Jul 012020
 

As a director how comfortable are you with company finance?

financial-documents1000

Are you confident in your ability to understand the three core elements of Management Accounts:

  • Cash Flow?
  • Profit and Loss (or Income and Expenditure)?
  • Balance Sheet?

Do you understand Forecast/Budget, Actuals and Variance reports?

Do you know how to use Key Ratios to evaluate your company’s performance?

Do you know if you are trading whilst insolvent?

This half-day course will provide the essential knowledge of those key financial issues and concepts that are needed by successful Executive and Non-Executive Directors in order to discharge their duties and responsibilities as a company director. The completion of this course will provide a good grasp of the key elements of Management Accounts and Statutory Financial Accounts. It will also provide a sound theoretical financial knowledge base upon which to build and acquire new and more advanced financial skills.

Who should attend?

Executive and Non-Executive Directors, senior executives or aspiring directors looking to understand more about company finance.

Course Content

  • The Three Key Financial Statements
    • Cash Flow Statements: Importance of cash flow and Impact of credit and credit control, Problems affecting cash flow, Dealing with Debtors and Creditors
    • Profit & Loss Account, Types of profit, and Layout & use of the profit & loss account
    • Balance Sheets: Assets; Liabilities; Net current assets, capital employed and how to interpret the information;
  • Revenue and Capital Expenditure
    • What are Capital and Revenue Expenditure
    • Phasing of capital spend and its Implications for budget holders
  • Depreciation; Assets and liabilities
    • What is Depreciation?
    • The Different types and uses
  • Forecasts and Budgets
    • The purpose of forecasts for the business
    • Budget objectives
    • Budgetary Control as a management tool
    • Variance analysis
  • Using Ratios to Support Investment Decisions
    • Return on Capital Employed (ROCE); Payback; Internal Rate of Return (IRR); Net Present Value of assets (NPV)
    • Investment decisions and Return on Investment (ROI); Cost of capital
    • Gearing, is the level of borrowing too risky?
    • Liquidity, could the company hit cash flow problems?
    • Profitability, how well is the company doing?

Learning Objectives

This half-day course enables participants to understand better, the key attributes and approaches that underpin a strategic and tactical financial approach to management and help to develop the key skills and styles that will allow participants to be more effective when adopting and applying a decision making approach to management.

By the end of this training course participants will be better able to:

  • Read, analyse and interpret any set of Financial Statements, including the Balance Sheet, the Profit & Loss Account and the Cash Flow statements
  • Understand and quantify the impact of the fundamental accounting concepts and the chosen policies upon any set of accounts
  • Recognise and understand the underlying impact of the generally accepted accounting principles and policies on any Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account
  • Understand the key differences between statutory published accounts and the internal monthly management accounts
  • Identify and discuss the key financial issues facing an organisation
  • Understand the wider commercial impact of any business decision and its interaction with non-financial aspects of the organisation, enabling you to make a better contribution to key discussions and decision making amongst managers and within the organisation
  • Understand the basics of budgets and the implementation of budgeting processes
  • Value any business using commonly used and widely accepted valuation techniques such as Net Asset Value, Enterprise Value and EBITDA
  • Communicate more effectively and easily with Finance Directors, and other Finance professionals; through an in depth understanding of financial terminology, management and evaluation techniques.

Course Leader:
David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here:

Key Details

Duration: 1/2 day
10:00 – 15:00
Location:
Zoom Video Conference

Price
£250.00 (ex VAT)
Payment with Booking Price £220.00 (ex
VAT)
Partner Discount Price £195.00 (ex VAT)*

Book Now

To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration

The fee includes refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 3 verifiable CPD hours of structured learning which count towards the requirements of most business focussed institutes, including the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Consulting, the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and many others.  After successful completion of the course, you will receive an electronic Certificate confirming that you have successfully completed the course, detailing the outcomes and results.

*Discounts on Excellencia course fees are available for:

Apr 282020
 

The need to identify, measure and mitigate business continuity risks has never been more relevant.

Strategic risks stop businesses achieving their strategic goals – they are the big risks, usually coming from outside the business, that are difficult to anticipate and mitigate for.

Key among them is the risk to business continuity: the ability of the business to continue to deliver its goods or services when the fabric of the business – its people or assets – have been affected by a major external event.

The current coronavirus pandemic is clearly one such major event which has brought into sharp focus the business continuity planning of those businesses which are able to continue to operate during the lockdown period.

Business continuity plans are commonplace in most businesses, and usually involve the technical aspects of running a business, such as making sure that the IT systems and stored data are available and accessible remotely. There are, however, some more fundamental risks to business continuity which are often overlooked until the worst happens.

The biggest risk to any business facing an external threat to its operations is financial – the business simply running out of cash while its operations are disrupted. To mitigate this risk, business need sufficient reserves to weather the storm.

Many businesses (and most charities) in the UK live a hand-to-mouth existence with very low levels of cash reserves – usually no more than would be needed to wind down the company, pay off debts and pay redundancy costs, and in some cases not even that.

When something like a pandemic-triggered lockdown occurs, the immediate plan is for as many employees as possible to work from home. But even large multinational companies have found that this is not as simple as it sounds, with emergency investment required in additional hardware such as laptops and increased bandwidth and server capacity.

The first mitigation for business continuity risk is to ensure that there is a “rainy day” fund in your reserves to cover the additional costs the business will face in order to stay operational.

The second mitigation factor is insurance. Make sure you know exactly what is covered, though – many businesses have discovered that they are not insured for the effects of a global pandemic. It may also take time for insurers to pay out so you will need to go back to your cash reserves or make sure you have sufficient borrowing facilities such as an overdraft in place.

Thirdly, you will need to look at your corporate governance arrangements, particularly your articles of association, to ensure that you are legally able to hold board and shareholder meetings electronically. You may need to hold more frequent, shorter virtual board meetings and they will still need to be accurately minuted to record any decisions taken during the crisis period.

The fourth aspect of managing business continuity risk is communication – make sure your staff, suppliers and most importantly your customers are aware of any new arrangements which may apply, even if it is just to tell them that you are still open for business. The ideal is that any changes which are made to the business as a result of a major external event should appear seamless to the customer or end-user. Where this is not possible, communication is vital to minimise the impact to the business.

The increasing reliance on IT systems, software and digital data has meant that most business continuity plans are the responsibility of the IT department, and will in general have little or no visibility at board level – other than to clarify if there is a business continuity plan in place, and whether it has been tested recently.

In fact, business continuity is highly significant in terms of its impact on the delivery of the business strategy and should be considered in detail by the board on a regular basis.

As will be shown by the current crisis, those businesses which have been able to carry on by finding innovative solutions to the delivery of their goods or services are much more likely to be successful post-lockdown – demonstrating the value of looking seriously at the risks facing the business and, where possible, turning them into opportunities and sources of competitive advantage.

First published in Business Reporter https://business-reporter.foleon.com/business-reporter/risk-management-insurance/the-risks-of-carrying-on-regardless/ 23 April 2020

Nov 282019
 

Neil Woodford – cautious, conservative, contrarian, high-risk?

These words could all have been used to describe Woodford’s investment strategy at various times during his slow rise and sudden downfall – and they all give an indication of the degree of risk he was taking with his clients’ money.

It is well established in the investment industry that risk and reward tend to go hand in hand – the greater the risk, the greater the potential return on the investment – that is the positive upside to risk – the downside is that the greater the risk the more likelihood there is that investors may lose some or all of their investment.

Risks then are both a source of competitive advantage and a potential threat to success – they can make or break an organisation.

Did Thomas Cook stop taking risks or did they just stop managing their strategic risks?

Not only is it important to recognise that risk-taking is an essential part of building a successful business it is also important that everyone involved in running a business understands what risks are being taken, how they can avoid the downsides and more importantly, how they can exploit the upsides.

Successful enterprises, globally, are realising that risks are something to incorporate into their strategy, not as something to avoid – they recognise the dangers of standing still and avoiding risks and they have made the cultural shift needed to change their business leaders’ approach to taking more risks and reaping the rewards from the greater opportunities available for bolder organisations.

A good place to start with identifying risks is the Business Plan or overall strategy document for the business – a well written plan should be based on an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation and the opportunities available to it and any potential threats to its success.

Although when people think of risks they usually focus on the negative aspects – what can go wrong, it is also useful to think of the ‘positive’ risks presented by opportunities.

Once risks have been identified they can then be prioritised to enable the Board to satisfy itself that the organisation’s risks are being managed effectively with regular reviews and discussion to ensure that the most likely or highest impact risks are kept in sight – there will still be shocks and crises for the Board to contend with but an organisation that has identified and mitigated its key strategic risks will be much better prepared to face them than competitors who have not.

No alt text provided for this image

Recent changes in company law and Corporate Governance, in particular the UK Corporate Governance Code, have emphasised the need for companies to have better strategic risk management and leadership of change, to re calibrate their tolerance for well-managed and calculated risk-taking, to improve their capabilities in managing risk, to have better horizon scanning and the ability to address uncertainties and emerging risks, to place more emphasis on culture and behaviour and for their boards to focus on the things that matter with clear ownership/accountability for risks.

The culture and behaviour of the CEO and the Board with regards to risk is key to ensuring effective decision-making, which drives the success of the business.

There is a balance to be struck between taking measured strategic risks involving innovation and the reduction or elimination of undesired negative risks – a manufacturing plant cannot totally eliminate the production of faulty components but it can ensure that there is a relatively small number of them and they do not get as far as the final assembly line.

In addition to prioritising strategic risks then, we can introduce the concept of risk tolerance where the Board clearly defines and articulates the acceptable levels of risk that it will tolerate.This is analogous to the aphorism “not putting all your eggs into one basket” – a prudent Bank, for example, would not attempt to transfer all its customers from one software platform to another over a weekend – instead it would use pilot phases using batches of customers to ensure all wrinkles were ironed out before undertaking a mass migration of customer accounts.

Oil exploration is inherently a risky business, but it was the mismanagement of the reputation risk by CEO Tony Hayward which caused the most damage to the organisation rather than the environmental risk.

Operational risks, which usually arise from internal causes or known external factors, can be mitigated by using a rules-based treatment which ensures that appropriate policies, procedures and employee training are in place.

The speed with which crises go viral on social media means that it is reputation risk which is far more likely to impact on an organisation’s strategy than financial or environmental risks by themselves.The U.S. investigation commission attributed the Gulf of Mexico disaster to BP’s management failures that crippled “the ability of individuals involved to identify the risks they faced and to properly evaluate, communicate, and address them.”

This evaluation of the cause of the failure could equally well be applied to the failure of many financial institutions during the 2007–2008 credit crisis or Volkswagen and the ‘Diesel Gate’ scandal or indeed any of the high-profile corporate collapses that have occurred in the last few years.

Traditional approaches to risk management use formulaic analysis tools and rules-based systems to produce a risk-register and assurance framework where the Board’s discussion focus is too often on the numbers created by the estimates of likelihood and impact rather than the nature of the risks themselves.

Operational risks, which usually arise from internal causes or known external factors, can be mitigated by using a rules-based treatment which ensures that appropriate policies, procedures and employee training are in place.

Strategic risks on the other hand are much more likely to involve unknown or unknowable factors and therefore require a different approach.

We also see this in the financial sector with regulation and compliance, which is very similar to the management of strategic risks. Going from the familiar to the unimaginable is easier than just thinking of catastrophic outcomes as abstract risks.

These new ways of categorising risk enable Boards to decide which risks can be managed through a rules-based model and which require alternative approaches.

Key to successfully managing existential strategic risks is the ability of the Board, its executives and non-executives to engage in open, constructive, discussions about managing the risks relating to strategic choices and embedding the treatment of those risks in their strategy formulation and implementation processes.

Most importantly for organisations this includes identifying and preparing for non-preventable risks that arise externally to their strategy and operations such as significant swings in global markets, trade wars and global conflicts.

Taking Donald Rumsfeld’s Known knowns, Known unknowns and Unknown unknowns we can map those to the three main types of risks that organisations face, preventable risks, strategic risks and non-preventable risks.

Preventable risks are the internal “never events” that are controllable and should not be tolerated. A risk-based approach to running a business involves having an open management culture with clear recognition of the risks, mitigations and assurances needed to enable all employees to play their part in the company’s success.

There is also a need for Boards to learn from their mistakes – the Banks that failed in the 2007-2008 financial had relegated risk management to a compliance function with their risk managers having limited access to senior management and the Board, whereas the Banks that survived such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase had strong internal risk-management functions and leadership teams that understood and managed the companies’ multiple risk exposures.

The future of risk and risk management will be a continuation of the trend to make consideration of strategic risk a key element in the development of corporate strategy – recognising its importance as a source of competitive advantage and a means to avoid the dramatic corporate failures that seem to be occurring with increasing regularity.

First published in Business Reporter Online • November 2019

https://business-reporter.foleon.com/business-reporter-2019/risk-management/whats-the-risk-an-inconvenient-necessity-or-a-source-of-competitive-advantage/

Jul 092019
 

Risk in business is inevitable – in fact it is essential. A business which does not take commercial risks will not grow, and a business which does not grow is doomed to decline.

Yet, by and large, people in business, as in life, are risk averse, seeking where possible to follow the path which provides the lowest perceived risk.

That is not to say that business leaders should behave recklessly, taking unnecessary risks with little regard to the consequences. Rather, they should take managed risks, and it is the job of the board to ensure that the risks are managed robustly and rigorously.

Businesses need to identify the risks that they face, think of ways in which they might reduce the impact of each risk on the operation of the business and prioritise their focus onto the risks with the highest likelihood of occurrence and the greatest impact to the business.

Strategic, or enterprise, risks are the overarching risks the business takes when it sets or modifies the direction of travel of the business.

With the advent of the internet, social media and digital marketing, the main risks businesses face are no longer purely financial – business failures are much more likely to occur because of reputational, environmental or security risks.

Boards need to satisfy themselves that the business’s risks are being addressed effectively and that they have the expertise available to identify, mitigate and manage risks which are far more important today than they were two decades ago.

As we have seen, businesses which have gained significant market share by delivering innovative products or services can have their share values decline dramatically through an ill-considered tweet (Elon Musk and Tesla) or misuse of customers’ data (Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook) – reputations which have taken years to make can be lost almost immediately, and many boards are ill-equipped to build the reputational resilience for their businesses to survive in the digital age.

Cyber-security is also now a very real threat to the livelihood of many businesses, and it is not just a technical issue. Boards are investing in new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to supplement their use of cyber-security consultants, penetration testing and ethical hacking to make their data systems more secure, but unless they also tackle their internal security processes there is still the possibility that a disgruntled employee or sub-contractor will leak sensitive data to competitors or publish it on the internet.

We have also seen the rise of state-sponsored cyber-threats which have further damaged the reputations of companies such as Facebook and Twitter, where fake accounts and targeted advertising have been used to influence voters in recent elections.

In addition to these reputational and security risks, boards are also having to contend with the external risks brought about by volatile financial markets. Brexit in Europe and the threat of US trade wars have led to wide fluctuations in world markets and currency exchange rates, which can have highly significant and often detrimental effects on global supply chains – and even if businesses are not directly affected the associated loss of consumer confidence can have wide-ranging consequences.

My experience, based on working with boards of businesses in many different sectors, is that board members are often unprepared or ill-equipped to deal with these strategic or enterprise risks, and chairs should question the make-up of their boards and the effectiveness of the way those boards deals with risk.

Boards often fear articulating risks in the mistaken belief that somehow this will guarantee that they will happen. The reverse is closer to the truth – failure to recognise risks means that the business is not ready to address them and has not put in place the measures, controls or mitigations to eliminate or minimise the effect of the risks.

Risks are also not always negative, and a business that is on top of its strategic risk governance can turn a risk into an opportunity at the expense of its competitors.

If businesses are to avoid the dramatic failures that we have seen with companies such as Carillion, House of Fraser, Patisserie Valerie and, most recently, Debenhams, then their boards need to invest in the expertise to enable them to identify, understand and manage the key risks that they face in the first half of the 21st century.

First published in Business Reporter Future of Risk Issue

Sep 272017
 

The effective Non-Executive Director course helps you to be an effective non-executive director. It instils a real sense of what is expected of NEDs, and how you can meet the challenge.

The effective Non-Executive Director

This one-day interactive course is aimed at newly appointed or serving NEDs and covers essential knowledge about roles, responsibilities, strategy and corporate governance that are key foundations for a Non-Executive board role. It also considers up to date thinking on corporate governance and the responsibilities of owners, the board and employees.

This course identifies the various ways and circumstances in which non-executive directors can make an effective contribution to a board’s work.

Who should attend?

Individuals who are newly appointed or serving non-executive directors.

What to expect?

  • Clarifies how and why non-executive directors can strengthen a board
  • Provides practical guidance on how to be effective as a non-executive director

Course objectives
Participation on this course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  • Clarify the board’s role, purpose and key tasks
  • Appreciate the contributions that non-executive directors can make to the board in different types of company and situations
  • Recognise the qualities and experience needed to fulfil a non-executive director appointment

Course Leader: David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here: 

Key Details
Duration: 1 day
Location:
Institute of Directors
116 Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5EDPrice
£330.00 (ex VAT)
Payment with Booking Price
£300.00 (ex VAT)
Partner Discount Price
£280.00 (ex VAT)*
Book Now
To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration
The fee includes lunch, refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Courses can be delivered ‘in-house’ to a group of Non-Executive Directors – to find out more contact courses@excellencia.co.uk or call 01173 827 820

*Discounts on Excellencia course fees are available for:

Jun 262017
 

Find out how you can obtain a Non-Executive Director position by booking a place on this interactive 1-day course.

“I thought the course was enlightening and very rich in content. I particularly liked the balance of case study analysis with emphasis on a NED’s key responsibility. It was well structured and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all those who were present, when I say that the course offers a great deal of value to any aspiring or even existing NED who wants to make a success of their role”

Poku Osei Programme Director at Babbasa

The How to become a Non-Executive Director course helps you to plan and prepare for your first NED position. It instils a real sense of what is expected of NEDs, and how you can meet the challenge.

This one-day interactive course is aimed at aspiring NEDs and covers essential knowledge about roles, responsibilities, strategy and corporate governance that are key foundations for a Non-Executive board role. It also considers up to date thinking on corporate governance and the responsibilities of owners, the board and employees.

This is followed by practical sessions on identifying NED opportunities, the process of obtaining a first appointment and performing due diligence before any position is accepted. There is emphasis on the importance of presenting your experiences with clarity and relevance.

This course identifies the various ways and circumstances in which non-executive directors can make an effective contribution to a board’s work. It also examines methods for their selection and reviews their motivation, induction and reward.

Who should attend?
Individuals who are currently a non-executive director; those seeking appointment as a non-executive director and those looking to appoint a non-executive director.

What to expect?

  • Clarifies how and why non-executive directors can strengthen a board
  • Provides practical guidance on how best to secure an appointment as a non-executive director

Course objectives
Participation on this course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  • Clarify the board’s role, purpose and key tasks
  • Appreciate the contributions that non-executive directors can make to the board in different types of company and situations
  • Recognise the qualities and experience needed to fulfil a non-executive director appointment
  • Appreciate appropriate methods for finding, selecting, appointing and rewarding non-executive directors
  • Understand the preparation required to interview for or be interviewed for the post of non-executive director

Course Leader: David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here: (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/daviddoughty)

Key Details
Duration: 1 day
Location:

Scotland Study Centre
29 Nicholson Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9BX

Price
£330.00 (ex VAT)

Payment with Booking Price

£300.00 (ex VAT)

Partner Discount Price*
£280.00 (ex VAT)

Book Now
To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:

Course Registration
The fee includes lunch, refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 6 CPD hours of structured learning

*Discounts on Excellencia course fees are available for:

Aug 222016
 

As a director how comfortable are you with company finance?

financial-documents1000

Are you confident in your ability to understand the three core elements of Management Accounts:

  • Cash Flow?
  • Profit and Loss (or Income and Expenditure)?
  • Balance Sheet?

Do you understand Forecast/Budget, Actuals and Variance reports?

Do you know how to use Key Ratios to evaluate your company’s performance?

Do you know if you are trading whilst insolvent?

This half-day course will provide the essential knowledge of those key financial issues and concepts that are needed by successful Executive and Non-Executive Directors in order to discharge their duties and responsibilities as a company director. The completion of this course will provide a good grasp of the key elements of Management Accounts and Statutory Financial Accounts. It will also provide a sound theoretical financial knowledge base upon which to build and acquire new and more advanced financial skills.

Who should attend?

Executive and Non-Executive Directors, senior executives or aspiring directors looking to understand more about company finance.

Course Content

  • The Three Key Financial Statements
    • Cash Flow Statements: Importance of cash flow and Impact of credit and credit control, Problems affecting cash flow, Dealing with Debtors and Creditors
    • Profit & Loss Account, Types of profit, and Layout & use of the profit & loss account
    • Balance Sheets: Assets; Liabilities; Net current assets, capital employed and how to interpret the information;
  • Revenue and Capital Expenditure
    • What are Capital and Revenue Expenditure
    • Phasing of capital spend and its Implications for budget holders
  • Depreciation; Assets and liabilities
    • What is Depreciation?
    • The Different types and uses
  • Forecasts and Budgets
    • The purpose of forecasts for the business
    • Budget objectives
    • Budgetary Control as a management tool
    • Variance analysis
  • Using Ratios to Support Investment Decisions
    • Return on Capital Employed (ROCE); Payback; Internal Rate of Return (IRR); Net Present Value of assets (NPV)
    • Investment decisions and Return on Investment (ROI); Cost of capital
    • Gearing, is the level of borrowing too risky?
    • Liquidity, could the company hit cash flow problems?
    • Profitability, how well is the company doing?

Learning Objectives

This half-day course enables participants to understand better, the key attributes and approaches that underpin a strategic and tactical financial approach to management and help to develop the key skills and styles that will allow participants to be more effective when adopting and applying a decision making approach to management.

By the end of this training course participants will be better able to:

  • Read, analyse and interpret any set of Financial Statements, including the Balance Sheet, the Profit & Loss Account and the Cash Flow statements
  • Understand and quantify the impact of the fundamental accounting concepts and the chosen policies upon any set of accounts
  • Recognise and understand the underlying impact of the generally accepted accounting principles and policies on any Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account
  • Understand the key differences between statutory published accounts and the internal monthly management accounts
  • Identify and discuss the key financial issues facing an organisation
  • Understand the wider commercial impact of any business decision and its interaction with non-financial aspects of the organisation, enabling you to make a better contribution to key discussions and decision making amongst managers and within the organisation
  • Understand the basics of budgets and the implementation of budgeting processes
  • Value any business using commonly used and widely accepted valuation techniques such as Net Asset Value, Enterprise Value and EBITDA
  • Communicate more effectively and easily with Finance Directors, and other Finance professionals; through an in depth understanding of financial terminology, management and evaluation techniques.

Course Leader:
David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here:

Key Details

Duration: 1/2 day
13:00 – 16:30
Location:
Orchard Street Business Centre
14 Orchard Street
Bristol BS1 5EH

Price
£170.00 (ex VAT)
Payment with Booking Price £160.00 (ex
VAT)
Partner Discount Price £150.00 (ex VAT)*

Book Now

To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration

The fee includes refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 3 verifiable CPD hours of structured learning which count towards the requirements of most business focussed institutes, including the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Consulting, the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and many others.  After successful completion of the course, you will receive an electronic Certificate confirming that you have successfully completed the course, detailing the outcomes and results.

*Discounts on Excellencia course fees are available for:

Director Essentials

Aug 032016
 

Time is our most valuable commodity. Meetings are often the thing that take up most of our time. What if your meetings could be more secure and more efficient? What if board members could enjoy a streamlined process of information gathering and sharing, no matter where they were on the planet?

Gemma Walford, head of Sales and Account Management  for the EU region of Convene

Strategic away day

Though many businesses focus generally on how to improve the experience of meetings, this sometimes doesn’t extend to the factors that really matter, and that will make a difference to the organization as a whole. Improving workflow practices and ensuring there’s a well-planned agenda would be two potential areas that businesses might want to look at and improve.

Making More of Board Packs

Let us take your board packs as one example.

Board packs:

  • Are substantial documents, and in some cases can run into hundreds of pages
  • Take time, and often lots of collaboration, to be put together
  • Will often be edited until the last possible moment
  • Need to be distributed securely to board members in time for them to review prior to the next board meeting

Only four bullet points, but an awful lot of work involved here. The truth is that it is also awfully inefficient, whether you look at the use of resources to print and deliver board packs, the storage of hard copies of board packs, or the need for board members to carry these from A to B when heading to their meeting.

By moving to a digital board portal all of these concerns will disappear. Your meetings become more productive, and administrative staff who spend hours on your board pack creation will usually find they have significant time to focus on other tasks.

Using board portal software means you can create, edit, annotate, distribute, and discuss information securely, remotely, and efficiently. You also get the benefit of being able to ensure specific team members only see the information that is relevant to them. Does your Training and Development Director really need to receive a 250-page board pack when there are three pages in the whole document that matter to them?

How Much Time Can Be Saved?

While it naturally changes between businesses, it is not unheard of for the time taken to collate and distribute board packs to be cut in half by going digital.

Do the quick calculation now and think about the impact this could have on your business:

  • How many people are involved in creating your board packs?
  • How many hours do they spend?
  • Cut this in half
  • What could they achieve given this time back?

In some respects this is quite frightening; depending on your current process you could easily earn the equivalent of a new employee given the time saved!

You’ve also eliminated the worry about board packs getting to their intended destination on-time and securely. Just publish the board pack online, and your board members can access right away.

The Beauty of Digital in Making You More Efficient

If your board packs are digital, and you have a digital space for your board members to work, some issues can easily be discussed prior to the meeting taking place. This means that if board member A doesn’t have a detailed understanding of a particular issue, they can discuss with board member B beforehand, and therefore save everyone else time in the meeting itself, while also ensuring they can create their own opinions and ideas in order to contribute.

This can be particularly powerful if you use a digital board space but still host meetings with everyone physically in attendance.

Board portals also mean you can share notes and annotate documents beforehand, and can easily take hours off the length of meetings. Let’s envisage you have eight board members and your meetings are two hours shorter – that’s two working days of director-level hours going back into your business.

Board Portals and Your Fresh Approach

Your aim for board meetings should be to empower your board members so that they arrive at every meeting, whether it is held in the cloud or people attend in person, having been able to assess their board packs and discuss anything that may be unclear. By far the easiest way to do this to use a digital board portal.

Use board portals and make your meetings better organized, your board members more efficient, and gain back hours of time for your team members tasked with putting your board packs together.

Gemma Walford is head of Sales and Account Management for Convene for the EU region. She has extensive experience of the Public sector and is interested in improving productivity and business change.

Azeus Convene was developed to serve the needs of boards and management teams around the world. Our focus on user experience, combined with our technology expertise, has allowed Convene to become the preferred meeting software for FTSE 100, Fortune 500, governments and organizations in over 20 countries across the globe. As a publicly traded company with over 300 employees and a strong balance sheet, we are confident of our ability to continuously improve our solutions and support our clients.

Our company has been appraised at the highest level (Level 5) of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) since 2003. As the de facto standard for assessing and improving software processes, CMMI accreditation at this level signifies high quality of products and services as well as successful delivery of our solutions in a methodical manner.

 

Jul 052016
 

Are you thinking of becoming a Non-Executive Director as part of a Portfolio Career or to develop your boardroom skills prior to taking up an executive director role?

How to become a Non-Executive Director

Join us on Tuesday, July 19 2016 to find out how you can become a Non-Executive Director

“Unlike many courses I have attended in the past, How to become a Non-Executive Director went beyond just the technical aspects of being a ‘Non-Exec’, and reflected on the differences in the approach required compared to being an Exec Director.
It allows you to make a fully informed decision on whether a Non Exec role is right for you, and if it is, how to go about finding opportunities.
An invaluable day of learning!”

Alastair Lewis Director at Smaointe Ltd

The How to become a Non-Executive Director course helps you to plan and prepare for your first NED position. It instils a real sense of what is expected of NEDs, and how you can meet the challenge.

This one-day interactive course is aimed at aspiring NEDs and covers essential knowledge about roles, responsibilities, strategy and corporate governance that are key foundations for a Non-Executive board role. It also considers up to date thinking on corporate governance and the responsibilities of owners, the board and employees.

This is followed by practical sessions on identifying NED opportunities, the process of obtaining a first appointment and performing due diligence before any position is accepted. There is emphasis on the importance of presenting your experiences with clarity and relevance.

This course identifies the various ways and circumstances in which non-executive directors can make an effective contribution to a board’s work. It also examines methods for their selection and reviews their motivation, induction and reward.

Who should attend?
Individuals who are currently a non-executive director; those seeking appointment as a non-executive director and those looking to appoint a non-executive director.

What to expect?

  • Clarifies how and why non-executive directors can strengthen a board
  • Provides practical guidance on how best to secure an appointment as a non-executive director

Course objectives
Participation on this course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  • Clarify the board’s role, purpose and key tasks
  • Appreciate the contributions that non-executive directors can make to the board in different types of company and situations
  • Recognise the qualities and experience needed to fulfil a non-executive director appointment
  • Appreciate appropriate methods for finding, selecting, appointing and rewarding non-executive directors
  • Understand the preparation required to interview for or be interviewed for the post of non-executive director

Course Leader: David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here: (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/daviddoughty)

Key Details
Duration: 1 day
Location:

Orchard Street Business Centre
14 Orchard Street
Bristol BS1 5EH

Price:

£330.00 (ex VAT)

Payment with Booking Price
£300.00 (ex VAT)

Partner Discount Price*
£280.00 (ex VAT)

Book Now

To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration
The fee includes lunch, refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 6 CPD hours of structured learning


 

*Discounts on Excellencia course fees are available for:

Jan 282016
 

health & safetyFor many years it’s been almost a tradition for companies to treat the subject of health & safety management as something of a joke; as the poor relation in the management world; as something of an afterthought or optional extra.

Well, in the UK things are about to change (and change radically) with the introduction of the new Sentencing Guidelines for health & safety offences which come into effect on 1st February 2016.

Make no mistake: these are not just technical changes as to how offenders will be punished but are instead a fundamental overhaul of current sentencing policy. Of course, health & safety law has always had teeth – but now these teeth have been dramatically sharpened!

Let’s look at some of these changes in a little more detail, and those of you who wish to consider the guidelines in their entirety can download a copy from the Sentencing Council using the link:

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/HS-offences-definitive-guideline-FINAL-web.pdf

The first, and most obvious, change is that the range of financial penalties available to the courts has been increased, and this is especially true in the case of magistrates’ courts. Up to 1st February 2016 the maximum fine available to the Bench will remain at £20,000 per offence, but from 1st February this will increase to “unlimited”, which means that magistrates will be authorised to levy the same magnitude of fine as the Crown Court.

In order to ensure as much uniformity in sentencing as possible the Guidelines also suggest ranges of fines applicable dependent upon the seriousness of the offence and the turnover of the company. (And note that the criterion being used is “turnover” and not “profit” – a significant detail).

For a “micro” company (i.e. defined as one with a turnover less than £2 million) the range for the most serious breach is £150,000 – £450,000, but for a “large” company (turnover of £50 million or more) the range for the most serious breach is £2.6M – £10M.

However, note that this upper figure of £10M is not the maximum fine which a court has the power to impose. The figures quoted in the Guidelines are only asuggested range, and courts can use their discretion to increase fines should they feel the increase to be appropriate in the interests of justice.

This approach is supported by the Guidelines which state clearly that:

“Where an offending organisation’s turnover or equivalent very greatly exceeds the threshold for large organisations, it may be necessary to move outside the suggested range to achieve a proportionate sentence”

The overarching principle behind the levy of fines is also clarified in the Guidelines as follows:

“The fine must be sufficiently substantial to have a real economic impact which will bring home to both management and shareholders the need to comply with health & safety legislation”

Well, offenders can’t say they weren’t warned!

In addition to substantially increasing the magnitude of available fines the Guidelines also include an important change in how the seriousness of offences should be assessed by the court. Currently the seriousness is based on how much harm was actually caused, but from February the courts will look instead at therisks involved in the breach – i.e. they will look at what could have happened rather than what actually happened. To quote the Guidelines:

“Health & safety offences are concerned with failures to manage risks to health & safety and do not require proof that the offence caused any actual harm. The offence is creating a risk of harm

To put this new approach into context, consider the case of a company which has allowed the use of machinery on which the protective guards have been disabled (and, unfortunately, such management stupidity is not an uncommon occurrence!)

From February it will be irrelevant whether somebody was actually injured by this practice. The fine will be based upon the risk involved, upon the possibility that somebody could have received a life-changing (crippling) injury, and this consideration of foreseeable risk pushes the offence towards the higher end of the sentencing spectrum.

So far we’ve only looked at the potential effects of the Guidelines on organisations, but what about people? The maximum prison terms that can be imposed remain unchanged at 6 months for offenders sentenced in the magistrates’’ court and two years for persons sentenced in the Crown Court, but the change in philosophy regarding the potential harm which could have been caused by the offence will affect the likelihood of a custodial sentence being imposed.

In the example given above, that of a company failing to guard machinery effectively, it is quite probable that the senior manager/ director responsible for company operations will face an individual charge under s37 Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 for allowing the organisation to breach health & safety legislation.

Basing his sentence on the risk of serious (i.e. life changing) harm being caused by his failure will mean that he is in peril of receiving an immediate custodial sentence of between 6 and 18 months. He may not be sent down, of course, but unless there are suitable mitigating factors the Judge would certainly be acting within the Guidelines by imposing such a penalty.

Space is limited, and so I have been unable to do more than look at just a few highlights contained within the Guidelines. Nevertheless, even this quick overview should have made abundantly clear to senior managers and directors the need to take their health & safety management duties very seriously from now on.

Remember that unambiguous statement contained within the Guidelines:“Health & safety offences are concerned with failures to manage risks to health & safety”. Could they have made their warning any clearer?