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									JULY 2005

A warm welcome to all new members who have joined us in the last month. Client activity has been exceedingly brisk here, with much interview shortlist work, following some excellent client briefs using our ti template, and ensuing final interviews. As we write we see the start of another most successful hiring of one of our members in the UK manufacturing arena through our unique process. The client pipeline is increasing all the time. The market for senior interims is good and growing. At the agency end however it’s become more competitive and fragmented by the year. A recent independent survey estimates that there are now as many as 800 management interims currently at work in the NHS, half of them at FD or HR director level which will make the NHS the largest users in the whole UK market. We had two very useful member development and networking meetings in July in London and Bristol, see below, and we have an interesting set of development sessions planned for September with dates to be firmed up next week and a first full afternoon London event in late October later this year, followed by a early evening party for our fifth birthday- also in late stages of planning. We trust members are getting some well deserved break time in August. The senior independent life is a marathon , not a sprint, and demands that we pace ourselves. See the notes on “Stress” below! As usual, you can go to the bottom of this newsletter to download the entire 11 pages or click through to the topics of interest Happy hunting David Pinchard Managing Director PS we are now into our second edition of our 80-page case history book, with a new forward and appendix. If you would like a hard copy mailed to you, just e mail in. Just type the address that you’d like it to go to- saves time here. 1. Dates for the diary 1.1. London Development/networking 28th September. Kingston Smith. Barbican. 6 to 9pm Here we plan a forum to consider as a group the inevitable senior interim opportunities around the winning of the Olympic bid for London and how to get close to these opportunities. Moderators:. Jonathan Palmer Chair of our Continuous Development and member Pippa Mitchell 1.2. Bristol. Saffery Champness. September date to be announced shortly. Here we plan a forum for members to explore “influence” how it works and what is it’s value to the individual senior interim manager. Moderator: Rob Hook www.carbon6.co.uk

1.3.

Manchester. Baker Tilly. September date to be announced shortly. The speed of the development of website techniques continuous to be awesome. Search engine advertising has changed the face of website paradigms to such an extent that mathematical formulae can now be used to predict exactly what business will come once early site testing is complete. Lord Leverhulme the soap billionaire used to say that 50% of his advertising was waste, but he was never sure which 50%. With “click through advertising” and search engine optimisation – and on the internet at least this is no longer the case.

2. Some brief reports of our recent member meetings. One of the keys to getting the best returns from topinterim lies in coming to meetings. Over 50% of our members manage to get to at least one of our meetings during a year, though we know it’s impossible to get to all the meetings within reach of you. Some members are very assiduous however. A good number have visited all three centre meetings over time. It’s good to see as many members as we can. There is always something interesting to learn, or a new stimulating or valuable member to meet. We are constantly evolving. 2.1.Mindmapping Specialist mindmapper and trainer , ex Unilever and a top engineer and problem solver Andrew Wilcox presented Mind Mapping and MindManager X5 software at the London meeting on Wednesday 6th July. Several topinterims are already using this technique and the software to great effect. If you would like to download a 21 day trial of the software, please click here (40mb). There is a special offer of £169.15 (normally £199) plus VAT from the 1st July 2005 until the release of the next version in the autumn. If you register the product you will get a free upgrade to the next version. Do visit his web site www.cabre.co.uk for information on training, on-line coaching and links to other information about MindManager. ti Member Chris Duncan writes: “I have tried out the Mindmanager software, and it certainly seems easy to use. I managed to create a mindmap quite quickly. The main bonus appears to be the flexibility of being able to move ideas around on a screen rather than rubbing out scribblings on a piece of paper if you want to rearrange your map. Maps can then be printed out or exported in a number of formats. Since I haven’t had much call for using mindmaps, I am probably not best placed to offer many more comments, and I haven’t used any of the other software available. However, there are reprints of media reviews on the Mindmanager website http://www.mindjet.com/uk/company/media_coverage/news_reviews.php which might help. One happy customer talks of the software speeding up his meetings, allowing him to create an immediate mindmap of the meeting’s conclusions, targets, etc., without having to draw up minutes after the meeting (which may not be a true reflection of the meeting). I suspect that there are also meeting which this software would slow down. Horses for courses?” In the end a number of us find mind mapping an extraordinarily useful project tool, and a great mechanism to grab all the diverse strands of thought in a project. The Mindjet mind manager program then allows the mindmap to be easily adjusted and circulated.. Because it is fully integrated into M/S office, key project files can then be attached to the relevant strands of the mind map. In all, a clever development of Tony Buzans original mindmap idea, which amongst other things either pre dates (or follows!) why the directories of Apple

and Microsoft are designed the way they are, to follow the way our brains work -“trunks, branches, twigs and leaves” to store and retrieve information. The Mindjet program apparently even has a method of converting a mindmap into html and thus becoming a sensible and straightforward website. A very neat ”extra” for members wanting to write and publish their own simple personal website. We have also seen some excellent examples of mindmaps created as a way to take a client through what a senior interim manager CAN do for a client, rather than a CV which is a record of what you have done. So it makes for a distinctive self selling and communicating tool. In the final interview selection process, arresting “leave behinds”, as well as a great CV (don’t forget the high grade digital image-“you are the brand”), and well presented project case histories (by all means use the topinterim tried and tested case history format). In due course we will be publishing a third case history book. You case history could be chosen for it. So start now. To read about the Tony Buzan theory and working concepts see his books in www.amazon.co.uk . Will you find it useful? It may depend on what sort of brain you have. Anyway why not download it for a free trail test it for yourself and see. 2.2. “Stress” Bristol 19th July. We welcomed Corbieres at our Bristol meeting , an excellent two man partnership who have made “stress” their key field of study. Alarmingly nowadays, under Health and Safety legislation, employers are responsible if they are found to cause unnecessary stress to their employees in the workplace. To a roomful of senior interims who love change, (and “change” is the word that apparently is top of the list for causing stress at work), taking account of this new law was a proposition that members didn’t have much sympathy for. Like all legislation in “Health and Safety” the key is to make sure that proper company records are made at each step of the way to anticipate possible employee legal action . Corbieres essentially help the client to plan properly to protect themselves. When it came to tackling our own “personal stress” Corbieres laid out a series of simple strategies for the self control of stress. When we are on projects the first thing a senior interim has to show is that telling mixture of personal warmth and openness, allied to icy self control. We know all too well that great leadership and visible panic do not belong together! (At least in public) Controlling stress demands different strategies for different people. Of course regular exercise, healthy diet, sensible alcohol consumption, regular sleep. All easily said, difficult to practice. We has rehearsals of how to take short, deep breathing breaks, the benefits of cat naps, meditation- were all discussed. Also the importance of trying a number of different routes to cure a particular problem like sleep loss, until the right route was found. Indeed the importance of seeking third party help early with any stress problem.

In truth senior interims actually enjoy certain levels of stress, understanding very well that that stress “raises our game”. “Change” is indeed stressful, but senior interims are part of the small percentage of the population who really enjoy the challenge of change. 3. E networks . A report and member survey The excellent Manchester development session in July, led by member Philip de Lisle, brought us to consider again the growth of “e networks” and their relevance to the personal businesses of our members. As an illustration Philip used what's happening at IBM, the largest consultancy company in the world. In his view IBM's whole culture is one that recognises that change is inevitable and they seek to be always ahead of it. Having recognised in the early 1990's that their position as supplier of big company computer mainframes and software was now untenable in the face of the growth of the power of PC's with their steadily decreasing costs, low cost software and steadily increasing chip memory IBM drew back from selling mainframes in the face of disastrous sales declines. They re engineered IBM and their most successful re invention was to became “advisors and consultants” to business for rapid IT change. Fortuitously for them the mid 1990’s then became the “wild west” for the development of the internet. It instantly became clear to them, and then to the market that entirely a huge range of new IT paradigms would have to be built to take advantage of what the internet could do to the costs of running businesses. Consultancy became a hugely profitable sector not just for IBM but for all the big brand accountancy firms who diversified into business process and change consultancy, using their huge influence with clients to sell in very high margin work. IBM found that they could buy people “well but young” at low cost, train them to the “IBM way” and then sell them into projects at three to four times their cost. . Alongside and in parallel was developing the concept of “virtual working” . 40% of IBM workers are nowadays “outside salaried networked workers” capitalising on the very substantial office savings that we ourselves know all too well that e communication and satellite working can deliver. IBM currently has 330,000 direct employees worldwide. In total it is estimated that they give employment to a further 670,000 contract workers. IBM have offices in 75 countries and operations in 174 Philip believes that IBM have already decided on their next metamorphosis which is to concentrate on the “essentials” of large change projects and process improvement (organisational efficiency). Key to staying ahead is the understanding that actually only about 20,000 IBM people around the world and a further 20,000 support staff are the “key” to the business. These are the strategic thinkers, the influencers, the “project rainmakers”, the risk assessors and takers and the project scopers. The rest of full time employees at IBM he believes will be inexorably disposed as employees of in the next five years. This process has already started, culling at IBM is already happening further swelling the ranks of the independent market.

And where IBM lead the other big consultancy brands will have to follow. They too have to reduce their fixed overheads to properly compete. In summary, why is IBM, the largest consultancy brand in the world, being forced to change? 1 Many big clients are increasingly regarding IBM (and any big name consultancy) as being too expensive and wrongly staffed nowadays. To have more pricing flexibility on projects the majors are being forced to reduce their employee cost base to hold on to their margins. We see this directly through our own project experience where we are able to significantly challenge IBM pricing on “change team building” with a top, world leading manufacturing client. 2. Clients will increasingly demand better change managers. Change is not just systems and IT work, an area where IBM and any professional firm is usually excellent (there some very public exceptions in some UK Government systems purchasing) but the work is also hugely demanding of proven people of change leadership ability. In short – “Senior independent board level managers with real “blood on their t- shirts”. 3. These board level change engineers need to be flexible, highly organised, steady in high stress situations, practical and pragmatic with softer people management skills- grey hairs are thus a distinct advantage. And “freelance” i.e. without the “company mentality” which brings with it company internal politics and divisions and often restricted thinking. It was BMW at Cowley who first discovered the efficacy, passion and leadership of an entire team made up of senior independents. All facing the same way – desiring to deliver 120% value to the client, not seeking the next consultancy project for their big name consultancy employers and concentrating on logging maximum billable hours. We stress that not all big name consultancy is like this. Of course not. But we have many members who have been clients using big name consultants where the experiences have not been happy ones, and past and indeed current team members within big name consultants who have strong criticisms about the value that the client was really getting for their investment-just as there have been dream change projects where both sides involved have seen amazing things achieved. What is under attack increasingly nowadays is the very high profit margins of big name consultancies, and the value of the real delivery achieved -against their promises. In the end its “ caveat emptor”-buyers needs to beware, and there is good evidence that they increasingly are. In short, it is already easier and less expensive for project leaders to dip into the independent gene pool to get precisely what the client needs, rather than to force on the client very highly paid consultancy employees that the client’s teams increasingly say they do not “trust” and indeed often quite openly dislike and resent very much. We actually can witness this effect ourselves through our own topinterim networks. . 4. So where will the project leaders and indeed increasingly clients “direct” “source” their teams from? The answer is from building their own direct outside relationships, secondly

from e networks using “profiling engines” and all the paraphernalia of the e and from specific “known communities of demonstrable “character” and top quality” like topinterim. As the world of business changes we see three substantial “e networks” of independents developing. We urge members to experiment with them. They do not demand much cash investment (indeed the largest is currently free) to begin to get juice from them. The downside of “e networks” is the substantial personal time required, much of it seemingly wasted in the short term, but nonetheless this a whole field that, in our view, cannot be ignored. The time investment is needed to “filter” the dross, and there is MUCH dross to find the useful. The three e network majors are 1. Linkedin. American based. Around 1.7 million log ins. Free to join but already a vast project and “job board” where the main revenue stream appears to be low cost recruitment. 95$ a recruitment entry i.e. VERY cost-effective job and project recruitment. Peter Luiks reports huge and rapidly increasing revenues to linkedin from this. 2. OpenBC. German based. 60 euros per annum at 5 Euros a month. Very fast growing with strong reports for ti members of a “high quality” member population . 3. ecademy. Over 40,000 on their e-mailing mailing list. . Just over 5,000 on the “power networker” list at £10 a month subscription i.e. £120 per annum. You can also log in for trial membership at £50 for the first year, The arrival of ecademy Blackstar membership, the” inner network” of ecademy in early 2005 has produced new energy to the centre of ecademy and more revenue too, as with around 150 blackstars at £3,000 a time lifetime membership ecademy generates almost as much revenue from signing up blackstars as from the 5,000 £120 per annum “power networkers”. Setting a single one off fee membership of £3K may be a tactical financial success for ecademy but a long term strategic mistake. Time will tell. The emergence of Blackstar has also brought new focus to the power of “e networking”. It has restricted the huge amount of background noise in e networking to something of human and manageable size. We in topinterim have long argued about the value of “human scale” and around 150 to 200 is a good inner network size. Our own long term planning encompasses around 10 topinterim senior independent communities around the world using the model we have built. topinterim has a high number of blackstars in, or associated with us. Indeed, if you join ecademy then you will be able to join the new topinterim restricted community space within ecademy where member Philip de Lisle has volunteered to be our first doorkeeper.

Currently this is an inexpensive way to enable topinterim members greater abilities to talk to one another easily, rather than running such functionality ourselves. Ecademy is partly built to do this, to enable other "clubs" to run in a password protected inner space at low cost. As topinterim members know , but don't yet utilise it much yet, we already have an alumni knowledge system which works in the same way as the 1,000 or so members of Cranfield Alummni use. A single e mail from a member to the “centre” (in our case to info@topinterim.com) is piped out to all members. If a member can help he or she responds directly to the questioner. This can be an incredibly powerful problem solving and relationship building tool. 170 members means 17,000 worldwide deep and many high level linkages Ecademy has a powerful “blogging” device on it’s home page, To read the bloggs there is to keep in touch what 5,000 independents are thinking day by day. And these bloggs lead back to ecademists personal profiles on site (a sort of low cost personal website) , which produce key exposure for many an independent. within this large community. We have emphasised on many occasions the importance of building your own personal website, and increasingly we see this happen. But this has a cost. We reckon about a minimum of £500 investment. A number of topinterims will build one for you for this. info@topinterim.com for information. Around £200 cost if you build one yourself on the mindmap program, or a little less for a website builder like “front page” In our view EVERY member of topinterim should have a very good professional digital image of himself or herself available for use in such a personal website or for instance in their profile page on ecademy. In the independent sector “your face is part of your brand”. We have a small team of ecademy-experienced topinterims who are available to come out and visit and help you get started on e networking with ecademy (or indeed any of the other groups as we have NO personal preference as yet for any one networking group. Indeed the perfect one may yet to be invented). This movement is still in it’s infancy. You should be prepared to invest in their travel to you and their time for a member to do this, but it will save you a substantial amount of time to have a friendly mentor beside you to help. We suggest the fee should be about £200. just e mail info@topinterim.com for our list of volunteers who are happy to help. E network research with ti members. We conducted a simple piece of research with 100 members of topinterim members using Chicago based www.surveymonkey.com in July . Incidentally this is an excellent e survey website service, needing a little expert advice on set up, but you can sign on as a user on a small monthly stipend and do a wide range of your own surveys , very quickly and with admirable reporting process. This would be also useful on smaller projects with client teams. Response was 27% - high for e research , but we think we can make an early the first conclusion and that a high percentage of members are not yet interested in e-networks. Remember we have been watching ecademy for five years. Blackstar seems a large investment at £3K and is not for everybody but there is high networking energy in there. Partly driven of course by people who are determined to demonstrate to themselves that this investment was worthwhile.

The most used service by members was linkedin (60%) of the 27% responders and after that ecademy (40%). The greatest use was as “a place to ask questions of others” (70%), to research, to review trends, to use as an information source. Other reasons given were to meet and build relationships, to keep in touch with work opportunities, to keep in touch with colleagues. Of the 27% responders,- 60% would like a “forum” space over any other e network process. As a first step if you want to join ecademy (£10 a month)or are already a subscriber then there is a topinterim private space set up and moderated by member and blackstar Philip de Lisle. We will watch this experiment and see what happens. 4. The 21st-century organization Mackinsey quarterly July 2005 Professional employees, who create value through intangible assets such as brands and networks, now constitute up to 25 percent or more of the workforce in financial services, health care, high tech, pharmaceuticals, and media and entertainment. Making professionals productive enables big corporations to be competitive, yet most of them do little to improve the productivity of these employees. Corporate organizational structures—designed vertically, with matrix and ad hoc overlays— make professional work more complex and inefficient. Companies must change their organizational structures dramatically to unleash the power of their professionals and to capture the opportunities of today's economy. . We all know that flat, knowledge releasing, business structures work, but it doesn’t half take time for business to adjust to these changes and to trust their workforces more. Many call centres are so rigorous and overbearing that they resemble the very worst practices of early production lines without the high wages that Ford used to pay in the formative days. The experience can be so bad that many a potential good employee into the call centre sector makes a decision never to work in another again, despite the fact that there are many good ones as well. And many a lifetime customer is lost by bad call centre handling, just as many a customer is delighted. It’s no surprise that the call centre consumer bank that comes out best in customer polls is First Direct. Clearly a brilliant call centre operation. And Dells Indian call centre operation on a recent personal experience is also excellent. Brilliantly staffed, organised and with real “personality”. The revolution in work continues, but won’t fully change until business leaders realise that only by letting a lot of power go will the latent energy that lies in all good people in organisations be released. And hopefully more and more employers will see the HUGE financial and morale cost of high staff turn. . 5. Computerrefurbs- an advertorial One of our long-standing members, Martin Matthews, is also a director and minority shareholder in an interesting company called PWC Trading. They have a retail premises in

West Byfleet, Surrey called "Computerrefurbs". This is a specialist refurbisher and is able to offer quality refurbished Laptops and PCs at exceptional prices. All their equipment is warranted for six months. Their offer may be of particular interest to our membership who are in the market for high quality computer equipment at keen prices. Computerrefurbs have agreed to offer a 10% discount on all 2nd purchases to topinterim members, once £500.00 has been spent with them. To buy from Computerrefurbs simply contact them on 01483 820029 or else you can visit their shop. You may also wish to visit their website at www.computerrefurbs.co.uk. Don't forget to quote your membership number as they will then be able to issue you with the 10% voucher for your 2nd purchase. > T The prices include VAT but post and packaging will need to be charged at cost. C o m p u t e r r e f u r b S Peripherals 19” TFT Monitor 17” TFT Monitor 15” TFT Monitor HP PSC 1215 All-in-one Printer Lexmark Z515 Colour Inkjet Printer External USB2 CD/RW & DVD Combo Drive External USB2 CD/RW PS2 Mouse PS2 Keyboard USB Keyboard PC Speakers USB Cable 4 Port USB 2.0 External Hub 4 Port USB 2.0 Internal PCI Card 256MB USB 2.0 Pocket Drive 512MB USB 2.0 Pocket Drive 1gb USB 2.0 Pocket Drive 14” Laptop Carry Case Targus 15” Laptop Carry Case Upgrades Internal CD-R/RW with Nero Express Internal DVD/RW Drive Internal 56k V92 Modem Internal 4 Port USB 2.0 PCI Hub 120GB Hard Disk Drive Microsoft Works Suite 2005 £275.00 £195.00 £165.00 £ 80.00 £ 45.00 £ 75.00 £ 60.00 £ 4.99 £ 6.99 £ 9.99 £ 9.99 £ 4.99 £ 15.00 £ 15.00 £ 35.00 £ 45.00 £ 80.00 £ 14.99 £ 12.00 £ £ £ £ £ £ 34.99 59.99 9.99 15.00 70.00 75.00

Additional hardware installation cost Pentium 3/500mhz Internet Ready Desktop Minimum Specification Windows 98 Second Edition Intel Pentium 3/500mhz 128mb RAM 10gb Hard Disk CD-ROM 56k Modem & Ethernet Floppy Disk Drive 2x USB 1.1 Ports NEW Speakers, Mouse & Keyboard 17” CRT Monitor 6 Month Warranty Fully Refurbished Repair Prices Quick Fix Basic Repair Virus & Spyware Removal Reinstall system Software Off Site visit (p/h) Data Recovery Selected Files Complete Recovery £50.00 £100.00 £15.00 £50.00 £80.00 £95.00 £50.00

£ 15.00 Internet Ready Laptop Toshiba Portege 7020CT Minimum Specification Windows 98 Second Edition Intel Pentium 2/366mhz 128mb RAM 6.4gb Hard Disk 56k Modem Mouse & Mat 13.1” TFT Screen 1x USB 1.1 Port External Floppy Disk & CDROM 6 Month Warranty (Excluding Battery) Fully Refurbished

£99.99 Inc VAT

£225.00 We can also install networks Inc VAT for your home or office, please ask in store for details. Prices quoted per job. COMPUTERREFURBS 3 Old Woking Road West Byfleet Surrey KT14 6LW Internet Ready Laptop IBM Thinkpad T22 Minimum Specification Windows 2000 Professional Intel Pentium 3/900mhz 256mb RAM 20gb Hard Disk DVD-ROM Floppy Disk Drive 1x USB 1.1 Port 56k Modem & Ethernet Mouse & Mat 14.1” TFT Screen 6 Month Warranty (Excluding Battery) Fully Refurbished £395.00 Inc VAT

Pentium 3/1ghz Internet Ready Desktop Minimum Specification Windows 2000 Professional Intel Pentium 3/1ghz 256mb RAM 20gb Hard Disk CD-ROM 56k Modem & Ethernet Floppy Disk Drive 2x USB 1.1 Ports NEW Speakers, Mouse & Keyboard 17” CRT Monitor 6 Month Warranty Fully Refurbished £200.00 Inc VAT

Tel: 01483 820029 sales@computerrefurbs.co.uk www.computerrefurbs.co.uk

Desktop PC System Minimum Specification Windows 2000 Professional Intel Pentium 4 1.7ghz 256mb RAM 20gb Hard Disk CD-ROM 56k Modem & Ethernet Floppy Disk Drive 4x USB 2.0 Ports NEW Speakers, Mouse & Keyboard 17” CRT Monitor 6 Month Warranty Fully Refurbished £250.00 Inc VAT

Tower PC System Minimum Specification Windows XP Home Edition Intel Celeron 2.7ghz 256mb RAM 80gb Hard Disk CD-RW & DVD-ROM 56k Modem & Ethernet Floppy Disk Drive 4x USB 2.0 Ports NEW Speakers, Mouse & Keyboard 17” or 19” CRT Monitor 1 Year Warranty Fully Refurbished £325.00 Inc VAT

Packard Bell Easynote F7 305 Windows XP Home Edition Intel Pentium 4 Mobile 3.06ghz 15” TFT Screen 256mb RAM 40gb Hard Disk DVD-RW 56k Modem & Ethernet 4x USB 2.0 Ports NEW Mouse & Mat 1 Year Warranty (Including battery) Fully Refurbished

£599.99 Inc VAT

Next ti newsletter- end August 2005. Any comments to info@topinterim.com


								
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