Rules for Life

News #15 September 30 2015

Time to start writing about the weather again as the year turns here in the UK. In the Lakes the whole of September has been an unbroken period of beautiful, autumnal sunshine, clear blue skies and golden light suffusing trees and landscape in a soft, warm glow. Oh well, like all good things, it won’t last. Change is on the way . . . perhaps this kind is easier to deal with because it’s natural, inevitable, predictable, impersonal and doesn’t involve people (writing here about seasonal change, not climate change).

We are beginning to take bookings for M3M 2016 and looking forward to our breakthrough year. Lots of reasons to be optimistic: it’s growing steadily, we’re getting excellent feedback and there are repeat customers.

On a completely different tack: Laurie Anderson, interviewed on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 talked about empathy, freedom, expressing your true feelings, free-or- not-free, better-or-worse, the surveillance culture we live in, avoiding being an expert and death. She said that she and Lou Reed, her husband, often discussed progress in the world. 

She said they had developed three rules for conducting their lives ‘. . . because life goes by so fast . . . there’s hardly any time to think of what should I do? What should I think? Is it getting better? Is it getting worse? What should I do? . . . we were both kind of interested in how to act quickly, so we came up with three rules to live by:

1. Don’t be afraid of anybody.

2. Get a good bullshit detector and learn how to use that; don’t just get one.

3. Be really tender.

And with those three things you’re set, you don’t have to even think about all of these baffling questions, just try to do your best.’

Wise words. 

It is clear that these are rules which would work equally as well for managers in their working  lives.

Where Are the Leaders We Need?

News #14 September 15 2015

Grant has been researching the complexities of leadership thinking ahead of work contracted for Spring next year.

It’s prompted conversations along the lines of:

‘Yes, but ordinary people aren’t like Ernest Shackleton!’ 

‘I know, I know, but the principles apply.’ 

‘Well . . . it’s very theoretical. It hasn’t got much to do with most people’s everyday lives.’

‘Look, no-one can be Shackleton, but if you look at his behaviours you can extract what’s relevant and do some of what he did to be a successful leader.’

‘OK, fair enough, I'll give you that one. And, maybe, also look at the behaviours of other recognised leaders . . .’

It’s also raised the subject of the various styles and types of leadership and the different ways the led regard their leaders . . . one person’s Great Leader is another person’s Great Dictator. It is clear that people will always follow someone they believe in.

We’re continually discussing how the Dropping the Pilot development philosophy links with past and current leadership theory and the practical applications of that to people at work today.

When thinking about leadership what we are losing sight of, and maybe losing altogether these days, at work as elsewhere, is our humanity. Organisations demonstrate an increasing tendency to treat people as one more biddable, disposable asset. Lip service is paid to the contribution people make but there is less focus on them as a vital, integral part of all businesses. They are paid, adequately or not, but they are no longer regarded as an investment. And so, they are not invested in. People aren’t stupid: they see this and react, sensibly, by becoming sceptical, by ensuring they do not over-commit.

Organisations which harness the full power of their people are amazing places. There aren’t many of them on this planet.

We have a desperate need for brave, authentic, competent, experienced, convincing, fair, argumentative, consistent, far-sighted, human, honest, persistent, quick-witted, contemplative, wise, effective leaders.

Where are they?

La Rentrée . . . The New Start!

News #13 August 30  2015

Back at the desk after a wonderfully-long summer with lashings of sun and more than a sufficiency of fresh air.

It wasn’t all play: we spent much time (see News #12) in discussion about M3M France. 

The solid foundations of a Facilitator Training Plan (see News #8) were planned and written.

We began to consider and cost exactly how the M3M Coaching & Accreditation Team (see News #9) will function.

Other than that, it pretty much was all play. We’ve all returned ready to use our renewed energy to make autumn 2015 and 2016 onwards an increasing success.

M3M France

News #12 July 30  2015

Dropping the Pilot is in discussion with Fabienne Duisit, who lives near Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne in l’Ain, France, about becoming an accredited M3M facilitator. This is with a view to Fabienne (with her husband Richard) taking on M3M as a business to run on their estate in France.

Talks are ongoing. In the early stages the French business will be incubated in the Dropping the Pilot UK business.

Our medium-term plan is to run the residential part of two to three UK programmes each year in France . . . apparently most of us in the UK need more vitamin D.

When Fabienne is ready M3M France will run as a separate entity.

Training language will, at first, be English. 

Working with AICD

News #11 June 30  2015

Dropping the Pilot is working on  management, leadership and team development and training with the Association of International Credit Directors - AICD. We will design and deliver behavioural development and training. This will be made available to all AICD members.

In addition, it is planned that M3M, our one-year behavioural Management Development Programme, will become the Finishing School for members who have completed AICD functional training in collection techniques, credit and and risk management.

Dropping the Pilot is now starting the process of formal accreditation by AICD.

Women in Leadership & Management

News #10 June 15  2015

Dropping the Pilot is continuing to promote the cause of women in leadership and management.

We will make every effort to increase the ratio of women to men on all our development training courses generally. We will do this, in particular, on M3M because we have the most control over selection of participants.

We have started to examine how we can offer a limited number of scholarships each year on M3M for women in management who are self-funding. Details of this will be announced as soon as we work out a way to do it.

We have a clear policy of an overall 50:50 approach in our training and hiring of facilitators to deliver development work. This includes trainers supporting us in any work with an outdoor element. We will find and hire men and women on an even-handed basis.

In addition we are commissioning a piece of work on Women in Leadership to promote thought on where progress can be made.

We are also putting energy into making our website representative of both women and men in management.

M3M Information Day 3

News #9 June 01 2015

The third, and final, M3M Information & Training Day was held at Chesford Grange near Kenilworth on 28th May.

With some new and some old participants a lively day was had by all.

We spent time discussing the evolution of the business plan for M3M, international growth, the functioning of the Accreditation and Coaching Team and details of how we intend to find, develop and work with new facilitators.

We looked at how the M3M Management Competencies Compass360 Feedback will work now that it is being used as a major component of the M3M Management Development Programme over a one-year period.

The nascent Accreditation & Coaching Team had an excitable session at the end of the day  discussing how they are going to work separately and together. IMHO there's still some progress to be made!

We finished the day with a meal at The Indian Edge in Kenilworth. It was as excellent as the meal on March 5th in Coventry . . . it's difficult to compare levels of excellence.

Thanks to everyone for their energy, and commitment throughout the day and beyond.

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M3M Training Programme for Facilitators & A&C Team

News #8 May 15 2015

We are now beginning to write the training programmes for new M3M facilitators and for the Dropping the Pilot Accreditation & Coaching Team.

We have two definites starting their training in the Autumn, aiming to have them up-and-flying as M3M facilitators by the beginning of 2017.

What are we looking for in an M3M facilitator? It’s a very different kind of development programme so it requires a very different kind of person: someone who has a strong ego and can manage it; someone who knows how to listen and can make a considered choice as to when to stay quiet and still, when to observe and listen, when to intervene, gently or strongly; someone with a good sense of humour; someone who doesn’t have a strong need to teach but is turned on by helping others learn; someone who is supportive; someone who can laugh; someone who can stay up late.

This isn’t an invitation for job applications because we’re going to bump into these individuals along Life’s Highway.

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M3M Information Day 3 - Last One

News #7 May 01 2015

The third, and last, of the M3M Information Days will be held at Chesford Grange Hotel near Leamington Spa on 28 May 2015.

On the agenda: the new M3M format and business model, the formation of the new Accreditation & Coaching Team, M3M France and our growth plans for 2016 and 2017.

After this meeting many of the people who have attended these three M3M Information Days will continue in their particular roles with M3M and will also form some kind of advisory/planning group to keep things sharp. 

Have you noticed I've stopped going on about the weather?

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M3M - The 12 - 18 Month Behavioural Management Development Programme

News #6 April 18 2015

Which other Management Development Programme lasts 12 - 15 months and gives you the opportunity, with structure and support, to begin and continue your behavioural development in the place where it matters most . . . AT WORK?

M3M is a behavioural development programme which concentrates on what is relevant to you, to your job and to your particular concerns with those you manage. It is practical, challenging and will help you grow as a person as well as a manager.

After completing the initial M3M Management Competencies Compass360 Feedback Questionnaire and Report and then attending the M3M course you complete your detailed Behavioural Development Plan. After discussion with your manager you implement your Development Plan, in a planned and controlled way, back at work. You decide, with the help of the others you have worked with and the feedback from your M3M Management Competencies Compass360 Report, which areas of management development are most important, relevant, developmental and beneficial for you and for those you manage.

There is very little management development available which concentrates on you, on your development needs, your learning and the application of that at work and which does all of that in a behavioural way: the focus is on YOU and on what you DO.

M3M concentrates on Managing Yourself, Managing Task, Managing People and Managing Performance.

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AICD Accreditation

News #5 March 30 2015

At a meeting with Bill Dunlop, Chairman of AICD - the Association of International Credit Directors, it was confirmed that AICD are endorsing Dropping the Pilot management, leadership and team development and all of our behavioural development learning.

In addition, M3M is to be accredited by AICD as the Behavioural Finishing School for all those in Member Companies who have completed the three streams of functional training in Credit: Collection Techniques, Risk Management and People Skills.

We look forward to working with AICD and would like to thank them for this expression of trust in DtP generally and M3M in particular . . . credit where credit is due!

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Dropping the Pilot Website

News #4 March 19 2015

It's a beautiful, clear, sunny, cold day in the English Lake District. Beautiful! Just the kind of perfect day for being out on the hills.

Back to the Real World . . .

The DtP website will be substantially completed by end of April 2015.

Following less-is-more principles, it has taken a surprisingly long time to come up with the design, find the right people at FullPoint Design who were prepared to be creative, innovative AND listen to what we wanted and then to build and write it.

We’ve been getting increasingly-good feedback from clients and others about it.

We’re happy with it because:

It uses Plain English . . . (mostly).

It’s accessible to non-specialists.

It tries to say what it has to in the fewest possible words.

It can carry a lot of information without it being overwhelming: the user reads what is relevant to them.

The structure has capacity for growth.

And, our Starting Point, it doesn’t look like other development and training websites.

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M3M Information Day 2

News #3 March 5 2015

Nine of us met at the Chace Hotel in Coventry, on a not-quite-yet balmy Spring day, to explore various aspects of Dropping the Pilot.

Martin Harvey of Compass360 presented the new version of the M3M Management Competencies Compass360 Feedback Report and we generated ideas about how best to use it at the beginning and end of the M3M Programme.

We discussed when and how the Accreditation and Coaching Team will operate generally and, in particular, how they will manage the new plans for assessment and accreditation at the end of the M3M Programme.

We had a long session, with some lively opinions, on presenting and selling M3M to clients.

The day flew by. Towards the end of the afternoon we talked about Dropping the Pilot expansion plans and specific roles for different members of the team.

The room was full of energy and ideas. The vast amount of experience there enlivened and generated discussion and boosted enthusiasm. Everyone came away from the day stimulated by a clearer and tantalising picture of boundless future possibilities.

For the five who stayed, the day finished with a wonderful Indian meal at Turmeric Gold in the Old Part of Coventry. Who knew there was an Old Part of Coventry? We were full of curiosity as to how the German bombs in World War II had missed this tiny corner. Ella Harlow at Marshalls, based in Leamington Spa, told me the story: apparently, these ancient half-timbered shops and houses in Spon Street avoided the worst of the bombing and three were collated from various bits and pieces which the German bombs hadn’t missed. Then the Town Planners got to work and Coventry really found out about wanton destruction. Now we know.

Information Day 3 will be on May 28, probably in Leamington Spa.

M3M Information Day 1

News #1 January 23  2015

This was the first in a series of information and training days to support Dropping the Pilot employees and associates in presenting and selling M3M to clients. On a grey, wet, miserable, winter's day we met at the Hydro Hotel in Windermere.

The day was full of ideas and feedback and was very useful to all who attended.

We were surprised and pleased to hear from Bill Dunlop about the plans he has for using M3M with the Association of International Credit Directors. Exciting!

Information Day 2 will be on March 5 in the West Midlands.

M3M Management Competencies Compass360 Feedback

News #2 January 29 2015

Delighted as we were with our M3M Management Competencies Compass360 Feedback process we are excited to find there is a new version on the way.

After driving over Shap (bleak at the best of times), through the snow, on one of the coldest days of the winter, Nick Kell and Grant Davies met with Martin Harvey at the North Lakes Hotel near Penrith to be shown the all-singing, all-dancing up-to-date new edition.

It's an improvement on something which was already good. It's easier to navigate, the different sections of the results can be viewed more quickly and easily and it is certainly more user-friendly.

The improved version of the comprehensive feedback report will enhance participant's experience of M3M.

The Go Live date will be announced as soon as we have it.

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