Maximise Your Impact…!

Improve Your Personal Effectiveness!

Do you want to develop yourself into a high-performing Leader. Manager, Team Lead, Change Agent? Or just develop your personal effectiveness and performance? Well, to achieve this, you need to further develop those key skills that drive performance.success cliff

This is a series of 10 Personal Effectiveness Development programmes from which you can choose the one(s) that you wish to do. These complete programme list is: –

  1. Sales Effectiveness
  2. Management Effectiveness
  3. Leadership Effectiveness
  4. Team Building Effectiveness
  5. Negotiating Styles to Win
  6. Change Management Effectiveness
  7. Listening Effectiveness
  8. Emotional Intelligence
  9. Communications Effectiveness
  10. Time Management Effectiveness

The delivery model is the same for them all, a tried, trusted, proven model of helping people focus and concentrate on key skills development over time. Its a 3-Step Model:

1. Each programme starts with you completing an online self assessment. This is an academically proven competence benchmark that sets out your strengths, areas of relatively weaker performance and preferences. This will help you focus your time and energy on what really matters most. Its a different assessment tool for each programme, specifically developed to focus on that particular area. These assessment instruments have been developed through partnership with Harvard Business Review.

2. Download your report. Each programme presents you with a very comprehensive report with a full breakdown and analysis of your assessment, lots of ideas and suggestions for improvement actions, Best Practice tips, the content is extremely comprehensive. Its an incredibly useful and helpful personal report. In addition, most of the programmes have the functionality for you to ask others, peers, your boss, your team, anyone at all, to complete the same assessment on you, thus giving you a full 360 degree view and feedback.

3. You will then have a full 1-hour coaching session with Dr Adrian Gundy at a time to suit you. At this session, your report will be discussed, observations and insights uncovered and guidance offered to help you write your own Personal Development Plan.

How Does It Work?

Its simple, yet very effective. This is how it works: –

  1. Choose the personal development programme you want to do. Simply click on the mouse and complete the registration form.
  2. Enrol on the programme by clicking on the mouse and completing the registration form.
  3. You will receive an email with instructions and the hyperlink to the online assessment.
  4. Follow the instructions, make some time, and complete the assessment.
  5. Download your copy of the assessment. Read and Digest!
  6. Contact the Centre for Competitiveness and make your Coaching appointment with Dr Adrian Gundy.
  7. From your assessment and coaching session, write your Personal Action Development Plan complete with SMART objectives.
  8. Over time work towards achieving your development plan by focussing on new skils, different ways of working, experimenting and trying things out. Review at 3 and 6 monthly interviews. Confirm your progress and record your iimproved effectiveness! Celebrate!

Who Should Use This Approach?

Absolutely anyone who want to improve their personal effectiveness and performance. Whether you are a senior Leader, a Line Manager, Team Lead/Supervisor, long-time experienced worker or a budding Fast-Track graduate – these programmes cover 10 essential capability areas that really drive performance. Everyone can improve, everyone can benefit, everyone should take up the opportunity to grow and develop.


Simply go the Centre for Competitiveness events page at and click on the ‘Improve Your Personal Effectiveness’ link and register your interest.

So What Are You Waiting for?

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.   Aristotle

Case Study in Driving SME Growth….


PROGRAMME CASE STUDY – 1 NOVEMBER 2012 TO 31st December 2012

Project Title – thinkBIG:thinkINNOVATION Programme

 Background and Context

This was an EU and DETI-NI part funded programme led by Coleraine Borough Council in partnership with the Centre for Competitiveness.  In line with the programme objectives, ten companies were recruited at the start of the programme. Business baseline profiles were conducted for all 10 participating companies. This profile was the Business Juggler, details are to be found at The Business Juggler report is a 22 page document that sets out: –

i.         Simple benchmark of performance

ii.         Identified 9 areas of strength that can be developed into areas of Competitive Advantage

iii.         Identified 9 Areas of relative Weaker Performance to be developed and improved

iv.         A total of 18 suggestions for performance improvement to kick-start the conversation on Improvement Action Plans

v.         An action plan template

vi.         A comprehensive list of European Best and Better Practice indicators of performance

From the discussions around the Juggler report, a SMARTened action plan is developed with a clear focus through: –

i.         Specific

ii.         Measurable

iii.         Achievable

iv.         Realistic

v.         Time bound

Mentoring Support Delivered

Mentoring was delivered to all participating companies at 24 hours per company, meeting the programme target. In addition, an extra 59 hours of mentoring was delivered to the participating companies.

Best Practice Visits

The programme permitted one best practice, or similar, visit per participating company. The value of visits out to other companies or organisations cannot be underestimated. It always proves to be a source of ideas for improvement and growth.

Summary of Programme Impact of Benefits

At the completion of the programme, a comprehensive ‘Distance Travelled’ form was completed with each participant, which clearly captured all the programme impact, short-term benefits and longer-term outcomes. This is summarised as follows: –






2012 2011 +/- % Products Lines Variations Projects Value New Jobs










+9 F/T &

+20 P/T


How satisfied were you with the programme?

How satisfied were you with the mentor?

How would you rate the value of the programme?

How would you rate the effectiveness of the programme?

Have you or your business benefitted from the programme?

Would you recommend the programme to others?

Total Average





100% Yes

100% Yes

– The programme recorded a total of £88,000 of direct cost savings as a result of improvements and projects.JOBS – It is clear that the programme has had impact and brought many different benefits to all of the participants. Overall job creation was +9 Full Time and +20 Part Time new jobs.

SALES INCREASE – The programme recorded an increase of +5.2% sales increase, which equates to an extra £414,000

COMPANY SATISFACTION – 100% of participating companies received benefit and would recommend the programme.


Overall, it can be said that the programme went very well. In fact it can be considered as a Best Practice case study in the design and delivery of a company growth programme for small and medium sized companies delivered in partnership with a local council. It has applications Ireland-wide, as well as in the UK and further afield.

The question to ask is – ‘Why has this programme been successful when many similar programmes are, at best, average, and often ineffective?’ The answer lies in our experience to design a programme that is relevant and built upon proven method, uses talented people as mentors, and is well managed.

From a programme performance perspective, the metrics are impressive, increased turnover, reduced costs and job creation.

It is true of any programme of this type, when working with a range of companies of different sectors, maturity stages, sizes and experience, that not all companies will benefit in the same way. Some companies may have recorded a decline in sales or fortunes if they had not participated in the programme. It is therefore noteworthy that 100% of companies said they benefited and would recommend the programme to others. Also, the satisfaction levels were all above 75%. The reported creation of 9 F/T and 20 P/T jobs is also a strong indicator of performance.

Companies have been signposted to other opportunities where it is hoped they will continue their journey on using innovation to drive business improvement and business growth.

Dr Adrian Gundy.

Centre for Competitiveness.

1st March 2013.

Job Creation in the New Western Economy

What is Sustainable Job Creation?

With the news of yet another company closure and the loss of nearly 400 jobs, it brings the total number of jobs LOST in Northern Ireland in the last two years in EXCESS of 11,000. This is remarkably stunning statistic for all the wrong reasons. With a public sector dominant and unsustainable at around 60% of all economic activity, and the stated desire and need to reduce the public sector spend, it is essential we create new jobs in the private to replace those we are going to lose in the next five years in the public sector. What the pundits call ‘rebalancing the economy’.

Whether you are a supporter of this policy or not is a moot point, but one thing is for sure – Public Sector at 60%+ is not sustainable. As a region we have a massive tax deficit which is covered by the ‘NI Block Grant’ from the UK Exchequer, with their increasing inability to fund the gap, and with their intention to reduce it, we need a focused strategy for job creation. Whilst we might all argue about the numbers, nonetheless the principal I think is accepted by all. Successful job creation will have several benefits apart from rebalancing the NI economy, such as, reducing unemployment, re-engaging laid off public sector works, increasing tax pounds, reducing social security spend, increasing investment in health, education, infrastructure and the like, and generally making Northern Ireland a good place to come and live and work.

So, if we all agree to the above, and my sense is that we all do, political parties, trade unions, public , private and voluntary sectors – why are we losing jobs at the rate we are? It’s not just that we are not creating jobs, we are actually losing them at a significant rate. With the double dip recession in the UK and the Eurozone crisis deepening with no end in sight, there are fears that the rate of job will continue well into next year and possibly beyond. Is Northern Ireland at the mercy of world economics? With UK at 8th and Ireland at 27th in the Global Competitiveness Index for 2012-13, we have a choice – which position do we want NI to be closer to?

Which brings me to my point – what is a job and how do you create jobs? You might think this is an easy question, but I think not. Government is often castigated for not spending their/our money on job creation and job support strategies. For example, we hear repeated requests for government to spend again on its capital projects, giving a boost to the construction industry and thus creating jobs and wealth. However, I would argue this can only provide a short term stimulus, or shot in the arm, of the economy. This is not sustainable job creation. At best its an economy boost, and whilst I support whole heartedly the initiative, and others like it, it does not deal with the real issue of job creation.

So, what is a job? A job is created when a company is able to design, make and deliver a product or service which is paid for and the company makes a profit. The more a company sells the more it needs to design/make/deliver so the more people they hire (job creation) and the more profit they make the more they reinvest in people and technology making them more competitive, to sell more. And so the cycle continues. So, in my view, jobs are created by companies, not by governments/policies. They can and should influence, encourage, support, prime, kick start and so on, but ultimately what we need is a private sector hungry to grow.

In what ways can a company grow? and how can we grow the number of companies?

There are four principal ways I think: – (1) Organic Company Growth (2) New Company Start-up/Spin-out (3) Mergers and Acquisitions and (4) Companies locating in NI (FDI). In my last blog of this series, I will be writing about the polices and initiatives that government can do to support, encourage, prime and kick-start job creation. Your feedback is welcome.


Dr Adrian Gundy is with the Centre for Competitiveness where he works with a range of companies and organisations in the areas of innovation, OD and Company Growth.

Be sure to check out the other posts. If you would like to discuss with me how I could help you design your business growth strategy please contact him at: 


Drenagh Estate wins Gold Star for Customer Service Excellence

On 29 July 2012 Drenagh Estate and Hotel of Limavady were awarded the prestigious EFQM Gold Star for Customer Service Excellence. This is a European Benchmark of Better Practice and is a tremendous achievement. It is an outward indication for customers and suppliers alike that Drenagh is committed to a “Journey of Excellence”.
Drenagh was supported in their Journey to Customer Service Excellence by Limavady Borough Council.
Cathy Murphy of Drenagh says: –
It was a pleasure working with you especially when you were able to make the process so simple and informative yet thought provoking.
We look forward to seeing it help boost our sales and I am also looking forward to the formal presentation.
Once again; thank you for all your help and assistance.
Cathy Murphy
Senior Manager, Business Development