Saturday, 31 May 2014

4 false starts to avoid in selling

Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you know within just a few seconds from the start that your sales call has got off to a bad start? 

You have got off on the wrong foot.

Movie clapper board from auction at Christies
Unlike a movie recording you cannot say "cut" , "take 2"  " action !"  but you have to plough on regardless because a sales call is live.

Somehow  the 'magic words' didn't come to mind and that fluency at the start evaded you, the words just blurted out and were ineffective.

You had a false start.

Do you remember this
Poster on London Underground
from London 2012 Olympics ?

Here are four false starts to avoid :-

1.   Skydiver salesperson

The Skydiver parachutes in with those slip-of-the-tongue openers such as ".. I was in the area so I thought I would drop in ..." ,  sometimes English folk say 'pop 'in'.

On a phone call the equivalent expression might be something like " I'd like to have a  little chat about..'

The danger of such blather is that it can convey a disrespect for the client's time and conveys a lack of planning.

Yet on the other hand it is equally ineffective to go to the other extreme.

2. The ‘ Uriah Heep ‘  “be I ever so humble “start

This merely comes across as rather creepy and falsely self deprecating. You are to serve a client not to be servile. Similarly it gives the client the wrong impression of the value of the topic of  discussion.

3.   The nervous gabbler
Tearing off at break neck speed conveys nervousness. Key sales benefits can often be blurted out and their power lost.  It is best not to say “ engage before speaking” as it confirms what is actually going on.

4.  The ‘chat gap’

With some clients some small talk at the start may be necessary to break the ice. The danger of too much waffle on the other hand can irritate a client and soon been seen as wasting their time.

Should a client open with a story or joke avoid being pulled into inadvertently capping their story, joke, holiday experience.

When two anglers entangle 

I had it explained to me once as the situation when two fishermen meet. The first fisherman says "Today I caught a fish this big."

 Needles to say the other" Well yesterday I caught a fish even bigger"  and so the capping and exaggeration continues back and forth.
Much as many of us like to deny that we are at fault on this – the danger is quite common.
We can all be bores!  If you don’t think so – you probably don’t know yourself very well

A cure for the chat gap

Here is a fun exercise you may care to try.

Do you remember the Olympic rings on
Tower Bridge for London 2012 ?
Imagine there was a new Olympic category for the most boring person in the world what would be the subject you would speak about to win the gold medal for your country ?

(Fortunately I don’t have to bother with this exercise myself you understand because everybody in the world I meet is totally fascinated in what I have to say about classical choral singing, my allotment and Chelsea FC (NOT!!!).... well you get the point.

If you really don’t know ask your life partner, spouse  a really close friend... They will give you the answer often quicker than is comfortable for you to receive!

The point is not to eradicate your personality but to keep your passions under control , You do not want to stifle them for they are part of your personality but keep them in check. If you know what your bore subject(s) are you are more like to keep them in check.

Some typical bore subjects include:

  • The awful traffic you had to endure to get to the client / or the trouble parking ...
  • Sports
  •  Your own children ( client’s children however are really interesting to the client- your kids – only so so)
  • Hobbies....

And yes  even  Business!!! Some salespeople can be  very boring to clients  about work

Do any of these spring from your lips from time to time. ?

The main cure is for better preparation of the call

After establishing rapport with a first time prospect, 

try using this model to open the business discussion

Purpose Statement

Example: “The purpose (or reason) for my call is to find out more about your company and let you know more about us.”

Attention Getter

Example relevant to a HR manager: “Based on our experience in this field we know that one of the major issues when buying training is how to measure its effectiveness.” (fact)

U turn into question

Example: “Before I tell you how we go about this, what I would like to do is ask you a number of questions about the background, is that OK?”

First Question

"What type of programmes have you run in the past?”

Related Links

5 ways of getting attention at the start of a sales call

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Training energiser / ice breaker This is my Orange

An energiser I have used for years is Meet My Orange

It takes 5-6 minutes

Bag of oranges ( 1 per delegate +3 extra)

You group your participants into pairs and then give each participant an orange ( clementine satsuma ) each.

Then you ask everybody to get familiar with orange.

They are not to mark or puncture their orange. They must get familiar with their orange in its original   state as presented to them at the start of the exercise..

 Ask them to close their eyes. Ask them to feel their orange with their fingers. Ask them to smell it.
Then to open their eyes and identify what makes their orange different to every other orange in the world.
Suggest that some may have already got a name for their orange 

The ask them to introduce their orange to their partner and point out what makes their orange so individual and different from all other oranges

Introducing the orange to your pair [partner

After a minute collect all the oranges in a shopping bag. Then in sight of all the course add three EXTRA oranges.
 Ask them to come up claim their orange and for verification get them to show it to their pair.

Explain that using a strategy of weighting for everyone else to claim theirs hoping yours remains will not work as you have added the extra three oranges

Group scrabbling to find their orange from the course
oranges plus the extra three!

Relief ! I have found my original orange !

Confirming with the pair partner 

Spicy Training is a set of short
Trainer the trainer tips,
 max. of 250 words with visuals,
 suitable for mobiles

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Eon Ofgem - any lessons for Professional Selling and Sales Management ?

Marketing Week's Sebastian Joseph suggests  that  E.On's brand reputation is at risk after admitting its efforts to reset customers relations have been hampered received a record £12 million fine from Ofgem for mis-selling its energy tariffs.

Quite rightly the vulnerable customers are to be compensated as a result of the investigation by regulator Ofgem.

(I am sure there are also many good sales people trying to do their best for their customers at E.On whether in house or subcontracted agents . The company has a Sales Improvement Plan underway)

Eon's logo is currently displayed on the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management's (ISMM) web page of  corporate members and partners. 

The ISMM states the Institute " are committed to increasing the professionalism and ethical standards of the sales profession.”

Should any fellow trainers, sales directors , managers or  supervisors  or for that matter members of the ISMM care to scroll around the detail of the Ofgem report ( link at end of  this post) they  might  detect considerable shortcomings exposed. 

Ofgem in summary said that E.On had opportunities to improve its sales practises long before 2013, but its response was inadequate. Ofgem's criticisms included:-

  • failed to train and monitor its own staff, as well as staff employed by agencies
  • provided incorrect information to customers
  • failed in its management arrangements
  • paid insufficient attention to energy sales rules
  • had poor auditing results
  • did not always give the key terms of a contract before it was signed

But as many undertake finger pointing at E.On , it is worth remembering that as we point a finger at someone it is worth remembering three face back at us !

Sales management can better meet buyer needs and improve sales productivity by creating a culture of sales coaching, providing the processes and resources to help sales managers coach their salespeople and holds these managers accountable for coaching initiatives.


A study into IT sector provided insight into industry best practises, sales manager coaching frameworks, and detailed practitioner case studies to help sales and sales operations executives further develop their sales managers and improve sales productivity.

IDC Sales and Marketing Sales Advisory Service
The Sales Advisory Service Blog

The IDC Sales Advisory Service publishes through three research categories, annually.
Sales Benchmarks for Budgeting and Planning research

  1. sales revenue,
  2. expense,
  3. and productivity benchmarks based on the leading vendors across the IT industry.

Sales Management and Operations Best Practises consist of business cases and Best Practises to enhance organisational effectiveness, sales operations, and solution selling strategies and sales operations. Sales and Industry Insights investigate specific, targeted issues that IT Sales executives are facing

Data from TACK research on  face to face field accompaniment  

.IDC 2010 Sales productivity study of 2,663 sales organisations

Only 22% of sales coached their salespeople !

67% of sales organisations performing below expectations reported that their sales managers did not coach at all.

Ian Segail in Winning Edge Magazine suggested ten reasons why managers don't coach

1. No process for coaching
2. Have no formal skills in coaching
3. Don't see the value of coaching
4. Not held accountable for changing the behaviour to impact on results
5. Coaching not a formal part of the job
6. It is not measured by the board -so it's not done
7. Never had good coaching themselves and don't believe in it
8. They are not currently coached or mentored themselves
9. Fear of engagement with sales team members with years of experience
10. Can't find the time

Misplaced  Confidence in the numbers:

"The sales numbers are great, so everything must be hunky dory."

Does such thinking remind us of the misplaced confidence we saw in the Baring -Leeson affair before the disaster struck ?

Perhaps one of the unintended consequences on over-reliance 'digitised' sales turnover statistics is the illusion that sales can be managed entirely by remote control . 

Merely collecting data  from Sales process software, ticking the boxes of quality standards  and basking in good turnover metrics are not enough. A manager needs to get out of the office and see the reality.

Time to get out of  the office?

Time to check whether the numbers reflect the WHOLE story?

Time to resurrect SMBWA - Sales Management By Walking About.?

Related link

 Ofgem notice on Eon in May 2014

Breaches for both Telesales and Marketing were from June 2010 – December 2013. You can read the penalty notice on the investigations section of Ofgem’s website go to the link above and scroll down to penalty notice.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Selling Confidence Matters - 5 key actions to build up your selling confidence

Oliver Moody of the London Times provocatively headed his piece on Saturday 17th May on some recent behavioural research  from the USA


Perhaps we should not be surprised after all we have seen those TV shows where an amateur can pass off as a professional with suitable training at least in the short term. 

We also know how a supremely confident person  can  ‘get away with it’. ( for a while)

So in the movie world. Leonardo diCaprio /Tom Hanks' 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can is a  biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale. It tells the story of Frank before his 19th birthday, successfully performing cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor in addition to financial frauds.

None the less a study from the Universities of Pennsylvania and California have done some work on the importance of Confidence and published in the journal  “ Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision processes.” ( Elsevier publication) 

“ Confidence is compelling to observers because in the absence of information to the contrary observers assume it reflects superior ability”

“It is important to note that being perceived to possess these valued characteristics is the key to attaining higher status . It is not necessary to actually possess these characteristics.”

Mr Moody’s article also suggests that  the gloss of competence lingers  after it is shown to be a found out.

One the study’s conclusions suggests in  persistent peer impressions of social skill and task ability, groups may not penalise a confident individual, even if their confidence is revealed as being unjustified by their actual task skills.

So for some, an overestimate of one’s abilities is seen as an advantage as a persuader.

But what of those of us who may not be like that?

 Perhaps we have been raised up on the virtues of humility and modesty? We must build our confidence

What will make us come across as confident ?

1.       Thorough Knowledge  such as :-
Product Knowledge what it is, does and means to your cleint
Company Knowledge
Client’s Needs
Client’s Company
The Client’s Clients ( Top 5)
2.       Developing those communication skills of Listening , Questioning and Presenting
3.       Training and practising those communication skills
4.       Persistence
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

- Talent will not
Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent

-Education will not
The world is full of educated derelicts

-Genius will not
Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb

- Persistence and determination alone are all powerful !

( This quote has been in my little black book for many years.  I can't remember where I first saw it .no attribution sorry !)

Related Links

Friday, 16 May 2014

Responsible Selling versus Mis-Selling Ofgem orders refund from Eon

If the media reports are to be believed , the standing of  Selling in  Energy suppliers is at a particularly low ebb. 

The Spring tides of the Government watchdog Ofgem investigations, have exposed some particularly shocking cases of mis-selling. Today's scandal was Eon being ordered to refund customers £12m for mis-selling by Ofgem.

The energy watchdog Ofgem has imposed nearly £100m in fines and redress on energy companies for various rule breaches over the last four years, £39m of which have been for mis-selling.

River Thames at Fulham , low tide  15th May 2014 ( Spring Tide)

Even the media trained and savvy executives of the top energy companies are finding that sincere apologies and  ‘ promises to do better’ are no longer convincing to the public.

(Much though the media interviewers may enjoy today being the interrogators -their  own journalistic profession is not exactly covered in glory by hacking scandals and the Leversen enquiries.)

Eon's boss said

"There was no organised attempt to mislead, and Ofgem has acknowledged this, but that does not excuse the fact we did not have in place enough rules, checks and oversight."

Yet reliance on Sales processes will not be enough either.

  Much though even the senior partner in charge of enforcement at Ofgem may wish : 

"The time is right to draw a line under past supplier bad behaviour and truly rebuild trust so consumers are put at the heart of the energy market”

Trust is very hard to rebuild after repeated poor behaviours.

Selling trust is easy but losing it makes it hard to regain

Systems, checks and balances have a part to play but so too has the corporate culture of managerial responsibility and ethics.

The culture of owning the problem, straight talking and leadership-by-example is not merely a matter of authority but  also of personal responsibility.

Admiral Rickover US nuclear submarine fleet commander once put it:-

Responsibility is a unique concept. 
You may share it but your portion is not diminished. 
You may disclaim it but you cannot divest yourself of it. 
Even if you do not recognise it or admit its presence, you cannot escape it.If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else.

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.” - Warren Buffet

Responsibility in selling applies to us all whether at Spring or Neap tides. Time and tide wait for no man.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

BMW Brief messaging works! The ultimate marketing machine London Wentworth PGA

Much of the time , buyers want sellers to keep it short and to the point.

Research from the Buyers views of supplier salespeople confirms that they don't think we listen enough and when we talk - we talk too much.

Learning to be brief and clear is an craft Salespeople need to acquire and continually work at. Brevity is an ongoing work in progress.

The limit of the 140 character of twitter-in-business also places such a discipline on us

The Gherkin Building in the City
 - hardly Wentworth but a teeing off point
 in the message
The skills of brevity are powerfully used by advertisers and headline writers. 

They have little time and space to catch our attention and sell their message. 
It is worthwhile examining their skill in brevity and see what we can learn.

How do we balance accuracy and detail versus the demand of brevity placed on us ?

Your first tee is ' your gathering point':

When people reply to the question "Where do you come from?" often the respondent mentions the nearest town/city rather than exact location. So it is in brief business communication.

Word Association can help brevity.

 For example the name "London" attached to some airport’s  location  to make it instantly recognisable to foreigners. London Luton, London Stansted and London Gatwick. Yet  all are some distance 25-40 miles from the City centre but  all attach London for instant recognition.

Iconic Red Pillar post box
Back in the day in my first full time job with an American multinational building materials manufacturer, I remember being asked  by my boss to dig out some images of London for the HQ folk in Pennsylvania.

 It was for some PR brochure project. I was not to spend too much time on this but the photographs that I was to submit had to include a red double-decker bus. In those days the iconic “Routemaster.”

For American consumption the red bus, the red post box or the red telephone kiosk immediately communicated London or England. (Much as a yellow cab says New York to Brits.)
Red Phone box K2 design
 by  Sir Giles Gilbert Scott from a tomb design
 of Sloane in St Pancras cemetery

Yet  images eventually date

BT's new look phone box is
a poster site ( reverse side) with a phone bolted on
The Barrel roof has been kept

With the growth of personal ownership use of mobiles , the proliferation of messaging systems like twitter, texting have made such 'visual images' rather dated. A red telephone box is now 'frozen' in time rather 'of our time'.

Today it is our buildings such as the Shard, Gherkin, Canada Water and the London Eye that promote London rather than red bus/phone/ post boxes.

London Wentworth !
The PGA European Golf circuit hits UK this month. It takes place in leafy Virginia Water in Surrey. But for many outside the UK the county of Surrey means little.

For overseas readers of this blog Wentworth refers to  Wentworth Club which  is a privately owned golf club and health resort in Virginia Water, Surrey on the south western fringes of London, not far from Windsor Castle. 

The club was founded in 1928 . It does not even have a London post code but a Guildford post code ( Zip code) GU25 4LS

The images of Golf stars on the Office buildings and Tourist sights of the City are the short hand for the BMW sponsored PGA event. Entitled London’s premier Golf tournament.

From a cartographic perspective Wentworth is some distance from the heart of London. (Coincidentally as far away as Luton, Gatwick and Stansted ) But to communicate quickly the name London does the job.

In conveying your offering succinctly you need to know what are the shorthand words that pin point your offer? Initially our job is to engage and capture attention. The detail and accuracy comes later.

The BMW Poster gives a Gulliver's Travel
 lilliputian  mini golf look

The Shard  is the new building icon  of London
south of the City in Southwark 

St Paul's Cathedral in the crazy golf  poster photos

Canada Water , Canary Wharf the site
 of the former London Docklands
Lesson for Selling ?

What tired old analogies, stories, images, phrases need updating is your sales story telling. What are your equivalents to old red phone boxes, red post boxes ? What are your new equivalents to the Gherkin, Shard and London Eye ?

What brief messages will work for you tomorrow?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Selling Biscuit occasions through Biscuits Re-branding

How often do you engage in a biscuit occasion ?

warmth, comfort, sociability, sharing  - occasions and childhood memories

United Biscuits - who own brands such as Jacobs and McVitie's - is in the midst of spending  £12m in a re-branding the business.

Chief executive Martin Glenn said  the campaign came about after a year of research that found biscuits evoked childhood memories, "images of warmth, comfort, sociability, sharing".

"The challenge we've got at McVitie's is that, whilst we're the biggest in the UK, we're facing a lot more foreign competition... so we need to up our game."

Fruits of Success' Little Bogdan
was an audition hopeful for
 the Advertising campaign (not)
Fluffy kittens, corgi puppies and orange-eyed tarsiers are being used to help sell more Digestives and Jaffa cakes by United Biscuits ahead of a likely sale this year by its private equity owners.

Biscuit Heritage 

The 160-year-old McVitie’s brand  relaunched with a £12m advertising campaign, focused on “sweet” animals that Martin Glenn, chief executive, said was aimed at “supporting our efforts to drive growth for the category”.

He has embarked on what the group said would be a record level of capital investment this year, of more than £50m, compared with £38m last year.

The private equity companies bought United Biscuits for £1.6bn eight years ago – an investment horizon that is longer than the norm in their industry. They sold the KP snacks unit last year for an undisclosed price, thought to have been £400m.

Money in Biscuits

Jeff van der Eems, chief executive of the international division, said: “The sale of KP Snacks in 2012 has allowed us to focus on our core businesses of McVitie’s and Jacobs, and to expand our international operations which we hope to account for 20 % of sales in three years.”

Mr Glenn has since regrouped the group’s products into two divisions – sweet products under the McVitie’s label; and savoury biscuits, such as Mini Cheddars and Carr’s, under the Jacob’s brand of crackers.

United Biscuits is the second-largest biscuits group in the €12bn industry, with a 7 % market share, which is less than half that of industry leader, Mondelez. The maker of Oreo and TUC biscuits has 17 %, according to Euromonitor.

In the UK, where 90 % of households buy its products, United Biscuits has a 40 % market share.

But it has had a tough recession in the face of “difficult market conditions” for at least the past three years as consumers focused on “value”, the company said.

Broken Biscuits

The market is fragmented, highly competitive and is having to address consumers’ increasing health concerns.

Marc Kennis, analyst at Rabobank, which recently issued a report into the sector, said biscuit makers faced volatile wheat and sugar prices and hard bargaining retailers.

“This creates substantial uncertainty in the variable cost base for manufacturers, who have limited room to pass on any price increase to customers due to intense competition and the sheer size of food retailers. Biscuit companies are caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

What have fluffy kittens or a tarsier got that
a baby meerkat has not ?
The quirky campaign, the biscuit makers’ biggest investment in media, highlights the occasions in the day when its biscuits are eaten and the feeling people get from eating them.

One Grey London created spot for Digestives shows a family settling down to relax with a biscuit before a Corgi puppy emerges when the packet is unwrapped.

 Another for Chocolate Digestives sees a group of nurses settling down for a tea break and being confronted by kittens when they reach for the biscuits,

A third for Jaffa Cakes shows a young man confronted with a Tarsier when opening a pack (see ads below).

The Biscuit Mix for Marketing

The TV campaign is supported by GreyPossible created digital activity, including the launch of a new McVitie’s website, social media and press. The campaign will also see an extensive in-store campaign created by Dialogue London. 

The McVitie’s logo features prominently in all 'executions' and all packaging has been redesigned to give the name more prominence.
Brands including Club and Penguin will be brought under McVitie’s later this year.

It is hoped the ‘family of brands’ strategy will create a halo effect and boost sales across the portfolio.

United Biscuits wants the campaign to help it achieve its ambitious target of claiming a 30 % of the sweet biscuit market for McVitie’s, up from the 21% it enjoys at the moment by capturing more of the 7 billion “biscuit occasions” it says take place in the UK every year.

At an event in London to mark the launch of the campaign, Glenn said the relaunch of McVitie’s is an example of how the company is “re-energising” to “take our place on the world stage”.

The firm plans to employ the same master brand strategy to Jacob’s later this year , with savoury brands such as Cheddars and Mini Cheddars joining the likes of Cream Crackers under the Jacob’s

Back in the day... 

In my childhood I remember the Lincoln Cream biscuit . The Lincoln cream had a  pattern of dots on the top in concentric circles. The McVitie's version had the word 'Lincoln' embossed on to the biscuit at the centre. I wonder whether its return is in the United Biscuits re-branding plan. Little Bogdan will be up for acting in any advert for Lincoln Creams !

Related "Tea and Biscuits" selling skills links

Tea time personality matrix

sweeet ™ campaign videos You tube - United Biscuits

Saturday, 3 May 2014

5 key questions for Business Ethics in your Organization Roffey Park's session on Ethics for business and HR. #cipdLDshow 2014

 The Individual's role in Organisation Ethics

Helene Donelly was awarded the OBE by HRH The Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace last week. She was  given the honour in recognition of her work to support hospital staff to raise concerns and improve care for patients.

The former nurse at Stafford Hospital from was a key witness during in a public enquiry into reports of poor care and abuse at the hospital.

During her time as an A and E nurse at Stafford, Ms Donnelly raised almost 100 complaints about patient treatment

Ethics has featured much in the news in the last few days. Court cases have included Public Relations’  Max Clifford, The Law’s own  Barrister Briscoe.

( For once questionable  ethics in MP’s Expenses, Banking scandals and Insider dealing were off the front pages for the time being.)

 Mr Justice Baker in his summing up of the Briscoe Case today said if Briscoe and Pryce shared anything in common it was

"arrogance by educated individuals who considered respect for the law was for others”.

The judge's summing up in the Clifford case gave much stress on Mr Clifford’s mimicry antics of a the Sky reporter outside the Southwark Court  during the case,  as disrespectful behaviour to the seriousness of the case.

The Organisation and Business Ethics 

Steve Hearsum and Alex Swarbrick from Roffey Institute ran an interesting two handed  Ethics session at The Learning and Development show on Thursday  and set out some ideas and practises on how HR, Land D and OD could shape ethical organisations.

No it's not a face off !
Steve and Alex from Roffey Park
 get focused before
the start of their stimulating session #cipdLDshow
on Ethics and the role of L and D, HR and OD

Of course there are the legal and regulation aspects of ethics but all of  us have to also consider our own personal conduct.

It was heartening to see how popular the Roffey session was and how seriously the attendee from the world of L and D consider their responsibilities in this area.

One of the most interesting conclusions from Roffey’s research was the cost of losing talent :-
The cost of poor ethics in business:  
Employees will more often walk and not report .

One of the definitions of ethics is “ the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour.”
The principles of right and wrong behaviour.
Steve and Alex’s ethics menu covered
1 .The ethical landscape
2. The ethical dynamics at work external, internal and individual
3. Ethical leadership
4. Challenges and Opportunities for HR / OD/L and D
5. Top five questions

Steve and Alex shared some of the data from Roffey Park's latest research on Ethics in Organisations.

Here is some of the startling data they shared:-
The Management Agenda 2014 Roffey Park report - authors Dan Lucy, Meysam Poorkavoos and Julia Wellbelove

 49 % of the managers surveyed report  having observed misconduct in their organisation.

Alex and Steve outlines the ethical dynamics
the external , internal and individual landscape
32 % chose not to report the observed misconduct, often, it seems, because they
thought corrective action would not be taken or they did not wish to get involved (even more worryingly, one quarter of managers feared that action would be taken against them if they reported misconduct

53 % of managers who had observed misconduct in  their organisation expressed an intention to leave their organisation in the near future.

The comparative figure for managers who had not observed such misconduct was 41 %

 56 % of  managers  overall report that their organisations provide training on ethics, the comparative figure in the not-for-profit sector is 37 % and the public sector 47 %.

Roffey asked  managers to rate their line manager according to a construct of ethical leadership comprising six dimensions
  1.       fairness;
  2.     power sharing
  3.     role clarification;
  4.       people orientation;
  5.       integrity;
  6.     and ethical guidance.

Some Ethical dilemmas outlined by Steve
More than half the managers surveyed rated their line managers positively on each of the six dimensions.

However, this was only marginally the case with respect to ‘fairness’.
 ‘Fairness’ was the dimension out of the six that was least likely to be rated positively.

 37 % of managers agreed that their line manager was ‘focussed mainly on his or her own goals’, and 21 % agreed with the statement that their manager ‘holds me accountable for problems over which I have no control’

See links to Roffey at end of this post

In the model process they showed the audience some of the complexities.

Ethical dilemmas are a cat's cradle of  polarised positions that make business ethics challenging and complex ( and interesting !). e.g.

Truth v loyalty


 Shareholders v customers


Employees v regulators


 Suppliers v society

Short term v long term


Individual v organisation

To guide the audience in how to consider their engagement with business ethics they left us with 5 questions

Model proposed for OD, HR and Land D
5 Questions to consider regarding Ethics and your organisation

1. How far reaching ( from an ethics perspective) are the terms  by which your organisation defines it purpose ?

2. What are the main ethical challenges ( both internal and external) of your organisation ?

3. How clear are OD, HR, L and D in the ethical responsibilities in your organisation

4. What successes have you had currently in Policies, influencing Ethical  Culture in your organisation

5. What might your next most significant next step be in the ethical culture of your company ?

Finally ,back to the individual - You and me!

Clearly regulation, compliance procedures etc. will help in better business ethics but the individuals' contribution and responsibility are key also.

The NHS is probably one of the most regulated and compliance rich cultures of any organisation in the UK but regulations, sanctions and compliance procedures are not enough on their own to ensure ethical behaviour in management.

 As individuals in public, non for profit or private sector ,we need to pay attention to our own moral compass and the map of regulations to plot our ethical journeys  and when necessary be inspired by the courageous example of the likes of Helen Donelly OBE.

Related links

  Roffey Park Management Agenda 2014    Link to  Roffey Park Research