Green shoots in the economy? - 29 April 2009

Steve Cooper, Managing Director for Barclays Local Business, banks are already seeing higher levels of activity and confidence from the business community. He says: "Whilst the economy continues to contract overall, there are some encouraging signs that the pace is slowing. Bank lending to the business community is increasing and with measures announced in the budget I would expect this to increase further. More help is needed on the issue of late trade payments, but in general, SMEs are taking the necessary but difficult decision to preserve profitability and generate cash. Although we may not be able to achieve the forecast rate of growth in 2010, confidence is returning with many businesses reporting better prospects and improving order books. Indeed, in March 2009, over 40 per cent of our Local Business customers had sales higher than the previous year." (read more)

Inspirational Communication - 22 April 2009

Martyn Fisher, Managing Director for ELGA Process Water, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, explains: "It's important to remember that the economic downturn has brought decision-makers and leaders into the spotlight, especially those in banking and the finance sector. There is inevitably going to be more expectation from employees that leaders should have a clear plan and this needs to be communicated clearly and effectively to avoid the sort of fear and mistrust that could sap motivation and staff retention." (read more)

Executive & NED Progression - 15 April 2009

Guy Beresford, Partner for Whitehead Mann comments, "Research focusing on the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 shows that turnover on the board has not increased in the current climate. Indeed, the number of executive directors leaving boards in Q1 2009 has halved compared to the same period last year. Since 2007, the number of executives and non-executives leaving boards has also dropped year on year. This may show recognition from companies and shareholders that CEOs and chairmen cannot be held responsibile for collapses of share values in the current market. The financial crisis has impacted organisations across the whole economy so although in boom times falling share values may prompt the need to dispose of board members, this is not always the case in a downturn where other factors are at play." (read more)

Advisory Board Advantages - 7 April 2009

Molly Jackson, Director for The Science Museum comments, "These boards allow us to tap in to external expertise and gain fresh perspectives on the projects we are working on. To be successful, organisations have to make sure that individuals on these panels are fully engaged and involved in the work they are advising on." (read more)

Opportunities for Sustainability - 1 April 2009

Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A for Marks & Spencer adds, "Unsustainable products and services make no sense going forward. Businesses have a responsibility to make all products sustainable and not charge a premium for doing so." (read more)