Friday, 23 September 2016

Brexit and the Circular Economy

Having attended the RWM / Energy event last week, I was interested to update on latest developments with the Circular Economy, Energy from Waste and Recycling / Reprocessing / Waste sectors.   What became apparent is that whilst the UK is pushing to develop a circular economy there are huge opportunities in what is now becoming the Global Circular Economy.  This got me thinking.  Will Brexit (whatever Brexit means) have any impact on the objective of achieving a world where we reduce resources and extend the lifecycle of what we use and recycle as much as we can if we leave the EU?

For those unfamiliar with the terminology the circular economy is a modernised version of the old ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ mantra with the objective of stripping out waste, streamlining supply chains and converting what we can into energy.  The market opportunity is huge and with the changes afoot the Global Circular Economy could be a $1 Trillion opportunity.  In the UK alone this could equate to £3-6 Billion and the creation of 50,000 jobs.  

All the respective sectors and businesses within those should all be contributing.  Ultimately we need to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and I believe any businesses producing waste of any description has a duty to fulfil.  This then extends to the domestic world and peoples behaviours in their homes, buying habits in terms of purchasing what you need not what you think you need and everyone contributing to a less wasteful existence.  These behaviours are interchangeable as habits become the norm if practised often enough and what might be a move to reducing the weekly shopping bill at home can actually extend into achieving resource efficiency in business.

Education, Legislation and communication are key and it takes the leaders of business, Government (central and local) to push this down from above.  After all there are money making opportunities from the renewable sources of energy that can be created, the cost savings in reducing materials spend and reducing waste;  so why wouldn’t you?

It is more important than ever that we work together what with an ever increasing population, rising commodity and material prices and working through global supply chains to reduce firstly what’s purchased and then secondly what we send on a journey.  Making that process as efficient as possible is imperative in order to attain the goal.

What can be done when so much change is needed?  A start would be to ensure the best and right talent is being utilised to full effect.  Engaging experts in the field that can drive forward the agenda within companies seems to me to be a hugely important part of the achieving the goal.  Individuals without the distraction of day to day BAU that can push the difficult tasks and drive a cultural change within the business.  Additionally those responsible for the corporate social responsibility agendas in businesses have a great opportunity to drive a zero- waste and re-use culture which in turn will result in improved efficiencies and more profitable operations.   

There are of course many businesses now involved in the resource efficiency market from those involved in building and operating Energy from Waste plants, Recycling, Renewables and so on that are all running businesses and making profit from this. Waste has become a valuable resource and although we should all try to minimise it, it’s hugely important that it’s dealt with in the right way and in the right place.

The Waste sector has been driven by EU legislation for quite some time and it’s vital that the UK does not lose ground.  We need more progress.  Europe’s economy has created vast wealth in part attributable to the trend of improving and re-using resources.  Sub industries have grown and flourished and can go further across Europe and indeed globally.  It was in fact the UK that was an early adopter and leader in the EU of addressing environmental issues with the introduction of the Control of Pollutions Act 1974.  Whether or not Brexit will have any impact on this remains to be seen but it seems to me that as part of the mammoth task that lies ahead in terms of managing an exit (possible) from Europe, we need new legislation in place to reach our goal of attaining Zero waste businesses and ultimately cities to co-exist with the ensuing trade agreements that are going to follow.

Steven Wynne

For further discussions please contact Steven Wynne at or telephone 01423 704155

Friday, 19 August 2016

Networking Tips

Networking isn’t just for the assignment search, when you’re coming to your contacts for an immediate payoff. Senior professionals need to make networking a part of their daily routine, not just an alarm they sound when it’s time to search for a new assignment.

Nevertheless, the move to an active assignment search is prime time to refresh your existing network, both online and off. The Internet has extended the reach and complexity of networking opportunities, but it hasn’t replaced the need for traditional human encounters. People need to know you, and you need to know people, to establish your credibility and get the inside scoop on new opportunities.
1. Navigating Your Network
Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn haven't changed where you network so much as how.
Networking used to mean working the phones, attending industry events and trading business cards. It still does. But today you can augment and support those efforts with the click of a button in addition to the more traditional methods. 
LinkedIn is proving to be increasingly important so ensure your profile is a complete as possible and keep it up to date.
2. Alumni Networking Rules
Leverage your alumni association to find and win an assignment, but know the rules about what is and isn't fair play.
Alumni associations are a great jumping off point to networking, but it’s just the start. An Interim Manager seeking an assignment is still obligated to make a genuine connection before leveraging an alumni connection for a potential new assignment.
A simple introduction where you disclose that you’re available for your next assignment and just ask if they have any advice about the industry in general. A better way than a basic cold call would be to meet them through a mutual contact or via a regular alumni association networking event and start up a relationship from there.
3. Apply and Network in One Step
The next generation of job application software will let you see whom you already know at the company, so you can express your interest in helping a particular organisation and network at the same time.
There are many features from the leading automatic online job application software packages, and is being adopted by many HR departments. If you do submit your CV through these channels, you’ll be able to view potential connections between the organisation and your existing professional network.
They are able to link to your LinkedIn account to show you who in your network may be connected to someone at the organisation; that lets you follow up your application with an e-mail to a colleague to request a referral or set up an introduction to someone who can.
Referrals matter!  Studies have shown that more than 60 percent of jobs are filled through referrals. Employers fast-track job candidates who are recommended by current employees; statistically speaking, employee-referred hires prove to be better hires, have longer job tenures and therefore represent a far sounder investment on the part of employers.
4. The Interim Providers

You should be talking to all the relevant Interim providers that are likely to have assignments that are appropriate to your skill set and in the right sectors. If you haven’t always been successful through this route, it is a channel to market and should therefore be used as part of your networking activities.

Friday, 29 July 2016



If you're counting down the days till your next meeting for an assignment, these helpful hints will help you get in the right frame of mind in order to leave a lasting impression in the meeting and secure the assignment.

1. Do your research 
Preparation is the key to a successful meeting and to getting that assignment you desire.  It is the little things that make the big difference.  Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail.  You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company, so make sure you've done your homework on things like their last year's profits, employees, competitors and recent successes, contract losses, latest product launches etc.  Also take a look at the latest developments in the industry so you can converse with confidence if it’s a sector you are unfamiliar with. Doing some research on the individuals you are meeting is always a good idea to find common ground you can build on to quickly build rapport.

2. Practice key interview questions & answers 
Although there is no set format that every client meeting will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. You should prepare answers to some of the most common questions about your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to explain why you would be the best Interim for the assignment.  Build on past successes and what you did in a similar situation, what you delivered and the return on investment for the client.

3. Look the part 
Appearances shouldn't matter, but the plain fact is that you are often judged before you've even uttered a word. Make sure your shoes are polished; you have a smart business suit on with a crisp shirt and business tie.  After all you are in a business meeting and should dress appropriately.  

4. Stay calm 
Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays, and get everything you need to take with you ready the night before.  Don’t oversell yourself.  Let your achievements speak for themselves but don’t come across as someone who is desperate for the assignment.  If you have been off assignment for a while, it’s not their fault.

5. Ask questions 
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the business. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the assignment, some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company and some that help scope the assignment brief and map out key objectives.

Good luck!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Top 10 CV Do’s & Don’ts

Top 10 CV Do’s & Don’ts

A Curriculum Vitae is an essential marketing tool and getting a meeting can depend on how good your CV is. The way you present your CV can have an overwhelming influence over whether your CV is even read, let alone get a meeting. You need to consider what to include, how much detail is needed and how to make your CV stand out from others.

1. Construct your CV with your prospective client in mind. Look at the assignment advert or specification and think about what the assignment involves, and what the client needs. Find out about the client, culture, operating style and make your experience relevant.

2. Tailor your CV to the assignment. Your CV shouldn't be your life story but should be tailored for the assignment you're applying for, focusing on the aspects that are important for that role.

3. Make it clear and tidy. Check your spelling and grammar and read it through carefully. It’s amazing how many CV’s have spelling mistakes in them.

4. Place the important information up-front. Put experience and education achievements in reverse chronological order. Include experience and interests that might be of use to the client: IT skills, voluntary work, foreign language competency, driving skills, leisure interests that demonstrate team skills and organisation/leadership skills.

5. Quote concrete outcomes to support your claims. For example, ‘This reduced the development time from 7 to 3 days’ or ‘This revolutionised the company’s internal structure which led to a reduction in overheads from £2.3million to £1.7m per year’.

6. Include information which may be viewed negatively – failed exams, divorces, failed business ventures, reasons for leaving an assignment. Don’t give the person you want to meet any reasons not to meet you.

7. Make your CV more than three pages long. You can free up space by leaving out or editing information that is less important. For example, you do not need to include referees or include a detailed account all of the assignments you have held since school. Place more emphasis and detail on the recent and most relevant ones. Add details about your most recent qualifications, which are more relevant, but summarize the rest.

8. Dilute your important messages. Don’t bother with a list of schools you attended or a long list of hobbies. Such things like this and school grades can be summarised. Concentrate on demonstrating the skills they require, what you have achieved and what benefits your clients have gained from your work.

9. Use jargon, acronyms, technical terms - unless essential.

10. Lie – In this era of the “Information economy” people and clients have many ways of checking what you say is true, and may dismiss you from the process or at worst employment if they find this is untrue.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

IIM Interim Management Providers Survey 2016 and update

The Institute of Interim Managers (IIM) interim management providers survey is live. 

The survey closes 8th June with full results published on 7th July although this year, parts of the results are immediately available.    Here’s the link;

Use your vote and have your say!

As you are probably already aware, we have updated our website and have improved the registration process with secure log in.  It would be worth visiting the website at to update your details and create a secure log in for future use / updates. 

Many have done so already and to those who have provided positive feedback - thank you.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Is the Interim market really any different?

Is the Interim market really any different?

We live in a different world now.  The economy continues to have its ups and downs, terror threats are higher than ever, global warming is at hard at work and technological advances have changed the way we work.  Some things do remain the same though and that’s businesses with BAU challenges of sales and profitability targets, implementation of strategic plans, shareholder return,  employee engagement, culture and diversity all firmly on the agenda.  This provides enough of a challenge even without ‘special projects’ to achieve improvements and this transcends into ensuring the best talent is in place both on a permanent and interim basis to help lead the business to achieve those objectives.

Many people operating within the interim world have the view that the interim market is quite different now compared to when it was first established or of just a few years ago.  Threats to the market include increased competition for assignments,  pressure on rates, ‘interim to perm’ fueled by more people using the badge until a permanent job is sourced, a longer process with the involvement of more stakeholders, a drawn out decision making process, a new breed of niche or specialist interim and external threats that are beyond anyone's control.  These are all challenges facing us but is this any different today compared to say ten years ago?

One thing that does remain constant is change.  Whatever cycle a business is in; growth, downsizing, improving, transforming, restructuring or turnaround there is a continual requirement for good people that will deliver and make a difference to enable the organisation to move forward.  The interim market has seen some twists and turns but what hasn’t?  Opportunities are created when businesses face these challenges and that’s when we can help by providing good, experienced and appropriate Interims to deliver and make a difference.

Although there is still a lack of understanding about the interim proposition which is not helped by an increased pool of people that are just visiting, there is certainly an increased understanding of the value in engaging an interim by many organisations.  The evolving market has seen a shift in requirements for specific sector experience - rightly or wrongly this is perceived as being a less risky option and is of no surprise given a general shift in attitude to risk.  This is of course quite different to bringing in a generalist whose very USP was that they had multiple sectors under their belt and were likely to have worked in several area of a business.   My view is there is real advantage to ‘a fresh set of eyes’ but the consequence of this has meant that for some, securing an assignment is harder resulting in elongated void periods.

I am constantly asked how the market is.   A difficult question when there are so many varying factors that affect the answer.   There will always be threats but the equilibrium comes from an increase in opportunities.  Economic factors will always affect confidence but this threat is now more widespread than ever with global economic recovery looking shaky at best. Slowdowns from Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will produce ripple effects and closer to home the cost impact on the living wage on the services sector, government spending cuts, likely increase in interest rates and the global economic uncertainty are all knocking confidence.  As long as there are no radical legislative issues affecting how interims conduct their business, we can deal with the former.

I don’t believe the interim market is that different.  Businesses have the vision to drive change in many shapes and forms with an increased appetite for acquisitions, business growth (UK and International), restructuring, programme / project management, special ‘one off’ projects  and turnarounds that require external help.  As such these situations lend themselves to the engagement of an interim executive to supplement lack of internal capacity and / or capability.

We provide high impact interim executives and look forward to exciting new projects to help more clients move forward.  I expect 2016 to be a busy year building on the upturn of the last couple of years and despite this reflective update the market remains good albeit with a slightly different theme materialising.

For a confidential discussion please contact Steven Wynne on 01423 704153 or e-mail