Monday, 27 April 2020


At a time when so many people appear to be stressed-out and anxious aside from the benefits of routine and habit to gaining control over your day, yourself, you mind and your wellbeing here are 10 Best Ways to Increase Dopamine (happiness ) Levels Naturally

Dopamine is one of the “feel good” chemicals in our brain. Interacting with the pleasure and reward center of our brain, dopamine — along with other chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins — plays a vital role in how happy we feel. In addition to our mood, dopamine also affects movement, memory, and focus.

1. Eat Lots of Protein
2. Eat Less Saturated Fat
3. Consume Probiotics
4. Eat Velvet Beans
5. Exercise Often
6. Get Enough Sleep
7. Listen to Music
8. Meditate
9. Get Enough Sunlight
10. Consider Supplements


Tuesday, 21 April 2020



A coach, manager or leaders expectations can affect the performance of their teams.

The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor named Robert Rosenthal, who in 1964 did a wonderful experiment at an elementary school south of San Francisco.

The idea was to figure out what would happen if teachers were told that certain kids in their class were destined to succeed, so Rosenthal took a normal IQ test and dressed it up as a different test.

It was a standardized IQ test, Flanagan's Test of General Ability, he says. But the cover we put on it, we had printed on every test booklet, said 'Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition.'

Rosenthal told the teachers that this very special test from Harvard had the very special ability to predict which kids were about to be very special that is, which kids were about to experience a dramatic growth in their IQ.

After the kids took the test, he then chose from every class several children totally at random. There was nothing at all to distinguish these kids from the other kids, but he told their teachers that the test predicted the kids were on the verge of an intense intellectual bloom.

As he followed the children over the next two years, Rosenthal discovered that the teachers' expectations of these kids really did affect the students. If teachers had been led to expect greater gains in IQ, then increasingly, those kids gained more IQ, he says.

But just how do expectations influence IQ?

As Rosenthal did more research, he found that expectations affect teachers' moment-to-moment interactions with the children they teach in a thousand almost invisible ways. Teachers give the students that they expect to succeed more time to answer questions, more specific feedback, and more approval: They consistently touch, nod and smile at those kids more.

It's not magic, it's not mental telepathy, Rosenthal says. It's very likely these thousands of different ways of treating people in small ways every day.


People respond to praise or criticism whatever their age and a shift from command and control telling (which is often met with defence or resistance) toward a more coaching and collaborative style (which encourages the team-member to come up with ideas and take responsibility for the problem) can and does work in the workplace.

It can be very hard to control your own thinking, values, beliefs and assumptions and the inevitable impact that they have on other people. This is why coaches, leaders and managers need coaching. Even psychotherapists need psychotherapy before they can practice so as to be able to manage their own thinking and remain objective when working with clients.

If you want to more towards a coaching approach a good first step would be to find a coach, mentor or buddy who can give you honest feedback. If you are able to record or video meetings and reflect on the play-back that can be really helpful. Ideally if you have an open dialogue with the team you can use 360 feedback to help everyone improve.

One of the significant elements of scrum is the use of self-coordinated teams and the emphasis on retrospective meetings at the end of each delivery phase to both look at improvements in product or service delivery, but more importantly about how the team worked and what processes or behaviours will improve team working in the future.

The great strength of this approach is that the proposed processes or behaviours can be employed in the next (2 weekly?) delivery phase allowing for rapid feedback, review and improvement providing constant learning and growth.


Watch how each team member interacts. How do they prefer to engage? What do they seem to like to do? Observe so you can understand all they are capable of.

Listen. Try to understand what motivates them, what their goals are and how they view you, their classmates and the activities you assign them.

Engage. Talk with team members about their individual interests. Don't offer advice or opinions just listen.

Experiment: Change how you react to challenging behaviours. Rather than responding quickly in the moment, take a breath. Realize that their behaviour might just be a way of reaching out to you.

Reach out: Know what your team members like to do outside of work. Find both individual and group time for them to share this with you. Watch and listen to how skilled, motivated and interested they can be. This type of activity is really important for team members with whom you often feel in conflict or who you avoid.

Reflect: Think back on your own best and worst coaches, bosses or supervisors. List five words for each that describe how you felt in your interactions with them. How did the best and the worst make you feel? What specifically did they do or say that made you feel that way? Now think about how your team members would describe you. Jot down how they might describe you and why. How do your expectations or beliefs shape how they look at you? Are there parallels in your beliefs and their responses to you?

Friday, 17 April 2020


The Business Excellence, Malcolm Banbridge and EFQM models have been around for a long time now, but that have always been a favourite of mine because they address the fact that excellence is not about being good at one thing, but achieving a balance across the business.

Using an analogy from my days as a Commonwealth Games Triathlete: I would not be much of a Triathlete if I was excellent on the bike and terrible at swimming and running.

The same is true in business and despite the huge sums of money spent on management and leadership perhaps do not compensate for weaknesses elsewhere which a simple diagnostic can reveal.


We would all recognise that an organisations people form its culture and many of us are thinking about how peoples reactions to the Coronavirus will affect business and indeed the national culture.

On this basis each change of people, new recruits entering and others leaving will change the culture. But it is also true that if we are what we repeatedly do (Aristotle) then process has a role in culture.

Indeed process (either formal or informal) may codify and set culture and so when we look at the balance of people, process and technology in models like EFQM perhaps we need to re-examine process and how that shapes and directs management and leadership.

Additionally, I believe premises can also affect culture: Our collective mood is different in lock-down and working from home from what it would be working in the office. It is obvious and true that work in an area of 10 x 10 in a deck chair, in a cage, with no windows or with no roof will obviously affect us. This is why some organisations invest so heavily in the working environment with ideas such as kitchens, table tennis, bean bags and even colour choices to engage us.

So indeed, there are many ingredients which in different combinations create different results. Perhaps what is needed it to reappraise what is in our kitchen cupboards and what we would like to create.


Below is a sample of the questions in the self-assessment evaluation. If you would like to try our diagnostic tool get in touch.

1Are all the senior managers personally involved and visible in generating and communicating a strategic statement for the purpose, direction and culture of the organisation (including its quality values and priorities)?
5Are all the managers taking actions to meet with customers, suppliers and others outside the organisation and be actively involved in promoting partnerships and improvement initiatives with them?
Policy and Strategy
1Does your organisation use widespread and appropriate data inputs to develop its strategy and business plans and does this data include the performance, customer requirements and satisfaction, competitor and benchmark data?
4is there good evidence that the organisation has the ability and methods to recognise when to change its strategies, policies, markets and offerings - even if the CEO of the organisation were to depart?
1Are the people plans (e.g. hiring, training, development) directly derived from the needs of the strategic plans and goals and capable of ensuring that plans and goals will be achieved
5Are people's effort in generating improvement and contributing to the organisation's success recognised values and rewarded comparably to other factors (e.g. sales commissions, length of service, qualifications)?
Partnerships and Resources
1Are Partnership relationships developed through a proactive and structured approach and do these partnerships identify and achieve extra opportunities in products, services, markets and financial performance?
5Is there a routine method for ensuring that alternative and new technologies are developed and implemented, and the use of intellectual property and knowledge optimised in order to gain and advantage on both products and services?
1Does your organisation have a system to ensure that all activities used to produce products or services operate and are controlled, to the prescribed standards or requirements (e.g. through the use of ISO9000 and ISO 14000
7Are the support (backroom) activities (e.g. accounts, IT, despatch, data processing, personnel, legal and secretarial) documented, controlled and continuously improved to al least the same level as the main product and service activities?
Customer Results
1Does your organisation evaluate its management of the customer relationship through relevant measures that predict trends or influence customer satisfaction and loyalty such as response accuracy and timeliness, returns, lost customers, customer gains, warranty claims, complaints, and praises etc., and which effectively predict the likely trends in customer loyalty?
9Can your organisation show that the results of surveys are always effectively used to improve the products or services it provides?
People Results
1Does the organisation regularly measure and evaluate aspects which predict trends or influence people satisfaction and morale such as absenteeism, sickness, staff turnover, early leavers, levels of training, internal promotions, accident levels, recognition levels, grievances and does it act on the results?
5Are the results (particularly the actual perceptions of people satisfaction) generally showing an improving trends or sustained high level and can they be shown to be comparable with equivalent organisations and other benchmarks?
Society Results
1Can you demonstrate that your organisation has achieved results preventing or reducing harm or nuisance to neighbours and the general environment, on conserving and protecting global resources (e.g. energy, recycling, waste) and on positively contributing to the community (charitable, education, sports and leisure, leadership in professional matters)?
3Can the organisation show , through results of surveys or other mean, that neighbours and society in general think highly of them and that their reputation is improving?
Key Performance Results
1Do the results of your organisations key financial and non-financial outcomes(e.g. profits, margins, market share etc.) show an improving trend?
7Are the results of the support and administration on activities (e.g. IT planning, legal, security, accounts) showing an improving trend and can they be shown to be comparable/better than other organisations?