MONITOR FELLOWSHIP Employment Panel Independent Consultants Network The Benefit of Mutual Support E arly in 2014 the Employment Panel launched an ‘Independent Consultants’ Network’ (ICN), open to all members of the Company. Initiated by Kimball Bailey, the ICN is aimed at members who are independent consultants or who work in a small associate-based business, whose businesses use independent consultants, or who find a specific discussion topic of interest. The ICN was set up to be a medium for the discussion of ideas and methods to improve the management and success of our businesses, the exchange of knowledge, best practice and skillsets, and the widening of our potential individual markets. During the year the network has held three evenings of entertaining and informative discussions. These commenced in Spring with Simon Orme sharing his experiences to help with ‘Selling Intangibles to a Sophisticated Buyer’. Simon has built a very successful practice implementing structured sales processes to support business growth, with a theme of forensic management. Key learning from the evening was around building the skills and competencies necessary to make a process fruitful. approaches the market and creates an image for its business. Most recently, in September, we were pleased to welcome our first external speaker, Mike Ames of Flair Business Growth Consultancy (www.flair.co.uk). Despite having travelled from Birmingham and already delivered a full programme of seminars, Mike gave a spirited and insightful talk on ‘Building your Business in 20 Minutes’. Before the session there were probably few present who would have thought that a CRM for a £40m business could be run free using Outlook! At the core of Mike’s talk was a reinforcement that sales are based on human interactions and ultimately that people buy from people. His views on the use of social media and how to gain the maximum from our interactions can best be summarised in the words of one attendee “That was the most useful and productive presentation I have attended in many years”. It is fair to say that not one person left the room without a significantly increased ‘to do list’. Thanks to the generous contributions of those present, the evening also resulted in a donation of £100 to the WCIT Charity funds. The next meeting will be on 29 January 2015 in the Livery Room and we will be running a light-hearted ‘into to the Dragon's Lair’ (because despite what the BBC says that's where they live). Volunteers will present their core consulting service and how they have adapted their approach with lessons Summer saw Peter Bayley take the floor learnt from the 2014 meetings. to lead a workshop on effective branding and marketing. Covering If you are interested in joining this topics such as brand attributes and meeting please contact Kimball at personality, positioning, differentiation Kimball.firstname.lastname@example.org and brand image, the evening stimulated or Nick Claydon at much thought about how even the email@example.com. smallest consultancy practice Page 8 Contributed by WCIT Liveryman Kimball Bailey PAUL DAVID JAGGER @cityandlivery Each issue of MONITOR will include a selection of miniature missives drawn from the twitter account of WCIT Liveryman Paul Jagger who tweets under the sobriquet @CityandLivery which now hosts over 5,000 #CityFact and #LiveryFact tweets. There is also a supporting website www.cityandlivery.co.uk and of course members can pick up a copy of The City of London Freeman’s Guide from the WCIT Hall for £10. There are neither points nor prizes for remembering these online orations although they may yet prove useful for the obscure publications feature in Have I Got News for You or a future episode of QI. This next batch of miniature missives: #CityFact: The Cooks’ Company find that having two Masters at the same time is curiously not too many cooks! #CityFact: The Bowyers’ Company are the only Livery Company to elect a Master to serve for 2 years. #CityFact: The Air Pilots’ Company have a membership grade of Upper Freemen for those with 5 years+ flying experience. #CityFact: The Leathersellers’ Company use the term Honorary Freeman for selected long-standing Freemen of Distinction. #CityFact: The Engineers’ Company have a singular ‘First Honorary Liveryman’ who happens to be HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.