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Delegating effectively

Management essentials – how to delegate effectively

Being a manager means taking on more responsibilities and also letting go of others. However, as much as we know delegation is a good thing – we still struggle to do it well. Delegation provides your team with learning opportunities, development projects, balances workload and gives room for new insights. As a manager though you […]

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Business Model Canvas

Developing a Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas, or BMC, is a tool created in the last five years, based on work done by two Europeans Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It has been developed by Angela Cluff and Bernard Ross at =mc to make it useful for charities and NGOs keen to plot how their social business works – in […]

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Think Feel Do

Getting people on board – the elevator pitch

To be an effective leader you need to get people engaged with your ideas and work – whether it’s a senior manager to agree a new way of working, a colleague to help with your project, or support from a funder or external stakeholder. Whatever the situation, bringing people on board is critical to success […]

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Pitching your idea

Pitching Ideas

This article on pitching your idea is adapted from the Strategy Workout book by Clare Segal and Bernard Ross (Pearson 2016). Action 1: Pitching – selling a radical idea Having an idea is only the start of your communications journey. You need to know who can make the decision to back your idea, and then […]

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Emotional intelligence in leadership

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Following on from a previous article on Emotional Intelligence at Work, we explore why emotional intelligence (EI) is especially important for leaders. What is EI and why does it matter? Emotional intelligence is defined as a critical group of non-cognitive skills, capabilities and competencies which help individuals to control and manage their emotional response to […]

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Worst boss Ever?

Your Demon Boss: do you really have the worst manager ever?

Great managers are an asset to any organisation. They engage, inspire and motivate their staff to achieve results. Their staff feel like valued team members. A ‘bad’ boss, on the other hand, can leave people feeling demoralised. They reduce trust, inhibit creativity and innovation and can set staff up to fail. So just how badly […]

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Personal Brand

Making an Impact: Creating a Personal Brand that works for you

Making an impact isn’t always easy. In this article, Philly Graham, Senior Learning & Development Consultant at =mc and accredited coach, explains how developing your personal brand can help. What is personal branding? Personal branding is “the process whereby people and their careers are marketed as brands.” The concept of personal branding suggests that success can come […]

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Facilitation skills

Team days, focus groups, planning sessions – they’re all about getting specific outcomes from a finite amount of time. They’re about bring groups of people together – people who might not know each other – to work towards a common goal. A skilful facilitator can be the catalyst for consensus and output. The alternative – leaving the group […]

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When fundraising is not enough – generating commercial income

With funding and fundraising coming under increasing pressure, organisations are looking to raise money in new ways, and for many this means generating income through commercial activities. It’s an attractive proposition – additional money with ‘no strings’ – but what should you be considering before taking the plunge? And how might going down this route […]

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Making your Case

Making your case

This download is adapted from the book The Influential Fundraiser by =mc Directors Clare Segal and Bernard Ross. (Wiley, 2008) The ideas below are designed to help you shape your fundraising proposition – often expressed as a case for support – and make sure it is organised for maximum impact on the prospect or donor. […]

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Fundraising: The Nine Fundraising Nos

Fundraisers are worried about donors saying ‘no!’ This article explores the idea developed by =mc directors Clare Segal and Bernard Ross in their book The Influential Fundraiser (Wiley 2010) that there are 9 different ways in which donors say ‘No’ and how to respond. The starting point is that No normally means “ask me a better […]

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Belbin: High Performing Teams

High performing teams: Belbin’s team roles

If you’re keen to explore more team working methods, have a look at our Project Management training page, or get in touch to ask about including Belbin roles in in-house training. Have you ever been part of a team, which, despite all your efforts, consistently fails to deliver? Or lucky enough to be involved in […]

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Giving and receiving feedback

Giving good feedback is an essential part of a manager’s role, not only to get the best outputs, but also to motivate and develop staff. It is doubly important when dealing with a performance challenge of some sort. But no one said it was an easy part of a manager’s job. Fortunately, there are a […]

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Behavioural Economics Brain

I want you to want to learn. Is Behavioural Economics the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for in L&D?

In this article, =mc’s Senior Learning & Development Consultant, Philly Graham looks at an important new framework, behavioural economics, and what it can teach us in learning & development. At =mc we are constantly reflecting on what could improve training and development initiatives, especially in terms of supporting real change in organisations. A challenge that is often cited to […]

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Why is your change process failing?

Why is Your Change Process Failing?

This article introduces =mc’s adaptation of Kotter’s change model, redeveloped especially for the ethical sector. Discover the benefits of using this approach, and the pitfalls of not. For those of us in the charity, public and arts and culture sectors, it’s now generally recognised that to stay relevant, to improve results, and to adapt to […]

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Building New Ideas

Building New Ideas

One good, workable idea often comes from two others being combined. For example, Johannes Gutenburg, the 15th Century inventor of the printing press, combined the idea of the pressure provided by a wine press, with the idea of the imprint put on coins in the city mint. His printing press with moveable type was a […]

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Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats

How to work out what’s a good idea Six Thinking Hats (6TH) was developed by internationally respected consultant Edward de Bono. His work is now widely used in education and business. It’s a useful technique for helping groups: engage in developing and sharing ideas make better decisions about which ideas to progress align their thinking […]

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Multiple Intelligences

Multiple intelligences

Some of the most interesting psychological work carried out in the last five to ten years has focused on the issue of so-called multiple intelligences. The basic idea, developed by Harvard-based psychologist Howard Gardner, is simple. We all have access to a number of different ways of processing information, which Gardner has called intelligences. This […]

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Make an impact

Developing personal presence

Whether you call it a presentation or a pitch, being able to stand up and convince a number of people at the same time to support you is a key skill for anyone keen to display presence. This article explores the key dimensions of presence – what it is and how to perfect it. We […]

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Thinking about Thinking

Thinking about Thinking

Adopting different styles for more effective solutions Every day at work we face a wide variety of challenges and problems. Some issues aren’t easy to fix but – once they’ve absorbed what feels like a lot of time and energy – they are fixable. Much worse than this is when there is endless discussion and […]

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Brainy child

How do you solve a problem like millennials?

There has been quite a lot written about millennials lately, and their expectations about work and leadership. What a lot of this is saying is that they are somehow special, and therefore problematic, compared to their older, baby-booming colleagues. In this article, =mc Director Yvette Gyles reviews what has been said on the topic, dispels some […]

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Intelligent Leadership

Leadership: finding your style

Managing a team and maintaining – or even upgrading – their performance is a big, time consuming job, however experienced you are. Supervision sessions, coaching, advice, support all take up big chunks of your time – time away from your ‘own’ work. So the question is, how can you maximise the positive impact you have […]

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Boston Matrix

The Boston Matrix in Fundraising

The Boston Matrix is one of a series of analysis tools that help you decide the effectiveness of your current fundraising portfolio. It is normally used to assess the relative contribution of various fundraising activities or donor clusters at a particular point in time. But the matrix is enormously flexible and can be used to […]

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The Influential Fundraiser Big Idea

The Influential Fundraiser

Influence… it’s what donors want The world of fundraising is changing. More and more supporters are being turned off by clichéd direct mail packages, their in-boxes are filled to bursting with bland e-newsletters, and they can’t bear to listen to another dull speech over a bad chicken meal at a crowded fundraising gala. Instead supporters […]

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Porter's Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces Model in Fundraising

Michael Porter is currently the hottest (and most expensive!) management consultant in the world. He has produced a number of ‘big ideas’. But perhaps his most famous is the Five Forces model. This article will explain it. The Big Idea Michael Porter has produced a number of ‘big ideas’. But perhaps his most famous is […]

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Major donor fundraising

7 Steps of Solicitation

This article shares practical ideas on how to secure major gifts for your organisation. There are many different ‘Step’ models used by major donor fundraisers. It is simply one of a number of management tools used to provide a framework for securing major gifts. Here is =mc’s version in the table below: Step Description 1 […]

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Ansoff's Matrix

Ansoff’s Matrix

The Big Idea Defining strategic direction can be a major challenge for any organisation. Igor Ansoff, US strategy guru, developed a matrix which helps to focus your attention and resources. This matrix, commonly used in commercial settings, has been adapted by =mc to make it relevant to a wide range of not-for-profit organisations. For fundraisers […]

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Cultural Web

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Transforming results by changing beliefs and behaviours “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a famous quote from legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker. To be clear he didn’t mean that strategy was unimportant – rather that a powerful and empowering culture was a surer route to organisational success. One of the key goals in […]

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The Management Centre

Defining your value proposition

 This download is one of a series on new ideas in strategy, based on the book by =mc directors, Bernard Ross and Clare Segal – The Strategy Workout, (Financial Times/Pearson, Autumn 2015). A couple of years ago we were delighted to be asked by UNICEF International to help them develop a case for support. The […]

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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence at work

This article relates to our Emotional Intelligence (EI) training programme. It introduces some key elements of emotional intelligence to help you enhance your performance by being more confident, and in control of your emotional responses to situations in the workplace. What is emotional intelligence? The term Emotional Intelligence (EI) is increasingly well known and often […]

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Good to Great

Good to Great

“Good is the enemy of Great” is the opening of one of the most influential books in contemporary management thinking. As an opening it’s pretty arresting – maybe not up there alongside “A spectre is haunting Europe” or “In the beginning was the word” – but nonetheless powerful. And although originally written about businesses, the […]

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Strategy Maps and the Balanced Scorecard

An Introduction to Strategy Maps and the BSC in Charities

Synopsis: Organisations need to find a way to express their strategy simply and understandably – but also in a way that reflects the complexity of their relationships and activities. One increasingly popular framework to combine these qualities is the balanced scorecard (BSC), and specifically the more recent incarnation, the strategy map. At its simplest the […]

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Does your Big Idea look Red or Blue?

What’s the Big Idea? Blue Ocean Strategy is a radical approach to strategy captured in a book written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne – professors based at INSEAD, the leading European business school. The book summarises the thesis that organisations face two key choices: creating new customer demand in an uncontested market space […]

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Behavioural Economics Big Idea

Behavioural economics: why we think much less than we think we think… and why it’s important

Behavioural economics says we are sometimes rational, but most of the time our rationality is limited by our ability to work things out, the large amount of information available, the limited relevant knowledge we have, and our own lack of time and energy. In these cases – and whether we are deciding on donating to […]

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