Super George needs your help

Recently Nick Tooley and I sat down for one of our regular catch ups and having done a fair bit of charitable works via Nick in the past he brought to my attention the story of Super George and the immense success to date that has been achieved in raising over £15,000 for Nottingham QMC hospital. 

Admit we are beginning to accept defeat… 

I read the above which is in relation to The Star Ball that is being organised for June 8th at Derbyshire County Cricket Club all in aid of Super George’s Army Fundraising Appeal.

I’m reaching out to anyone in my network who are willing to help donate money or even more importantly services. 

A photographer who can print on site, a photo booth (that would be a bonus!), someone to provide fizz for the drinks reception, plus a florist to provide up to 35 centre pieces that we can sell on the night. Finally we need AMAZING Auction and Raffle prizes. 

I really hope that not only do they achieve on the night (or before hand) the goal of £25,000 raise (£15k so far!) but the families who go through any difficult times particularly as George and his family have will receive the incredible care, support and assistance they need to deal with such difficult times.

PLEASE – if you want to read the full story and I suggest you do – see this post on Facebook – whether you have children or not this will move you. 

Admit we are beginning to accept defeat – we need help organising The Star Ball – anyone with a bit of time to help?…

Posted by Super George’s Army – Fundraising Appeal on Monday, 1 April 2019

https://www.justgiving.com/teams/supergeorgearmy

Entrepreneurship across the world

I gave a talk recently on “what entrepreneurship is really like” – its a tag line we hear all the time actually now.

Those who have “been there and done it” or those who want to “humblebrag” about there so called failures in business. But the reality of it all comes down to the fact that as everybody knows failure is almost a pre-requisite for success in some way. Everyone hits road bumps along the way.

I’ve been lucky enough to have some great successes and along the way some bumps in the road too. But no, my talk was more to do with the cultural differences in entrepreneurship and how these impact the way we think/see/do things in the real world.

I recall at one stage being labelled one of the “top 10 entrepreneurs” in a publication and only two years later the same publication out of fear of not satisfying everyone expanded that list from 10 to 250 “top entrepreneurs”.

In Britain at least our definition of ‘entrepreneur’ changes often, from the brash and brave person who sets out to change their life, their industry or the world! To being more ‘fair to everyone’ to the point where every ‘business owner’ is labelled an entrepreneur which simply isn’t true.

That said – travel a few hours abroad, to countries where even to start a business is filled with more fear, doubt, regulation and red tape than we could possibly imagine in our current ‘Brexit fearing state’ and its easy to see why many people are starting out for themselves, to give their families an opportunity to escape the status quo.

Seeing some of the incredible opportunities people are discovering for themselves, branching out and leaving behind what little comforts they currently have to go on a path of discovery and “REAL” entrepreneurship is inspiring.

So take a risk, be entrepreneurial, if its in your heart and soul – go forward. Culturally it maybe difficult, it maybe frowned upon, failure today is not failure for life.

Good luck.

Finding another way home

I love this brief piece on AVC.com by Fred Wilson and it got me thinking.

I’m fortunate enough to do a lot of travelling, both professional and for personal enjoyment and this takes me all over the world on a regular basis.

Whether or not I’m visiting for work or pleasure – there is always a sense of urgency to get back home. How many times had I travelled somewhere only to immedidately start counting down the clock to head back home.

Probably half a dozen or so flights in this year already and the urgency to make sure that no matter what – if the train or flight is delayed, I’ll always find another way home no matter the cost.

Travelling is great and I get a lot done during these trips especially writing and catching up on email but without a doubt theres no place like home.

Swapping flights and changing different train routes to get home quicker is far better for me than spending an extra 2-4 hours in a station/airport lounge ‘doing work’.

Employee engagement

“I love working with the team here, even management but the leadership team is really bad”

A message I got recently from a friend and got me thinking about how Maslows hierarchy of needs also applies to employee engagement and cmo.com had a great example of just this.

In poor performing companies, those who lack vision & ambition we see employees stuck in the ‘survival’ stages and who are desperately keen to get out, move on and find a new role at almost any cost. 

Next the ‘security’ stage where employees are spending the entire working hours searching for jobs on linkedin and sneaking outside for calls with recruiters. We all know people who are doing this right now. Its not healthy for the employee nor the employer. And the truth is most at this stage could be saved/resolved!

Feeling as if you ‘belong’ doesn’t happen because a sign on the wall says that every one is family, it doesn’t occur because you have social events together. If you are not growing personally and professionally in a role the feels right for you. You will leave at the first sign of interest elsewhere. This is where a large number of small business employees tend to find themselves I believe. 

But if you are ‘engaged’ and feel important at work, happy in your role. Then success, incredible – you love coming to work and the people you work with. What else could you want! This is the place we all want to be, we want the work/life balance, the great co-workers and to come in to the office feeling inspired, challenged, most importantly feeling like we are looked after and appreciated in the work place.

Can we be so fortunate in our life time as to get to the point in our jobs where we feel highly engaged – the mythical beings do exist in fact. I’ve been lucky over the years to hire and work with some incredible people, have seen those at all stages of employee engagement.

But without a doubt those who are highly engaged, motivated, dedicated and working towards the companies goals with passion and who feel appreciated by the company can be truly happy in work and that reflects back on home life too.

So whether you are LinkedIn job hunting today or whether you are motivated and excited for another day at the office – you know what needs to be done either way.

Go out there and get it done. Whatever it takes.

Culture doesn’t save a company

Original link: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6504248146451800064

Inspired by some truly great conversations around HR and general people management over the last few days, I came across this piece of research by #Linkedin from 2015.

Who or what really lies at fault for businesses that are unable to provide employees with a satisfying role that can provide opportunities for advancement whilst being in a productive environment that fosters great #culture throughout the organisation is unknown and varies so much.

But to have a place where compensation and benefits are attractive, people recognised and rewarded with work that is challenging, stimulating and encourages growth throughout, all whilst having strong #leadership and #management to aid in the mission of the company is something so many clearly desire.

I won’t blame poor leadership or jump on the millennial blame game. But over the last few weeks these conversations with friends, colleagues, HR and #legal professionals have really been inspiring as to how many are doing things so poorly, but most importantly – those who are doing things the right way!

Hats off to the organisations who genuinely have happy, productive and empowered members of staff.

Don’t hide behind the word ‘culture’, Friday pizzas & Fifa games. Go be awesome!

#peoplemanagement #compensation#sales

“We need more and more people to create their own jobs…and to be entrepreneurial”

John Forkin in 2016 talking about entrepreneurship, Derby as the city that famously homes Rolls-Royce & BOMBARDIER but also as a city that thanks largely to the University of Derby have driven enormous growth for SMEs and entrepreneurial endeavours.

With MIPIM (http://mipim.com) just around the corner, its that time of year when Marketing Derby and other local businesses get to shine and promote what a great city Derby is and how much we have grown over the years.

It’s not just big business, not just the millions invested in new retail and entertainment in the city, but also the growth of SMEs that continues to surface, promote and enhance the city.

When we filmed this interview with John it was originally talking all about Global Entrepreneurship Week – something many of us are very passionate about. But the little gems and quotes John speaks in this interview shows the passion he, his team and the entire city really has for the place we work from and the place we call home.

Original link: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6500644802353209344

When you struggle

I remember saying this line “When you struggle with it, and you do struggle” on the topic of entrepreneurship – it was running up to a turning point in life for me personally with mental health problems.

It was then and is now ‘time to talk’ and so many don’t – I’ve been blessed to work with some fantastic people in my life, professionally and personally both in business and in the mental health space.

Today it’s #timetotalk – conversations really do have the power to change lives and talking about mental health should not be frowned upon.

Excuse the rude word in the video from me – but as Julian commented in response “it’s not just about business, it’s about life generally” and entrepreneurship is one of the common causes of mental health problems.

So if nothing else, get a coach, mentor, friend, family, someone you can talk to – it doesn’t have to be about business, but don’t neglect your mental health – ever. Follow Time to Change for more information.

Original source: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6499217578093744128

Why outsource to Kosovo?

I fell in love with the place as soon as I arrived in the city of Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo. Populated largely by Albanians with approx 200,000 residents, an airport only 20 minutes away from the city centre, several inches of freezing snow in the winter, but +30c degree heat in the summer.

A city with an interesting history from war time to modern art and culture. The capital city at least it can be said is filled with wonderfully attentive people, everyone is happy to show you around, get to know you and most of all show a respect like non other.

With all this said – the question remains “why outsource to Kosovo?”

When I refer to outsourcing – I’m talking about (ITO) outsourcing IT operations and business processes (BPO). The reason this is an ideal opportunity to do so is because of the influence both the US and UK have had on this country.

Almost every citizen in the work force now is mid 20s, speaks and writes fluent English, often with an American accent and being in the GMT+1 time zone makes for a perfect staff augementation scenario. Only a 3 hour flight from London means regular visits to the office is simple to remain engaged with a team over there and labour costs are found to be significantly lower than that of main land Europe and the USA.

In addition to this – because of the number of young people in employment and the political involvement from the UK & USA – the country of Kosovo has a heavy focus on education and training meaning that most IT trained employees will have certifications that would cost a large sum of money elsewhere already achieved and will hold in education typically at least one if not two bachelor degrees in addition to a masters at an early age.

Outsourcing BPO to Kosovo or IT, software development, cyber security staff to Kosovo is something that shouldn’t be ignored.

Kosbit Announces Sean Price as Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

London, United Kingdom – Kosbit LLC, a global IT solutions leader specialising in business processes and managed outsourcing services, announced today that they have appointed Sean Price as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Sean brings a proven track record of accomplishment, with over a decade of leadership experience with start-ups and large enterprise teams in designing and delivering new services and products across a wide range of industries. He joins Kosbit from a UK based IT services provider, where he was Sales Director for IT Support and Delivery with a global reach. Prior to this, he held several senior technology and sales roles in the UK.

Sean will be responsible for setting the company’s technical vision and leading all aspects of customer technology and business development processes in a way that supports short and long-term business objectives. In a global role, Sean will lead a team of technical engineers in developing standards and practices in alignment with our capabilities and strategic goals. Sean will bring a broad and deep technical skillset, with the ability to provide strategic direction and leadership.

Sean will manage the global IT solutions division, which is recognised as a top service provider in five categories, including Size and Growth, Customer References, Awards and Certifications, Programs for Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility by the International Association for Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP®). IAOP also recognised Kosbit as one of the world’s best outsourcing providers. Kosbit is a global vendor for organisations such as AT&T, and as the new CTO, Sean will continue the current trend by growing technical talent, coaching, supporting and guiding top technical talent.

Sean commented, “I am very proud to be joining Kosbit at such an exciting time of growth and as an established leader in the outsourcing industry. It has a reputation for providing impeccable customer service, which in the modern day digital era I’m a true believer is one of the most impactful skills an organisation can have. The work ethic, multi-vendor skillset and degree of trust the team demonstrates on a daily basis has been praised by their clients across the globe, and I am excited to embark on this journey and working to further develop the global vision and values that Kosbit are so well known for.”

Hajrë Hyseni, Chief Executive Officer of Kosbit, “stated the goal of the company is to be the premier Global IT Solution provider and to do this, we have established a culture that supports our people so they can provide exceptional service to our clients. We are very pleased to have Sean join our global vision and lead this crucial division of our organisation as Kosbit continues to grow and expand globally.