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Said ‘no’ to anyone recently?

5 Ways To Help You Say ‘No’ More Than You Say ‘Yes’

Do you get a hit from new ideas?  Does your serotonin peak when you think about a different approach? And take a nose-dive when you have to implement the activity?  You’re not alone.  We see these qualities in so many of our new CEO clients. 

When businesses start, the emphasis is on chasing revenue. Until they’re on an even keel, there’s little thought about core customers or good/bad profits. Everything’s pretty disparate.  Selling to multiple core customers can spread your resources too thinly.  Before you know it, you’re overwhelmed.

As a result, when we speak to front-line staff in these businesses, there’s a pretty common response.  ‘We start loads of great new initiatives but they never get finished’.  This is cultural and it needs to stop.  Whenever a CEO says to us, ‘There’s a lack of accountability in my business,’ we sit back and take a deep breath.  And then tell them, ‘You need to look in a mirror.  That’s where you need to start.’

If you’re naturally enthusiastic and driven, saying ‘no’ can be hard.  Really hard. But if you want to scale your business, you need to get good at this.  You need to build your ‘no’ muscle.   Here’s how:

Building a Recruitment Firm Centred Around Care & Respect with Simon La Fosse

Is making sure your company is a great place to work at the core of your recruitment strategy? Are you a fixture on the Sunday Times Best Companies list of great places to work in the UK? 

Simon La Fosse, founder of La Fosse Associates, having had a bad experience in a previous company, where the directors there deemed his contribution not to be worthy of many stock options, decided to start his recruitment company with the goal of building a search firm centred around care and respect, coming up with a unique way to reward long service and loyalty in his team.

Today La Fosse Associates grows 30% per annum – the industry average is 1-2%. He achieves this because of his firmly held belief that treating people well is not just the right thing to do, it’s a better way to do business. 

Simon talks about his journey to date, his plans for the future and a potential float of the business. We discuss what happened last year with recruitment and from their perspective, even in the tech sector, where they are a specialist, they lost half of their revenue. He also shares why he stepped away from being the CEO and why he doesn’t believe he’s really a leader. 

This is a fantastic conversation with some great book recommendations, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Hybrid Work Is Here To Stay. Now What?

Nicholas Bloom, economics professor at Stanford University, has been studying remote work and hybrid (a mix of remote and onsite) work for years. Then the pandemic made these modes widespread and lasting. He says as more organizations turn to hybrid work, they face difficult logistical, strategic, and managerial challenges. Bloom shares a guideline to implementing hybrid work plans, and helps managers think through these arrangements while balancing fairness to employees and organizational needs.

Rear View

The world has a new space race. In the past two weeks, teams from Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launched their respective founders into space, signalling a forthcoming era of commercial space travel. These achievements came on the heels of multiple successes from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which recently made history as the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

This one formula invented by software experts can help increase your agility

Agility comes down to a few key habits: coordinating the many demands of your life; staying strong enough to endure the hurdles thrown at you; and balancing the competing demands of work, health, family, and mental health.

The five trademarks of agile organizations

Our experience and research demonstrate that successful agile organizations consistently exhibit the five trademarks described in this article. The trademarks include a network of teams within a people-centered culture that operates in rapid learning and fast decision cycles which are enabled by technology, and a common purpose that co-creates value for all stakeholders. These trademarks complement the findings from “How to create an agile organization.”

Unlocking The Customer Value Chain

There is a pattern to digital disruption in an industry, whether the disruptor is Uber, Airbnb, Dollar Shave Club, Pillpack or one of countless other startups that have stolen large portions of market share from industry leaders, often in a matter of a few years. As Teixeira makes clear, the nature of competition has fundamentally changed. Using innovative new business models, startups are stealing customers by breaking the links in how consumers discover, buy and use products and services. By decoupling the customer value chain, these startups, instead of taking on the Unilevers and Nikes, BMW’s and Sephoras of the world head on, peel away a piece of the consumer purchasing process. Birchbox offered women a new way to sample beauty products from a variety of companies from the convenience of their homes, without having to visit a store. Turo doesn’t compete with GM. Instead, it offers people the benefit of driving without having to own a car themselves. Illustrated with vivid, indepth and exclusive accounts of both startups, and reigning incumbents like Best Buy and Comcast, as they struggle to respond, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain is an essential guide to demystifying how digital disruption takes place – and what companies can do to defend themselves.


Do you worry that your business will collapse without your constant presence? Are you sacrificing your family, friendships, and freedom to keep your business alive? What if instead your business could run itself, freeing you to do what you love when you want, while it continues to grow and turn a profit? It’s possible. And it’s easier than you think. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you started your business so you could be your own boss, make the money you deserve, and live life on your own terms. In reality, you’re bogged down in the daily grind, constantly putting out fires, answering an endless stream of questions, and continually hunting for cash. Now, Mike Michalowicz, the author of Profit First and other small-business bestsellers, offers a straightforward step-by-step path out of this dilemma. In Clockwork, he draws on more than six years of research and real life examples to explain his simple approach to making your business ultra-efficient.  Whether you have a staff of one, one hundred, or somewhere in between, whether you’re a new entrepreneur or have been overworked and overstressed for years, Clockwork is your path to finally making your business work for you.


Systematically review your sales and marketing process

We were with a client last week and took them through the sales velocity equation (see link below).  This helped us look in detail at what their revenue goal was for the year and their current close rate. It involved examining their ability to generate inbound and outbound opportunities from website visitors and calls.  Also their sales close rate, customer lifetime value, average order value etc. This helped them focus on the things they needed to do. In order to accelerate the growth of your business, you need to know if you’re spending your sales and marketing budget in the right place and whether you have the right number of people doing the right things. Get your Finance Director to crunch through all the data you need.  Pool information from your CRM system and review your sales and marketing process.  See where you are.  As we emerge from COVID, should you be making more calls?  We know it hasn’t been easy with so many people working from home.  But this is changing as people return to their offices.  Are you planning any face-to-face events?  Review everything and make sure you have the right things in your plan.

Quote of the week

“Focus and simplicity… once you get there, you can move mountains”

Steve Jobs

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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