April 29, 2020Comments are off for this post.

How Taking Our Business Digital Has Taught Us To Be Human

We’re in week six of working from home and now this really does feel like normal. We’ve all embraced video conferencing with gusto, we’ve found new and innovative ways to service and support our clients, and we’ve just got on with things as best we can, under the circumstances.

While some aspects of working from home have certainly proven challenging, there has been one huge and surprising advantage; we’ve got to know each other and our clients a whole lot better. We check in regularly with each other to see how we’re all doing. We’ve seen each other’s kitchens and living rooms and noted each other’s taste in art and interiors. We’ve said hello to children and partners. We now know who’s messy and who’s tidy, who the good gardeners are, the best bakers and cooks. From a business perspective, we’ve developed a strong understanding of our clients’ unique, immediate and longer-term challenges and how we can best support them.

Most of all, we’ve really understood how this crisis is impacting every single one of us at both a personal and professional level. I think it’s fair to say, we’ve all become more human as a result.

This has also manifested itself in some of the changes we’ve made to our internal communications. At Connect Three, we now have a weekly session with a focus on providing regular updates on how the business is performing and how that’s changing week-to-week. Added to that we have a Friday Happy Hour where we commit to hanging out with each other, taking part in trivia quizzes (we know who the music nerds are now) and having a virtual look round each other’s houses. We also send out a weekly survey to gather how everyone is feeling about the week ahead (we have all gone through ups and downs) and what each person is focussed on achieving, not just at work but for themselves.

We all agree that we know each other a lot better than we thought we did before and want this to continue into the future. It has made a real difference to how we communicate and ask for help.

Looking After Our Health

Of course, looking after our mental health has taken on renewed importance in recent weeks. Some of our team have recently taken on the challenge of running 5k every day to get out in the fresh air, have a bit of mental downtime, and support and encourage each other in getting through lockdown.

For the Most Part, it's Still Business as Usual...

Although it is impossible to run in-person programmes at the moment, there are a number of clients who remain incredibly dedicated to continuing to develop their staff, especially those in the food, telecom and finance sectors. Almost all clients, however, are looking for support and advice in helping to scenario plan the best approach to strategy review, and the best way to pick up their business again as we move towards the relaxing of lockdown and coming out of furlough in the coming months.

As a result, we’ve put more focus than normal on understanding our resource capacity. We’re regularly assessing who’s over stretched and who might have more availability to assist. This has allowed us to maximise resources right across our team and, importantly, help each other out as needed, spreading the workload to meet changing client demand.

It also has an added benefit in allowing our people to experience working with each other in a different way on client accounts that they may not have experienced before, and to learn some new skills or ways of working.

In many respects, business continues to move on and be done, albeit differently to how it might have been done just a few short weeks ago.

What Comes Next?

In some sense, we’re very much in a holding pattern at present, waiting for the economy to reopen and get started again. The real work will begin when we return to the office, and while it’s almost impossible to say how the books will look at the end of 2020, we’ve already made some estimates as to where we hope to end up and adjusted costs accordingly.

For now, however, we’re mostly looking forward to a return to our offices in Glasgow, meeting up with colleagues, partners and clients again, all hopefully in the not too distant future.

We can help with many aspects of your business, both during and post-lockdown, so please get in touch to find out more.

CJ

April 17, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Connect with Katy

Consultant

How time flies when you're training amazing organisations and delivering programmes for Scottish Enterprise that help teams and businesses to grow. Over the past month we've delivered workshops, hosted an International Women's Day series of events and attending the amazing Social Bite celebration ceremony for the 'Big Sleep Out'. Thanks for everyone that helped us raise over £3,000 last winter.

Roll on a few months and it's been an amazing start to spring at Connect Three HQ. As National Tea Day rolls up we're delighted to be sitting down with another member of our next Connect Three family to talk all things work and play. Grab a cuppa and get comfy as we sit down to talk with Katy Morrison.

Happy start of spring Katy. Could you tell us a little bit about your role at Connect Three? 

Sure. As a consultant at Connect Three I love to explore workplaces to discover the potential from their people and to then use these discovered to help make workplaces happier and more productive. This remains my biggest passion, and a lot of my day to day work centres around delivering management and leadership programmes across frameworks with Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow Welcomes and with our fantastic private clients. Another part of my job is to support workplaces by identifying needs and providing sound solutions to help them achieve their goals.

Phew, what a busy but exciting role. With so many exciting things happening what’s been one of your proudest moments this month?

I booked a place on Kids Yoga Teacher Training this month. It’s been something I have wanted to do for a while but I kept putting it off as I was using time as an excuse. My little boy was copying me doing yoga in the house and I knew it was the time to book onto it, so I could guide him and my daughter safely.

They say the best way to learn is to copy and do. Great to see your little boy is a keen learner already. Next up, what three things would you take with you on a desert island?

A few good books as I don’t often get the chance to read as much as I’d like with having  two young kids, an endless supply of crunchy cheese Cheetos and an invisible cloak so no one could ever find me!

Sounds like a true desert adventure. Next up, which business leader would you like to have a cup of tea with?

Arianna Huffington! I really respect her honest and bold views that have always struck a chord with me. She was one of the first people that taught me to look at myself first in situations, in work and at home, to get the best outcome. I find her words are those that give me confidence to do this. I’d love to curl up and put the world to rights.

How can events like this National Tea Day help businesses to empower their staff and help encourage more conversation? 

Events such as these are a great way to take some time out and connect with yourself and others around you. Some of the best ideas, solutions and conversations have come from people putting their tools down and just engaging in unfiltered conversations. I know that I am at my most productive, focused and feel able to soar when I feel great about myself. If we can provide people with more opportunities to be more focused on their well-being and building personal resilience, this can only contribute to happier work places and increased results.

Thanks for an amazing April Connect Katy and with people at the heart of a business, it's a real honour for us to have someone so passionate about workplace empowerment be part of the Connect Three family. This Friday 19th April Katy will be hosting a work and wellness event in celebration of National Tea Day & Mind's fantastic campaign to get more people talking over a good ol' fashioned cuppa. Join Katy and the Connect Three team as we open our studio doors in partnership with Tempo Tea Bar and The Kali Yoga Collective.

 


 

Find out how Katy can help your business achieve more workplace happiness through staff development programmes and business or personal coaching.

March 8, 2019Comments are off for this post.

International Women’s Day 2019

It's no hidden fact that there's a lot to do to level the playing field for women in work. From better employee perks that support women who are mothers, to reducing the gender pay gap until there is none to even talk about, and let's not get going on the challenge of getting a better balance of women in senior positions & greater diversity of women.

This International Women's Day we wanted to spend the day celebrating the amazing work that's being done by organisations across Scotland and the UK. To celebrate the wonder women who make Connect Three the awesome business that it is. To join with an inspirational global organisation to talk everything #BalanceForBetter, and to inspire women in the workplace and beyond to believe that there is a brighter tomorrow.

Kicking-off our International Women's Day with Lenovo, we hosted an inspiring workshop to explore and engage some of the Head Office team in Scotland to reflect on ways in which they could balance their professional and personal lives for better. Organisations which value their staff will always strive to support the celebration of equality within the workplace and it was fantastic to be able to help lead that process in honour of International Women's Day 2019.

In fact, we left so inspired by the pledges made by the changemakers in the room that we've pulled them together into our top hacks for the month.

Do more things for fun.

Spend more time doing things that just make you happy.

Stop wanting to take control of everything.

Stop making excuses.

Use my day better.

Participate more.

These pledges honestly made us grin from ear to ear and we're hop, skip and jumping into the rest of International Women's Month with a renewed sense of how valuable workshops like these are for empowering woman and men alike.

On the other side of Glasgow some of our team came together to host the latest workshop in our Scottish Enterprise, Managing People for Growth programme - a development series for supervisors and managers ready to supercharge their careers and those of their team - and it seemed like the perfect way to close off a day of celebrating all of the amazing women in business throughout Scotland.

However your business is celebrating the theme of #BalanceForBetter this week, month and year we encourage you to involve your staff and have them partake in some self-reflection and pledge setting.

And of course we couldn't finish without saying a huge Connect Three thanks to the women in our team who make what we do one of the best jobs in the world. So to Barbara, Fiona, Susan, Shona, Tina, Katy, Laura, and Vicky; thank you for being so awesome.

Read more

March 1, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Connect with Colin

Introducing our Connections Series: Chief Explorer

Connect Three Founder

Chief Explorer

 

Our Connect Three family has grown over the years and at the heart of our business is connecting people with the right skills, empowerment and knowledge to make the changes they need in their professional, and often personal lives.

What better way to start our connection series that with our very own Colin Lamb. Each file in our 'Connection Series' will spotlight the work of a member of the Connect Three team and provide you with top tips to help grow your business and professional learning through what they have learnt.

And without further ado, it's time to connect with Colin.

First up what's your role at Connect Three and what do you do?

I am the Chief Explorer.

This means it is my job to explore new opportunities and possibilities, new ways of doing things, new talent, new trends and to constantly innovate what we do. My role is about fostering a culture and workplace to empower our team to #be curious #bold and importantly #themselves.

Nice! Must be a busy but engaging role. Next up. what was one of your proudest moments in February?

Definitely Connect Three being recognised as a finalist for FSB Awards this month. We didn’t win this time but it’s not always about winning – we are really proud to be recognised and shortlisted.

Aye, it's definitely the taking part that counts. So here's a little curveball, what three things would you take with you on a desert island?

I never go anywhere without a notepad. so of course that would need a pen too and finally I’d have to take my Nespresso machine too I think as I am an absolute coffeeholic.

And now to pick your brain How can businesses help upskill their leaders through coaching?

Coaching for me is underused and under appreciated as a way to develop leaders. Leaders need time and space to work through challenges they are facing whether these are to do with people, practices or productivity.

Leaders may know what they need to do and another training course may not cut the mustard. This is when coaching can become helpful to unlock a leaders potential.

Last but not last; who would be your dream person to coach?

I don’t think I could name a single person – not even a celebrity. This is because ‘you’ need to want to be coached to achieve something – a goal or target e.g. a new job, to overcome conflict, to think differently at work etc. My dream person would have a very clear goal in mind and want to work with a coach to get there faster.

And that's it for this month's connect. Make sure you're following us on social media to catch Colin's social media takeover on Instagram and if you're feeling inspiring to have some career coaching why not get in touch today to see how Connect Three can help.

 


 

See how our personalised coaching can help you and your business grow in March.

 

 

 

Glasgow: 18-20 Orkney St, Glasgow, G51 2BX     |     London: Scotland House, 58 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DS