Audeo Fortis | Business Advisors and Management Team Support with a Difference
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News, useful information and best practice

Posts in Management Challenges
When is a re-brand not a re-brand?

Dawn Goddard has been at the epicenter of PR and management for many years so we were thrilled when she asked us to help her explore a re-brand for Deus Management..

What started as a simple request for help understanding where and how to go about refreshing an old logo, quickly unearthed a different set of needs.

Deus Management was previously the brand name of Dave Goddard's business. He'd previously used the brand for his football agency and crisis management work, and over time the husband and wife team had brought both businesses together under the same name.

Audeo Fortis instead proposed that Deus Management should first have a strategy workshop to analyse the market position and service offering under the co-joined brand.

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The Art of the Beautiful Game

Building on the success achieved by Thomas Wolski at previous events and exhibitions (#ArtofBentley and #Tribe17), Tom once again turned to us for help in project managing his showcase at Manchester City Football Club.

At first glance you might think it an odd collaboration, but MCFC commissioned Tom to create a unique artwork for the 2017/18 football season and agreed a license to gift prints to all the visiting UEFA teams.

This bank holiday weekend saw the trophy being lifted by champions MCFC at the Etihad Stadium and the original artwork (now available for a collector to buy) along with other key pieces were showcased in the award winning Tunnel Club.

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WOW HOW gets ready to disrupt

The world of make-up might be highly competitive, but that isn't stopping serial entrepreneur Gaynor Matthews from challenging the way things are done.

Make-up can be complex and confusing for many. Although YouTube and blogs have made make-up more accessible, it's not easy to find (and copy) good quality tutorials, nor is the user specifying the content.

Equally people are often too intimidated to visit the beauty counter, and forget what they've been shown as soon as they've left. Feeling a huge gap between the customer experience and the available technology, Gaynor set out to investigate.

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Why are we so afraid of the 'C' word?

Last week I read with interest an article from the Evening Standard on a social media outburst by Holly Willoughby after the BAFTA's. She was rightly pointing out the hypocrisy of paparazzi taking photographs of female celebrities to get 'upskirt' style shots - having photographed them only a few hours earlier with white roses to promote calling #timesup on sexual harassment and gender inequality in the entertainment industry.

She said "...times apparently up on #timesup", but the problem for me is that I don't think #timesup or any of the other similar campaigns have really yet begun.

In this particular arena there have been numerous (and unsettling) rising trends of late. Gender pay gap reporting highlights that women are doing lower paid work, the now defunct President's Club fundraiser is revealed to be a cesspit of sexual harassment that's more befitting of the Victorian era than the 21st century, equal pay disputes are now reaching class action proportions...and I haven't even touched on the historic and current sexual harassment claims emerging across multiple industries - something akin to Operation Yewtree whereby this behaviour is now known to be endemic, and has been for years.

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Red flags quiz - how do you know when it's time to get help?

Recently I've been out and about attending seminars, meeting businesses and talking with other professional advisers about trends in the market.

One of the overriding themes that has really struck me is the number of SME owners that have struggled to overcome their internal barriers to accessing help and progressing their business.

Issues range from the classic "I saw the signs, but I just didn't want them to be true" along to "I had no idea things were going wrong, it was just outside my expertise so how could I have known?"

It got me thinking that it really is incumbent on professional advisers to help SMEs spot the signs but that also every business is different, so owners need guidance and principles, not rules to live by...

So take our quick quiz below and see how healthy your red flags are!

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Toys ‘R’ Us and how NOT to manage your management consultant

Today established retail giant Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

So you can understand why every time I speak to a business owner that says, “we don’t need help” it breaks my heart just a little bit more (and it’s not because they’re not hiring me!)

I sincerely believe that businesses large and small are missing out on opportunity, and at worst potentially damaging their organisations by failing to identify risk. Personally, I think there are two issues (a) we don’t like to admit weakness/ask for help and (b) because of our relationship with management consultants and other professional advisers.

And I get it, management consultants are *the worst* - they’re just pushy, aren’t they?

Particularly if you're a smaller business management consultants can make you feel like the business equivalent of a hit-and-run victim. They come out of nowhere, hit you fast, tell you how to run your business, deposit an unintelligible report, and dump one heck of an invoice. You’re left injured, feeling dazed and confused.

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Diversity and other buzz-words - a small business guide

*content warning - this article contains gross generalisations throughout!*

This weekend our fair capital city will host the Pride in London parade - and it got me thinking about 'diversity' and why it's so important for smaller enterprises in particular not to overlook this important aspect of doing business.

A common theme from pride parades all over the country is that often smaller businesses don't participate. They simply don't have the critical mass of a large corporate - they often don't have employee groups (such as LGBT, gender equality, ethnic minority, disability), and they can sometimes be, dare I say it, not very diverse.

But that doesn't mean as a small enterprise you shouldn't feel the need to embrace the concept. Indeed you only have to look as far as McKinsey's research to see that 'diverse' companies significantly outperform their non-diverse counterparts. So if diversity isn't on your agenda, then perhaps surviving the next generation isn't either...

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Is governance a dirty word?

Having recently been involved in a project to change a governance model, as well as the fortune to attend a seminar hosted by OutStanding on unlocking board potential, I was interested to discover that governance is regularly perceived as being ‘bad’ or ineffective. It struck me that whether it’s a management/leadership team, a transformation programme, or a corporate board, in times of increased risk there can be a temptation to turn to governance as some sort of silver bullet to address a multitude of corporate sins.

For me, there is enormous danger that it isn’t just this old fashioned way of thinking, but a more fundamental and misguided understanding of both why things are the way they are, and how we might get things to be the way we want them to be.

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