The Management Centre
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Blogs

The Management Centre

Is your strategy ‘hot’ or not? And does it matter?

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt” Sun Tzu c. 490 BC, Chinese military strategist, and author of The Art of War I’ve been putting together a day on strategy as part of a series of seminars we’re running encouraging thought leadership in the not for profit […]

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The Management Centre

Change management: the 5Cs of change response

 Over the years =mc has carried out a significant body of research and change work with a wide range of not-for-profit organisations. And we’ve found there are five core reactions to change, that we call the 5Cs. To be an effective change manager you need to understand these five reactions in your colleagues and adopt […]

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The Management Centre

The Rubik’s Cube of leadership

I’ve just finished another coaching session with a depressed CEO. I do lot of coaching for depressed CEOs and other leaders. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good business for my company (https://www.managementcentre.co.uk)- and for Kleenex. But I feel like an ambulance chaser, surviving on the misery of others. Misery’s a strong word. But many leaders, […]

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The Management Centre

Scroogenomics: why reindeer jumpers, singing fish and novelty clocks shouldn’t be under our Christmas trees

Had a wonderful day yesterday at London’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA). And met the engaging and urbane Joel Waldfogel, Ehrenkranz Family Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School in Pennysylvania. Joel is a serious scholar and mostly works on ‘proper’ academic issues – dammit he’s at Wharton. These issues range all […]

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The Management Centre

Sisyphus Syndrome

As a consultant I sometimes feel like a morbid ambulance chaser. I make a career from working with organizations with serious problems. Now some problems I don’t mind- we all make mistakes. But some organisations seem trapped in a Sysiphian cycle of not just making mistakes, but repeating the same mistakes again and again. they […]

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The Management Centre

So you’re good but could you be great…?

You may be Good but are you Great? Good to Great (G2G) is one of a series of influential books by US management guru Jim Collins which describes how commercial companies grow from being merely good to great. It has a great and profound line at the start which argues (merely) “good is the enemy […]

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The Management Centre

An introduction to Management Centre’s services for ethical organisations

These are challenging times if you’re responsible for running an ethical organisation such as a charity, public body, INGO or cultural organisation. Simply, there’s greater demand than ever for your services and greater competition for resources. To meet those twin challenges you may need help and advice from a management consultancy that specialises in the […]

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The Management Centre

The Fast and Furious – how heuristics can help

In an increasingly complex world we need more simplicity or more time. The challenge is time is scarce and inelastic. And according to some recent research by Boston Consulting Group managers can spend 40% of their time writing reports and 30% in meetings. The implication is they only have, at best, 30% of their time […]

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The Management Centre

The Learning Leader

The Learning Leader- what do you in a crisis? Challenging times- especially crises- are a great reality check for ‘learning leadership’- whether you model an adaptive and flexible approach under pressure. The premise is simple when things go wrong and are at least partly out of their control then great leaders can show how quickly […]

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The Management Centre

Why do people fear change?

In this blog, =mc’s Senior Learning & Development Consultant Charlotte Scott shares practical advice on dealing with organisational change on a personal level. We’re embarking on an organisational change programme and it’s likely my team will have to work very differently. A lot of them are already starting to look anxious and nothing’s happened yet. What […]

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The Management Centre

How good a manager are you really?

=mc‘s Senior Learning & Development Consultant Charlotte Scott blogs about the best way to find out how good you actually are as a manager.  I have been managing for several years and I think I am doing a good job, but how do I really know for sure?  Here’s a simple solution: Why don’t you […]

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The Management Centre

Our Brand New National Arts Fundraising School Website

Recently we have released a brand new National Arts Fundraising School website, which we’re sure you’ll love. It has case study quotes & videos from past attendees to give those who are interested in the programme an insight into the benefits, and includes everything you need to know about securing a place on the course. …Read […]

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The Management Centre

Are legacies worth the effort?

=mc Fundraising Consultant and co-leader of The National Arts Fundraising School David Burgess shares insights on legacy giving.  I am very lucky that my job sees me working with organisations across the charitable sector on a wide range of projects. That said, it’s amazing how often days end up having unofficial themes. Monday was definitely […]

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Blue Ocean

Blue Ocean Strategy – A new approach to strategy and an opportunity for fundraisers?

This blog follows on from a masterclass Bernard Ross and Angela Cluff led at the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) in Holland where they were working with participants to explore a range of new approaches to strategy development. As part of this they were exploring whether a radical ‘blue ocean’ approach could help fundraisers transform their ability […]

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Unicorn

Is your project a zombie, troll or unicorn? Maybe it’s just confused and needs a rationale

In this blog, Senior Learning & Development Consultant, Yvette Gyles looks at common problems with projects, and gives an overview of =mc’s approach to Project Rationale. =mc’s Systems Model outlines 3 elements in getting your project rationale right. They are: Driver: what triggered this project? Why was it initiated? Was this in response to a […]

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Laura Slater

Emerging Thoughts of an Emerging Manager

The latest =mc|Thinking blog comes from L&D Consultant Laura Slater, who looks at 3 common mindsets that new managers can unwittingly slip into – often with negative outcomes – and how to both understand and avoid them. Mindsets to avoid as an emerging manager Becoming a manager for the first time can be a confusing […]

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The Management Centre

Error 404 – Digital Fundraising – Page Not Found

‘Digital fundraising does not exist!’ exclaims =mc Fundraising Consultant David Burgess in this insightful blog. Read on to find out why he’s making such claims. You might even agree… Digital fundraising doesn’t exist. There, I said it. (I’ll just give you a moment to recover from that heathen display of fundraising blasphemy.) I’m aware that […]

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The Management Centre

Funding Creativity with Creative Fundraising

In this blog, =mc Fundraising Consultant David Burgess shares his thoughts on the importance of creativity in fundraising.   (Picture – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Opera Holland Park, 2015) Philly Graham (=mc Consultant) and I have just come back from an inspiring four days, delivering the Powys Arts Fundraising School for fundraisers from 20 arts organisations from […]

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The Management Centre

A reputation on the brink risks long term income

The brilliant sunshine, the beauty of Richmond Park and the effort of running after a week off even combined were not enough to take my mind off fundraising this morning.  It has been a week of media onslaught on our ethics and practices, with more today. If you are a director of fundraising I salute […]

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The Management Centre

The Power of Social Proof

Omar Mahmoud, Chief of Market Knowledge at UNICEF International, and I are running a Big Room session at IFC on The Science of Decision Making and Behavioural Economics. We’d love to see you there. The session will share some of the very latest thinking from the field of Behavioural Economics – as applied to fundraising […]

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Emotional Intelligence in fundraising

Emotional Intelligence in Fundraising – Part 2

Fundraising is about Influence – winning people over to your point of view. The starting point for influence in a not-for-profit setting should be a personal drive to achieve some wider social good. In part 1 of this this blog we concentrated on the importance of framing and organising your passion or personal motivation to help […]

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The Management Centre

The rich will save us all

A powerful movement to encourage major donor giving has been labeled philanthrocapitalism. The name comes from an influential book of the same title published in 2008 and an associated website. Two journalists working for the Economist magazine, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, wrote the book. The philanthrocapitalism argument is simple and in many ways compelling, […]

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Emotional Intelligence in fundraising

Emotional Intelligence in Fundraising – Part 1

Fundraising is about Influence – winning people over to your point of view. The starting point for influence in a not-for-profit setting should be a personal drive to achieve some wider social good. To be an outstandingly successful influencer and fundraiser you need to have a real desire – a passion – for that change. […]

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The Management Centre

What’s happening in the world of philanthropy?

I’ve got a new book out. Global Fundraising – how the world is changing the rules of philanthropy. (Wiley 2013.) Editing the new book with my friend and colleague Penny Cagney has been a humbling and exciting experience: humbling because, as two experienced fundraising consultants⎯and supposedly internationally savvy fundraisers⎯we were constantly impressed at the extraordinary […]

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The Management Centre

It’s tough at the top: What leaders can learn from the Pope and David Moyes

It’s a tough time to be a change leader. In this blog I compare the contrasting fortunes of two high profile leaders, Pope Francis and David Moyes. Over the last year these two high profile figures have had different fortunes – what can we learn from them? (This blog was inspired by, and draws on, an […]

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The Management Centre

So how long does it take to move a mountain? – Solving ‘hard-to-solve’ problems

We work hard to recruit the right people to our management consultancy practice. And one thing we’re looking for here is the ability to tackle ‘hard-to-solve’ problems which are often part of the projects we have to tackle. We test for this ability using ‘estimating questions.’ This blog explains one of these ‘hard-to-solve’ problems expressed […]

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change barriers

Barriers to a successful change process

In this blog, =mc Director Bernard Ross (with contribution from =mc Management Consultant David Segal) looks at what factors are most likely to de-rail a change process. What most holds back a successful change process? There’s lots of stuff published about organisational change and how to do it. But there’s less about why change processes […]

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The Management Centre

The importance of the “C” word in fundraising

=mc Director Bernard Ross looks at the 5 Cs that non-profit organisations need to address before changing their fundraising strategy – Context, Competencies, Competition, Cash and Commitment. The importance of the “C” word in fundraising Question: From Worried Charity CEO: I’ve been discussing with my board and senior colleagues about the need to change our income […]

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The Management Centre

7 ways =mc can help you become more sustainable with Catalyst

 We take a look at the 7 ways =mc can help you improve your fundraising through the Arts Council’s Catalyst Programme. If you’re looking to improve your fundraising through the Arts Council’s Catalyst Programme we can help. (And we can help even if you can’t benefit from Catalyst but want to transform your sustainability.) 1. […]

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The Management Centre

Major Donor Prospect Assessment Grid

 If you want to fund a big idea you need a BIG donor… Globally, major donor work is the fastest growing source of charitable income. Put simply, more people are richer than ever before, and the good news for fundraisers is that many of these people are becoming generous donors. However, major donors don’t have […]

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The Management Centre

Development boards

This article relates to an =mc session delivered by Angela Cluff at the IoF National Convention, 11 July 2007: Development boards – how to make the pain worth more than the gain! It describes 15 simple strategies to improve development boards. 15 strategies to make the gain worth more than the pain This article relates […]

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The Management Centre

Dispelling major donor myths

 This article is based on a ‘big picture’ session delivered at the Institute of Fundraising Convention 2008, by Angela Cluff =mc Director. The aims of the session were to challenge some conventional thinking on how to succeed with major donors and provide tips and practical strategies on how to succeed in this important area. Angela […]

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The Management Centre

Strategy for an uncertain future: Scenario Planning

 In a quickly changing and uncertain world, it often feels like traditional strategic planning with its emphasis on analysis and projection isn’t quite covering all the bases. In this article we explain how scenario planning can enable you to create flexible strategies for uncertain futures. You can also find out how Christian Aid and the […]

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The Management Centre

Interview: Dr Caroline Harper, CEO, Sightsavers.

 In the first of our series of interviews with thought leaders in the sector, Dr Caroline Harper, CEO, Sightsavers gives us insight into her experiences of leadership, the good and the bad. Dr Caroline Harper has worked successfully in leadership roles in both the private and not-for profit sectors, including Managing Director of Amerada Hess […]

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The Management Centre

Making your SMT work better: the =mc Competency Assessment Tool

 Over 3 years =mc has tested and developed a tool and workshop to help assess the ability of a SMT to work effectively. The tool identifies the individual and group competencies that contribute to success. The workshop, can help an SMT discover where it needs to improve and how to make that journey. Challenge: All […]

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The Management Centre

Quiz: how good are you at selling?

Take this quiz – just 5 questions – to see what sort of a sales person you are.

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The Management Centre

Handling challenging questions

 The ‘Any questions?’ moment in a presentation can be the most difficult. For as long as you are delivering your piece, at least you are in control. The moment you ask your audience if they have questions, you lay yourself open to any one of a number of tricky situations. In this article, we set […]

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The Management Centre

How do I have that ‘Challenging’ Conversation?

 This article explores 5 key principles to help you manage that challenging conversation effectively to ensure a good outcome for both you and them. What’s a Challenging Conversation? A challenging conversation is one where you are anxious about your ability to handle the outcome. So for example where you know that your opinions are significantly […]

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The Management Centre

How to make your ideas ‘Sticky’

 Some ideas are ‘sticky’ – that is they seem to very quickly and easily acquire status and circulation. Some of these ideas are natural – that is they have grown up seemingly spontaneously – and some have been created – consciously designed by advertising executives, marketers or charity fundraisers. This article explores how to make […]

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The Management Centre

Management: The coach approach

 A coaching approach to management – integrating the principles of coaching into the nitty-gritty, day-to-day business of managing staff – can transform performance. Alongside core skills such as questioning, listening, generating awareness, and giving feedback, the coaching approach to management provides a structure to our conversations with staff. Two helpful frameworks, created by =mc are […]

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