Welcome to my first blog and introduction to Liaise, a potted history of my professional journey and how Liaise has come about.
I have always loved working with people and their different personalities, egos and foibles. Often challenging, rarely dull, but incredibly satisfying. For the last 30 years I have worked in training, people and organisational development and for different types of business. Whilst each business and person are unique, I have found that their development needs are very similar, regardless of area of expertise and business size.
The name Liaise sums up the way I work, my beliefs, values and ethics. I work hand in hand with clients to help them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. That might be an individual who wants to improve their employability, or a business that wants to develop their people and / or expand.
People and Customers
People are the heart and backbone of any business. They are the greatest asset, but all too often they are not recognised and valued as an asset. It usually isn’t intentional - day to day business takes over and the “important” things take priority. Without doubt it can, and does, take time to nurture your people, but it is time well worth investing.
If people are the heart and backbone, customers are the lifeblood of a business. Without them you can’t pay your staff. Ensuring that your customers have the best possible experience will keep that blood flowing freely. A happy and engaged workforce who believe in your business and deliver your customers with that positive experience are key to the cycle of success.
In the words of Richard Branson, “Look after your staff and they will look after your customers”.
Our values of HONESTY – SIMPLICITY – TEAMWORK – TRUST are the foundation of our beliefs and Liaise.
Albert Einstein said “If you can’t explain it, you don’t understand it well enough”, which equates very nicely to one of my favourite acronyms – KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Not sure that I buy in to stupid, but you get the idea.
Have you ever been put off of doing something because it appeared confusing, sounded too intimidating or just plain scary? I have and I don’t want anyone to ever feel that about anything Liaise does. All too often things are made (or appear to be) very complicated, when really it is (or can be) much simpler. Our mission is to cut through the complexities and KISS it.
I’m a team player, people inspire, drive and motivate me, but we are all different thank goodness! I have learned over the years that you achieve so much more when you work as a team – a real team, when personal goals are outweighed by what the team and more importantly the business needs to achieve!
2008 was a terrible year for many of us. The construction industry, as is usual in these times, was hit badly, as was my ego! My team of IT trainers was wiped out and I was moved into HR as part of a combined training team of 3. The devastation of losing great people was awful and I felt dreadful! Despite all of this and being lucky enough to have kept my job, I hate to admit it, I felt that I had lost my kudos. I was no longer managing a team of my own, I now reported to the Head of L&D, not the Director of IT. However, this proved to be THE most pivotal time in my career. I think I learned more in the tough 18 months which followed than before or since.
The business had lost half its people, but there were still 600 left in offices and sites across the UK that needed us more now than ever. Once I got over myself and my ego took a back seat, the Terrible Trio as we became fondly known started really pulling together. We achieved far more than we ever thought we could. We overcame some huge obstacles, the feeling of accomplishment was amazing. I can quite honestly say that I am here today because of this experience and will always be the number one advocate of team work. Believe me, it is not easy, it is often hard work, but with perseverance the outcome and the team is sooooo worth it, for everyone.
..is vital to every successful relationship. It is tough to gain and easy to lose. Like Honesty and Team Work, Trust is a word which is bandied about, with very little substance and understanding of how they come about - you have to earn it!
If you take Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, (another of my favourites) the greatest dysfunction is lack of TRUST!
Each of our Values form a continuum; they are equally important and are intrinsically linked. Liaise will be known as a brand that our customers can rely on. A brand which, like great managers and leaders, will lead from the front and role model the behaviours and attitudes that will make our businesses great.
One final and very important thing:
I learned from a very young age while working with my parents in their businesses that you need to value your customers patronage and treat them with respect at all times. Much has changed since those days when I worked in the shops and hotel; Customer was King, the Customer is always right! I don’t believe either are right now. I know that without customers we don’t have businesses and that today’s customer is generally savvy, discerning and have a massive amount of choice.
Providing your customers with a product or a service that they can rely on is vital, but more to the point, when things go wrong, you still provide them with a service that they can rely on. They may not always get the outcome that they want, but what they will get is an outcome which is right and fair!
I want Liaise’s customers to feel special and will provide our customers with a service that I would want to receive. If anyone feels that is lacking, then I want to know what needs to be done differently and of course I want honest, constructive feedback!
And finally …..
I am really excited for the coming months and years and hope that if you are reading this that we can do business together. If you like what you see or understand my ethos, please pass it on to others.
So what makes Liaise special? Good question and one that I have been asking myself! The answer is, it’s not just one thing, it’s everything that I have written about and more. Mostly it’s about my desire to help people and businesses whether a start-up or established but growing to DEVELOP, GROW and EVOLVE.