. I appreciate that compliance programmes are important to provide the sound foundation for an ethical culture.  For me, however, the focus should be much more around the behaviours of leaders, the clarity of values and purpose and aligning the two.  It’s this alignment that will truly shape and change the ethical culture and characteristics of an organisation. Our focus has certainly shifted in this direction.

You would think that with such a clear business case it would be an easy journey—but that is not the case. Change management for organisational culture change is a major challenge.

Key to Success #1: Be Louder Than the Noise

For me the main challenges have been about being heard amongst the noise.  Any business crisis drives a whole stream of initiatives, with ethical and cultural change being just one.

However, we know that a culture of ethics and respect must be embedded throughout an organisation—not thought of in a silo that is solely the responsibility of those with “ethics” in their title.  We took a strategic focus that attempted to ‘join the dots’ across a variety of initiatives covering  employee engagement, talent management, business operations and corporate communications and identified a number of different channels for engagement (print, web, webcasts, forums, training etc.) to ensure consistent and clear messages were getting through.

Key to Success #2: Take it From the Top

As part of a broader leadership and talent review we aligned to a new leadership model which doesn’t just define leadership competencies but also the behaviours that are expected from leaders at all levels through the organisation. This was supported by training, not to teach leaders ethics, but rather that effective ethical leadership is a competency to be developed—just like any other business competency.

For us, the focus of development was around getting our leaders to recognise the impact they have on the ethical culture of where they work, and to improve their decision making.  We looked at external case examples of good and bad behaviours by leaders, and the impact they had on the culture and performance of an organisation.  This enabled real debate and consensus around how we want leaders to behave, and the working environment they can create.

Key to Success #3: “Know it. Use it. Live it.”

Supporting this leadership development training was recognition of the need for greater engagement with all employees.  Building trust with our customers is one thing; we also needed to rebuild the trust of the 100,000 employees who work for us.

Our first step was to completely revamp our code of conduct.  Not to change the rules, but to change the way we present them.  The refreshed code, which we’ve titled “Know it. Use it. Live it.” reflects a completely different tone.  It is not just about what “you” need to do. It outlines Serco’s responsibilities alongside what the company expects from every employee: “you” equals “all of us.” We also changed the language used to make it simpler, clearer and more direct, avoiding “legalese.”


Related article: What’s In Your Code of Conduct?


We also spent time on the structure of the code of conduct so that it becomes a way of actively thinking about what we need to do and how we need to behave—how to live our code of conduct.

The document is supported by a web site with 92 interactive dilemmas, a number of animated learning tools and direct links to policy documents, guidance and other toolkits, such as the U.K. Institute of Ethics “Say No” Toolkit, our decision-making guide and a simple flow chart showing how to raise issues—and what happens when you do.

And recognising that one important element of trust is transparency, our code website is a public website which anyone can view.

Key to Success #4: Recognise that Change is a Continuous Journey

We all know this is a continuous journey. Each day we continue to strive to stay true to our ethical compass, and we have learnt the importance of putting ethics at the very centre of our corporate agenda.  Four of the strategies we’re using to make sure we’re staying on track for the long-term are:

  1. Consistently challenging our purpose and values. As with our code, it is not about changing the core principles, but rather looking at the language we use so that we better engage with a modern day workforce.  We engaged our leadership with this thinking.  Not as a siloed ethics initiative, but alongside and core to the output of a business strategy review.
  2. Continuing to build our leadership training with greater focus on leaders’ decision making, particularly under challenging circumstances.  It’s about getting them to apply the tools we have to strengthen their decision making, the way they perform in meetings and the impact they have on those around them.
  3. Changing our leadership model and our performance review process. Our assessment will not only look at the ‘what’ an individual has done—which has been the historical focus of performance reviews – but also the ‘how’. And to remove subjectivity the leadership model provides examples of good and bad behaviours that might be associated with all elements of the model.
  4. Improving employee engagement to more quickly identify and address pain points.  We continue to improve employee engagement, and we’re taking the time to better segment the data we get from employee engagement surveys. This allows us to proactively plan better forms of intervention. We need both a rigorous set of policies and frameworks and an equally strong commitment to driving a sense of humanity at work and creating closer connections.

Final Thoughts

Inappropriate or unethical behaviour is not just down to bad apples.  More, it is likely that a series of connected events create a perfect storm.  Rules and regulations alone will not encourage the right behaviours.  The less we are listening to all the signals, the more we will miss and the harder it will be to galvanise people and rebuild our organisation.

We are trying to apply rigour, transparency and operability to our systems with the introduction of new programmes, processes and procedures. But critical to the continuing successful embedding of these systems are our people.  We need the willing collaboration and consistent application of these processes and measures by everyone in the organisation.

Developing 100,000 willing followers in Serco may take time, but the outcome will be an engaged and productive group of people who are proud to work for Serco, and who will play a significant role in building trust, ensuring that we sustain a culture of ethics and respect, and ensuring Serco’s reputation continues to deliver the significant business value we know that it can.


For more from Robert and Daniel Kline of|NAVEX Global on training strategies that work, watch their webinar, “Ethics & Compliance Trends Across EU & Beyond: Advancing the Trust Agenda and Maintaining Programme Momentum.”

Aug 122014
 

After 31 years with the Met Office, Chartered Director Rob Varley is to be the new CEO

chartered director rob varley

By Olivier Vergnault Western Morning News

Rob Varley is a weather man through and through. Meteorology and a love of weather patterns has always been in his blood.

Now, after 31 years with the Met Office, Rob is the Exeter-based organisation’s new CEO. Olivier Vergnault went to see him to find out what’s so special about the weather.

What’s your background?

I was born in the Cotswolds. Now I live in Mid Devon near Tiverton. I have three grown-up kids. My daughter is a mum so that makes me a granddad to a one-year-old girl. My elder son is a geophysicist about to start a PhD at Durham. My younger son has learning difficulties and lives in a very special community in South Devon where he enjoys pottery, weaving and looking after the chickens.

How long have you been working for the Met Office for?

31 years this summer.

How did you come to work for the Met Office?

My father was a weather forecaster. He joined the Met Office in 1950 and worked as a weather forecaster for 34 years. I grew up with the Met Office and my dad was obsessed with weather. It must have rubbed off on me. I studied meteorology at the University of East Anglia then joined the firm in 1983. My dad retired a year later.

What do you like about the study of weather patterns?

A lot of science is fascinating but can be a bit abstract. But meteorology is quite special. It is not like most other sciences. It is tangible. You can feel it. You can touch it. It is also an extremely challenging and complex science. You study the big problems facing mankind, like our changing climate and the impact it has on the environment. But at the same time it is also immediate and tangible. Whether it is the violence of floods and destructiveness of storms or whether it is the beautiful sunshine beaming on Devon while the sky is blue. It’s all weather, and the sky is our laboratory.

What does the Met Office do?

Most people will be familiar with our Public Weather Service, providing forecasts and warnings via TV, radio, web and mobile. But as well as this we provide weather and climate services to a huge range of customers in the public and private sectors and to international clients. This includes two-thirds of the world’s long-haul aviation and the UK military wherever they are serving – we have had staff in Afghanistan since 2001.

How does the Met Office make money?

We are a Trading Fund Agency within the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Eighty-five per cent of our revenue come from the public sector through trading agreements with various organisations such as Defra, the MoD, the Environment Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The other 15 per cent is from commercial contracts.

What is the Met Office’s turnover?

Last year it was £208 million.

How many staff do you employ?

We employ around 2,000 people, of whom 1,400 work in Exeter. This includes over 500 research scientists. We also run our own college to train the future weather experts from all over the world.

In your 30 years at the Met Office what has changed?

The science, as in other fields such as medicine, has improved tremendously. And our understanding of weather and the physics of the atmosphere continues to grow. This is helped by remarkable advances we have made in measuring the atmosphere – on land and sea, by in-situ measurement, radar and especially by satellites. TV viewers will be familiar with the animation of clouds across the map of Britain, but this is just a byproduct of the main task of our satellites: to measure temperatures, moisture, wind surface pressure, and atmospheric constituents across the whole globe with great accuracy. Then, of course, there is the enormous advance in computer power over the past 30 years – crunching the data using sophisticated weather models. Back when I started the computer was a helpful basic guide for the first day or two. Now our computers are remarkably accurate on a regional scale up to five days ahead and beyond. This helps us to spot major changes in the weather well in advance.

How important is accurate weather prediction?

Accurate prediction allows for better forward planning. Take for instance the St Jude storm which ripped through the South of England last October. We were able to predict it accurately five days ahead and so issue detailed warnings well in advance – this would have been impossible 30 years ago. As a result of our warnings, some train services in the South East were cancelled, and people were advised to stay at home. The storm brought down more than 200 trees onto the tracks – just imagine the danger and chaos for travellers if trains had been running.

And think back to last winter – the wettest ever recorded in England and Wales with some huge storms battering the South West coast. Being able to give accurate warnings to emergency services and communities likely to be affected by the weather helps save lives and helps minimise the disruption to businesses. That’s what really counts. The more accurate we can be the more people rely on our services and can plan appropriately.

Five years ago we were promised a full summer of barbecue weather. What went wrong?

Predicting conditions several months ahead is one of our big scientific challenges. It’s just not possible to forecast that far ahead with any certainty. All we can do is hint at how the odds are stacked, and in 2009 the summer didn’t follow the most likely pattern. Despite their limitations, our three-month outlooks can be useful for business planning, but we now recommend that the public wait until a week or two ahead before to get a useful forecast.

How do you make your weather predictions?

It’s a sophisticated scientific process, in three key stages. First we need an accurate view of the weather right now – all over the world. So we collaborate internationally to measure the whole atmosphere. Secondly, we use high-powered computers to calculate how the atmosphere will change over time. Finally, our expert meteorologists interpret the computer predictions and give advice to meet the particular needs of all our customers.

What will the new £97 million supercomputer do for the Met Office?

There is a huge untapped potential within our science. Today we just don’t have the computer power to use it. So with this more powerful computer we will be able to apply more sophisticated science and so improve the forecasts.

It will allow us to forecast today’s weather with greater accuracy, and also make more detailed climate change projections. This will mean better advice for the Government, companies and individuals of the coming changes – whether that’s days, weeks or decades ahead.

Can you predict the impacts of global warming?

When you talk of global warming it’s generally understood that if you double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere you will increase the average surface temperature across the world by something like 3C. I imagine that what most readers will be more interested in is what’s going to happen in Devon and Cornwall. And not just to average temperatures but to the extremes of heat, cold, wind and rain. We want to know how frequent and how destructive the storms are going to be. We want to know how high the tides will reach.

That’s what planners want to know so they can build the right sea defences and be prepared. It’s the extremes which do the damage. On a world scale the science of global warming is clear and unequivocal. But our understanding of the local scale impacts is still developing and there is much more to do. That’s a key reason why the Government is investing in more computing power.

How closely do you work with other Met Offices in the world?

Very closely. Meteorology is a very effective international collaboration. We are all dependent on the weather and on each other’s data. The Met Office belongs to the World Meteorological Organisation, an agency of the United Nations. We share satellites, science, data and expertise. We also have specialist collaborations with many scientific institutions around the world.

Is there a universal meteorological prediction system?

All weather services use the same basic approach. Some run their own weather models and others collaborate to get the data they need. The Met Office leads the Unified Model Partnership with Australia and South Korea. Each country has areas of expertise and we all benefit.

As CEO of the Met Office, how do you take the role and the organisation forward?

The Met Office is a world leader in its field and I am hugely proud of that. We have 2,000 highly skilled staff who do an immense range of vitally important work for the UK and the world. I have great sense of responsibility on taking on the mantle of leading this organisation and continuing our great work. One of the main areas for development is our international work.

We are working increasingly in developing countries to help them develop their own weather services and be better prepared and better manage severe weather. Working in so many countries creates new challenges for us, but I am excited at the possibilities to grow our work and make a real difference both with governments and with the private sector.

Have you been involved with recent events around the world?

We worked closely with the Philippines weather service in July when a nasty typhoon was approaching Manila. When typhoon Rammasan hit, there were winds of 70 knots and 400mm of rain fell – that’s nearly half our average annual rainfall. Our work ensured that people and businesses were better protected by being better informed.

As a CEO of the Met Office that’s one of the things I want us to do more of. Working in the international arena to reduce the impact of natural disasters and to promote preparedness for the effects of climate change. If you can help countries be better prepared and minimise loss of life then it’s worthwhile.

Were you involved in the move from Reading to Exeter?

I led the project to build our Exeter headquarters. My role was to ensure a purpose-built building was constructed, on time and ready for moving 1,000 staff and their families down to Devon smoothly. I wrote the business case, ran the competitive process to find a contractor and an architect, and then supervised construction on site.

It was a £150m contract. I moved to Devon in 2001 before the first sod was cut, watched the building take shape and the Met Office relocated in 2003. It was stressful but exhilarating!

Was moving down to Exeter a good move for the Met Office?

It has transformed the way in which we work together, especially in term of sharing ideas, flexibility, and accommodating new things. Most people enjoy working here. The key thing is having motivated staff who want to come to work. We moved 1,000 people and their families from Berkshire – which of course was disruptive for everyone. Most people love being in the region. It is a great place to live and raise children.

What were the reasons to come to Exeter?

The cost of running a business down here compared with the South East is much lower. And for the staff the cost of living is cheaper. Services and housing are cheaper, there is less congestion and it is a beautiful part of the country to live. It is beneficial for the staff. We have world class experts working for us and we are particular about who we employ. So we had to make sure that our staff wanted to come to work down here. Our staff turnover is about seven per cent which is very good. It means we retain our staff. They are loyal to us.

When not busy managing the Met Office, what do you do?

Of course I have my family. And I love the outdoors – in all weathers! I love to walk on the moors and the coast, as well as exploring other parts of the UK. I travel all over the world in my work, but I still think Britain is the most beautiful place to live, and you can’t get much better than Devon.

Find out more about Rob by viewing his LinkedIn profile

Jul 042014
 

Murray Eldridge CDir is the guest speaker at the next local Chartered Director Breakfast Meeting

Leading High Performance: Applying the Winning Principles of Sports Coaching in an Organisation

murray eldridge chartered directorMurray Eldridge rowed for Great Britain at Junior World Championship level and won at Henley and national competitions. Completing a career at sea as a captain at twenty nine he embarked on a thirty year business career. He has run companies and joint ventures in China, Singapore, Indonesia and the UK in oil & gas, telecoms and latterly in the water sector where he remains a shareholder and advisor in a desalination company. Apart from his own international consultancy work he delivers the IoD’s ‘Director’s Role in Strategy’ for their Chartered Director program. He also works internationally for the Management Centre Europe in Brussels in the areas of Leadership, Leader Development and Strategy.

He is the author of Leading High Performance which blends his extensive international business knowledge and experience with many years of coaching competitive athletes. It reflects his passionate desire to bring a more effective style of leadership - and ‘followership’ - into companies that will move them from average to high performance.

Leading High Performance: Applying the Winning Principles of Sports Coaching in Your Organisation [Paperback] Murray Eldridge [amazon_template template="3" id="1780592132" ]

Date/Venue: Tuesday 15th July 2014 Hotel Du Vin Henley 0730

If you have not yet attended one of our meetings this locally organised group was formed by a few Chartered Directors in Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire with the aim of meeting informally on a regular basis. It is aimed purely at Chartered Directors and provides an ideal opportunity to meet one another, make use of the considerable pool of talent within the network and at the same time seek to raise the profile of Chartered Director.

The meeting is informal but with a growing focus on continual professional development a key element of being a Chartered Director. Many of the presentations which are covered in the meetings count towards the Chartered Director CPD requirement.

Confirm Attendance

Should you be able to attend please can you confirm your attendance by email so that we can inform the hotel about exact numbers. E-mail Paul Bennett or Neil Britten to confirm.

Information in advance

It would be useful to circulate an attendance list to everyone a few days in advance of the meeting. Please can you confirm you are happy for this to be done and return the information below asap.

Venue

Chartered DirectorHotel Du Vin Henley

We have a private room and English Breakfast, coffee and juices will be served.

Cost £20.00. Please bring correct amount on the day.

For directions and more details

http://www.hotelduvin.com/hotels/henley-on-thames/hotel-information

There is plenty of free parking in the town centre for the duration of the meeting.

Time

Arrive 0720 for 0730 and finish 0930 sharp

Feb 272014
 

Leading High Performance: Applying the Winning Principles of Sports Coaching in Your Organisation

murray eldridge murray eldridge by Murray Eldridge
Published: February 2014
Crimson Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 78059 213 8

Summary

This book is best summed up by the quote: “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability”.

This is not a slavish importation of sports coaching into the world of business. It is a well-developed, carefully constructed approach that takes only those sporting elements that make sense and intelligently adapts them for the world of organisations. It is full of anecdotes, examples and new concepts that are as exciting and thought provoking as they are applicable.

Prompted by the events and performance of many high profile organisations and their leaders over the last few years, the book makes the point that most organisations are average and that this is a both leadership and ‘followership’ issue. It sets out the case that leaders are often able to obscure poor results or, set lower than optimal goals and that many remuneration schemes reward not just mediocre performance but even poor performance. Somewhat provocatively the author introduces the thought (and supporting arguments) that if an organisation is just performing averagely is the leader really necessary?

Leading High Performance is divided into two parts:

Part 1 explores the relationship between leaders/coaches and followers/athletes and the responsibilities each have to the other. It provides insights into how this relationship as well as athlete and team development is managed in high- performance sports and how these concepts can be transferred to companies and organisations.

Part 2 focuses exclusively on organisations and how they can use the principles, models and tools developed in Part 1 to build a high- performance environment.

By combining current ideas of leadership in business with relevant practises from coaching and sports science the book shows that high performance is not some holy grail. It is not some inaccessible aspiration achievable only by an elite and brilliant few. It explains how high performance in business can readily be achieved and how leaders can create a high- performance environment through good leadership, good coaching and of course, through their people.

murray eldridge

Murray Eldridge has been a ship’s captain, has over thirty years’ experience in international business, was an international GB rower in his youth and has been a qualified British Rowing coach for the last eight years. Leading High Performance combines his knowledge of leadership, business and sport in new and insightful ways to show exactly how both leaders and ‘followers’ in organisations can maximize their potential and move their organisation into the high performance zone.

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