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EE025 – Nicholas Brice

Nicholas Brice helped transform the fortunes of Brighton Football Club’s off-field activities that resulted the club winning awards from fans of other clubs
  • Fewer than 30% of people in a national survey said they were engaged in the job they did. Nicholas discusses the problems this can bring to organisations, and the problems that results from accepting adequate standards.
  • What he learnt from working on a project with Toyota in Japan
  • Why you shouldn’t choose your best practitioner to be the team leader
  • He wrote a book called “Brand Alchemy”
  • What he learnt about Kaizen – “There is no best only better”
  • He tells us about his programme “Speaking with Presence and Impact”
360 Degrees provide leadership speakers for business with 20-40 min high impact keynotes to get people thinking. Challenge people to consider new ways of leading…with more ‘soul’.  As well as the best keynote speeches, perhaps add one or two of their 60-180 minute masterclasses to your programme. Packed with action planning guides & tangible take-outs.  They also combine their sessions for longer ‘retreat’ experiences of two or three days.
They often use their work with the American Express Community Stadium as a backdrop.  Much more than just a speech on football. It is the story of how a new stadium is developed to deliver history making sales and attendance increases.  A story of how a board of directors, leaders and staff connect with the soul of the stadium, the Club and the public. How this enabled the team to achieve history making sales and attendance increases…in two short years.
Their tools and methods are used with a range of other major national and international brands and have been developed over the past 35 years. Therefore the sessions are highly practical and grounded in real success.

For information on the workshops run by Tony Winyard go to: www.tonywinyard.com/workshop

 

Transcript:

Tony: Exceeding Expectations Episode 25. Welcome to Exceeding Expectations, the show about creating exceptional experiences for your customers. We interviewed people from many different industries so you can get different ideas for things that you could maybe tweak in some way for your business, to create something quite unique in the industry that you work in. That results in great testimonials, positive word of mouth spreads, and I think that what we all strive for, and it also means you spend less money on marketing and advertising, and also less time on those activities. If customers want to work with you there’s no persuasion required, the price is far less relevant, and it also means you can start charging a higher because you’re giving people a great experience.

For anyone wants to know more about this, I actually run some workshops about how to get better at referrals, to get better testimonials, and how to increase your prices. If you’d like more on that just go to www.tonywinyard.com/workshops and you can find out more information about those workshops that I deliver.

In this week’s episode, I spoke with a gentleman by the name of Nicholas Brice, who tells some fascinating stories about Brighton Football Club and Toyota, and many others as well. So please welcome Nicholas Brice.

We’re here for another edition of Exceeding Expectations and today I’m speaking to a gentleman called Nicholas Brice, how are you Nicholas?

Nicholas: I’m fine thanks Tony good to be here.

Tony: We were just talking before we started recording and you’ve not recorded…you’ve been on a podcast before as a guest you were saying?

Nicholas: Yes, I’ve done some various industry podcast within the sports venue industry, where I’ve been doing some work in recent years. I also sometimes conduct online virtual development sessions and I do stuff like that. So, it’s not a new thing to me to be online. I think it’s a fantastic tool actually.

Tony: So you mentioned that you’ve done quite a bit of stuff online, what is it that you’ve done in the past?

Nicholas: I’ve done stuff, helping global organisation develop a new performance management system, and they needed literally thousands of people/leaders to start operating in a different way over a three month period. So rather than fly trainers and people around the world, we did it all using a program called Adobe Connect, where in just a series of short one hour sessions we brought everyone online. In groups of 20, 30, 40, 50 we created a little interactive working shops that people would log into and there was images, there was breakout rooms. Adobe Connect’s a lovely platform for that and we actually created a pretty good workshop experience for thousands of people and implemented a new way of working in just a few weeks.

Tony: What type of people was that aimed at?

Nicholas: These were primarily middle and senior managers. So it was middle managers right the way up to executives, who all had performs management to do with their teams.

Tony: So what is your background in Nicholas? How did this all start for you? How did you get into this?

Nicholas: Well all of this started for me…I wanted to be an actor when I was very young. When I came out of university for a psychology degree I had such fun doing theatre and education in the English department helping stage Shakespeare in a colourful and engaging way, to helping really understand and learn what’s going on, because I didn’t really knew I’d find Shakespeare a bit inaccessible sometimes when I listen to it.

So I had a lot of fun learning about how to communicate complex ideas in a colourful and simple and theatrical way. That was my biggest take out actually from university I became interested in that. So, I started a theatre company to begin with, but I realise quite quickly that there’s not a huge amount of money in theatre, unless you’re very, very good and right in the top echelon.

So I decided to invest in my career and joined American Express as a system analyst helping develop IT applications. I very soon realised that one of the challenges of any kind of project, is the way in which people are responding to it. The way in which people behave. The way in which people think in organisations. I realised that I had a good eye for looking at patterns of behaviour, the way in which culture works. So that naturally brought me into HR, where I worked in HR for a while and moved into internal communications. While I was there, I was sent to look at a program that British Airways were running for 39,500 people…it was a training program two days at a time for 39,500 people called Putting People First.

I went up to the Concord Centre and walked into this room and saw 200 people, laughing, joking, having fun, doing games. But this most extraordinary trainer facilitator, who’s telling stories, who’s talking about customer service, talking about personal development, talking about relationships, it was a really broad agenda. But what I did notice was there were no levels in the room, there was no seniority in the room, everyone had a badge with their first name on it and you know, all different levels of people were together. This was an organisation that really did need to change because BA in those days used to stand for bloody awful, and it was one of the worst organisations around.

This program was being given the credit for transforming this organisation. I experienced just how events and bringing people together can transform. What I also saw was a chief executive in a chat called Colin Norsole…he became Lord Colin Norsole, stand up at the end of the program and delivered a very wonderful and inclusive key note about the direction that he wanted to take the airline in and what he was trying to do with people and with the customers.

Then he invited everyone for a drink. Everyone went over to the bar and he was there and he was incredibly approachable. I just saw this wonderful man, doing a wonderful job of really putting soul into the organisation as I described it. My kind of excitement at that point is something’s never left me really. Started in me a sense that every organisation should be like this. Every organisation should have an exciting and meaningful purpose. Every organisation should have great leaders. Every organisation should be creating their own story of success. So many organisations don’t seem to be doing it or didn’t seem to be doing it. So that born…in me was born this idea of at least trying to help at what I could do. Which I was quite a good presenter, I was quite a good facilitator and I was a good phycologist when I left university as well. So I had the kind of academic understanding of what I was working with.

I soon actually staged the same program in American Express which went incredibly well. In fact, a few days ago I dug out some of the videos that I made at the program and watching it then I just thought you know, it’s still so relevant today. Some of these messages, some of these ideas, some of these principles of relationships in an organisation, relationships between customers and staff you know, are still so important that people need to be good at this stuff. Leaders need to be good at it, having soul in an organisation. Being able to deliver something that really excites people is so important no matter the way you are in the organisation. No matter what your role is that’s ultimately what you’re trying to do. Is to create a brand, an experience that people value above everyone else. Unless you’re really on board with that as a group of people it’s not gonna happen.

Since then…that was 1984 those video I just looked at yesterday so that’s how long I’ve been working with organisations all around the world helping them try and change the culture to deliver a brand and a brand experience that really does it for them in their marketplace.

Tony: So companies contact you to come in and help them what, to shift something that’s not happening that they want to happen? What is it they’re normally after when they contact you?

Nicholas: Well the best do…the best projects are where an organisation has a very clear idea of what it wants to change, and what it wants to do. So I’ve worked with organisations such as the American Express Community Stadium was one I worked with recently, which was the home of Brighton Albion. Now they were an organisation that had been yo-yoing through the bottom divisions of the football league for several years with no money. They actually lost their ground at one point and had to play out at Gillingham.

They then went to Withdean, which is basically and athletics track with uncovered seating, hard cold plastic seating. Really not the most exciting place to be. They’ve managed to keep the football club alive and keep it in the football league and done reasonably well actually. But they never had enough money because the limit of the capacity was 8000 something, so they could never generate enough income to really become a major football club.

This was a great work. The guy called Dick Knight who actually rescued that club and he part Brighton Albion folklore now. But I got involved when Tony Bloom had gotten involved, who is the current chairman. Who came in and decided he was going to invest in buying and building a new stadium at Falmer which is called the American Express Community Stadium. I got involved in the months leading up to moving to that stadium because the board recognised that they had a wonderful group of people who had never had any leadership training. They’d never really done anything other than keep this football club alive for years and years and years on a threadbare budget.

They realised that something needed to change in order to open a multipurpose top class venue that was going to sell out. The capacity was gone up from 8,000 to 22,500. It had taken a tremendous amount of effort to get permission to even build the thing in the first place. The government had to be lobbied and Brighton fans from all around the country side use to chase labour politicians around, and do little demonstrations outside whatever they were appearing to try get the stadium on their agenda and they finally manage to achieve that and get this mission to build this thing.

So there was this tremendous desire in the sense of expectation that something magical was gonna happen now that they a stadium. Of course we had a group of people who were terrified I suppose, to say the least, that they were gonna be out of their debts, they’re gonna lose the soul of the club, that you know, everything that they got used to was gonna disappear. So we did a lot of work. I used a lot of the stuff that I’ve used with many of the organisations that I’ve worked with, but in very a club community friendly way. We did sensing sessions, we did focus groups, we listened to people, we talked to the leaders we talked to the fans we found out what people really wanted this club to be. What they wanted the customer experience to be.

We identified that in order to go from an 8,000 capacity to a 22,500 capacity, they we’re gonna need to attract more than just football fans. You know, it’s going to mean families, it’s going to mean appealing to women, it’s going to mean appealing to corporate customers. Even the number of people living with a disability was gonna go right up, people who can come to the stadium. So every different customer segment that you can imagine needed to grow.

So we needed to come up with a customer experience with the team, with the guys that was gonna deliver that to growth. We worked with them through the months leading up to the moving out of Withdean. When they moved to the new stadium, we opened the stadium with a big event for the staff. Where we had 300 staff enjoying all the hospitality suites and doing workshops and playing games in all the hospitality suites.

But all of these games and all of this fun had a message, and the message was; what are our values? What is our vision for the customer experience? What does that mean in terms of the customer journey, each year the customer journey that we all need to work together to achieve? How we’re gonna measure what we’ve done?

We then opened the stadium. We have mystery shopping every game, where we have people going around having a look at the experience and making notes. Then we bring all the managers together once a month, and give them the scores on the doors as we use to call it. Have a big kind of scrum session I think they called them an agile now. Looking at specific targeted improvements that can be made in the next period. Within about 4 or 5 months all of the figures, all of the measures were showing at least 4.3 out of 5 in terms of performance with the customer experience. Whether that’s ticketing, whether that’s arriving at the stadium. Whether that’s ground announcements. Whether that’s stewards.

You know, we even tested things like, you know, someone would pretend they’ve lost their mobile phone and run up to a steward and say “I’ve lost my mobile phone can you help?” We were measuring the staff on how well they tackled that situation and delivered the kind of outstanding customer experience that we felt was vital if we were to fill that stadium.

One example in the first season of just how good this was, we had a value…we worked on values with people and the Team Brighton values were basically to treat people well. To exceed their expectations, that we were all gonna aim high as a group of people and never give up. We’re gonna make it special not actually spells T-E-A-M. Everybody got involved in writing those values and think about those values, and internalising those values.

About 4 months into our 1st season we knocked Newcastle, who were premier league at the time, out of the FA Cup. This was a quite cheeky for a championship…mid table championship team to do this, but we beat them 1-0, and the end of the game the Newcastle fans were getting a little bit rowdy in the away end. Partially lubricated by the Newcastle Brown which was supplied by the club in the away end. That’s one of the things that Brighton do, they put the beer of the local team on tap for them in the away end to make it you know, a nice experience. They even lined the stands in their colours and so it’s like a home stand from home. Of course if you want people to come all the way to the south coast you got to give them a good experience.

Anyway the Newcastle fans were getting a bit boisterous and some were doing a little bit of a okey-cokey, and it was getting a bit out of hand. Then the stewards decided to clear the stand by basically joining in the okey cokey, then some woman suggested hey let’s do a conga and they got all of these fans doing a conga. Then they congaed them out the exit and got them outside. Then when they realised what had actually happened everyone fell about laughing. In a really good humored and fun way the stadium was cleared. Now you know, some stadiums would have tear gas and horses riding in, all sorts of drama going off. But that’s what happens when people really connect with a vision for a customer experience, and they buy into it personally.

In particular if it’s something they’ve been involved in some way in articulating and understanding and expressing which all the stewards had, and it was a lovely example. In fact that year The American Express Community Stadium was awarded an international award as the best new venue in the world in their first year. That’s a real testament to what 300 people who had no training, no development for 11 years, can turn around and achieve if they’ve got great leadership, if they’ve got a brilliant culture, if they know what the vision is, they feel involved and empowered, and that they’re connected with it. That it’s something that means something to them, they’re willing to defend it, they’re willing to work together to deliver it. People can handle a tremendous amount of change and disruption when they have that amount of clarity and unity in what they’re doing.

Tony: That sounds like a colossal project, how long did that take?

Nicholas: Well I’m still working with them actually, very very occasionally now. But the actual get-in of establishing the new culture was probably an 18 month – 2 year period culminated with, actually, I think, the biggest increase in sales and attendance in the history of football. It was over 350% increase in their revenue in about 2 years. In fact after the first season they had to build another 9,000 seats to get everyone in. Now they are headed to 30,000 and they’re in the premier league. In fact, the first season in the premier league based on fan votes, they achieved the best customer experience in the entire premier league, in their first season of the premier league.

If I take a track right back to one of the values which is to aim high and never give up. One of the values in the club is that we’ll always do better than…effectively we make every pound go a bit further than everyone else does. We do a bit better than expected, with everything that we do. That certainly helped get that little club up to premier league status. I mean we get a quite fight on now because we don’t spend anything like as much as other premier league teams in staying there.

So you know, it’s a constant challenge on the team work, but the football team…the football players themselves talk about this brilliant team ethos that they have at the club. It’s spread throughout that organisation. In fact in 2016 they got an award as the best football club in the country to work for as well.

Tony: So from that I imagine that must…a lot of people…well for the people who realised the changes that had happened, did that get your company quite a bit of, sort of exposure and attention. People coming to you and wanting to…similar results?

Nicholas: Yes indeed. I mean we’ve done quite a lot of work  with the academy chief executives in helping senior managers follow the same path. It’s not for everyone. It’s amazing when you come up against chief executives, there’s not many that have the vision and have the perspective that a Tony Bloom does or Colin Marshall does. There’s not that many around that I meet actually who get it. Who get how important some of these intangible less visible, less tangible bottom line, you know less bottom line issues are. They think it’s a waste of time, they think it’s all about bricks and mortar, and pantries and pens.

You know, and operationally driven people are great, they are very important. But at the end of the day you know, if I take my partner out for dinner it’s not just to make sure she doesn’t go home hungry, you know. There’s a whole conversation that we need to be having with people that beyond the practicalities that is to do with emotion, to do with aesthetics, to do with values, to do with you know, self-expression. I think in the modern world, this is more important than ever before. Because even though it might be only channel customer experience, you can do the chat box, you can use artificial intelligence, and you can phone them up and go in there. People still want to buy from brands they believe in. The only reason that you’re going to believe in a brand is if it appeals to you in a personal way on some level.

Therefore it’s very important that organisations work with what I call the soul of the business, as well as the bottom line of a business and understand what it is, where it comes from, what their story is, and what their DNA is. How to get people connected to that in a way that’s not just ‘right here’s a list of values post them on the wall.’ You know, things…having worked with actors and put several you know, award winning productions together. It’s a bit like saying “There’s the script, read that out, you’ve got a 5 star performance,” it’s not gonna happen. The manager or the director, or the conductor, or whoever it is, has a tremendous role to play in turning what could be a boring daily activity into something that excites people. That makes people want to give more of themselves to it.

I think I saw some research from just 3 or 4 years ago that looked at 3,000 people from across the UK. Only 30 % of those people said that they were fully engaged in the work that they did, only 30%. Just under 50% of them said “Well, I’m here but I’m not really engaged.” the remainder you know, over 20%, about 20- 20.1% said “I’m actually actively disengaged, you know I don’t really want to be here. I’m really having a bad time with this and I’m unhappy.”

I’m sure you’ve dealt with actively disengaged people in customer experience and its colleagues. There’s a tremendous amount of damage that people like that can do. You don’t even see it. It’s the [Inaudible 22:30] email, it’s the not sending an email. It’s the not turning up on time for a meeting, it’s the not saying anything at a meeting and then slagging people off afterwards. It’s all of that stuff that saps the energy in the team saps the energy in the organisation.

I see a lot of people saying oh you know, “we have 7% engagement in our team. We’ve got 80% engagement scores from our surveys. We’re doing really well.” I look at that and I think well okay, so what that means is if I’ve got a team of five actors on stage, you’ve got four of them performing the part properly one of them isn’t. So you think that’s good do you? You know, you’re not gonna notice the one who isn’t, are the others not gonna notice the one who isn’t? Isn’t the effect of the one who isn’t gonna be quite powerful. Of course you know, people have personal problems, people have personal issues. You’re gonna have people who are not engaged for whatever reason, but we need to make sure that the reason isn’t because they’re not being led by someone who’s got their ducks lined up, in terms of leading the team properly, you know, team leadership is a fundamental thing that needs to be there.

Tony: So what kind of organisations do you…is it kind of quite a wide range of organisations that you’re helping?

Nicholas: Yeah. I mean I’ve worked…I’ve spent about 11 years with Toyota working in Japan and UK and Europe right across Europe, and America. That was with TMI. Did a tremendous amount of working helping them, look at a way of making the brand make sense to people in the organisation. Thousands and thousands of people were involved and impacted by that work. As I say you know, right the way down to a 100 person organisation, a 50 person organisation, you could do a tremendous amount you know, with a small group of people.

More often than not the job if you’re working with a global organisation with 50,000 people is still getting leaders, team leaders and team working well together. That’s the building block of the team leaders and the team working well together. It was Daniel Goldman who, through his research, concluded that at least two thirds of team [inaudible 24:45] is to do with the how the leader is behaving; at least two thirds, 70%. When you’re promoted to team leader how much development did you get? How much does the organisation supports a person who goes from a team member to being a team leader? How many organisations just take the person who is the best technically? “Oh you know you do a great job, why don’t you lead the others to do that job?”

Actually, in my experience if you put your best practitioner as the team leader all that does that depresses everyone because the standard is so high. What you actually want is the best team leader to be the team leader. Not necessarily the best practitioner.

Tony: Yeah.

Nicholas: I think it was Steve Jobs who said that “We hire great people to tell us what to do. We don’t hire great people to tell them what to do.” I think if you make sure you select, recruit, and develop brilliant team leaders that’s half the battle. Certainly the ones that you’ve got you need to be continually developing them, and training them, and supporting them and coaching them. If you’re the senior leader, helping them become great leaders.

Tony: When you were talking then about, you know, how you were working with Toyota and did you said you were already in Japan working with Toyota?

Nicholas: Yes I did some stuff out in Japan. I did some lectures those again for TMI which is a company that I’ve done a lot presenting with. Yes, I mean I had to do some lectures for the marketing teams around the world on how to talk about brand, how to work with brand, and how to bring a brand to life. In fact some of the ideas that we covered in those sessions were in the book that I wrote with Susanna Mitterer called Brand Alchemy, which was published…oh about ten years ago now.

Tony: Okay.

Nicholas: It’s quite a good text for people who want to try and get an organisation, to have a brand that is lived by the people in it. Because it’s one thing to have a logo and a kind of strapline. It’s another thing to have people representing that brand, and delivering that brand and thinking about embracing those brand values in the way in which they work. This is where culture and brand come together. That book Brand Alchemy does talk a lot about how you can do that in a big organisation or a small organisation.

Tony: I imagine working with someone such as Toyota. So, you’ve gone in and you’ve helped them with a number of things. But I imagine also that they’ll be a number of things that they were already doing, which you’ve then learnt about, where you then able to pass that on to future companies?

Nicholas: Oh yeah. You know, I mean I’ve met some amazing leaders in the organisation. Some wonderful leaders who use stories. Stories to engage people and to unite people terrific using metaphors and stories. The thing about Toyota is their values are so strongly embedded in that organisation, the values of continuous improvement, of Kaizen as it’s called. In fact when I was in America there was a conversation with the chief engineer of Toyota. When asked by someone from the American operation about Kaizen and it meaning continuous improvement, and he actually said “Well , it’s a lot more than that,” he said “It’s a lot more than that. It’s having the attitude to life that says there is no best only better.” What a lovely idea that is, there is no best only better.

Tony: Absolutely.

Nicholas: Ultimately, you know life is a bit of a journey isn’t it? It’s a journey that…actually it’s more about the journey than the destination sometime. So, decide if you are constantly aiming high, constantly trying to do better, I think is part and parcel of having a good life for me. Certainly in that organisation they had that principle very firmly embedded wherever I went. This tremendous desire to constantly look at what was happening and make it better. You know, whether it was a presentation I gave or a proposal that I make or some other suggestion people would make, was immediately “Oh that’s good, how could even make it we better?” “That was good how can we even make it even better?”

As we know Toyota in the 2000’s made it to number 1 car company in the world. A lot of that was down to this attitude, this frame of mind that said there is no best only better is a terrific, terrific organisation.

Tony: So in all of the, you know…so you’ve been doing this for quite a while now. One of the things that I like to you know…I think that a lot of the listeners of the show really appreciate is when they hear some things that they may be able to apply. Can you think of any examples of any of the companies that you’ve worked with, where you’re able to help them in some way that, you know…maybe to tell a story the listeners might find useful in…for their own business?

Nicholas: Sure. I did a program just at the end of the year…for an IT company actually, it’s a senior management team of an IT company, who wanted to get better at speaking. They did a retreat using my program Speaking With Presence and Impact which I said is a combination of good presentation skills training, but also a whole load of theatre techniques to help people to become more all-around storytellers and engaging people to listen to.

The senior manager…well in fact the general manager of this organisation. We did an exercise very early on and he ran out in front of people and started blasting them with all this information about himself, he was high speed, he’s a high speed thinker, high speed talker bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. You could tell that people were quite intimidated by this and also didn’t really stay with it for very long, because he was just…he just couldn’t stop. He was like breathlessly just going like a train through this stuff.

Over the two days as we got to understand him a little better and we talked a little bit about presence, and where your authentic self comes from and where that’s located in your breathing and how you are and how you walk out in front of a group of people and you know… he soon realised he was so in his head and this thoughts which were moving a 100mph. That he was just reciting his thought pattern and externalising his high speed thought patterns, which are a very different thing from actually engaging a group of people with an idea. Tell a story, building a concept with them.

So we showed him some techniques, breathing techniques. We showed him some techniques for understanding and identifying the why behind the what of the presentation. We got him to clarify exactly what it was, what’s his core message. What it was that his role there was. What it was that he wanted people to achieve at the end of his presentation no matter how short it was. Then we taught him how to actually breathe and relax back into the truth of that purpose. Actually then to walk out in front of an audience, look them in the eye, and connect with them. Then build the concepts that he had, and tell the stories around the concepts. But all of the time making sure that he could see and feel their response to what he was saying. So it became an interaction rather than a dire try basically.

The interesting that was…and the thing I respect the most about him, he was willing to go through this development in front of his direct reports. But on day 2 when he stood up and walked out in front of them and gave a presentation that he’d actually given 3 months before on the strategy of the company. I could feel that whole group of people were totally transformed by what this man had to say. It was a really quite special moment.

You know, it was a 10 minute presentation he had to do 10 minute, not one power point, not one visual aid it was all done from the heart. All done using the techniques that we cover from the program. It’s transformational. He got so much more out of it. His team got so much out of it. It was a very special thing.

For me it’s not necessarily doing anything you don’t know about…it’s not rocket science. It’s just learning how to do it properly, you know how to do things as a leader properly. In fact that presentation that he did 10 minutes, would have saved a huge amount of time down the road in terms of people’s comprehension of what he wanted them to do, what he expected from them, and what his mission was. That by getting that level of engagement saved him hours and hours, and hours and hours of time with people not being clear. If you think about it, if people go away from meeting they’re not really clear what you said, they’re gonna do something else and then you have to correct them. Or they start sending emails asking for more information. To not pay attention to this kind of stuff can cost you a tremendous amount of time trying to re-clarify and redirect what people are doing. So that was a nice example. I think he saved a huge amount of time by just doing that 10-minute presentation to his leadership team.

Tony: Do you keep in touch with him? Do you know what the on-going results were?

Nicholas: Yeah in fact I was just in touch with him this week. He’s putting together a little testimonial for us to put out on our website about the work that we did. But no, I mean their head of internal communications has come back to me and said that you know, every single one of them they’re noticeably different as a result of the training that they had, that it’s really moved them. So I’m very proud of that, very pleased with that because you know, I’ve run presentations skills programs for years. What I did with this one took some of that, but I also introduced some of the stuff that I do when I’m working with actors who are going to [inaudible 35:02] to get them to perform at 5 star level. To evoke emotion when they perform. To make people laugh. To really become someone people want to watch, and they go together really well.

Tony: What type of people normally sign on to that work shop?

Nicholas: That was …well that was the executive team…that was a leadership team. But funnily enough, a friend of mine asked me to do a session for two young students, it was actually my sister’s daughter, my niece and her friend. They had to do presentations for their 3rd year project…design project. I actually had about three quarters of a day with them, using the same material. They’re 21 year old students. I taught them the same techniques for clarifying the purpose of a presentation, clarifying where their audience were and where they wanted to take them. Learning the breathing techniques, learning how to control their presence in the room.

It was really interesting you know, rather like the senior executive. The departure point these young ladies they came in and I said okay ‘Do a little presentation about this” and they did a presentation about that. It was a lot of hair flicking, and a lot of kind of giggling, and a lot of laugher, and a lot of kind of nervousness. Which you know, completely undermined any seriousness in project that they were talking about. I mean it would’ve just been you know, so distracting the way they were behaving, that once we actually got them to really, really decide that they were there to share some great work that they had done as designers, with people who needed this work. They were just simply just helping people understand the way in which they had gone about the work, the value of the work, the quality of the work, and technically what the process had been. That their job was to help people become crystal clear on all of that. To see just how the creativity they put into it was gonna make a difference to the outcome.

We got these two ladies just performing a totally different way, totally different way. They went back…and I got the news just before Christmas, that they went back and their grades had gone from 22 for their project work to 1st, on their presentation they got 1st both of them. Not only that my niece…I’m a little bit bias. My niece was actually given an award because she design something for this project for a Swiss company. they were so impressed by her work that they actually invited her over to Switzerland, she’s just going over the next couple of weeks to be acknowledged, to be commended for the work she put forward to form their project.

Tony: Fantastic! But we could…

Nicholas: Yeah. My niece but I’m a bit bias but, I think if I’m gonna get my niece to buy into it and listen to me.

Tony: Of course.

Nicholas: Then you know, I think I might be on good track here with the rest of this.

Tony: It sounds like it. We’ve got…me flumbub its 35 minutes have gone already, 36 minutes so, before we finish Nicholas what are your thoughts on the whole sort of area to customer experience?

Nicholas: My thoughts on this, Number 1, it’s a new game. It’s a digital game. It’s a multi…it’s an Omni channel game. It’s no longer just about coming to the shop and that’s where it happens. The relationship now happens via internet, via social media, via online, artificial intelligence chat box. I think I saw a survey that said the British industry 70% of companies are falling behind when it comes to getting on board with new technology. It’s here, it’s gonna happen younger people are expecting digital customer journeys. You need to be on it now. You need to be getting people to understand what digital transformation is. You need to be working on it now. It’s gonna happen and you don’t want to be behind on that.

But of course that presents your team leaders with a challenge. You know no longer is it something that they can observe, something that they can supervise. They can’t stand over people the way that they might have done in the past. So, they need to learn how to manage change within their teams. They need to learn how to take people through all the steps of change.

Also that we’ve got this engagement issue. If only 30% of people engage, you might have 60% whatever. But team leaders need to know how to get people on board. They need to know how to get the best out of people as well as helping guide them through change.

So it’s gonna go through change. We’re gonna have Brexit. There’s gonna be a tremendous shift in the way in which the social economic, political and technological environment is affecting us. Some people call it a vuca world, which is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It means that we’re not gonna be able to see clearly where things are going. I don’t think we will see clearly where things are going. So we need to create meaning for people in the here and now, in the short term.

We need to be able as team leaders to get people on board and get people functioning. Because I think what will happen is people will disengage. They’ll start worrying so much about things they can’t control that they’ll get distracted, and that they won’t get on board and see the opportunities that are there. Whether it’s Brexit or not Brexit I think there’s gonna be a tremendous opportunity for small and medium size businesses that are gonna come up. You need to have a team of leaders who are on board with this. Who are exploiting this, who knows how to get people involved, and know how to lead people.

You need to be resilient. You need to be adaptable, and that means really applying some of these things. Which means having really good purpose driven businesses. You need to have businesses that know how to handle change effectively. You need to have positive culture that’s grounded in strong values, that have got good support, good respect between the members, But are also incredibly agile which means, you know, that you can change on a sixpence. You can change directions without having loads of resentment and people throw their arms in the air ‘oh my goodness why didn’t you tell me?’

That’s a cultural thing. Developing culture is something that senior leaders need to be good at. It’s something I’m working more and more with senior managers, middle managers on. On helping them get their head around what it is that the Colin Marshall’s of this world, what it is of the Toyota’s of this world, what it is of the Tony Bloom’s of this world, did and have done that worked in getting organisations to perform above average in terms of performance.

Tony: If people want to find out more about you Nicholas, where would they go?

Nicholas: Yeah probably the website, I got a website which is www.360degreevison.co.uk  360 degree vision.

Tony: Okay well I’ll put that link in the show notes and then we’ll include some information on some of the other stuff you’re doing, like yeah you mentioned about the workshops and so on. We’ll put that information in the show notes as well. So, anyone listening if you want more information on some of the things that Nicholas spoke about just take a look in the show notes.

Thank you very much for your time Nicholas it’s been superb. It’s some really good information that I’m sure people would’ve got a lot out of this episode.

Nicholas: Great. Well thank you Tony. Thanks for having me, good luck.

Tony: Thank you very much. Thanks Nicholas.

Next week is episode 26 with Nevil Tynemouth an extremely enthusiastic guy. Who is a speaker and author, he’s a coach. He’s got a really interesting way of approaching workshops which I think…I think you’ll find quite different to many other people. He used to work in a huge large telecom provider and he setup his own business in 2010. He now helps people to become better at sales and selling and to give them a different dimension to what it is they do. So that’s next week with Nevil Tynemouth.

Hope you enjoyed the episode, please do leave us a review and maybe join the Facebook group and I’ll see you next week.

 

2019-05-21T23:45:04+01:00

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