Breaking Good

Strange yet wonderful changes are afoot at The Boardroom Network.  In fact, positive change is a big theme in common for our members.

Our Wiltshire gathering included a keynote on “Change” from Clare Yates, a literal change of clothing as a demonstration of how to prepare from the Southampton Sailing Week with Chris Rees, and a change of the way we promote one another’s social media in order to have greater impact with less effort (with me!)


The most dramatic changes happened after the event, though, with that Raven Dragon, Sam Dyer, showing Justin Wharmby and myself what it was like to break sharp arrows with our bare throats!  This was a metaphor for deeper mental breakthroughs to higher goals and objectives.

We weren’t breaking bad, we were breaking good!

Something’s Gotta Change

Clare Yates, from the TM Group, specialises in linking people together for property transactions. Clare shared what she proposes to lawyers setting the scene for dealing positively with the changes they must face in the 21stCentury.

“Do you think it is time for a change?” says Clare

This could be a change of supplier or service.  King Cnut (Canute is a modernised spelling) is a model of someone who demonstrated the folly of resisting change to his followers (it’s a great story and I’ve hyperlinked it here).

“Education is what dictates the choices you can make in life,” profound words indeed.

Education changes the options we have.  Leaving home is life-changing for every life it touches. Career changes, marriage, bereavement, retirement – all these are change-markers and change-makers on the adventure we call ‘Life’!

When companies like Clare’s offer customers new technology, resistance can be strong – especially if they like it the old way.  In fact, the word ‘new’ sitting in front of a range of words from ‘image’ to ‘environment’, and from ‘systems’ to ‘behaviours’, provokes a response in most of us that isn’t one of delight!

Do you love change or are you more like the ‘computer says no’ lady from Little Britain?

Engaging your team in the decision before you change suppliers, systems, or strategies is a great move to preclude resistance to change!

Change with no reason is unreasonable change.  It might work.  It probably won’t.  Every successful change benefits from a powerful ‘why’.

Change is also far more likely to be successful if it is chosen change (rather than a change forced upon you or your industry.)  Politics, legislation, social trends, economics, technology – all these factors can push for change, but we are far more likely to embrace the change if we feel we can influence the outcome.

Choosing change that creates greater customer loyalty is attractive change.

Choosing change that attracts and retains the right members of the staff team is great change.

This may mean giving permission for team members to bring their dogs to work.

Even more profound is the move towards being able to work any time, any place, anywhere.

The times, they are a changing…

When is the right time to change?  Clare says it’s wise to listen to the people knocking on our doors offering us alternative options.  Staying open to opportunities can help us spot, embrace, and harness new ways that can give us the profitability without increasing our overheads.

A move towards change that’s driven by a desire to achieve more is far more motivating and energising than having to change to fix or avoid problems.  Be proactive and make a positive difference.


Clare quoted, “If you focus on results, you’ll never change; but if you focus on change you’re going to get results.”  That’s what makes change exciting – it’s about choice, chance, and change!

Choose change before it chooses you!

2+2=28 Exponential Social Media inspired by Rome

I am grateful for a group (both Members and Visitors) who are willing to get involved.  And ‘involvement’ was as much my message as Clare’s was ‘engagement’ in the process of change and transformation.

Holding up a tiny individual Roman model soldier, I championed the courage and bravery of the lone business person faithfully outputting social media content consistently and using the best tools available.  It can be done… valiantly and successfully.

My promise, however, was of a better, easier, and arguably more entertaining way to have a greater impact… by working like Romans together.

Connect, Collaborate, THEN Coordinate, and Co-operate

We are automatically connected by the strong support structure that goes into the organisation of each TBN meeting.  We also arrive at each meeting with a strong intention to collaborate.  These are givens.  What may well be missing are the strategies and systems to coordinate our efforts and then co-operate (literally operate together) to achieve more effective results.

The model we sought to emulate was that of the Roman ‘Tortoise’ – the Testudo – where each legionary would work within a unit to make sure each colleague was ‘covered’ with a shield.  The resulting formation looked a bit like the shell of a tortoise.  It was almost invincible as a strategy.

Many would hold two shields, protecting one side and above.  Those on the frontline would have a single shield and a sword or lance so that they could press forward with their advantage to achieve their objective.  The only place where protection was lacking was behind – there was no retreat!

What am I seeking to achieve for us?  If you’re like me, you’ll be investing a lot of effort in producing valuable Social Media posts that get almost zero response!  My efforts may or may not be valiant, but they certainly aren’t as successful as I would like… or even deserve!

I seek to keep my eye out for other members’ posts on LinkedIn and Facebook but miss most of them.  Jacqui and I have pondered this, especially in reference to LinkedIn.  The most demonstrably successful way we’ve found to move forward is to tag as many people as possible in a post.  To both of us, this seems clunky and time-consuming.

The proposed solution, inspired by the Roman Testudo, is more akin to the phone-tree that some schools used to use.  As long as one parent rings two others, key news about the school can spread rapidly (though I’m sure they all use WhatsApp now!)  I don’t think WhatsApp will work for us, though I’m open to change!!!

Instead, I’m suggesting a very low-maintenance strategy.  It is that we agree to ‘cover’ two other members of TBN and or EBW.  When they post material, it is up to them to tell us, but then our job to like, comment, and share.  ‘Share’ is the critical step for most of the Social Media platforms since that opens the door to each sharing person’s network.

Of course, the flow has to go both ways.

What if you don’t agree or like their content?  I would say that is a golden opportunity to give them some highly-valued feedback.  In practice, I’ve not yet seen a member’s post that I didn’t like.

As you can see in the diagram, I had a go at mapping out the network of people I believe were present at this specific event… and I think it could work.  More importantly, what do you think?  Would you commit to supporting two other member’s posts?

If you’re up for collaboration, I’m up for coordinating it (with Jacqui and Justin’s help).  I’m very willing to give it a bash.

By the way, YouTube punished competition and rewards collaboration.  The more you work together with other content-creators the more favourably you are perceived.  I like this model!


Plain Sailing

Chris Rees made the forthcoming Southampton Sailing Week very real to us by encouraging a select group of volunteers to get their kit… on.

I believe this is a golden opportunity for us to bond together as teams while having a lot of fun at the same time.  Collaborative activities really help people to get to know one another and decide whether future cooperation is a desirable outcome!

From 16th to the 18th of September where will be ample opportunity to get involved and there are many bonus rewards in store for the bold who take part.  No experience is necessary as you will be well looked after by a professional member of the crew.

With the right kit, the right training, the right direction, and a fair wind, everyone will be a winner… and will enjoy the promised gin and tonic or beer for those who stay the course!

“Shot to the Heart, and You’re to Blame, You Give Networking a Grand Name!”

Well, it may not be Bon Jovi but it’s certainly Bon Vivant – the Good Life available to those who break through their own ceilings of complexity.  The sensible Justin (aka Justin ‘Arrow-Breaker’ Wharmby) and the more impulsive yours-truly (aka Lex ‘Arrow-Breaker-I’ll-have-a-bash-at-anything’ McKee) stayed behind and explored Arrow-Breaking with that most Raven of Dragons, Mr Sam Dyer.

Trust me, the arrows are real, the points are sharp, and you feel the point (even as you ‘get’ the point!)  Nevertheless, after writing on the shaft of our arrows the issues we wanted to conquer, Justin and I both broke through to a new perspective on what was stopping us.  Sam reliably informs me that he always has arrows ready to go in his car (“Yes, Officer, they’re for training….”)  Thus, I would recommend you tap into Sam’s generosity, expertise, and passion so that you too can experience a breakthrough.

What a brilliant network we’ve got.

And on that note, may I remind you that there are opportunities coming up soon to train with Sam Sharma (Free events after future meetings, on the topic of, “How to get more done in less time.”

1. TBN Solent-19th July
2. TBN Solstice – 25th July
3. TBN Dorset- 1st Aug
Sam says, “This is the best hour you’ll spend all year!”
AND a powerful opportunity to train and get coaching on Presentation Skills with Andy Taylor-Whyte – a member who consistently demonstrates excellence in this subject area.
AND a cyber-security special with Chris Palmer on July 11th.