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Published Articles

New Year's resolutions vs strategic priorities   By Richard Ferguson

I don’t know about you but I have long since given up on the discipline of setting myself New Year’s resolutions, and I become despondent and depressed about two weeks later when I fail to deliver them... read full article

Do energy drinks come with passion and enthusiasm, too?   By Richard Ferguson

I noticed recently that a new organic, Fairtrade, all-singing all-dancing energy drink has just been unleashed on the parched and arid wasteland that is the UK consumer. It made me reflect on a number of things, not least the power of a good story in selling something – in this case a product, but it could be organisational change ... read full article

Christmas is coming - a time for innovation?   By Richard Ferguson

Given the serious bad news stories that abound at the moment, as the impact and implications of the spending review clearly begin to hit home, Christmas will be very interesting from a commercial perspective this year ... read full article

The rising cost of food. How should businesses react?   By Richard Ferguson

Truth Four – Monitoring and reporting progress. Beware the written word and note the power of the dumb question...

Richard commented on a recent FT online news story that referred to the doubling cost of barley in a two-week period. The question the journalist asked the pundit: ‘Will we now see spiralling food costs?’ ... read full article

A lesson from the agriculture industry   By Richard Ferguson

Truth Three – Work with human nature, not against it. Manage by milestones!

Richard talks about two of the most essential ingredients that are missing from many organisations... read full article

Will change at Thorntons lead to sweet success?   By Richard Ferguson

Thorntons recently announced the imminent retirement of Mike Davies as chief executive. Here’s part of the statement... read full article

Powwow says ciao   By Richard Ferguson

When I read that the water cooler company Powwow had been taken into administration and effectively closed, it triggered a thought. I was struck by the irony of a water cooler company going under as we begin to come out of a pretty tough 18 months... read full article

Engaging the 'risk mitigators'   By Richard Ferguson

When an organisation decides to invest significant sums of money in expanding ts services or entering new markets, there's usually a damn good reason why - normally associated with an ROI tha makes the risks associated worth it ... read full article

When it comes to M&A, where are the responsible leaders?  By Richard Ferguson

The recent acquisition of Freshfayre by Brakes throws up an interesting issue and one that we will see more and more this year as merger and acquisition activity continues to grow... read full article

Creating certainty with good leadership  By Richard Ferguson

‘Spending on Britain’s high streets held up in October with a 0.4% rise in retail sales’ and ‘inflation increase greater than expected’... read full article


Leadership and the Tesco Academy  By Richard Ferguson

Tesco will spend £3m on senior management training through its Tesco Academy over the next 12 months. While some retailers have scaled back staff training, Tesco’s investment represents a 23% increase on training spend in 2008... read full article

Acquisition or merger? Now that’s the question   By Richard Ferguson

Kraft’s surprise £10.2bn takeover bid for Cadbury added a sweet taste to stock market returns for investors... read full article

An engaging approach   By Richard Ferguson
Business Excellence Online

Managing the disruptive upheaval to staff members that is frequently brought about by a merger or acquisition all too often gets forgotten as concerns such as maximising commercial synergies and re-defining processes take priority. But this approach can come at a cost... read full article

A new breed of leader   By Malcolm Follos
Business Excellence Online

Businesses around the world will no doubt be hoping that this year will be an improvement on the last. Here, Malcolm Follos asks what is required of leaders in today's profoundly altered business landscape, identifying what needs to change and offering twelve tips for the months ahead ... read full article


Leadership, Fear and the Brave New World   By Richard Ferguson

There is no one in employment today who has lived and worked through an economic crisis like the one we are staggering through right now ... read full article

The rules have changed   By Malcolm Follos

Never miss the opportunity a good crisis creates. We are fortunate to be living through some fascinating and challenging times. The views on what we expect from our corporate leaders are being challenged and changed across all corporate sectors and countries... read full article

Omar Khan named as one of the Top 25 Consultants 2010  
Consulting Magazine

The annual Top 25 Consultants issue is here, and not a moment too soon. Editors just can’t get enough of this issue; or more specifically, reading the nearly 400 nominations we receive for this award each year... read full article

Time to Establish Meetings Value  
Conference News Magazine

CN and management consultancy Sensei UKE recently convened a panel of meeting industry experts at Cannizaro House, Wimbledon, to examine perceptions of value and return on investment and time. read full article

Don't blame me   By Richard Ferguson
The Guardian

The blame culture is rife in the public sector, especially in organisations dealing with lots of inter-agency work such as social services... read full article

Boardroom battles are breaking out all over   By Malcolm Follos
Financial Times and FT.COM

Do we really want Boardroom Battles to become killing fields for under-pressure executives? ... read full article

Business Wisdom   By Malcolm Follos
Business Wisdom

"Smile in the face of challenge. It takes less energy - and you need to preserve your energy for the challenges you haven't seen yet." read full article


Judgement Call   By Malcolm Follos
Financial Times & FT.COM

The Question is: how have we created organisations where rule bending, or cheating, has become acceptable? ... read full article


10 Tips on Embedding Change   By Richard Ferguson
Training Journal

Organisations that have the capability to change effectively are stronger and future-proof. This is perceived wisdom that few would argue with, but to achieve this capability is easier said than done. Effectively embedding change can be achieved by following these TEN fundamental principles ... read full article

Casino Royale   By Omar Khan
FT Adviser

Even the most trusting of souls find their good will challenged by the Las Vegas-style casino antics of far too many players in the global financial markets; with risk ratios that are insane except if you assume perpetually rising markets, and financial bets underwritten by nothing more substantial than gambling fever ... read full article

Strong Leadership will be vital post recession   By Richard Ferguson
The Grocer

Managers need to whip their business plans into shape, ready for when spending starts to increase ... read full article

In The Same Boat   By Malcolm Follos
Financial Director Magazine

How the FD can leverage a new company-wide cost awareness to create long-term culture ... read full article

Becoming A CEO   By Malcolm Follos
Business XL

Taking the helm of a business can be a giddy, nerve-wracking experience. M&A finds out how CEOs managed to transition from director to boss ... read full article

Right Conversations For The Right Results   By Malcolm Follos

If you were to audit the cnversations that buzz around most workplaces, you might find that the din of what is not being said is frankly deafening. Many leaders, particularly in large organisations, tend to have strategic conversations in exclusive groups locked away from the inconvenient reality of the day-to-day business ... read full article


Leadership, fear & the brave new world   By Richard Ferguson

The rules of leadership and management have also changed forever - whatever organisation you lead. Let us not forget that this crisis has filtered out the weak and many of the leaders of the past have been swept away. What an opportunity though, for the leaders of the present and the future - we welcome this new breed, who will lead us forward into these new and uncharted territories... read full article

What do baboons and Mergers &Acquisitions have in common? Can you lead the pack?   By Richard Ferguson

According to research only 17% of mergers add value to the combined company, while as many as 53% actually destroy shareholder value. The remaining 30% made hardly any difference to the performance of companies involved. Unsurprisingly, these results are a stark contrast to the perceptions of top managers, with more than 80% of senior executives involved in M&As believing that their actions had in fact increased value for shareholders ... read full article

Crisis? What Crisis? You should never miss the opportunity a good crisis provides - test your imagination!   By Malcolm Follos

This tough economic climate has forced every organisation to take a good look at the way they work and for many it has proven to be a real test of their imagination and their leadership skills. But why are some organisations dealing with the challenge so much better than others? ... read full article

Right Conversations For The Right Results   By Malcolm Follos

Leadership can revolve around ensuring the right 'conversations' take place in your organisations ... read full article

Going Through Uncertain Times - The Role Of An Effective Management Consultant   By Malcolm Follos

Times are tough, and with everyone watching the bottom line, the value and role of external consultancies are quite rightly being brought into question. However, companies who select the right type of management consultancy for their business can reap great rewards in both the short and long term... read full article