Leader Development Programme . . . done!

August ended with a bang as we celebrated 14 Leaders from Select Lifestyles, who completed the access2growth Leader Development Programme.

The last 12 months with them have been a huge success – just ask the Directors and Leaders!

No time to rest though, as we look forward to starting the 2nd year of the programme with a new round of Select Lifestyle’s managers next week.

The Leaders with their certificates.

The Leaders with their certificates.

The Leaders with Joe Booth and Leanne Shea.

The Leaders with Joe Booth and Leanne Shea.

Well done Select Lifestyles!

This month sees us start a 5th module in a leadership development programme, with Select Lifestyles Ltd.

Module 5 is different to the others and stands alone due to the technical knowledge required. Therefore we harnessed the skills of internal experts within the company to help write the education book and to present to the management team.

Joe and Leanne took a backseat as the presenters took over and did a sterling job! This module was a real team effort – well done to everyone involved!

access2growth tailor every program . . . and you don’t get more tailored than this!

And here they are - the Module 5 presenters!

And here they are - the Module 5 presenters!

Emma - Operational Developments Manager

Emma - Operational Developments Manager

Claire and Fiona - Operations Managers

Claire and Fiona - Operations Managers

Michelle - HR Manager

Michelle - HR Manager

Alex - Health & Safety Manager

Alex - Health & Safety Manager

Amy - Sales Ledger Manager

Amy - Sales Ledger Manager

Working with Skills Matrices today

The Skills Matrix is a practical and visual way to illustrate the present level of skill and competencies within your business.

What the makes the Skills Matrix so advantageous is:

  • It gives better awareness and understanding of individual skills for the department and for each team member

  • It will enable you to plan your team members’ coaching, training and development

  • The department’s competence level is quantified, which then makes training and development plans more meaningful and measurable


Get in touch with us via the "Contact" page on our website to learn how to successfully implement a Skills Matrix

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Joe Booth's recommended reads

Whilst access2growth has kept Joe Booth busy for the last 25 years, he still finds time to learn new ways of working for enhancing efficiency and continuous improvement.

We wanted to share Joe’s favourite books from the last 25 years.

Have you read any of these?
Are there any books you highly recommend?

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The importance of professional coaching

At the 1996 Olympics, Great Britain won 1 gold medal and ranked 36th in the ratings table. Investment in these athletes had been minimal and little support was given.

As a result, the government deemed professional coaching to be essential and funded it through the National Lottery.


Following this support, Great Britain went on to flourish and their success flowed . . .

2008 Beijing: Great Britain ranked 4th with 19 gold medals and 47 total medals

2012 London: Great Britain ranked 3rd with 29 gold medals and 65 total medals

2016 Rio: Great Britain ranked 2nd with 27 gold medals and 67 total medals


Professional coaching is also needed for management . . . imagine the results that can be achieved!

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How committed are you?

We had an experience this week that lead us to repeat the quotation “commitment without understanding is a liability”.

In our experience, it is futile implementing change without top management commitment. Unfortunately top management often think that paying the bill and employing facilitators is commitment . . . it’s not! Commitment comes from the heart.

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P.D.C.A - The Deming Cycle

Picture the scene . . . the Director has discovered an irritating problem.

He asks his best manager to resolve it quickly and the manager drops everything to please the boss. The manager surveys the problem by asking a few involved workers to offer their opinions of causes, effects and potential solutions. The information gathered is assessed and by using common sense and experience, the manager decides the best course of action. A solution is implemented with speed and efficiency - the problem is now fixed! The manager cannot wait to inform the Director of the success.

Unfortunately a week later it is discovered that the problem has only partially been resolved. The Director feels let down and the manager is in the doghouse. What went wrong?


Absolutely nothing if you believe the Deming Cycle’s P.D.C.A process.


In a traditional business culture, senior people are expected to resolve problems and make decisions. That’s the basis of their job. However in stark contrast the culture of an excellent company has a different leadership style along with different values and beliefs – such as;

  • It’s not the manager’s job to fix problems, instead they must facilitate problem solving with workers
  • Finding the root cause of a problem is the best way to resolve a problem permanently
  • Sometimes there are more than one root cause
  • Discovering true root causes can be difficult
  • The best way to fix a problem is to estimate a root cause quickly and implement a fix to see if it works
  • Guessing the wrong root cause is good not bad, as it leaves you wiser
  • Resolving problems is iterative - keep at it until the problem has been resolved


Imagine the difference in culture between the traditional and excellent companies.
In the former, fear is always in the background. Fear of failure, fear of letting the boss down, fear of not knowing all the answers. Often the smartest managers in the traditional company become adept at transferring blame onto others - thus apportioning the fear away from themselves.


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How would an excellent company perform with the above scenario?
Once the problem has been brought to the attention of the manager, the Deming Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) clicks into place.

The manager mobilises a small team closest to the problem. Speed is of the essence. They quickly identify the probable cause and plan a solution. They implement the solution (do) then assess how well it worked (check). If the problem has not been completely fixed, they move onto the next cause (act) and plan another solution.

The P.D.C.A iteration continues until an adequate solution has been achieved.


So what are the major features of the excellent company? Iterations are good as new things are learnt with each cycle and failure does not exist. The workers closest to a problem are often the best ones to fix it - the manager does not fix problems, but coaches others to do so. Finally the way to respond throughout is to act quickly and not to procrastinate.


Article written by Joe Booth (April 2018)