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

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
Getting Employee Engagement on the C-Suite Agenda

Getting Employee Engagement on the C-Suite agenda

nick Collaborative Planning, Comment, engagement, Homepage, Teambuilding, Transformation Leave a Comment

Here’s an interesting article from Jon Tudor, reporting on an employee engagement event he recently ran. To summarise, the headline comment from his delegates was: “I wish my board was here, they need to learn and understand this”. Why don’t board-level managers seem to take an interest in employee engagement? After all, they take plenty of interest in change management and transformational programmes. How can employee engagement rise up the agenda? Here are some thoughts on the problem, and some possible solutions: Engagement is a new discipline, and sometimes nobody owns it. A few forward-thinking tech businesses have Chief Engagement Officers, but they’re …

nickGetting Employee Engagement on the C-Suite agenda

A2B Excellence sponsors UK Employee Engagement Awards, 2015

nick A2B People, Awards, Homepage Leave a Comment

After our double win (2014 UK and 2015 commendation internationally), we are delighted to announce that A2B Excellence will be one of the sponsors of the UK Employee Engagement Awards, 2015. A2B Managing Director Jim Abbatt will also be on the panel of judges. Says Jim, “We are delighted to be involved in this year’s Employee Engagement Awards. As past winners, it’s an honour to continue our association; but, more importantly, to be a part of recognising the great work other companies are doing in valuing the contribution of their people. The workplace is changing fast and talented people have more options than …

nickA2B Excellence sponsors UK Employee Engagement Awards, 2015
Five Secrets

Five Secrets the Project Management Books won’t Tell You!

nick A2B Presentations, Coaching, Comment, Homepage Leave a Comment

A2B Excellence are regular contributors at the Young Rail Professionals group – an informal gathering of tomorrow’s rail leaders, which now numbers over 1900 members. Our most recent presentation, “5 Secrets the Project Management Books Won’t Tell You” was both well-received and rigorously questioned; and for those of you who couldn’t make it, it’s now available online. We’ll show you: Why successful project management is about people, not processes. Useful things you can do in your organisation right now, at no cost, to improve your success rate and; How to deploy your resources to keep projects on time, on budget and …

nickFive Secrets the Project Management Books won’t Tell You!

Meet Cari Hewer, A2B Excellence’s newest recruit…

nick A2B People Leave a Comment

Many of you will already have met Cari, the newest on-the-ground consultant at A2B and settling in nicely. Despite having a frighteningly powerful intellect, she makes long meetings feel somehow more tolerable and also brings us a career’s-worth of public sector knowledge. But who, I hear you ask, is the person behind the mighty brain / cheery demeanour? Well, I’m glad you mentioned it…   What are you bringing to the table? You’ve squeezed a lot into a career already… Yup – I’m a lapsed mathematician who somehow found herself in events management, then internal communications and then digital engagement – all the …

nickMeet Cari Hewer, A2B Excellence’s newest recruit…
It's a long way down...

If you want to get a team, get talking

nick Comment, Facilitation, Homepage, Teambuilding, Transformation Leave a Comment

An intriguing set of recent surveys from top business analysts has lifted the lid on what effective leaders do – and, indeed, how sometimes they are scuppered in their ambitions. We don’t really have a matching term for the American ‘C-Suite’; and that’s a shame, because the C-Suite doesn’t quite match the idea of a British ‘board’. The C-Suite is designed around the idea of responsibility rather than role, so it rightly includes senior civil servants, functional experts (even when sometimes they are non-executive) – all the people who fundamentally need to shoulder management burden, whether they are credited with it or not. Analysts …

nickIf you want to get a team, get talking

An NHS without answers? Or a different approach…

nick Comment, Homepage Leave a Comment

This article from the BBC is typical of the big-picture perspective on the NHS. It follows a hard-hitting report from Margaret Hodge’s powerful Public Accounts Committee, which rightly says that our Health Service is in big trouble. Forget the immediate winter challenges which hit the headlines recently (and indeed hit the headlines every time there is a cold snap). That is a red herring. The big issues are, well, bigger. Much bigger. We’re an ageing population with ever greater health needs and fewer young people to go to work and fund our care. We’re a negligent population, too lazy to …

nickAn NHS without answers? Or a different approach…

Got 90 seconds? Watch this video

nick Comment, Performance Deep Dive, Transformation Leave a Comment

A2B Excellence Principal Consultant, Drew Barritt, unearthed this little gem of a video (we’d love to take credit for it, but it’s not our own production) on the concept of “Change Leadership” – and we’d love to share it with you. We think it’s a very concise and articulate message – and well worth 90 seconds of your time.

nickGot 90 seconds? Watch this video
Employment Engagement Awards

We won! Our Employee Engagement Award – and how you can do the same

nick Awards, Homepage Leave a Comment

Here are the dapper chaps of A2B Excellence, with our partners and clients, Transport for London, picking up the Employment Engagement award in the Public Sector category. We won the award for our “Business Improvement Team” programme – a long term engagement strategy that’s yielding real business benefits. Here are five reasons why BIT was both an awards success and a commercial success – all of which can be implemented in any context in your organisation: Business improvement and engagement are aligned; yielding buy-in for clearly-articulated and common purposes The people most able to identify viable improvements in a business are often …

nickWe won! Our Employee Engagement Award – and how you can do the same