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Please do use this form if you would like to contact me about anything related to the content on this site or the publications i have produced. 

I am always keen to hear from people on business / speaking and writing opportunities or you just may simply want to have a chat - believe that meeting new people is the route to everything so happy to just chew the fat! 

76 St Gerards Road
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Blog

Adam Hutchison's Blog - just a little space in the world were i air my thoughts on anything and everything i am either involved in or enjoy. Many of you may wish to skip by and ignore my meandering thoughts but others may find them informative...

 

Filtering by Tag: Leadership

(Press Release) RISK V REWARD THE EMPLOYEE-EMPLOYER CONUNDRUM by Adam Hutchison

Adam Hutchison

Like most of us at some point in our careers, Adam Hutchison woke up one Monday morning dreading the week ahead and wondering if it was all worth it. Unlike most of us, Adam decided to take action. This book is the result …  Available Now on Amazon

Adam Hutchison has learned the hard way how to run a company and manage staff, through wide experience in senior positions in the telecoms and private healthcare sectors. Now he has distilled his knowledge and experience into Risk v Reward, a down-to-earth and straightforward account of what really matters when building a business and improving performance, including: 

Choosing, hiring, managing and retaining staff

Motivating and mentoring

Recognising and managing different personality types

Management structure and how to make it work

Creating and maintaining a culture

The author knows, from experience, that it is people that make a business great, and this book shows how to get the best out of those within your teams. 

Written by a senior executive with wide and varied industry experience. 

Will enable any junior or middle manager to get better results from staff. 

Detailed examples throughout to show how to make it work. 

Author Adam Hutchison says, “What makes a business great? The answer every time is people. People are paramount to any business. This book explores the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of successful people-management. I hope it will help managers and team leaders in businesses of all sizes. Whether they employ 5 people or 5000, my message is the same: human beings need rewards to perform well. Positive comments drive attitudes and behaviours. Forget these simple rules at your own risk!” 

About the author: Adam Hutchison, MA, BSc has spent the last 15 years working in both the private and public sectors, operating within corporate and SME environments, working at the operational level on the front line and doing everything from running departments to operating his own businesses. www.adamhutchison.com Twitter: @adamhutchison80

Media opportunities: Extracts/serialisation. The author is available for interviews. 

Local UK interest: The author is currently based in Solihull (near Birmingham, West Midlands). He has also lived and worked in London and Medway (Kent). 

To request a review copy or to be put in touch with the author, please contact

Elly Donovan PR elly@ellydonovan.co.uk tel: 0790 508 7779 / 01273 205 246 www.ellydonovan.co.uk twitter: @EllyDonovanPR facebook.com/Elly Donovan Linked-In: Elly Donovan PR 

“Keep your customers close, and your competitors closer” – Seeking innovation and collaboration in the care sector..

Adam Hutchison

Adam Hutchison – Managing Director of Belmont Sandbanks Care Group & Vice Chair of the Kent Integrated Care Alliance.

Having come from a parallel universe to the care sector, having gained my experience in corporate telecommunications. The Care industry took some getting used to, to understand it’s almost unique nature when it comes to business activities. Although the sector is heavily present in the media and has ownership from corporate VC’s and managing partners to independent businesses. The industry is very different in how it operates day to day. The standard business activities are present of course, but the sheer plethora of requirements involved in this sector are so diverse incorporating finance, construction, people management and almost most importantly high levels of regulations.

As a business sector it actually involves more facets of understanding than any other industry, as the requirements of owning a business in this sector are so broad. Although, for me personally there are 2 main themes which, are most prominent right now.

Firstly is that of collaboration, the title of this article is a play on the reality that the sector is unique in how it works when it comes to customers and competitors. This is probably the only industry in the country whereby you get the feeling that you are closer to your competitors than your customers. And when I say customers I do not mean our service users / residents for whom we care for but our stakeholder customers who fund care which is predominantly the Local Authorities. The levels of collaboration in the sector between your competitive agencies is unprecedented, with the allocation of national groups such as Care England, Care Association Alliance and the UKHCA to the local care associations such as KiCA (www.kica.care) of which I am vice-chair. The market works together to share best practice, knowledge and develop strategies to enable services to deliver the best possible care to those in need. This is something, which is sadly missed when discussing with our major customers the Local Authorities. This concept sounds alien indeed but the harsh facts of working in the care industry. Associations such as KiCA have become valued entities to bring providers together but also suppliers offering a platform for engagement to help businesses excel.

This brings to the second point of innovation, the care sector is considered to sometimes be behind in terms of innovating but this a very blinkered view. With the heightened collaboration between care providers through avenues discussed here, has created group development power to work with national organisations such as SEHTA and private suppliers to create innovative models of care and supply of services. This does not only give cost advantages but also development as by sharing best practices the products and services introduced to the market become more fit for purpose ensuring that they are of use to the sector rather than a wasted cost. Cash flow and capital is king like in any business and with the constant discussion of low care fees the search for innovative cost saving solutions are paramount to any care business strategy but its knowing what is right and when to implement these innovations. They are not just about technology the delivery of care for individuals has to be the pinnacle of each business otherwise why do it. The standard of care at present is extremely high due to great innovative thinking inside businesses that care and from agencies externally such as Ladder to the Moon who are now present on the CQC PIR as a mark of Outstanding (www.laddertothemoon.co.uk) further evidence this innovative thinking which is sometimes unheralded.

It is with the growth of local care associations / alliances, will further improve the collaboration and innovation in the care sector. Developing a long-term future of outstanding care for individuals who need it. We all know that care is inevitable and the private care sector will be leading the developments in care, encouraging from within to what is already becoming a brighter future for all concerned.

Tips to Effectively Managing Remote Teams

Adam Hutchison

Working from home can be beneficial for both employee and employer, and for many, flexible working is a major determining factor in the job application process. With increasing child care costs, not everybody wishes to send their child to nursery, so working from home may be the only way people can secure an income.

Likewise, having remote workers puts less financial strain on start-ups who can save money on vital business resources which they would otherwise be obliged to purchase. Office space alone is a costly investment.

However, sometimes the problems caused by having a home working or remote team are overlooked. Too often people forget that they still have a workforce to control, and when the workforce is scattered around the country, and potentially even the world, executing an effective authoritative role is no mean feat.

Take note of the five top tips below and you should see the results in no time.

1. Put time and effort into recruiting the right people

Putting extra time and consideration into the recruitment stage will ultimately save you time and money further down the line. Home workers need to be self-motivated, dedicated and hard working so making sure the candidate fits the bill is vital. The worst thing that could happen would be to recruit someone who you are paying by the hour to lounge on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle with their Blackberry in one hand and a pack of Hobnobs in the other. Get to know your employees on a personal level too to get a feel for their personality and strengths. Suggest an initial relaxed business meeting over lunch where you can get to understand how one another operates.

 2. Schedule weekly video conferences

Having regular face-to-face employee interaction is a vital part of any business, but when your workforce works from home, this isn’t always possible. And let’s face it, it’s not really acceptable to turn up at their house unannounced. So a good idea is to schedule weekly video conferencing calls with your employees. Software such as Skype or GoToMeeting allows for free group conversations, so if you do have a scattered team, it’s possible for you all to unite weekly to catch up and provide mutual support.

3. Embrace social media

Ditch formal communication tools such as phone and email where you can and embrace social media platforms to develop an instantaneous and more personal dialogue with your workforce. Most networks are geared up for business use. Facebook, for example, allows most files to be attached to private messages meaning the relay of information can be a speedier process. Alternatively, look at internal social media platforms like Yammer in order to communicate freely and privately.

4. Wear lots of different hats

Even though your team works from home, that’s not to say that the right procedures don’t need to be in place. This means pushing your executive role to one side and putting yourself in the shoes of metaphorical HR and IT departments. You need to take into consideration the necessary safety and security procedures, whether that be alerting your employees to the correct seating position to adopt or supplying them with the latest anti-virus software.

5. Trust your staff and allow them some autonomy

As well as geographical space, your employees also need some psychological distance. This can be difficult as it means placing your complete trust and livelihood in the hands of your staff. However, if employees feel trusted it will improve their confidence and boost their work ethic. Frequent unnecessary emails and calls checking up on them will only make them feel inadequate and could potentially result in them underperforming – something that neither of you wants.

And finally…

Work on honing your management style to a level that will be respected by your employees. The Alan Sugar approach simply won’t work on those working from the comfort of their own home.

The Trade Off Conundrum - Employee Vs Employer

Adam Hutchison

Whether you are an entrepreneur beginning in business or a long term Managing Director, the importance of leading employees towards a common goal should always be high on the agenda. I always talk of trade offs, because the common practice is for people in these positions to believe that there is constant conflict between themselves and their employees. During my mentoring I was given the analogy of “staff are like children” - not having children this did intrigue me as to what the statement really meant however I was then lead to believe that it meant that employees need clear guidelines and discipline on a daily basis to succeed. This can be interpreted in different ways and over the last 20 years the phrase I believe to be the same but its how this is interpreted that differs greatly.

 

The interpretation of managing performance is usually misunderstood by managers and business owners alike, they have found that this means being in control or acting as the parent in the room. We have all been there, we have all carried out this approach. Now its time to reflect on that scenario?

Did this work? Ask yourself this question - because my answer is clear no it did not! The issue is it will never work. Going back to my introduction (in the full book Risk V Reward) where I was personally managed in that way my well being towards the business was ran by fear, fear is a sure way to create unease. How can any workforce operate with the feeling of unease it simply is a false economy. I found myself working harder to repair the unease rather than focusing on what our measured outcomes should have been and the business performance.

 

So when I talk of a trade off this is it, leadership is about evaluating what is it we are doing right and what is it we are doing wrong. Accept that you have to trade with your teams to find the best approach to achieving a common goal. As with children you can’t force them to do anything this only creates further resistance to the outcome and makes the parents role or for this analogy, the leaders role that much more difficult in the long run.

 

So some examples of this format, gone are days of the "whip and stick" mentality brought from aggressive sales agencies in the 1980's, an example i heard one day from an senior exec in a manufacturing firm in the UK was as follows:

 

Owner: How are the guys today are they moaning about me?

Manager: Well Yes sir they are following this mornings meeting

Owner: Good i must be doing my job then!

Owner walks off in a smug fashion

 

This type of response is still common place in business which is a scary thought, as so many leaders constantly seek to create a sense of distance between themselves and their employees. This is a myth set by past experiences in their own employment built on what I have heard referred to as the Alfa Wolf approach (Dr Steven Peters - The Chimp Paradox). Lets take the same premise but turn it on a personal level and place the above conversation in a personal / social situation?

 

Just think about that for a second, would this type of conversation be acceptable to get something done? Would you expect a response from people to do you a favour or carry out a task for you if the expectation is that this is how you should be? The answer is simple no it wouldn't and no we would not act in this way because the fact is it is simply rude.

 

So why is it we believe to treat people differently because we are at the place of work. This is a common mistake and the start of where employees and employers begin their long term conflict, which sadly only ends up with a lack of productivity followed by a sense of demotivation. This demotivation is driven by a lack of mutual respect for one another at the crucial levels within an organisation.

 

What we are all looking for as human beings is a sense of connection, a need for belonging and self gratification for a good honest days work. Reflect back to the opening paragraph (of the Full Book) again do you think I felt motivated to go to work and deliver? No of course not, I did as much as I could to get the job done but no more than this, no extra mile. And did I have respect for my superior to the point where I would follow him through think and thin, well no I wouldn’t of. This is down to respect for each other in the workplace and is the start point for any relationship building.

 

Nearly every employee works for monetary reward (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a pay check: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire, for people who respect and admire them in return. Hence why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help, these moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations. A true sense of connection is personal. That's why exceptional leaders show they see and appreciate the person, not just the worker, they see value in the connection between them.

 

The theme of respect is always open to interpretation but in the workplace respect can be offered in simple ways sometimes just by listening to opinions of people. This does not mean they are used or taken on board but just the ability to openly share views on an organisation is a great form of respect. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." - Ernest Hemingway - this is inherently true of most people by listening to your employees shows you value their opinions which intern creates a more cohesive working environment.

 

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. So why not add your own trusted employees to this group after all they will be taking on the line share of the work, those who are successful rely on the wealth of employees to make their visions a reality.