Which income shares have professionals been buying? And should you copy them? I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Enter Your Email Address Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image source: Getty Images “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Dividends are becoming scarcer. Could looking at what the investment professionals did last month offer clues about where to look for income? I think so. I’ve taken a look at what three investment trusts revealed in their June factsheets (the latest ones available at the time of writing). I’ve done this to try to understand where they’re looking for income or growth.Professional buying Next shares I’ll look first at the high-yielding investment trust Merchants Trust (LSE: MRCH). Its top holdings are GlaxoSmithKline and British American Tobacco, which each account for over 5% of the trust’s value. 5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…But I’m more interested in what the manager has been actively doing to navigate this current tricky market. It’s clear they’ve been active. A new position in retailer Next was added. The manager commented:Whilst current trading is under huge pressure from the lockdown and social distancing, Next has reacted in its characteristically decisive way to protect its financial position and reposition for the future. Although the business cancelled its recent dividend, we would expect Next’s historically strong cash flow to recover, in the medium term, and for ordinary and possibly special dividends to resume.The trust also added to its positions in National Grid and SSE. The manager cited commitments to dividend policies as well as long-term growth in renewables as reasons to add more. Adding to an in-favour pharma shareThe management of the Murray Income Investment Trust (LSE: MUT) added to their AstraZeneca holding. Although it has a high price-to-earnings ratio, the pharma company has been growing. It has been involved in finding a vaccine for Covid-19, which has lifted the share price even further. Also for a number of years it has built up an impressive drug pipeline. Its focus on oncology has helped boost the shares.AstraZeneca has a modest dividend yield because of the share price rise. It is a company with growth potential and potential dividend growth as earnings rise. I’m pleased to have held onto it over recent years. This seems like a very sensible investment, although many investors will be put off by how expensive the shares now appear to be. Looking for dividend growth Lastly, I’ll turn my attention to Troy Income & Growth Trust (LSE: TIGT). It added to its relatively new holding in FTSE 100 testing company Intertek. The manager made no particular mention of why that position was increased, but based on an interview, it appears the reason for investing originally was to find lower-yielding companies with potential for dividend growth. The manager was also specifically looking for high-quality engineering or industrial companies.So the key lesson that could be gleaned from these examples is that the professionals are increasingly less concerned about the headline dividend yield. As the manager of Troy points out, the big dividends are too concentrated in a handful of companies – often in commodities. Instead, they will accept a lower yield that can be sustained by earnings growth and as a result are less likely to be cut. I’m inclined to follow their example in the hunt for income. Andy Ross owns shares in AstraZeneca, National Grid and Merchants Trust. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GlaxoSmithKline and Intertek. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Andy Ross | Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 | More on: MRCH MUT TIGT See all posts by Andy Ross Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares
Enter Your Email Address Nadia Yaqub | Sunday, 2nd May, 2021 | More on: CBX Is the hype over for Cellular Goods shares? Nadia Yaqub has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Image source: Getty Images See all posts by Nadia Yaqub Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Just a few months back, Cellular Goods (LSE: CBX) shares floated on the London stock market. There was a lot of hype around the stock. And I must admit I got sucked in by it.Cellular Goods shares listed at 5p and shot up to approximately 20p. But as I write the stock price has fallen to just over 8p.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…I’ve commented on the company before and highlighted that I was waiting for the euphoria to subside. I think the fall in the share price reflects the diminishing level of enthusiasm for the cannabinoid firm from investors.As a general rule, I don’t get involved at or straight after an initial public offering (IPO). Especially if there are not many public companies I can compare the newly listed company to, which is the case for Cellular Goods.The company has recently released an announcement but I’m still not convinced to buy the shares in my portfolio. For now I’ll watch from the sidelines but I reckon the stock is worth another look.Latest developmentsLast month, Cellular Goods announced the appointment of five new members to its team. This includes a Head of Process and Applied Sciences as well as two senior hires to its product development team. The company has also contracted two expert consultants to advise on the development of its pet care and skincare ranges.Firstly, I was surprised to hear that it’s dipping its toe into the pet care market. I’m aware that the firm is young and ambitious but I’d thought it would be better to focus on getting the skincare range up and running.Secondly, the company clearly has enough money from the IPO to strengthen its team. But for now, I reckon the pet care range is somewhat premature. The productsI think its worth noting that in its lengthy IPO prospectus, the company was initially targeting two product lines. The first being high-end skincare, and the second being athletic recovery products.At this point, I’ll add that none of these have launched yet! So in reality, it has not proven that it can sell the items. Hence the firm is not generating any revenue and is loss-making.It has the retired celebrity footballer, David Beckham, as an investor. I guess he could market the products, which could make them a success.The company still states that it will launch the first of its skincare items in September 2021. According to the IPO prospectus, this includes a high-quality face-mask and serum containing synthetic CBD, which is the well-known cannabinoid. Well, I guess I’ll have to wait and see.My viewThe market is flooded with CBD products, so Cellular Goods faces stiff competition. As I mentioned, David Beckham’s celebrity status may help the products, but I think consumers are smart and know that he will gain financially from it.I welcome the company improving its team. It’s a step in the right direction for Cellular Goods shares. After all, the new hires bring experience that can drive the firm forward.I reckon the hype has died down around the stock and reality has set in. The products have yet to prove themselves and I’ll be watching closely to see how well they do. For now, I’m not buying the shares for my portfolio. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997”
Projects Architects: Neuman Hayner Architects Area Area of this architecture project House R / Neuman Hayner ArchitectsSave this projectSaveHouse R / Neuman Hayner Architects ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/242404/house-r-sharon-neuman-architects Clipboard Area: 205 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Photographs Save this picture!© Amit Gosher+ 30 Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/242404/house-r-sharon-neuman-architects Clipboard 2011 Year: CopyHouses•Hod Hasharon, Israel Photographs: Amit GosherText description provided by the architects. The house was planned for a young family with 3 children, on a plot with a wide open view to the back, overlooking agricultural fields. After giving a great amount of consideration to the functionality of the space and the movement scheme, we have decided to build a split level house, placing the master bedroom half way between the public area and the children’s space.Save this picture!© Amit GosherThe scheme evolved into an L shape plan with the MBR placed in the middle, outside the L, being surrounded by its 2 wings. Since basement was not part of the requirements, we decided to hang the MBR as a cantilever, thus freeing the space beneath it, enlarging the garden and allowing interesting views across the lot. (The building code allows a space to be under 180 cm height, if it’s not to be included in the meters you pay taxes for, so the height is 179 cm).Save this picture!© Amit GosherUsing the same methods, hung an entire wall was hung between the living room area and the staircase \ kitchen \ dining room. Wanting to focus the view towards the outdoors as much as possible, and also to create an informal, inviting living room, we needed to place the TV screen in a manner that would not be turned away from the scenery, and the floating wall was the answer, maintaining a flow throughout the floor.Save this picture!© Amit GosherOne of our main goals was to design a house that is easy to live in, a lot of emphasis was given to storage, most of it hidden in the walls. We have used a 130 cm tall / 70 cm deep space beneath the MBR cube for storage, washer and dryer, and mechanical systems. A study is placed on the ground floor in an enclosed room, while a second, open study is placed on the children’s 1st floor.Save this picture!The local weather allows the outdoor kitchen to be very useful during most of the year. The pergola is able to be open to the sky allowing shade, or closed to rain, using electrical shutters that are either vertical or horizontal.Project gallerySee allShow less’Roof House’ Proposal / Betillon/Dorval‐Bory ArchitectesArticlesmodeLab Screening WorkshopArticles Share “COPY” “COPY” House R / Neuman Hayner Architects Houses ArchDaily Israel CopyAbout this officeNeuman Hayner ArchitectsOfficeFollowProductsGlassConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesHod HasharonHousesIsraelPublished on June 11, 2012Cite: “House R / Neuman Hayner Architects” 11 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021.
News News RSF_en Organisation SyriaMiddle East – North Africa News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria March 8, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Syria Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information The Syrian authorities continue to crack down on journalists and human rights activists in the run-up to the 10th anniversary of Bashar Al-Assad’s installation as president, despite government claims of greater freedoms in the past 10 years.Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate and unconditional release of journalists Ali Abdallah and Kamal Sheikhou ben Hussein, and the withdrawal of the charges against Souhayla Ismail and Bassem Ali.The author of many articles on the All4Syria website, Kamal Sheikhou was arrested on 25 June as he tried to enter Lebanon with his brother’s passport. He was not using his own passport because he has been banned from leaving the country.He was first arrested on 17 February 2007 and was placed in solitary confinement before being released a week later. No grounds were given for that arrest, which seems to have been prompted by his human rights activism.A member of the Committee for the Defence of Democratic Freedoms and Human Rights in Syria, he is currently a third-year student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Damascus. Souhayla Ismail and Bassem Ali have been charged with “resisting the socialist order” in connection with two reports published five years about alleged corruption and embezzlement by the head of Al-Asmida, a state-owned fertilizer company in the north of the country. They appeared before a court in Homs for the second time in 10 days on 13 April.They are facing these charges nearly four years after the regime’s conversion to a capitalist market economy and its integration into international trade mechanisms, all of which was accompanied by official rhetoric about democratisation and greater respect for political rights. But the constitution has not been changed and Article 1/15 of the Law on Economic Sanctions, allowing for the prosecution of those who disagree with the socialist system, is still in force.Writer and journalist Ali Abdallah, who should have been released on 16 June on completing a 30-month jail sentence, has been kept in detention because of an article criticising an aspect of Iran’s religious system that he wrote from his cell and posted online http://en.rsf.org/syrie-authorities-refuse-to-free-18-06-2010,37766.html). He was taken before a state security court on 19 April and is charged with “disseminating false information with the aim of harming the state.” The case is particularly worrying as it shows that it is dangerous for journalists to criticise not only the government but also its allies. Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists SyriaMiddle East – North Africa March 12, 2021 Find out more to go further Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law News July 1, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Growing crackdown on journalists and government critics February 3, 2021 Find out more
News Photo: Waleed Eldoud, www.alrakoba.net Follow the news on Sudan News RSF_en to go further Sudan : Press freedom still in transition a year after Omar al-Bashir’s removal Help by sharing this information SudanAfrica April 10, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Organisation News SudanAfrica September 8, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Sudanese journalist held without charge in Saudi Arabia, fears extradition News Reporters Without Borders has learned that Walid Eldoud Elmakki Elhussein, a Sudanese journalist resident in Saudi Arabia since 2000, has been held without charge for the past six weeks and, according to his family, could be extradited to Sudan.As far as the Saudi authorities are concerned, he has broken no Saudi law. His brother, Hussai Eldoud Elmakki Elhussein, told Reporters Without Borders that his arrest was requested by the Sudanese intelligence services, who object to a website he edits call Al Rakoba.Launched in 2005, Al Rakoba originally just had opinions but it gradually incorporated more and more news content and often has articles about Sudan and regional news developments. The authorities have been keeping a close eye on the site for years and have repeatedly blocked it, especially in 2010.When Elhussein was arrested at his home on 23 July, six plainclothesmen and a uniformed policeman seized all his computer equipment and mobile phones.His wife has been able to visit him three times and says he is being well treated. But his lawyer has not been allowed to see him. Elhussein reported that the officer in charge of his case told him he could be extradited to Sudan, where he fears being jailed and tortured.“We are concerned about the possibility of Elhussein’s extradition to Sudan,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “If his extradition is confirmed, he has serious grounds for fearing persecution by the Sudanese security services, which have repeatedly threatened him in the past. In the absence of any official charge, we urge the Saudi authorities to free him at once. Failing that, his right to see his lawyer should be guaranteed and he should be told what he is charged with.” Sudan is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. April 6, 2020 Find out more Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa March 29, 2020 Find out more
Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Pinterest 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Twitter Facebook Google+ Cllr O’Neill says Councils roads policy is paying dividends Twitter WhatsApp Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Homepage BannerNews Pinterest By News Highland – September 29, 2014 Previous articleLagan win Ladies FAI Junior CupNext articleMcGinley praised as sensational Ryder Cup captain News Highland A Donegal councillor says the authority’s policy of advance preparation and planning for road projects is paying dividends.Cllr Barry O’Neill says in recent years, the council has not only spent all its initial roads allocations, it has also been in a position to fund extra projects when money becamwe available at short notice, because other councils were not able to spend it on time.Defending the decision not to cut property tax levels at last Friday’s adjourned council meeting, Cllr O’Neill says this is just one area where the council’s ability to provide a good service would be compromised…….Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/bonroads.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North
WhatsApp Facebook By News Highland – April 16, 2020 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Donegal Airport sees increase in passenger numbers Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Donegal Airport saw a 4.3% increase in passenger numbers in 2019.48,542 passengers travelled through the airport last year, up from 46,537 in 2018.Meanwhile, over 805,000 travellers used Knock Airport in 2019, up 3.9% on the previous year.A total of 38.1 million people passed through Irish airports last year, up 4.2%. Google+ Twitter Facebook Twitter Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Pinterest Homepage BannerNews Previous articleDonegal beef farmers facing total wipeout, warn IFANext articleLetterkenny Lower Main Steet back under spotlight in 2040 plan News Highland Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further
How to get away from it allOn 1 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Inthe current climate, running a course away from the office may seem difficult.But if you’ve got the budget and willing delegates, it can pay offMost off-site training venues will tell you business is still buoyant. Butthe reality for many, particularly those relying on overseas trade, is that theoutlook for bookings is uncertain at best and gloomy at worst. Fears of an economic downturn were already gaining ground in the summer, butthe attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September have created an even morevolatile outlook for business in general. This is expected to put more pressure on training budgets. In addition,off-site venues have also had to cope with the reluctance of some delegates,particularly those based in the US, to attend courses in the UK. So how can trainers convince their companies of the undoubted benefits ofoff-site training and how are venues responding to the challenges? First, the extent to which off-site training business may have fallen offis, so far, difficult to measure and, given the short-term uncertaintyfollowing the terrorist attacks and retaliation in Afghanistan, the picture isunlikely to become clear for a few months. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests there are problems. Fay Sharpe,sales and marketing director at IBR, a venues finding agency, says, “Wewere seeing a softening before 11 September, with the downturn in the IT andtelecoms industries, but since the attacks prices have fallen further becausemany venues aren’t getting the international occupancy they’re used to.” In London and the Home Counties, the most popular location for overseasdelegates, prices are down to the lowest levels since the recession of theearly 1990s, says Sharpe. PositiveThe positive side is that UK-based companies can now organise off-sitetraining at many venues for less than they would have paid earlier in the year.The nervousness over travel, and not just for overseas delegates, isconfirmed by Mike West, a senior partner at training company BeStrategic. “Shortly after the terrorist attack, I was at a training conference for80 people, but only 25 turned up and that was for a UK company,” he says. He criticises business for over-reacting and, while nervousness amongtravelling delegates could subside over the coming months, it does meantraining venues have had to respond to the challenge. Gillian Holdom, director of the M¿ller Centre in Cambridge, which isaffiliated to Churchill College, says the problems can be overcome by bothvenues and employers taking a more flexible approach. “We had one event,not long after the attacks, in which eight US delegates cancelled, but theywere able to offer the places to colleagues in the UK,” she says. She argues that the fall in business affects venues in central London muchmore than locations like Cambridge. “Nevertheless, in the coming months we are expecting less internationalbusiness and that means we will be looking for more UK custom.” She declines to comment on whether prices will come down, but says thecentre is already taking a more flexible approach on any cancellations. “We realise that companies may not be able to guarantee well in advancehow many people will attend an event and that numbers in groups that includepeople coming from abroad may fluctuate.” Despite the problems, venue directors like Holdom say they have a good storyto tell when it comes to persuading companies of the benefits of off-sitetraining. One of the advantages, she says, is being able to offer training inattractive surroundings, providing a contrast to the hurly-burly of theworkplace, particularly for delegates who work in large cities. Delegates also respond well to short extra-curricular activities in theprogramme, which can break up the day and allow participants to recharge theirbatteries and to network. “We have a big choice of activities that provide a break in training fordelegates, such as punting on the river Cam, a guided tour of Cambridge or aspecial presentation at the Churchill archive, which is on our site.” Networking These extra-curricular activities not only make the training event morememorable, she says, but also provide opportunities for delegates fromdifferent parts of the same company to get to know each other. “They’re a great ice-breaker and so help achieve the objective ofbetter communication within companies,” she says. Mike West of BeStrategic agrees that interspersing training with otheractivities can make people more receptive to the learning. “I like to include an activity not related to the training for perhapsan hour each day of the course,” he says. He adds, “The activity needs to be close by and have a specific themeto keep people interested. “For example, on a course in Cambridge I took delegates to a speciallyorganised talk on Darwin at the botanical gardens and that went down verywell.” Peter Hall, director of the Wadenhoe Consultancy, a venue inNorthamptonshire, agrees that it is often equally important what happens awayfrom the training. “We’re in the middle of the countryside, which means people tend tocongregate after the day’s training in the bar or in the village pub and talkabout what they’ve been doing.” Hall argues that this informal discussion of the training plays a key rolein how effective the programme turns out to be. “When you examine how people learn, the actual training is only onepart. What’s also important is for people to discuss and reflect on whatthey’ve been learning, otherwise it’s quickly forgotten.” Discussions with colleagues allow delegates to clarify issues and workthrough in their own minds what the training is about and how it can be used inpractical terms. Hall adds that another important benefit of off-site training is the espritde corps that can be developed when staff are away from their desks. Distractions On a practical level, it is clear that one of the benefits of getting peopleaway from the workplace is the lack of distractions. In workplace-based training, those distractions can range from phone callsand e-mails to delegates believing they have to firefight a problem in their department.Whether the distractions are small or large, they inevitably detract from theeffectiveness of a training course. Andy Dixon, business development manager at Impact Development TrainingGroup, which owns three hotels in the Lake District, says it is important forstaff to get out of the office for training. “If training is on site, there are constant interruptions from phonecalls, e-mails and so on. “At our courses we provide windows during the day for people to checkmessages and return calls, but outside those times delegates are fully involvedin the programme.” Impact’s courses often include delegates giving feedback to each other, saysDixon. “That can be very difficult if you’re in a workplace environmentwhere people are constantly interrupted.” People also behave differently when taken out of the workplace hierarchiesand office politics, which can enable employers to more accurately assess thepotential of staff, argues Maggie Samuel, account director at training companyStatus Meetings. “When there’s a training or teambuilding activity on site, staff tendto stick to their roles, so a junior member of a team will behave in a juniorway. But, off site, things change and some individuals reveal talents oraptitudes they may not have realised they had.” She adds that leaders in the office may find themselves eclipsed bysubordinates on an off-site event, such as a Survivor-type management trainingcourse. “That allows the employer to tap into the hitherto unrecognisedtalents of staff back in the workplace,” she says. In today’s uncertain economic climate it is paradoxically even moreimportant for employers to look at off-site training, says Samuel. “A lot of people are worried about their jobs at the moment, whichmeans motivation and morale often suffer,” she says. “If an employer takes its staff off for on off-site event, it makes thestaff feel recognised and valued and that’s good for business in the longrun.” Top tips for away days1 Location: There is no pointchoosing a fantastic venue – especially for a short course – if it’s so faraway people arrive tired and grumpy. For an event attracting delegates from allover the UK, consider booking a venue that is central rather than in London. 2 Facilities: Make sure you ask about what facilities areavailable, such as break-out rooms. How old is the venue? Has it beenrefurbished recently?3 Costs: In today’s climate, venues are more likely to offerdiscounts, so don’t accept the first price quoted. Also, check if there are anyhidden costs, such as charges for the use of break-out rooms.4 Cancellations: Nervousness about travel means it’s morelikely delegates from overseas will cancel or change their plans. Make sureyou’re aware of the venue’s policy on cancellation and no-shows.5 Non-training activities: Interspersing training with otheractivities can make the event more interesting. Ask the venue if they canrecommend bite-sized excursions or events. Some venues will organise themedevents in the locality.6 Don’t overload: One of the advantages of getting people awayis allowing time for informal discussion and networking, so don’t pack theagenda too tightly.7 Leisure clubs: A growing number of venues boast leisureclubs, with pool, gym and sauna. These can help delegates unwind during arigorous training programme.8 Accommodation: Try to choose a single venue for both trainingand accommodation as it can disrupt the programme if delegates have to travelbetween their lodgings and the training venue.9 Distractions: Make sure all distractions are kept to aminimum by, for example, asking delegates to switch off mobile phones duringtraining. But allow “windows” during the day for staff to pick upmessages and return calls.10 Top and tail: Consider whether the off-site training needsto be reinforced by pre-course learning in the workplace and assessment afterdelegates have returned to work.Off-site training livens up learningOne of the obvious advantages oftaking staff away from the workplace is the opportunity to really liven uptraining.For example, in September Impact Development Training Grouporganised a carnival-themed event for 460 newly recruited graduate traineesfrom Deutsche Bank, as part of a global teamworking programme.Held at the London Arena in the capital’s Docklands, delegatesattended from all over the world to improve their teamworking, influencing andnetworking skills.Normally used for pop concerts or sports events, the arena wastaken over for two days to become the venue for a huge carnival procession.”We had drum workshops, dancing classes and mask making,which allowed the delegates to put on a fantastic carnival from scratch,”says Andy Dixon of Impact.Maggie Samuel, account director at Status Meetings, agrees thattraining events in off-site venues can be spiced up to make them more fun andeffective.”We’ve run ‘Wild West’ teambuilding events, where we splitdelegates into groups representing rival families and then set them tasks likebuilding a railroad. We then get them to co-operate with other ‘families’, in asimilar way to how regional teams must work together,” she says.Using actors to make training fun, while getting across animportant message, is also a useful tool, says Samuel.”We ran an event on supply chain management for the oiland gas industry, but used actors to burst in several times during the day toreinforce what was being taught in an entertaining way,” she added.What about not only getting staff away from the workplace, butallowing them to record their very own souvenir CD? That’s the brainchild of The Radio Business, which runsteamworking and leadership events at a recording studio in the Yorkshirecountryside.Participants have access to state-of-the-art technology and arecord producer in coming up with their version of a song of their choice.Trainer Clive Gott, who has facilitated recording-based eventsat the studio, says the most valuable part of the exercise is the CD, whichdelegates get to keep at the end. “It provides a permanent ‘anchor’ toremind a group of people how they’ve worked as a productive and highlymotivated team.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
HR strategy forum: Using a balanced scorecardOn 18 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Ask our experts. Personnel Today would like readers to send in theirstrategic HR dilemma. All questions will remain anonymous and will be forwardedto our strategy forum members, two of whom will provide step-by-step advice inthe magazine. Send your dilemmas to [email protected] dilemma Using a balanced scorecard I am the HR director for an UK-based global technology company employingabout 7,000 people. The company was formed as the result of the merger of twosimilar sized companies, one of which had acquired a company about a third ofits size the year before. As part of building the new company, the chief executive wants to introducea balanced scorecard. He has commissioned the strategic planning director toset it up. She has formed a steering group made up of the finance director, theinternal IT director and me. We have had a presentation from a specialistconsultant, who is expected to work with the committee on applying the balancedscorecard. My experience of scorecards is limited to an aborted initiative in my formercompany. The plan is to introduce the scorecard at board level and the two managementlevels below. I am required to recommend items for inclusion in the ‘People,Learning and Innovation’ perspective. The challenge is not only to choose thefactors to be used, but to ensure they can be measured. Each company had its own performance indicator system and there is littlecrossover in how people are classified. One company used to do regular employeesurveys, but the other two did not. Our aim as an HR team is to be seen as a credible business partner, so howcan we maximise HR’s contribution to the group? Solution 1 By Marie Gill, head of organisational development, AsdaThe balanced scorecard is amanagement system – not only a measurement system – which enables organisationsto clarify their vision and strategy, and translate them into action. You viewyour organisation from four perspectives, each of which needs objectives,measures, targets, and underpinning initiatives. These are: learning andgrowth; business process; the customer; and the financial perspective, ie, howyou appear to your shareholders.Step 1 Clarify your vision andbusiness strategy. Identify the ‘five to drive’ within the combinedorganisation for the next year or so. Integration of key business processeswould be one, maximising sales opportunities internationally another, but therewill be more. When compiling the list, ensure agreement to it from all businessleaders. Step 2 Define the HR strategywhich supports delivery of this vision. This will include integration of peopleissues, management style, morale, employee understanding of business objectivesand how the organisation will work. Articulate what the world will look like atvarious stages along your timeline. Ensure other business leaders can see howyour strategy supports the business plan.Step 3 Develop yourmeasurement processes and targets. Take account of the different mechanismswithin each of the merged businesses as it may be necessary to compromise onaccuracy in order to get common data as you are looking for trends. Considerreinventing your attitude survey across the business for targeted feedback onmorale, style, training, and communication matters. Also consider:– People – absence, payroll, system conversion programmes andattendance at organisational integration workshops– Learning – training completion, succession planning, internalpromotions, mentors– Innovation – good-ideas scheme, speed to market of newproducts, shared process improvements.Step 4 Link achievement of thebusiness priorities into the performance management system. Your seniormanagers should reflect the ‘five to drive’. For each area of the businessthese can be translated into department, team, and individual performance indicatorsand targets. Use behavioural measures as well as hard measures. Your strategyneeds to develop these in conjunction with business leaders and end users. Step 5 Engage those who will have influence. Set a planto communicate the scorecard philosophy and what will be measured to those whowill manage achievement. Until the system is bedded in and robust, it may bethat only the top layers of the organisation are briefed – but have a plan toroll this out provided that the measures and targets are relevant to youraudience. Solution 2 By Andrew Mayo, director, MLIHR needs to be seen as a seriousbusiness partner – not just to co-operate with the business, but to providesome kind of lead. However, you should be wary of the pitfalls arising frompicking measures just to complete the boxes, and the problem of gettingcredible indicators measured in a standardised way.Step 1 The first priority would be to demonstrate abroader interest in performance management than just the ‘people’ perspectiveof the scorecard. The rationale is that the end result is likely to bereflected in incentive schemes and your concern should be that it all hangstogether. You would need to influence the steering group to establishcause-and-effect relationships between the overall business goals and themeasures to be chosen, so that measures are fully integrated. Step 2 The fact there arethree performance indicator systems is a problem that other measurement areaswill have – except for finance, which is usually integrated first. So eachdirector will have the same problem of getting a consistent approach across thenew company. However, do not go just for what is easy to collect – the chosenmeasures must be useful and be critical in the strategic chain of cause andeffect.Step 3 Do not feel you shouldhave all the same measures for each level in the project, or for each businessunit. The object is to effectively manage performance towards strategic goals –what affects performance at level 3 may not be the same as level 1; whatmatters in one business area may be less important in another. It is specificsthat make a difference, not generalisations. Step 4 Across HR, survey andaudit the data you do have, business unit by business unit. Based on the chosenmeasures agreed with the steering group, what can you build on? What do youneed to create? How long will it take? This may lead to a phased introductionof the scorecard. Make sure the consultant does not lead the group into his/herpet solutions – and works only to support the agenda of the steering group.How the forum worksThe HR Strategy Forum, which issupported by some of the industry’s most experienced people (see below), is PersonnelToday’s major new initiative to help readers become more strategic in theirday-to-day operations. Over the coming months, Personnel Today will give a unique,developmental opportunity to hone your strategic skills using a wide range ofHR scenarios submitted by senior HR professionals. Each week, our panel ofexperienced practitioners and consultants will provide solutions to a typicalstrategic HR dilemma. You can get involved by sending in your own problems,marked ‘strategic dilemmas’, to [email protected] Brown, Assistant director general, CIPDPaul Kearns, Director, PWLJim Matthewma,n Worldwide partner,Mercer Human Resource ConsultingAndrew Mayo, Director,MLILouise Allen, Director, LAPartnersPenny Davis, Head of HR operations,T-MobileMarie Gill, Head of organisationaldevelopment, AsdaNeil Roden, HR director, Royal Bankof ScotlandRalph Tribe, Vice-president of HR,Getty ImagesDilys Winn, HR director,Gloucestershire County CouncilMargaret Savage, Head of HR strategy,BT Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.