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Do your teams love learning?


Here’s a question for you.  How fast can you peddle a bike?  10mph?  20mph?  You may know the answer because you’re an ardent cyclist with all the tech.  Or you may have no idea and take a random guess. Now tell me what you think the record is for the fastest speed on a bike?  I reckon that you doubled, tripled or quadrupled your first answer. Am I right?

This is what I see when I do this exercise with clients.  It illustrates something fascinating about the way we think as humans.  Our default is to think in a linear, not exponential, way.  We’re amazed that the speed record for cycling is 184mph set by Denise Mueller-Korenek in 2018.   And we’re self-referential when we make these judgements.  Decisions are based on our own experience of the world.  When we see something we don’t know, we think, ‘How hard would it be for me?’

This is where curiosity comes in.  Without it, your team will look at your business in a linear way.  Even when the world is full of examples of exponential thinking.  The danger is by looking backwards, you’ll see what you achieved last year and use that as a benchmark for next year’s growth.  It’s the trap I see so many businesses fall into.  And it doesn’t lead to a high performing team. 

Learning is the key here.  Successful teams are naturally curious, constantly acquiring knowledge and using it to get better at what they do.

The Theory Of Constraints with Andy Watt

Eli Goldratt wrote a book called The Goal, which Verne Harnish has described as one of the most important business books ever written. With such an accolade, we had to have Andy Watt, MD of Goldratt, on the show. 

Andy is a founding member of the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organisation (TOCICO) and a Chartered Fellow of CILT (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport). He’s also the owner and driving force behind Goldratt UK, and he has the singular aim of increasing the exposure of Theory of Constraints (TOC) in the UK.

Over the last fifteen years, Andy and Goldratt UK have worked with hundreds of organisations implementing TOC including Bentley, McLaren, Honeywell, Masterfoods, Bombardier, Eurostar, Siemens and Johnson Matthey.

Today, Andy talks about managing constraints, not just in a manufacturing or engineering business, but in any business that runs project work. 

The idea that constraints should be managed is applicable to so many businesses, regardless of their industry. The common thread is that people often know what the constraint is, and what the solution to the problem is, but somehow can’t fix it themselves. 

“Fundamentally, it’s how you release work into the system, which is really important. So we release it at the rate at which the constraint can produce it. So shoving it in doesn’t make it come out, which is a lesson that most people don’t understand.”

We also discuss how many CEOs and business leaders have a belief problem that they need to overcome and that the actual constraint might be a belief and not a real thing. 

This is a fascinating conversation, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.   

Sales Babble

Sales Babble is a sales podcast focused on sales training and sales consulting for small and medium businesses, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs. We interview sales experts across the globe and provide sales coaching for sales and non-sales professionals interested in the idea of selling with confidence. This podcast explains sales in plain language that is easy to understand, and entertaining. Come join us!

How to Actually Encourage Employee Accountability

Fewer words in corporate vernacular induce a tighter wince than “accountability,” and for good reason. Companies and leaders have grappled with what it is and how to achieve it effectively for decades. Ask anyone if they look forward to their performance evaluation or periodic check-in with their boss, and most will give an emphatic “no.”

The number of UK tech scaleups almost doubled in 2020.

UK scaleups have been resilient during the pandemic but the lack of diversity and funding are two challenges ahead. Amid the global pandemic, the UK has seen more scaleups breaking through the £10m+ turnover mark, with a 37% jump year-on-year, according to a new report from Beauhurst and Scaleup Institute. The report, which includes both tech and non-tech scaleups, highlights the resilience of UK high-growth businesses during the pandemic: 14% have created jobs, while none have ceased operations.

38 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent.

Some things that take whole sentences to describe in English are a single word in another language.

Love is Free. Guac is Extra by Monty Moran

Imagine you’re one of 75,000 people working in a huge company, and the CEO wants to talk to you, one-on-one, to get to know and understand you. That’s what Monty Moran did 20,000 times as he built the extraordinary culture that took Chipotle Mexican Grill from a regional burrito chain to a Fortune 500 superstar. In this book, Monty shows how he used curiosity, vulnerability, love, and a unique understanding of the true meaning of empowerment to build a distinctive and wildly effective culture. From his teenage days befriending homeless people at a Colorado Dairy Queen to his nuanced navigation of a complex co-CEO relationship, Monty demonstrates a relentless humility and desire to understand the person across from him. This is a book about business leadership executed in a way you’ve never encountered before, by becoming the best version of yourself.

Uncharted by Margaret Heffernan

In her bold and invigorating new book, Margaret Heffernan explores the people and organisations who aren’t daunted by uncertainty. We are addicted to prediction, desperate for certainty about the future. But the complexity of modern life won’t provide that; experts in forecasting are reluctant to look more than 400 days out. History doesn’t repeat itself and even genetics won’t tell you everything you want to know. Ineradicable uncertainty is now a fact of life. In complex environments, efficiency is a hazard not a help; being robust is the better, safer option. Drawing on a wide array of people and places, Margaret Heffernan looks at long-term projects developed over generations that could never have been planned the way that they have been run. Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to friendships, this refreshing book challenges us to resist the false promises of technology and efficiency and instead to mine our own creativity and humanity for the capacity to create the futures we want and can believe in.



The fourth question on the Gallup Q12 measure of staff engagement is, ‘In the last 7 days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?’ This is really important to motivation so make a point of thanking every member of your team at least once every week. Remember, it gets even harder to do virtually so you may need to be deliberate about making sure it happens. If, like me, you’re prone to forget, create a system of reminders.  Remember, as CEO, you cast a long shadow – whatever you do will be mirrored by other people.

Upcoming Events


A special workshop presented by Justin Roff-Marsh (author of The Machine) and hosted by Dominic Monkhouse at Foundry Farm near Salisbury. Join 21 of your peers (owners and senior executives from mid-sized businesses) and design a simple (but detailed) plan to expedite the growth of your organization.


When the going gets tough, attitude trumps everything. Don’t let COVID-19 beat you into the ground and take your business. Treat this pandemic as an accelerator. The “one thing” you’ve been looking for to pivot, re-evaluate or simply get shit done. Join us on our farm in Wiltshire to walk through our Scaling Up growth programme.


An exclusive annual gathering of high-growth tech CEOs. This powerful three-day summit will transform how you define success and deliver growth in 2021 and beyond.

Quote of the week

“Never stop learning. Because when we stop learning, we stop growing”

Loyal ‘Jack’ Lewman

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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