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About Alan Aldridge

A seasoned entrepreneur, business executive and management consultant (PwC) turned Executive Coach, Team Coach and Board & Group Facilitator.

Improving productivity to help you become a better leader

As we enter into a new school year, many of us are thinking about fresh starts, new routines and an all-round more productive life. Often, these ideas are fleeting, as we quickly get swamped with daily demands. But this year can be different – after almost six months of our routines being flattened by Coronavirus, it’s time for us to take charge and forge ourselves a new, more organised path. This blog post goes through some tools and techniques to help you achieve best practice and improve the way you work. Sometimes just the smallest of changes can make a big difference, [...]

By |2020-09-01T07:35:43+01:00September 1st, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

How do coaching and mentoring contribute to leadership development?

A leader’s role is to give advice, guidance and direction to the people following him or her. A great leader inspires others to be empowered, creative and enthusiastic. If you can influence people to be their best, you’re already a leader, no matter what your job role or title. The best leaders in business are always learning, adapting and developing. They are looking for new ways to improve, which is where coaching and mentoring can help. This article explains why coaching and mentoring are essential as part of successful leadership development. People learn new skills in lots of different ways, but developing [...]

By |2020-08-03T11:35:46+01:00August 3rd, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

How diversity can drive innovation

Decades of research has shown us that diverse groups are more innovative. Diverse groups, including people from different ethnicities, races, genders, and sexual orientations, have been proven to be more innovative than homogeneous groups. This is discussed in depth by Katharine Phillips in Scientific American, who concludes that diversity and inclusivity are giving companies a competitive advantage. It’s believed that this happens for two main reasons: People from different backgrounds bring new and differing information and viewpoints. Interacting with people different from ourselves forces us to be more prepared, to have more empathy, and to expect differing points of view. This article explores [...]

By |2020-08-04T11:21:36+01:00July 2nd, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

How can you lead effectively through change?

The pace of change was already at top speed - we were always running to keep up. Now Coronavirus has given us all a level of change that we’ve never experienced before. We’re feeling scared, confused and uncertain, and we’re working as fast as we can to mitigate the damage caused and to find new opportunities as the crisis passes. It’s highly likely that your teams are feeling the same way as you. They’re worried for their livelihoods and fearing the worst. It’s your job as a leader to make sure they know how much they’re valued and understand what’s in store [...]

By |2020-08-04T11:22:10+01:00June 4th, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

How will your business bounce back from Coronavirus?

We have a global pandemic on our hands, thanks to a pangolin somewhere in China. A single event, originated in nature, has created effects that are unprecedented and has caused ripples across the globe. Image: A pangolin. From Wikipedia Commons. We’re at home for the foreseeable future and potentially facing a very different way of living and doing business for several months. Many of us are wondering how to keep our businesses afloat in these uncertain and worrying times. This article explores opportunities that could help us to develop ourselves and our businesses. What changes can you implement? We’re all [...]

By |2020-08-04T11:22:46+01:00May 11th, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

Are leadership skills inherent or learned?

We often hear the saying that some people are ‘born to lead’ but is that really true? The adage of nature versus nurture is as old as time, and unfortunately it seems the debate is as true as ever when it comes to leadership skills. Are some people ready-made leaders? Like some people seem to have innate musical abilities, or possess athletic prowess from the get-go, so it can seem that some people are ready-made leaders. We all know the type. Those who just seem to seamlessly rule the room, adopting and succeeding in their positions as they go. However, it’s unlikely [...]

By |2020-08-04T11:23:32+01:00April 2nd, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

How to be more effective when you’re working from home

I have been working with clients this week who are now entirely working from home. Adapting to the new work situation and being in such close proximity to spouses and children they are finding it difficult to get more than ten minutes’ work done at a time without being interrupted or distracted. I gave them some guidance on more effective home working, which I thought you might find useful in this unprecedented time. Create your own space I’m one of the lucky few who have an office space at home, which is a real luxury. Many people don’t have this, and the [...]

By |2020-08-04T11:24:11+01:00March 27th, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

What are leadership theories?

Have you ever wondered how some people become leaders? Some seem ready-made for the positions, others, well, we might internally ponder how they got to where they are. Leadership theories give us a way to explain why certain people become leaders. For a long time, the typical discussion revolved around nature versus nurture, and whether some people are born with the inherent skills they need to lead. Formal leadership theories are a more recent concept that offer reasoning and alternative hypotheses to explain why some leaders are successful whilst others fail. So how can we explain what makes a good leader? This [...]

By |2020-08-04T11:24:43+01:00March 10th, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments

Are leadership skills inherent or learned?

We often hear the saying that some people are ‘born to lead’ but is that really true? The adage of nature versus nurture is as old as time, and unfortunately it seems the debate is as true as ever when it comes to leadership skills. Like some people seem to have innate musical abilities, or possess athletic prowess from the get-go, so it can seem that some people are ready made leaders. We all know the type. Those who just seem to seamlessly rule the room, adopting and succeeding in their positions as they go. However, it’s unlikely they’ve been dominating the [...]

By |2019-11-16T12:28:48+00:00November 16th, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments

What is executive coaching?

This animation describes exactly what executive coaching is, in case you’re thinking about it but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. It describes the uses and benefits and will help you to know if you would benefit from an executive coach. Executive coaches sometimes work with metaphors so, for a moment, think of a coach as your private travel guide for your personal journey of exploration and development. The guide helps you to choose where you want to get to and navigates the journey to help you get there. The journey you take with them will explore challenges, but it [...]

By |2019-11-16T12:29:21+00:00May 8th, 2019|Executive Coaching|0 Comments

5 Keys Ways to Accelerate your business growth

With only four in ten small businesses surviving more than five years, it’s important for business owners to focus on continuous profitable growth. If you’re surviving the strain and running well, but you want to take it to the next level, this article is for you. Truly Understand your Customers’ Needs Ask yourself critically, do you really understand what each of your customers wants from you? You should continually consider your customer needs as it can be easy to get lost particularly when you’ve been working with a customer for a long time and lose track of what you initially set out [...]

By |2019-11-16T12:29:51+00:00April 23rd, 2019|Business Planning|0 Comments

Scenario planning – Hoping for the best BUT preparing for the worst

The only certain thing about the future is uncertainty, so how do we prepare and plan our business effectively in these uncertain times? In this week’s post I’ve explored scenario planning as a way to help you imagine and prepare for the worst and to make sure your business stays viable if times get tough. Why worry about something that hasn’t happened yet? Professor Ewan Gillon, writing for the Press and Journal, highlighted that as humans we’re programmed for certainty and we do our best to avoid uncertainty. We don’t like to think about the worst potential outcomes, and mindfulness experts tell [...]

By |2019-02-25T10:50:34+00:00February 25th, 2019|Business Planning|0 Comments

Ways to unlock business creativity

Creativity drives growth - there’s no doubt about this. McKinsey reports that creative leaders outperform their peers on all financial metrics. An astounding 67 percent of creative leaders achieve above-average revenue growth. But we’re all so stretched for time, and creativity seems to keep getting pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. Finding time for creativity to develop new ideas can be difficult, but here are some ideas that can help you start being more creative straight away. Avoid processes, procedures and systems stifling creativity Rebecca, Shambourgh, a fellow leadership coach based in the US, told Harvard Business Review that the [...]

By |2019-02-19T16:25:45+00:00February 19th, 2019|Coaching|0 Comments

Are you listening? One crucial skill to improve business performance

Smart home devices saw record sales over Christmas, according to Business Insider. Amazon's Alexa took the lead in these sales and this technology is taking the world by storm using one key skill – listening. Listening is becoming a lost art in the human world, according to Forbes. In our high-tech, fast-moving world, our attention spans are at an all-time low of eight seconds. Our brains produce up to 50,000 thoughts a day, so we need to find ways to channel those thoughts for positive purposes and remember how to push thoughts to one side to stop and listen when we need [...]

By |2019-01-23T10:51:10+00:00January 23rd, 2019|Coaching|0 Comments

Where’s my crystal ball? Business planning in an uncertain landscape

Yesterday the Business Desk reported that businesses had held off making decisions in 2018 due to uncertainty, businesses are stockpiling ahead of Brexit, and Jaguar Land Rover announced 5,000 UK job cuts. Airbus’ Chief Executive Toms Enders has openly described the uncertainty of Brexit as unbearable, and large organisations such as NHS trusts are struggling to plan in the midst of such uncertainty. So how can we plan effectively in such an uncertain climate? Of course, we can’t fully predict or prepare for future events, but we can make sure we’re equipped with the right tools, and we can develop fluid plans [...]

By |2019-01-14T16:57:08+00:00January 14th, 2019|Coaching|0 Comments

Where to focus your business efforts in 2019

Happy new year from all of us at Catalyst Coaching and Mentoring. It’s that time of year again when we’re looking at the twelve months ahead and determining how we can make this year THE YEAR.  Have you set your priorities yet?  If not, to help you and give your thinking a boost, we’ve rounded up some New Year advice from top business experts. Bring in the new but keep hold of the old Gregg Schwartz, writing for Entrepreneur, believes that if we’re serious about business progress, we need something stronger and more sustainable than a New Year’s Resolution. He reminds us [...]

By |2019-01-09T11:23:35+00:00January 9th, 2019|Business Planning|0 Comments

What makes employees feel valued? Our three top tips for showing your appreciation

What makes employees feel valued? Here are our three top tips for showing your appreciation this Christmas ... What makes employees feel valued? Our three top tips for showing your appreciation.

By |2018-12-20T10:22:49+00:00December 20th, 2018|Coaching|0 Comments

What can Tyson Fury teach us about business resilience?

Tyson Fury being denied his historical comeback by judges got us thinking here at Catalyst – we didn’t see his results as a failure, but as an excellent show of resilience and personal strength. As a boxer, I’ve learned so much from his recent fight, but as a business coach and mentor I’ve identified a great deal in Fury’s approach that we can learn from in business. Business Resilience Although disappointed with the judges’ result, Fury didn’t see himself as a failure, and neither did most of his viewers. This man’s priorities are loyalty and connection, and these values mean more [...]

By |2018-12-07T14:55:07+00:00December 7th, 2018|Business Resilience|0 Comments

How Group Facilitation Radically Improves Team Performance

A few weeks ago we focused on executive coaching and mentoring, and this week we’re expanding on that theme to discuss the power of group facilitation. An experienced facilitator will help you and your management group to grow and develop, by helping them to further explore and better understand issues that are standing in their way and also identify ways to overcome these. We distinguish group facilitation from team coaching. Group facilitation is focused on working with a team to address a specific business challenge or issue or capitalise on one or more specific opportunities. It is also powerfully used for complex [...]

By |2018-12-03T12:12:50+00:00November 30th, 2018|Group Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

How does a ‘good leader’ become a ‘great leader’?

At Catalyst we believe that every role within an organisation has a part to play in its overall success. Many organisations can boast good leaders but this week we are looking at how a good leader can become a great leader, who and what business leaders and CEO’s turn to for support and to help them improve their personal performance and the overall performance of their business. It’s lonely at the top Leadership in Business A study carried out by Egon Zehnder surveying 402 current CEOs from various industries, countries and corporate structures, revealed that 49% of respondents felt they couldn’t [...]

By |2018-11-23T17:06:38+00:00November 23rd, 2018|Leadership|1 Comment

4-step Guide to Creating more Dynamic Teams

As business leaders, we’re often tasked with the role of improving team dynamics and efficiency. When dynamics are strong, a team works well together. When dynamics are poor, the team's effectiveness reduces. Achieving optimum team efficiency is not always simple to do, so you may need a little support to make those all-important improvements. If this is the case for you, then this 4 step guide will help. Creating more Dynamic Teams Goal-setting By committing to shared goals at the start of a project, team members can understand and commit to the targets they’re working towards. This will increase the [...]

By |2019-11-16T12:30:35+00:00November 16th, 2018|Business Consultancy|1 Comment

Executive Coaching and Mentoring

Understanding executive coaching At Catalyst we believe that business leaders, like top athletes, benefit from having a coach at their side to help them perform consistently at their absolute best. This week we will discuss executive coaching, explain how it differs from mentoring, and outline the benefits. Executive Coaching London What is executive coaching? The coaching process focuses on providing a safe environment in which business leaders build a collaborative partnership with their coach, to explore ideas, opportunities, strategies, challenges and issues, in an environment that is confidential and impartial. A skilled coach will observe then use insightful questions and reflections [...]

Break Free and Rediscover Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

This week we’re looking at how to break free of the norm and rediscover your entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve found that executives who adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset through coaching and mentoring come up with more innovative ideas and understand how to apply them in their own organisations. Business leaders should use entrepreneurial thinking to generate new ideas and develop ways to grow their business. This approach can give you an edge, help you penetrate markets faster and accelerate business growth. Here are some ways to help you get on board with the entrepreneurial approach, no matter how large or small your business [...]

Why use a mentor?

Business leaders and managers sometimes ask ‘what is the value of a mentor?’ We thought we would tackle this question and explain not only what mentoring is but also how it can transform performance. Business Mentoring London What is mentoring? The word Mentor originated as the name of a character in Homer’s Odyssey and is now used more generally to refer to a trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person. To help distinguish between mentoring and coaching we would say that a mentor has insightful answers for your questions whereas a coach has insightful questions for your answers. Business Mentoring [...]

By |2020-08-27T10:25:31+01:00October 26th, 2018|Business Mentoring, Leadership, Management, Mentoring|0 Comments

Traits of a Good Manager

What makes a good manager? This week at Catalyst we’ve been unpicking the theme of management, discussing what makes a good manager and thinking about the common traits of some of the best managers we’ve had the pleasure of coaching and mentoring. Here’s what we found. Top Traits of a Good Manager Management text books and self-help guides regularly quote the common denominators of communication skills, the ability to make decisions and being able to think quickly under pressure. These are all important, but they aren’t the critical elements that transform a good manager into a great one. What makes [...]

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