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Are Your Staff Up To Scratch? The Melting Pot Newsletter | Issue #69


ow good are your team?  A simple question that often involves facing up to hard truths. If your plans for 2020 include scaling up your business, you need to prioritise talent assessment. Nothing is more crucial to your future success than having a talented team you can rely on. 

When I’m working with clients, I find it takes them roughly 50 days to fill a role.  That’s a long time. Factor this into your plans. If you take action now, you should be able to bring new talent in by the end of the first quarter of 2020.  If you’re too slow, you’ll find they’re not going to make any material difference this year.  

MYTH 1: A-Players cost more. FALSE  

Right from the start, I take clients through my talent assessment process.  It’s one of the first things we look at in our two-day kick-off. A simple grid that sorts staff into A-Players, B-Players, C-Players and Toxic-As (on the chart as B/C). Remember, the definition of an A-Player is the top 5 to 10% of available talent for a given job, salary and location.  This acts as their line in the sand. All subsequent assessments can be bench-marked against this.   

Important context for this process is Gallup’s recent research into performance.  They ranked people into A, B, C and D categories. When they got to discussing the results with the people involved, all the A-Players knew they were better than everyone else in their company.  But not that they were better than those outside the business – good news for retention!. But C and D Players thought they were above average because, 9 times out of 10, there was no transparency of expected behaviours or performance in their company. They simply didn’t know.  What do we learn from this? These frameworks need to be part of your plan.

The Melting Pot With Dominic Monkhouse - Featured Image

Creating Powerful Human Connections with David Meerman Scott

Are you looking for ways to fire up your marketing efforts in 2020? Then listen to David Meerman Scott talk about how to build a fan base.

Author, public speaker and advisor to emerging companies, David has written 11 books, selling over 1 million copies in 29 languages. But it’s his latest book, Fanocracy, that he talks about in this interview.  His 2007 book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” (now in its 6th edition having sold over 400,000 copies), was written based on his early experiences with the web, because he says that marketing on the web was (and still remains to this day) all about creating great, publishable content. 

“I was the first person to clearly articulate that if you want to reach people on the web, it’s about creating great content, whether that’s blog posts or YouTube videos or a great website or whatever it might be.”

But the problem, says David, is that over the last few years, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online, polarised communications, at a time when people are hungry for a true human connection.  And it’s how companies can create this human connection with their customers, that David talks about with Dom in this episode. 


Michael Gervais has been in the trenches with some of the best performers in the world – some who shift how we conceive what’s possible — others who have pushed their own boundaries — ranging from hall of fame athletes to action sport game-changers, entrepreneurs, Mixed Martial Artists, to musicians who influence the rhythm of the world. In this podcast, he decodes the many paths toward mastery and provides applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our lives.


In 1998 in a lakeside town in the highlands of Guatemala, Hugo Beteta, a foundation executive, and Otilia Lux de Coti, an indigenous human rights campaigner, went for a walk. They were an unlikely pair. The country had been mired in a genocidal civil war in which the Guatemalan army had murdered hundreds of thousands of indigenous people, and Hugo and Otilia came from two worlds that were almost completely separated, politically, socially, and culturally. But in 1996, the government and the rebels had signed a peace treaty to end the war. On the day Hugo and Otilia took their walk, I was facilitating a leadership workshop on how to implement the peace accords, and I’d invited the participants to choose a partner who was most different from them and go for a 45-minute stroll outside the hotel.


James Clear, entrepreneur and author, says that the way we go about trying to form new habits and break bad ones — at work or home — is all wrong. Many people, he says, focus on big goals without thinking about the small steps they need to take along the way. Just like saving money, habits accrue compound interest: when you do 1% more or different each day or week, it eventually leads to meaningful improvement. So if you’ve made a resolution for the new year or have an idea for how to propel your career forward at any time, these strategies will help. Clear is the author of the book Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results.


Many of us think about work outside of the office — that’s where some of our best ideas emerge. However, thinking about work often means stressing about work, which can keep us up at night or have us waking up feeling anxious, hours before the alarm clock sounds. According to a Korn Ferry study, stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018. Moreover, sleep deprivation can exacerbate our work stress, by negatively impacting cognitive functions such as judgment, critical thinking, problem solving, planning, and organization.


Six years ago, Dr Michael Mosley started a health revolution with the 5.2 Fast Diet, telling the world about the incredible power of intermittent fasting. In this book he brings together all the latest science – including a new approach: Time Restricted Eating – to create an easy-to-follow programme. Recent studies have shown that 800 calories is the magic number when it comes to successful dieting – it’s an amount high enough to be manageable but low enough to speed weight loss and trigger a range of desirable metabolic changes. The secret of this new programme is that it is highly flexible – depending on your goals, you can choose how intensively you want to do it. Along with delicious, low-carb, Mediterranean-style recipes and menu plans by Dr Clare Bailey, The Fast 800 offers an effective way to help you lose weight, improve mood and reduce blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugars. Take your future health into your own hands.


More revenue, more profit, more time. 
Three things every business owner wants. The challenge is you haven’t developed the systems to allow the company to function and scale without you. You struggle to find and hire the right people who can effectively take things off your plate. Growth consumes cash so the end of month pay run is always a little too tight for comfort.

It wasn’t meant to be this way. This book has all the answers. Dan Bradbury shows you how to:

– Hire ‘A’ players for a fraction of the price
– Double your sales… in an afternoon!?
– Solve your biggest business problem in half the time
– Implement 5 keys for increasing your cashflow
– Maximise your business valuation prior to an exit
– Increase your sales by 32x in less than 2 years


To the exclusion of any other task or distraction, focus on the most important thing to achieve each day. If your employees have one or two daily KPIs, this is where they should focus each day. Don’t start the day by doing email.  It will still be there later on.

Here are some real-life examples from my discussions with clients last week:

– Sign off the design from India that came in overnight as the first task of the day
– Block out 9am-11am and complete three customer reviews.

Don’t just have a to-do list. Put the items YOU must do in the diary with allocated time slots and switch off your phone and social media. Get them done.

‘Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.’
— David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot

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