Latest Blogs

More investment isn’t simply the answer. A different approach is needed…by Tariq Siraj

Boris Johnson sat down with a host of African leaders at the UK-Africa Investment Summit last month and the emphasis at these things is always to throw out huge numbers and make bold promises.  Well, as genuine and well-meaning as that might be, there is a growing feeling that it’s not the actual investment number itself but the where and how that matters most.

As the problems and needs of the developing world become ever more challenging and complex, the solutions have more nuance than just bigger headline numbers and ‘more, more, more’.  In Africa, for example, 20 million new jobs need creating (double the rate of the last 5 years) just to sustain current unemployment levels.

As this article very well points out, social progress needs to be the motivator – not just jobs and dollars. A genuine high social impact initiative is simply a higher impact initiative. It helps the poorest more directly (ie those who need it most) and these type of investment are also the most sustainable, long-lasting and far-reaching.

- Tariq Siraj

How to “Get Your Life in Order” (GYLIO) by Davey Peyton

An interesting article, especially whilst everyone is stuck inside watching rain and snow fall sideways in the UK, from the BBC on the practice of GYLIO and how it can help shape your day to achieve more with less stress. It focuses on life admin and reducing your burden through a series of small changes.

We all have busy lives filled with more boring life admin than anyone wants to deal with. Whilst scrolling through I found myself remembering the staggering amount of time I waste by procrastinating over these things whether it be sorting bills, doing housework or organizing your personal life.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply offload most of these things, without paying someone that is, but one thing you can avoid is slogging through job boards, formatting your CV to look perfect or dealing with too many online assessments. Drop us an email or gives us a call and let us take the stress out of finding your next role so you’ve got more time to focus on everything else.

DCP Blog

Learning at work …”Nothing that matters is ever learned with ease” by Catriona Cookson

Gianpiero Petriglieri is an associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD who has spent many years coaching and teaching individuals and developing learning initiatives for clients. His articles are interesting and engaging, always worth a read. A recent one on learning at work caught my eye.

All major businesses (and smaller ones too) stress that learning and development of staff is key to business growth. Yet as Gianpiero outlines in his article learning at work can be complicated. Perhaps some of the disquiet arises from the fact that a lot of training can now be done online, flexibly at a time to suit the individual. So far so good ……but learning IS work and should be accommodated in the working day rather than the individual feeling obliged to do in his/her own time.

And what about the fact that learning can be difficult and challenging sometimes generating at the very least ambivalence and even resistance……what if you don’t like the subject or can’t do it. We’d all do well to remember “Nothing truly novel, nothing that matters, is ever learned with ease”

CEC blog 2

What is “Mentoring of the moment?” and what are the benefits? by Catriona Cookson

This article from Professor Brad Johnson in the Harvard Business Review is well worth a read.

His key message is this: “Mentors-of-the-moment help to promote a mentoring culture where all members of the organization — especially those in the middle to upper ranks — seek opportunities in daily interactions to develop or grow junior colleagues and peers.”

In this way mentoring switches from being a formal programme of individual responsibility to a culture which promotes informal mentorships across shorter and more regular exchanges. Mentors of the moment take advantage of daily opportunities to first notice and then engage junior colleagues. Some of it is very simple, basic behaviours – learning people’s names, showing an interest, some words of encouragement.

The cumulative effect can be very positive particularly for a generation which thrives on immediate and short interactions which promote further development and leads to a wider network of contacts. And the benefits to the business as well as the individual ? – well, there’s greater diversity and inclusion, better retention and stronger succession planning.

As with all initiatives …the success lies not in the idea itself ….but whether the culture of an organisation promotes (and rewards) the behaviours for ongoing success.


CEC blog 1

Supporting Emerging Talent: Mental Health in Young Workers…by Liz Watt

An article I read recently by Barbara Harvey, an MD at Accenture Research about supporting the mental health of young people entering the workplace, really resonated with me:

It seems of fundamental importance to me that businesses take the mental health of their new joiners and emerging talent seriously. The world of work is ever more challenging, and the expectations on Generation Z as they enter the workplace are high. These people are our leaders of the future and so ensuring we have a healthy, happy and robust pipeline of talent able to take on the professional and environmental challenges of a post-Brexit landscape is a bit of a no-brainer.

In the Coaching and mentoring work I do, I come across a number of recurring themes that this strata of the workforce talk about. Issues include:

  • Imposter syndrome
  • How to balance a burgeoning career with family life
  • Caring responsibilities / creating a manageable life balance
  • Financial pressures – student loan debt, house purchase affordability, lack of saving and investment
  • Anxiety around business imperatives such as business development, networking, dealing with confrontation
  • Career management, how to make a positive impact, developing your personal ‘brand’

Of course, many of these issues are not new and those of us who have been in the workplace for some years will have come across variations on these themes many times over. However, I think that there are added pressures on this generation’s shoulders, not least that they can expect to experience a much longer working life, non-linear career paths and quite possibly a number of changes of career direction throughout their working lives. Then there the is the relentless nature of social media which means you are constantly on-call. And let’s not underestimate the impact of an uncertain political and social landscape.

Harvey’s article suggests 3 key actions that can be taken to help tackle this issue. I would agree that all of these are very relevant.

To these, I would add:

  • Introducing 1-to-1 coaching programmes at a much earlier stage of career development. Historically, Coaching has been seen as the preserve of senior or board level executives, but I would argue that introducing coaching at a much earlier stage would provide young employees with a safe space to discuss and find solutions to issues that are concerning them. Harnessing technology to deliver on-line coaching programmes can make such initiatives more widely accessible and cost-effective.
  • Establishing and supporting networking groups, discussion groups, industry related forums and events – anything that will encourage people new to the workplace to establish networks with their peers and extend their connections in ‘real-life’.
  • Mentoring schemes within organisations, including upward-mentoring. These encourage 2-way knowledge sharing and break down barriers in a multi-generational workplace. I am always amazed at the lack of communication that can exist within businesses and sharing ideas and encouraging positive communication amongst all employees has got to be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of fostering open and healthy dialogue amongst colleagues.

The fact that so many people in the public eye are prepared to speak up about their own mental health challenges – from royalty to sports stars and celebrities – has got to be a good thing. However, it’s important that we whilst we appreciate their candour, we don’t forget to look closer to home and recognise that our colleagues and co-workers might be labouring under similar challenges. We can’t applaud those in the public eye if we don’t extend the same support and generosity to those we’re with every day.

So my challenge is this: What could be the one action you could take to help support a younger colleague who might be facing a mental health challenge?

If you would like to discuss any of these issues for yourself or your team, please contact me at :

Mental Health

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