Making Business Matter

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Making Business Matter's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Making Business Matter is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.makingbusinessmatter.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | MTM CONSULTING
Personalised learning
I should highlight here that I am a data
analyst, not an educationalist. However,
with the rapid advancement of
educational technology, we are regularly
told that our children have “personalised
learning journeys”, monitoring their
growth and allowing them to develop
at their own rate. The advancement
of this could surely reduce the
requirement for a traditional “linear”
education and therefore highlight
topics that require additional support.
Furthermore, families already take their
children out of school during term time
to avoid more expensive holiday costs,
so this is unlikely to change under a
new system.
Staff management
A lot is expected of our teachers, and
many work long hours to cover the
demanding curriculum within term
time while supporting extra-curricular
activities. The long holidays are a just
recompense for such dedication.
Extending school sessions to 51 weeks
reduces the demand on staff as they will
have a longer time period in which to
cover the curriculum. Similarly, during
the summer, many more lessons can be
outside the classroom, with a greater
use of cost-effective teachingassistants.
Maintenance
The holiday periods are often a time
for painting and decorating within a
school, with everything being made
clean and fresh for September. In a
51-week school, there would be no
downtime for the facilities.
The industrial sector faces similar
challenges and thus offers an
interesting example. Businesses in
this sector undertake most of their
maintenance and updates overnight,
with enough capacity in the system
to allow for downtime. Most schools
are not at 100 per cent utilisation,
so a similar system could be adopted
that would ensure buildings could be
maintained with minimal disruption.
Through our work, we are often in
direct contact with the marketing staff
of schools, who are all expected to
work 52 weeks a year. As it is their role
to try and entice prospective students
to their school, discussions have
already begun about extending term
lengths and the supportive effect this
can have on working parents.
If this discussion was expanded, and
serious thought was given to the
reform of our education system,
parents, children and the wider
economy could benefit.
I personally
visit four to six
schools in any
given week
Department for
International Trade
meeting at the MTM
Consulting offices
27MAKING BUSINESS MATTER |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Managing Director
Darren A.Smith
Making Business Matter is a training provider for the
UK grocery industry. Managing Director Darren A.
Smith says that MBM’s work is split across three
pillars: justifying investment in training, looking for the right
people in the industry and making learning “stick”. Darren tells
TheParliamentary Review
that MBM has pioneered something
called “Sticky Learning”; he says this unique method solves a
key problem for grocery companies across the country, and
provides real, recognisable impact.
“We are the soft skills training providerto the UK grocery industry, helping
suppliers to win more business. They choose us because of our money-back
guarantee, our relevant experience, and because we make their learning stick.”
Those 36 words are our elevator pitch and they have taken 17 years to perfect. As
an SME it is essential to provide clarity on what we do, why we do it, and why a
company should choose us to be their soft skills training provider.
Based in Oxford and covering the UK, and beyond, our daily lives centre on the UK
grocery industry – the world of supermarkets, shoppers, promotions and trollies.
This is known as category management. We train suppliers to negotiate more
effectively, to be present with more engagement, and to influence with more
passion. Our values will continue to guide us to achieve the very best for our clients
and ourselves: determination, trust and improvement.
Two clients have been exceptionally supportive over the years: Hilton Foods plc
and A.G. Barr. The first supplies meat to supermarkets and the second is famous
FACTS ABOUT
MAKING BUSINESS MATTER
»Managing Director: Darren
A. Smith
»Founded in 2002
»Located in Oxford
»Services: Soft skills training
providerto the UK grocery
industry
»No. of employees: 20
Making Business
Matter
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | MAKING BUSINESS MATTER
for Irn-Bru. Both have embraced the
Sticky Learning approach, turning their
backs on traditional one-day training
courses having been disappointed with
theresults.
It is clients such as these that enable
SMEs such as us to prosper against
larger training providers. We owe
a great deal to them and their
considerate payment terms.
Achieving real behavioural
change
If you think back to your last one-
day training course, you probably
had a good day and possibly took
away something. The challenge is
that for the eight hours you spent
training, the long-term changes you
will have made to your behaviour will
be minimal to none, certainly not the
performance-enhancing, significant
behavioural changing results that
youwanted.
Here at MBM, we created our unique
training method – “Sticky Learning”.
HR managers and learners told us that
they were frustrated by people coming
back from training courses and doing
nothing differently. We continue to
refine, update, assess and adjust our
training method until we achieve the
significant behavioural changes that
every learner deserves.
Proving that behavioural change
has occurred for learners is the holy
grail for most training companies.
Kirkpatrick created a four-level training
evaluation model in 1953 and most
training companies do not go beyond
what is known as the happy sheet –
the part where you are asked at the
end of a training day if you liked it.
We create a chain of evidence, which
asks the learner four distinct questions
pertaining to their reaction, how much
they learnt, how their behaviours have
changed and the results throughout
the training programme.
Search engine optimisation
A challenge for all businesses,
especially SMEs, is search engine
optimisation. Any and every business
wants to be found by Google, and
to be on the first page. Featuring on
the first page has been one of our
toughest challenges over the last
17 years and is not going anyway
anytimesoon.
One of our goals was to rank highly
according to Alexa, a website that
ranks the 200,000,000 active websites
from #1, which is google.com, to
#200,000,000. Our aim has always
been to rank in the top 0.25 per cent,
or top 500,000 websites, on the
planet. Until five years ago we did not
rank. Then we ranked 25 millionth.
Today we rank 552,000, only 52,000
places away from our goal.
My advice to all SME owners is to not
shy awayfrom SEO any longer. SEO is
here to stay.
MBM provides popcorn
as a snack on its courses
Here at MBM,
we created our
unique training
method –
“Sticky
Learning”
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | MAKING BUSINESS MATTER
for Irn-Bru. Both have embraced the
Sticky Learning approach, turning their
backs on traditional one-day training
courses having been disappointed with
theresults.
It is clients such as these that enable
SMEs such as us to prosper against
larger training providers. We owe
a great deal to them and their
considerate payment terms.
Achieving real behavioural
change
If you think back to your last one-
day training course, you probably
had a good day and possibly took
away something. The challenge is
that for the eight hours you spent
training, the long-term changes you
will have made to your behaviour will
be minimal to none, certainly not the
performance-enhancing, significant
behavioural changing results that
youwanted.
Here at MBM, we created our unique
training method – “Sticky Learning”.
HR managers and learners told us that
they were frustrated by people coming
back from training courses and doing
nothing differently. We continue to
refine, update, assess and adjust our
training method until we achieve the
significant behavioural changes that
every learner deserves.
Proving that behavioural change
has occurred for learners is the holy
grail for most training companies.
Kirkpatrick created a four-level training
evaluation model in 1953 and most
training companies do not go beyond
what is known as the happy sheet –
the part where you are asked at the
end of a training day if you liked it.
We create a chain of evidence, which
asks the learner four distinct questions
pertaining to their reaction, how much
they learnt, how their behaviours have
changed and the results throughout
the training programme.
Search engine optimisation
A challenge for all businesses,
especially SMEs, is search engine
optimisation. Any and every business
wants to be found by Google, and
to be on the first page. Featuring on
the first page has been one of our
toughest challenges over the last
17 years and is not going anyway
anytimesoon.
One of our goals was to rank highly
according to Alexa, a website that
ranks the 200,000,000 active websites
from #1, which is google.com, to
#200,000,000. Our aim has always
been to rank in the top 0.25 per cent,
or top 500,000 websites, on the
planet. Until five years ago we did not
rank. Then we ranked 25 millionth.
Today we rank 552,000, only 52,000
places away from our goal.
My advice to all SME owners is to not
shy awayfrom SEO any longer. SEO is
here to stay.
MBM provides popcorn
as a snack on its courses
Here at MBM,
we created our
unique training
method –
“Sticky
Learning”
29MAKING BUSINESS MATTER |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Continuing to grow
As we continue to grow, we embrace
the challenges of SEO and hope to
continue to make Sticky Learning the
best way to achieve real behavioural
change. We implore all businesses to
consider whether they want to simply
tick the box of training, or whether
they want their people to achieve
real behavioural change. Only the
latter option will increase bottom-
lineperformance.
Our latest campaign aims to support
mental health. We know that food
factories can be a place where
instructions are shouted, leading to
an unpleasant working environment
for all involved. We are asking Mental
Health England and the government
to support us in publicising this
campaign, whereby we offer free
online training for line managers to
help them to delegate effectively.
The training includes exercises,
assessments, best practice videos and
why change is needed. The campaign
is called “Don’tShout”.
We are looking to the future and
are hoping to work with 10,000
companies in the UK who supply the
UK market. We hope to continue
to gain clients every day, and to
co-operate with those on a higher
level. We want to train suppliers in
understanding their supermarket
better, and to ensure that the needs of
their shoppers can be met.
SEO is here
tostay
»TRUST
Trust is important. Trust is one of those grey areas. Without it, you
struggle with your friends. You will struggle at work. I don’t trust our
neighbour. I damp-proofed our joining fence. One weekend when
we were out he completely redid it. Trust can be easily understood.
Clearing the fog. It is made up of four parts; reliability, credibility,
intimacy and self-orientation.
Think of someone you trust and also someone else, that you don’t
trust. Consider them when you read this:
»Reliability: Do they do what they say they’re going to do?
»Credibility: When you ask the ‘expert’ a question, do they know the
answer?
»Intimacy: How much do you know about them personally?
»Self-orientation: How much do they talk about themselves?
Now back to your trusted person and the other non-trusted person.
When you think of the trusted person, do they tick all four boxes?
Yes, good. This is why you trust them. When you think of the person
that you don’t trust, which part, or parts is missing? This is why you
do not trust them. Consider. If you people don’t trust you, which one
of the four parts of the trust equation are you not doing, or doing?
Learning is like a bananaThe MBM team

www.makingbusinessmatter.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Making Business Matter. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development