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Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

Diversity in Leadership: Spotlight on female leaders

By Tejal Bhogaita | Mazars

This blog is part of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce’s (ABCC) Diversity in Leadership campaign. The Diversity in Leadership campaign works with some of the regions’ biggest employers in order to boost the numbers of women and those from black and minority ethnic (BAME), lesbian gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and disability groups being represented on boards of directors and in leadership roles. Click here to find out more about the campaign Tejal Bhogaita is a corporate assistant in the Tax Advisory team at Mazars who is based in Milton Keynes. In this blog, Tejal takes us through her journey to starting her tax career, her motivations and what a good leader means to her: Since...

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What learning style suits you best?

By Clare Whalley | Meta4 Business Coaching

There are so many ways out there to establish how you prefer to learn, communicate and your way of working/achieving style in general. If you’ve never done one of these ‘tests’ I highly recommend you do so. The results will help you in several ways... By having a clear understanding of how you function at your optimum and the areas in where you excel, surrounded by whom (and more importantly) the areas in which you don’t flourish will enable you to choose the best team to have around you; the people who will pick up your slack when and if required, it will help you understand what your clients need from you, and how, through to helping you to feel more fulfilled in your working environment. The...

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Can non-disclosure agreements ever be ethical?

By Laura Rollason | Spencer Shaw Solicitors Ltd

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) gained a bad name as the #MeToo movement revealed how often they are used to silence victims of sexual harassment and assault. The agreements have even been the subject of discussion in the House of Commons and demands for tighter regulation. In this article we will look at how non-disclosure agreements work and the benefits they bring, as well as their limits. We’ll also look at proposals to manage the use of non-disclosure agreements, and what these would mean for businesses and employees. What is a non-disclosure agreement? Non-disclosure agreements can be standalone contracts, but in employment law they are more often part of an employment contract, or...

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Five questions for your board's cyber security agenda

By Cindy Phillips | OGL Computer / CyberGuard Technologies

Every Board should understand the severity of how important cyber-threats are. They are continuously growing, and every business is at risk. According to the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 43% of businesses experienced cyber security breaches or attacks over the previous 12 months and this is expected to increase year-on-year. The threats are real and cyber-crime is now part and parcel of the 21st century. Businesses can no longer turn a blind eye. With so many variations of threats and the potential of multiple security gaps within organisations, it’s hard to know where to start and what questions to ask. So, we’ve highlighted five key questions that should be on every...

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What’s gone wrong with the appeals system?

By John Webber | Colliers International

Latest Government figures released in May on CCA, the "Check Challenge Appeal" Business Rates appeals system, illustrates how badly the system is faring two years in- the backlog of claims is growing and the VOA, the Government’s Valuation Agency is under- resourced to deal with this. CCA came into force on 1 April 2017, despite voiced concern from business rates professionals that it had not been properly thought through. Aimed to speed up the appeals system by striking out any unnecessary claims early on and by using an on-line portal system, the VOA asserted this would create a much more streamline system from which companies could benefit. In reality we now have a much more cumbersome system...

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Discernment, silence and corporate governance

By Shivaji Shiva | VWV

What can board members learn from the Quaker Business Method? As a charity lawyer and trustee based in Birmingham, I am reminded daily of how Quakers have helped shape the city. It is less well known that the Society of Friends' book of discipline, Quaker faith & practice, is a great source of tips for board members. Among other things, it describes the Quaker business method, a suite of tools to support decision making. You may have heard of one of those tools - the use of silence at the start and end of Quaker meetings to help those involved ‘come with heart and mind prepared’ for the work of the meeting, and leave prepared for what follows. I have highlighted below some other practices which...

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Equality and diversity across the nation’s number one sport

By Dal Darroch | The Football Association

At the time of writing this, the England women’s team had just beaten Norway to reach the semi-final of the world cup in France. I’m an avid believer that football can really inspire a generation. You only have to see the impact the England Lionesses have had on the nation as an example of that. As a youngster I was football mad having played for my junior school, secondary school, Sunday league team and hoping to make it into an academy squad to eventually become a professional. This is every young players dream! In reality, the odds of success can be low and when that didn’t happen for me I fell out of love with playing football and followed a traditional route into business like everyone...

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IP CCTV and store optimisation

By Danielle Connelly | VIETEC LTD

Invest in the Customer experience with CCTV With the growing number of communication channels available, Retail organizations are increasingly turning to technology to improve the customer experience across a brands touch points. Understanding the customer's needs is a common challenge for many businesses and studies show that this will become the make-or-break benchmark for winning and retaining customers in the future. 67% of consumers and 74% of business buyers say they’ll pay more for a great experience. (Salesforce) More than 80% of companies who prioritize customer experience are reporting an increase in revenue (Dimension Data). This doesn't leave much room for your retail marketing...

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Tools and models for managers - The GROW Coaching Model

By Tom Marshall | Lighthouse HR Consulting Ltd

The GROW Coaching Model This is the first of a short series of posts describing some useful models which I've shared with my Coaching and Development clients. With thanks to its originators, including Sir John Whitmore, whose fantastic, easy-to-read book, “Coaching For Performance - The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership” provides all you’ll ever need on the subject. I’ve spoken to a couple of Coaches lately who have rolled their eyes when they mentioned the GROW model, maybe because they think it's a bit old hat. That’s a shame. It’s brilliant, whether you are a business owner, senior leader, or a first line supervisor. It’s easy to remember and easy to use. Here’s the model...

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Are GDPR standards slipping one year on?

By Pav Kaur | HSM UK

Over one year ago, on May 25th, the new GDPR standards were set, sending many organisations into a frenzy to ensure they were dealing with sensitive data in the correct way. Twelve months on, Mark Harper of HSM asks whether the UK has adapted well to these legislations or whether standards are slipping. The 25th May 2019 marked one year since the new GDPR laws were enforced upon the UK and Europe. These updated legislations were introduced to give individuals more control over the personal data companies hold and how they handle it. So, has this changed the way organisations are operating? Well, over the past year, it’s safe to say data handling is different. In fact, there’s almost no doubt...

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