Our Blog

We see and hear so many interesting things that we thought we’d put them all in one place to share them with you. Look out for news and views and let us know if you agree, disagree or have found something more interesting you’d like to share instead.

Don’t forget we’re also on Linkedin and Twitter – @BBandA_Chat so if you want to join the conversation that’s where you’ll find us.

Please have a look below at some of the posts from our team

Is a more ‘engaged’ employee a better performing employee? 

I recently worked with a client who was measuring employee engagement and individual performance separately.  They were using a well-established and reputable annual survey to measure engagement and a robust annual review process to identify high performers. They wanted to explore the link between those employees who were engaged and those who performed well. So they introduced a demographic question into the engagement survey, asking respondents to record their performance rating at their last annual review.

So what would you expect the result to be?

jane – Posted by Jane Mitchell

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Engaging every employee in your vision and strategy – for the cost of a cup of coffee!

Is your business prepared to spend the cost of a cup of coffee per employee on ensuring that every person who works there really understands and buys into your organisation’s purpose, vision and strategy?

Strange question isn’t it? A no-brainer? Surely the answer is ‘yes’?

The reality, however, is that Communications and HR leaders often struggle to secure a budget that equates to £2-3 a head to do just that. Even though their exec team would admit that its vitally important employees understand and buy in to where the business is heading.

jane – Posted by Jane Mitchell

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Leadership conferences that deliver real business value

You’ve secured the investment, agreed the purpose, booked a great venue, and saved the date in your leadership team diaries. So now what?

How are you going to ensure that your business gets maximum value from bringing together your most senior people in one room for a couple of days? How will you unlock the collective power of their expertise, knowledge and experience to really move the business forward?

In my experience, four key ingredients make the difference between a truly successful leadership conference and a feel-good but ultimately hollow event.

jane – Posted by Jane Mitchell

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From crafters and drafters to business consultants – the comms capability challenge

I had a conversation with a very frustrated client last week. He’s a senior guy, in charge of a major business unit in a global organisation, and he has a burning business issue that needs focused communications input. He asked for support from his communications ‘business partner’ and was told “I can do a meeting in the 2nd week of March.”
Umm – that’s four weeks away!

Unsurprisingly he picked up the phone to us for external support.

As he vented his frustrations I started to wonder why the comms colleague left their internal customer feeling this way.  Was it a resource issue? Or was it actually a capability issue?  Was it that this organisation needs comms people who respond more like consultants than service providers?

jane – Posted by Jane Mitchell

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Key steps to culture change success

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.39.27– Posted by Gideon Bernto

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Helping to create emotionally-connected leaders at Specsavers

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

For the fourth year running, we’re proud to once again partner with the Retail Excellence Partnership to provide the next annual installment of ‘Spotlight’ – the annual leadership development programme for Specsavers’ community of Joint Venture Partners.

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What’s the difference between online page turning and effective e-learning?

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

What’s the difference between online page turning and effective e-learning?

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Co-creation – how to truly involve your employees in change

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

Our top tips for using co-creation as part of your change programme

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Reading between the lines

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin

To what degree do individual attitudes to safety affect the success of corporate safety programmes?

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How risk-tolerant are you?

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

Risk means very different things to different people and this influences their attitudes. Take our simple self-analysis quiz and see how risk-tolerant you are.

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Keen to avoid a ‘flaming June’?

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.39.34– Posted by Mark Birch

For the month of June only, our innovative business continuity training tool Continuity Matters™ is on special promotion, with 50% off the price of each pack to just £190 – and with each pack containing enough materials to engage four participants, that’s less than £50 per head!

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Different news pages, same story

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin

One glance across from the sports to the business pages recently and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re reading the same story.  Check out these headlines:

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Defining and Implementing Golden Rules. Make sure you know your wolves from your sheep

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.39.27– Posted by Gideon Bernto

Large organisations which are seeking to harmonise HS&E management across their different processes and sites often look to – among other actions – deploy a set of rules – such as ‘Golden Safety Rules’.  But do they work?  Is this the right name for them?  And how do you go about naming, defining, implementing and enforcing them?  Is the ‘rules’ word a turn-off right from the beginning?  Does making them ‘golden’ elevate them to the right spot?

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So there’s this 200-slide PowerPoint deck… ‘Death by PowerPoint’ or ‘Life by Active Learning?’

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin

We’ve noticed recently that more and more clients are coming to us with a PowerPoint-led training programme and saying, “Please can you turn this into something more engaging.”  They then hand over a hefty and often very technical 200+ slide deck and ask, “how can we breathe life into this and make it stick?”

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Welcome Matt

We are thrilled to welcome Matt Hodgson – our new ‘Creative Head’ – who has joined the BB&A team in April.  Matt originally worked with Mark and Gideon years before BB&A was formed and we are delighted that paths have crossed again

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Trusted to deliver for Rolls Royce

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

We are delighted to announce that Rolls-Royce has joined the BB&A client portfolio.

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Job title changes or real organisational change?

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden
How much time and resources do organisations typically spend explaining changes to ways of working rather than announcing changes to the organisation’s structure?

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Is there ever a right time to use jargon?

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin
We’ve noticed lots of different things about words and language recently – all pointing towards the same question – is there ever a right time to cut to the short-hand, to switch to the slang, to jump to the jargon?

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Why using the right language is worth more than the icing on the cake

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin
You can spend all the money in the world on the icing on the cake: the interior, the uniforms, the cake stands, the doilies and the displays, but unless you spend the time and effort on engaging the very people who deliver the service and the product day-after-day to customers (the sponge that makes the sandwich?), making sure they understand exactly why this is ‘no ordinary’ macaroon’ (and therefore worth every penny of its eye-rather-than-mouth-watering price) then the brand experience will fall as flat as a pancake.

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Proud to serve a world-class service provider

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.39.27– Posted by Gideon Bernto

We are delighted to announce that global services provider Serco has joined the BB&A client portfolio. Serco delivers world-class services on behalf of defence, transport, justice and health customers in national, state and local governments, and for private sector customers in finance, retail, travel and telecommunications.

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After the wettest winter on record, it’s sink or swim for Great Britain PLC’s approach to crisis and continuity management

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin
Our thoughts go out to those affected by the terrible floods across the UK.  Even now – when the sun has dared to shine for a couple of days – the crisis is far from over. And crisis it is too – complete with a crisis response that has been widely scrutinised and criticised.  Since the rain started (how long ago was that now? eight weeks?) we’ve witnessed clear phases in response, and the overall perception seems to be that it hasn’t gone according to plan – if indeed, there was a plan at all?

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Has email killed the art of real conversations?

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden
Like most people, we’re creatures of habit and regularly tune in to our favourite radio programmes such as Radio 4’s PM.
As well as the usual features about the economy, ructions among EU leaders and the launch of a controversial play, one recent report really made us tune our ears in and turn up the volume.
Apparently a global company has resorted to declaring– an ‘email-free-day’ one day a week in order to improve their levels of productivity, as they’ve been finding that email traffic has increased to the point that employees weren’t able to complete business-as-usual tasks or even attend meetings (let alone find any original thinking or innovation time) due to how long they had to spend to clear their in-boxes.

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Are you watching ‘The Choir – the Workplace’? Can a choir really unite a workplace?

Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin
We’re curious about how morale is holding up for those employees from P&O Ferries, Birmingham City Council, Sainsbury’s and Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service who failed the auditions for the BBC’s second series of ‘The Choir – the Workplace’, or for those who didn’t even know it was happening!

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What are infographics anyway?

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden
Over the last few months it’s been impossible not to notice the wealth of new words that have popped up in everyday speech – from ‘selfie’, ‘twerking’ and ‘totes-amazeballs’ it seems like the English language is having a bit of a growth spurt!  There’s one word in particular we keep hearing over and over again in meetings both internally and with our clients – infographic.

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Engage for success

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.39.34– Posted by Mark Birch
As keen supporters of the government-backed initiative ‘Engage for Success’, we welcome the findings of their recent research ‘The Evidence’ outlining the difference employee engagement can make!

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Communication or engagement – is there a difference?

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 11.39.27– Posted by Gideon Bernto
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How to measure – focus groups, polls or surveys?

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

Every successful communication or engagement programme should be measured against a set of objectives. Your measurement data won’t just tell you how effective your work was – it will also give you the ability to demonstrate to your senior leaders the impact on the business in a language they understand.
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Our favourite Dilbert cartoons

<Untitled-1– Posted by Pippa Griffin

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