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Make feedback your gift

Why ‘Stop Start Continue’ is the best technique for feedback

Do you struggle with giving feedback?  You’re not alone.  Many of the CEOs I coach find this difficult.  There’s a natural reluctance to ‘go there’ and confront performance issues in their team.  How about receiving feedback from others?  Is that just as bad?   Maybe its because these conversations are uncomfortable or there’s insufficient psychological safety in the team for an open, frank discussion. Either way, this issue will hamper progress – both yours and your team’s. It needs to be fixed.

I’d like to introduce you to a neat little exercise that might just be the solution – ‘Stop Start Continue’.  It’s something I use with Executive Teams who need to strengthen vulnerability-based trust.  We build it into their routines and it becomes a regular way of feeding back to one another.  The beauty of Stop Start Continue is the way it helps people both give and receive feedback.  Clients have told me that it’s transformative.  Let me tell you why.


The Similarities Between Being In A Rock Band And Heading Up A Startup with Brian Coburn

When was the last time you met somebody who’d spent 30 years in the same company? 

Meet Brian Coburn. Brian started at Stagecoach as a 16-year-old trainee and went on to be their Chief Technology Officer. Today, Brian is CEO of a payment orchestration service for e-commerce enterprises, Bridge. 

With that information alone there are so many questions to be asked: how do you go from being the trainee to the CTO? What changes do you have to make along the way? What jobs do you get that allow you to go from 16-year-old trainee to Chief Technology Officer at a multi-billion pound turnover global business like Stagecoach? 

Did we mention Brian has done all of this without ever going to university? So what does the school of hard knocks look like? What does it teach you along the way? 

One of the most fascinating parts of the conversation is where Brian explains that his business inspiration at Stagecoach and now, at Bridge, come from being in a rock band in his youth. 

This is a really fantastic conversation with some great insights from Brian. We really enjoyed talking to him. We’re sure you will too. 


At The Table with Patrick Lencioni

A great episode of this podcast. The myth of remote working productivity. Relationships, conflict, accountability and results all suffer! Would marriages be better if husbands and wives lived apart? Why would we think work would be any different?


How Leading Companies Are Innovating Remotely

The “new normal,” the “next normal,” and “the great reset” are phrases used by business leaders and politicians to describe the world in which we now live. Whatever your preference, there is widespread consensus that employees and customers won’t be returning to the old normal, ever. And how could they? Thousands of businesses, including Cirque du Soleil, Hertz, J. Crew, J.C. Penney, Le Pain Quotidien, and Virgin Atlantic, have already filed for bankruptcy — a 43% increase over this time last year — and thousands more are about to. Take HSBC, for example, which just accelerated its plans to cut 35,000 jobs across several countries. While this desperation isn’t surprising, given that the pandemic nearly collapsed the global financial system, other multinationals are behaving very differently, even when facing the same existential shock.

5 Things 439,332 Proposals Taught Us About Creating The Perfect Sales Proposal

There is an art to writing a great proposal. You need to think carefully about what you have to offer and create a well-written, properly structured proposal that effectively sells your services. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch! In 2019 we had 439,332 business proposals created using our Better Proposals platform. And by analyzing each of these proposals, we’ve discovered several tips and tricks that set successful proposals apart from the rest.

Where Did the Commute Time Go?

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a large fraction of the global workforce to work from home, which has led to an almost complete elimination of the daily commute to work. How have workers reallocated their commuting time? More generally, how has the forced transition to working from home (WFH) affected how people work and interact with one another? And are these effects different between managers and non-managers?


The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank

The bestselling classic that launched 10,000 startups and new corporate ventures – The Four Steps to the Epiphany is one of the most influential and practical business books of all time. This book launched the Lean Startup approach to new ventures. It was the first book to offer that startups are not smaller versions of large companies and that new ventures are different than existing ones. Startups search for business models while existing companies execute them. Packed with concrete examples of what to do, how to do it and when to do it, the book will leave you with new skills to organize sales, marketing and your business for success. If your organization is starting a new venture, and you’re thinking how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development you need The Four Steps to the Epiphany.


There are Places in the World where Rules are more important than Kindness by Carlo Rovelli


In this collection of writings, the logbook of an intelligence always on the move, Carlo Rovelli follows his curiosity and invites us on a voyage through science, history, philosophy and politics. Written with his usual clarity and wit, these pieces range widely across time and space: from Newton’s alchemy to Einstein’s mistakes, from Nabokov’s butterflies to Dante’s cosmology, from travels in Africa to the consciousness of an octopus, from mind-altering psychedelic substances to the meaning of atheism. Charming, pithy and elegant, this book is the perfect gateway to the universe of one of the most influential scientists of our age.


Meaningful Action For Monday

Organise a ‘Stop Start Continue’ exercise with your Executive Team

The thing that will make the biggest difference to your growth next year is the calibre of your executive team. If you know there are issues there, organise a Stop Start Continue exercise as soon as you return to the office. Give them some feedback.  Tell them that this is how you feel.  I was working with a CEO recently who has two B-Players on his Executive Team.  He’s had a conversation with them both and they were mortified to find out that they’re not A-Players. People never know. They get up in the morning and think they’re amazing – it’s a natural human trait. Unless you put in place a behavioural framework and key metrics/job scorecard for every role, people won’t know objectively whether they are an A B or C Player. Tell them.


Upcoming Events

Prescription For Growth Workshop, Foundry Farm near Salisbury – 27th of January 2021

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.

Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop, Foundry Farm near Salisbury – 18th of March 2021

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.

Acetech Summit, Whistler – April 2021 (re-scheduled)

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

‘Feedback is the breakfast of champions’

Ken Blanchard

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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