Dragados at EE Awards

Fourth Employee Engagement Award shortlisting for A2B!

nick Awards, Clients, engagement, Homepage, Rapid Improvement Workshops, Teambuilding, Transformation, Uncategorized

We’re delighted to announce that, for the fourth time, an A2B Excellence client has been shortlisted for an Employee Engagement Award – a powerful endorsement of A2B methodologies. You may remember that we had three nominations and two wins between 2014 and 2017 with our projects for TfL. We took a break in 2018 (nobody’s perfect…) but we’re very pleased to have made the grade for the judges in January 2019, this time for our work with Dragados. Spanish conglomerate Dragados is one of Europe’s largest infrastructure and Special Projects delivery firms; with a footprint across the globe – but …

nickFourth Employee Engagement Award shortlisting for A2B!
Time to talk Teamwork

Time to talk teamwork!

nick engagement, Homepage, Team Optimisation, Teambuilding, Training, Transformation

If you love football, you will have been on the edge of your seat for the past two weeks. If you don’t love football, please don’t click somewhere else just yet. Yes, this post is going to be full of footie metaphors, but you need to know something: the 2018 World Cup has so far been about so much more than jingoism and partisanship. In an extraordinary game between Belgium and Japan, we saw professionalism and sportsmanship of the highest order. The Japanese also famously cleaned up their own locker room despite an agonising last-minute defeat. England manager Gareth Southgate …

nickTime to talk teamwork!
Which way now for rail?

Which way now for rail?

nick Clients, Comment, engagement, Homepage, Rapid Improvement Workshops, Team Optimisation, Transformation Leave a Comment

We’ve lived the first week of new timetables across the rail network, so how’s that going for the industry? Not as well as we might have expected. Monday’s complaints from hard-pressed commuters included “New timetable and a packed train just cancelled as no driver in London to take over. Triumph of Thameslink.” According to the Guardian, “Throughout the day, between half and a third of timetabled trains across the new enlarged network were being cancelled.” And it might not have been ideal for Go-Ahead to report healthy profits in the same week, either… But before we poke GTR (an A2B Excellence client) with a stick, let’s …

nickWhich way now for rail?
Tick TOC

Tick-TOC: Times are changing for train operating companies

nick Comment, engagement, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

Nobody said it was easy being a ToC. Consumers hate them, yet ToCs are at the mercy of government (and neither side of the political spectrum has managed to structure the ideal system), their advisors from the big consultancy firms, and all sorts of unpredictable socio-economic changes. We’ve been lucky enough to work with a TOC recently, and a few very simple things have become apparent. First, no matter what happens, TOCs are under pressure from dramatically competing priorities, which will not be resolved anytime soon: Short term: Quarterly earnings reports and market pressure Mid-term: The franchise bidding cycle Long-term: …

nickTick-TOC: Times are changing for train operating companies
Let your team do what they do best

Let your team do what they do best

nick Comment, engagement, Homepage, Team Optimisation, Teambuilding, Transformation Leave a Comment

I recently read a superb CIPD blog, whose authors took the rare step of recognising that the natural talents of employees are an exceptional resource. I couldn’t agree more: we have always said that our business existed to “leverage the latent talent in employees for a happier and more productive workforce”. The blog continues by helping leaders to identify what high performance in their organisation might look like, and how to win as a strengths-based organisation. But isn’t this patently obvious? Couldn’t a two-year-old tell you that people who use their natural talents are likely to be happier in their …

nickLet your team do what they do best
Infrastructure

Don’t bank on an infrastructure boom – it’s time to work smarter

nick Coaching, Comment, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

Infrastructure is back on the agenda in a big way in the US. There are two good reasons why. First, the current incumbent of the White House has put infrastructure spending at the top of the agenda (well, first after immigration and healthcare reform…); because in a hat-tip to Roosevelt’s pump priming-policies, massive investment infrastructure not only creates jobs (especially Trump’s homespun blue-collar jobs for American people narrative), it also repays dividends in community benefit and long-term regeneration. Second, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has just released its Infrastructure Report Card – a simple assessment of the state …

nickDon’t bank on an infrastructure boom – it’s time to work smarter
Wall

Unpick silos with an Unconference

nick A2B People, Comment, Culture Change, engagement, Facilitation, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

Cari Hewer   How do you get established teams of experienced people fired up for emerging challenges, unleashing news ideas and working even better together? Well, if you’re happy to try something a little bit ‘out there’ an ‘unconference’ could be all you need. Unconferences are not new (they even have a Wikipedia entry). First introduced in the late 90s in the tech industry, they are gatherings with only a loosely defined structure, allowing discussion topics and relationships between participants the freedom to blossom without being too tethered to a formal direction. In a true unconference, the agenda is put …

nickUnpick silos with an Unconference
2016 and all that!

“2016 and all that”: What just happened, and what’s next?

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At this time of year, most companies do some sort of “look back at the year just gone, and a look ahead to the coming year”. I’m probably not the only MD to be sitting at his desk, rubbing his eyes in disbelief. Twelve months ago, the idea that we would be on our way out of the EU (probably, sort of, maybe, in some way, eventually), that the outsider candidate would win the Presidency, and the idea that our borrowing targets would be out of the window – well, it’s all faintly surreal. Where does that leave us? Well, …

nick“2016 and all that”: What just happened, and what’s next?

Brexit for Infrastructure: Strong Leadership Required

nick Collaborative Planning, Comment, Homepage, Performance Deep Dive, Transformation Leave a Comment

So the people of Britain have pushed the nuclear button on our relationship with Europe. As the analysts (and financial tipsters) pick their jaws up off the floor, let’s examine the effect on the major infrastructure and construction industries. The chances of a Scottish block or a second referendum for England are extremely low, but there’s a big difference between complete disengagement and an arms-length relationship. There is therefore plenty of uncertainty: Right to play: Our right to bid to participate in projects depends on the nature of our new relationship. If we remain in the EEA and still play …

nickBrexit for Infrastructure: Strong Leadership Required
EE Award 2016 Finalist

Three years, three nominations – we’ve done it again!

nick Awards, Clients, engagement, Homepage, Transformation Leave a Comment

A2B Excellence are over the moon to announce that our client, Transport for London’s Four Lines Modernisation programme (4LM), has been declared a finalist in the 2016 global Employee Engagement Awards (International Category). 4LM is a huge project – including the world’s largest signalling programme; and features over 2500 team members on three continents spread across multiple main partners and delivery subcontractors. It’s a great example of the sort of structure which is prevalent in complex projects, and where engagement efforts can yield exceptional results in motivation, productivity and outputs. The 4LM management team’s commitment has led to independently verified improvements in …

nickThree years, three nominations – we’ve done it again!