The Ascento Blog

Corona Virus - Cometh the hour, cometh the Man (leadership in unprecedented times)

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 23, 2020 7:00:35 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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Little did I appreciate when I posted my last blog with John Maynard Keynes as its main protagonist that I would be writing the next one, over which such a short passage of time has seen the Bank of England, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund together with the new Chancellor, employ every economic tool in the toolbox to try and avert a global meltdown, including those commented on by Keynes.

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John Maynard Keynes and his influence on the world today

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 12, 2020 3:35:44 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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I’ve been Amazon shopping again this week. I love books and love browsing in a bookshop, but I have to admit when it comes to ease of use and just overall convenience Amazon delivers. So, this week following a newspaper article I read at the weekend I have bought The Lost Decade 2010-2020, and what lies ahead for Britain, by Poly Toynbee. £8.99 with free delivery on Prime if you have it. Having read an excerpt in the paper, I was hooked and made the purchase. Not read it yet, so I will let you know how it performs.

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Developing creativity and entrepreneurship in your organisation

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 26, 2020 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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Delivering innovation for your organisation is about spotting and keeping creativity and entrepreneurship. In my previous blog, I wrote about how hard it was for organisations innovate and change over time. The greatest catalyst for innovation for many is crisis/disaster, which in itself forces the issue of innovation and change as it becomes a fight or flight situation. Wouldn’t it be better though if innovation was incremental and less reliant on a dangerous cliff edge situation? For this to happen, this requires any organisation to foster and nurture a culture of innovation and change. In this case, innovation is easier to think of in terms of Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

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Why big firms find it hard to innovate

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 12, 2020 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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In my first year at University, I read the brilliant book by Rosabeth Moss Kanter called “When Giants Learn to Dance”. Amongst other themes, she explored how extremely large multinational organisations were still able to remain flexible, dynamic and responsive to the business environments they were operating in. In other words, how they were continuously able to innovate and change in spite of their size. At the time in the early 1990s this was seen as the Holy Grail of business success, being large enough to withstand the buffeting of the wider business environment, yet at the same time having a culture that enabled rapid and assertive responses to the challenges they were facing.

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The links between productivity and recession

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 29, 2019 9:30:00 AM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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Following my previous three contributions regarding both the requirement to demonstrate increases in productivity and its potential impact on a workforce, I thought I would bring this theme to a close with some thoughts as to how this may link to the potential routes and twisting roads that we may be traveling down to get out of our current economic position of dithering around the edges of a full-blown recession.

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Productivity and how it affects us

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 8, 2019 1:15:00 PM / by Oliver Simpson posted in Leadership & Management

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High levels of productivity cause huge personal welfare issues amongst all staff, which then overspill into family, social and health issues. Similarly, low levels of productivity damage the rate at which an economy grows and after the economic lag has been accounted for produces low wage increases, a lowering of disposable income, lower spending power and ultimately a complete downturn in the economy which may lead to a recession.

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Intuitive and counterintuitive leadership and management issues with productivity

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 27, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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Over the summer break, we sat on the beach and by the pool and for the first time since last October when I was last away, I did nothing. It’s a great feeling, that ‘doing nothing’ when all you have to think about is what drink to have next and is 11 am too soon for one! It takes a while to settle into that mindset as humans we are genetically and socially programmed to be doing, in spite of the fact we are human ‘beings’, where ‘being’ should be enough, we should really be called human ‘doings’ because we have to ‘do’ to survive.

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The importance of listening in work

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 14, 2019 1:20:15 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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All too often I hear or overhear a generic complaint in organisations across all staff in that they feel they are not ‘listened to’, ‘not heard’ or ‘there’s no point in saying anything as nothing ever changes anyway’. It is a common ‘gripe’ and actually comes out of the communication brand of ‘gripes’ that exist in all walks of life and across all organisations. Even in organisations that claim they have got communication nailed, it all too often rears its head as an issue.

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Do the summer months affect productivity?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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As I’m sitting here writing this article, it’s cloudy and wet outside and has been all week, as we have a yellow weather warning for the East Midlands that will continue into the weekend. However, when it’s gorgeous outside and I’m either in the office or working from my dining table at home, the last thing I want to do is remain cooped up inside and so will procrastinate over the work at hand.

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Making Marketing Measurable

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 14, 2019 1:41:36 PM / by Oliver Simpson posted in Leadership & Management

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Here's a recording of our recent webinar 'Making Marketing Measurable' with Simon and Oliver. We hope you find it useful.

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