Archive: Oct 2013

  1. Change. An emotional process.

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    Author: Andrew Northmore – Director

    Thinking of installing a new accounting package? Purchasing an expensive piece of plant or equipment? Implementing Six-Sigma or Lean Manufacturing? Launching a new product or embarking on a new business?

    All of these projects will involve a great deal of change for your organisation – whether they are a success or not will come down to a number of factors like leadership, communication, motivation, decision making, planning and risk analysis.

    But appreciating the emotional aspects of the change process can also significantly improve your chances of success.

    Any challenge, whether business related or personal (e.g. running a marathon or sticking to a diet) goes through a number of emotional stages. Understanding the emotional stages can help you develop strategies and tactics to overcome problems, combat resistance and negativity, improve morale, remove road-blocks, communicate effectively and generally engender a “can-do” positive attitude.

    What follows is the Emotional Cycle of Change (first introduced to me by Kaufman Consulting Group). At the start of a project everyone is positive and optimistic – mainly because it is new and they don’t know what lies ahead. After the honeymoon period the optimism starts to give way to pessimism as team members start to realise the enormity of the task facing them. As pessimism grows, the project goes through a critical phase where some projects can fail. If you can get through this phase, the team starts to become more realistic and optimistic and the chances of success are improved when this informed optimism takes over. At this stage, you are very close to a successful completion of the project.

    Download the full article with examples Emotional Cycle of Change.

  2. Lending – it’s not like it used to be

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    Author:  Colin Spencer, Associate Director

    I was reminiscing with a client recently how different it used to be trying to raise finance from the bank prior to the credit crunch.

    Just over ten years ago I was involved with a business that moved office and had a lot of expenditure upgrading the premises which put a strain on our cashflow.  To help tide us over, a quick email to our relationship manager outlining the financial projections of the move and the impact on our cashflow forecast moving forward, followed by a lunch,  was all that it took to secure a twelve month loan, at a very reasonable interest rate and low arrangement fee. The next day the paperwork was signed without any need for endless security and by the end of the week the money was in the bank. I can always remember the managers’ words at the end of the lunch “Colin , you won’t let me down will you?”.  Well no, I did not let him down and the loan was paid off in full over the twelve months which what I had forecast!

    How things have changed since the credit crunch! I know that banks are constantly saying they are open for business but I cannot imagine a loan being granted at such short notice these days on the same terms.

    One thing that still remains constant though is the need for robust forecasts, both profit & loss and cashflow, that allow business owners to plan for the future. These forecasts are vital if a business is looking to invest in new products and if a bank is going to grant a loan they will want to stress test a company to ensure that it can afford the repayments as well as having necessary security in place.

    As the UK hopefully continues to recover there is likely to be more borrowing requirements to boost the economy.