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Beginning a journey…

I remember it very clearly; I was 10 years old and had proudly finished my maths homework – on acute and obtuse angles, no less – and I proudly strutted towards the teachers desk to show off my pencil workings, and receive an honorary gold sticker (yes, I’d have to admit to being a bit of a nerd at the time). Instead, I was greeted with a calamitous booming voice “YOU’VE spelt ‘angel’ wrong, GO AWAY and use a dictionary before handing in homework with INCORRECT spellings’!

My whole world shattered. I distinctly remember a feeling of fear and frustration at the simple fact that I couldn’t, as the teacher -Mr Golding- demanded, simply go away and use a dictionary … because I had no idea of the correct spelling of ‘angle’ to even search for it.

It wasn’t the task that was too great for me, rather the lack of instruction and support that would allow me to complete it.

Okay, I’ll admit the metaphor is a little weak but the intention is the same… I’ve been at BLT for 3 weeks now and despite being thrown into relatively deep waters of holding candidate interviews, database searching and the like, I know that I’ll never feel that same fear and frustration when asked to do new, scary, things.

I join BLT from a background in recruitment for a non-for-profit educational charity, where I specialized in marketing and attraction activities. The world of management consultancy could not be any further away. I find myself picking up jargon at an outstanding rate – lean six sigma (black belt) and MBBB strategy houses are familiar terms to add to my lexicon, and careful pointers on my interview style leave me feeling more confident and comfortable that the recruiter in me is gradually getting better.

The team here, are … well … phenomenal. Don, Catriona, Sarah and Kate bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm that make this a truly great place to work. Not to mention the mountains of cake, biscuits, muffins and crisps that magicks itself into the kitchen. Under-pinning the MC team, and keeping us all afloat, are the admin team who always help no matter what the issue. And the rest of the BLT divisions have been invaluable in training me in these first few weeks.

So, three weeks in, I’m at the beginning of what I’m sure will be an adventurous journey … I hope this will become another moment I come to remember very clearly.

Austerity measures; the right price?

“Value” stores, such as Poundland, Peacocks and Greggs, are enjoying growing market share as retail consumers respond to the harsh economic climate, says Clare Barratt in the FT

In view of this, and the points made by Lucy Kellaway in her recent column in the FT on CEO remuneration, should investors follow suit and increase their holdings in companies with “value” CEOs, and football clubs take the same view on player purchases?

Corporate Governance 1 : The Football Association 0

As a huge football fan and a recruiter of Chartered Secretaries and Corporate Governance professionals, I was excited and somewhat surprised to see my two worlds collide at the end of March when the FA’s General Secretary, Alex Horne, told MPs investigating decision-making processes at the FA that the decision to alter Fabio Capello’s contract on the eve of the World Cup was a corporate governance mistake.

The Football Association admitted the decision should have been taken by the whole Board, not just “four or five” executives.

David Bernstein now Chairman of the FA added: “It won’t happen again. It’s just proper organisation. Any contract of any size, any changes should go through the Remunerations Committee and then through the Board. I will ensure proper governance. We need to fully comply with our own procedures even when we’re under pressure.”

So it seems there is no escape from governance, even for one of the world’s most powerful institutions. Stories like this bring the biggest business issues to the masses in a topical and relevant way which can only be a good thing! Let’s hope that a greater understanding leads to greater support and recognition for those professionals whose job it is to ensure good governance on a day-to-day basis.

Can you think of any other institutions that have been challenged in this way?

Do you think it’s harder to achieve engagement in this environment?

Do you think there are any circumstances in which any such entities should be treated differently, and if so, why?

BLT at the MCA Awards

BLT had the pleasure of attending the 2011 MCA awards last night at the Lancaster Hotel in London. We were delighted to be one of the main sponsors of the event and sponsored the Change Management in the Public Sector Award which was won by Ernst & Young for their project with NHS Direct.

The event, in association with The Times, was hosted by comedian Dominic Holland. The self proclaimed ‘funny man’, lived up to his reputation, and kept the gags and the laughter flowing over the course of the evening.

Congratulations to all those nominated, and of course to all those that picked up the prestigious awards, including a guest of BLT’s; Julian Sawyer, whose company Bluerock Consulting picked up the innovation award for their work with Barclaycard.

It was refreshing to see some of the smaller firms picking up awards despite the near consistent performance of the larger companies. Boxwood picked up the overall ‘Platinum’ Award for their project with Carphone Warehouse.

For a breakdown the winners in all the project categories, be sure to visit the MCA website

Oh and keep your eyes peeled for a special supplement in the Times on Monday 11th for full coverage of the proceedings.

Consultancy: fee-sharing model

We’re helping The Consultancy Company recruit consultants. They’ve been around for almost as long as BLT, but this is the first time we’ve worked with them.

They have an interesting business model which I haven’t come across before. It’s a fee-sharing one: 70% of fees on average are redistributed to the consultant team.

They attract experienced senior managers/directors looking for a new career direction, and experienced consultants who want a different way of working.

I like their proposition that you can do as little or as much as you want with them – a way of addressing the work/life balance issue which is the consulting industry’s big turn-off for many people.

They are looking at the moment for Supply Chain and Local Government consultants. If you’d like me to put you in touch with them, email me your cv – TheConsultancyCompany@blt.co.uk

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