Loading Downloads
Category: Business

There are SO many things that you could be doing to grow your business, but only 24 hours in a day. So how do you decide which ideas will make the most difference to your bottom line? And how do you get results – fast? Tune in to Idea Time for tools, tips and interviews to find out how

August 14, 2020

Innovation Success with Richard Hall

Join me and my special guest Richard Hall, founder of Pd-m International Limited, an innovation, product design and manufacturing consultancy.

We discuss the success factors of getting a product from concept to commercialisation or use in practice.

Richard shares his definition of innovation and the different levels and types of innovation, from incremental to disruptive.

Richard and I both use design thinking in our workshops, and we explore what it is and how we use it. Richard gives the example of how he has used design thinking to create medical innovations for surgeons.

Richard gives us his six trigger points for establishing a successful innovation, innovation process and the 'fog of uncertainty' and how innovation in the beginning can be like the flight of a bumblebee! Also why the process of co-design with customers is so important and how he has continued to do that through Covid-19 using online platforms.

I share why designing the "fog of uncertainty"- sometimes also known as the "groan zone" in innovation sprints and workshops is important.

Finally we discuss approaches and techniques that can be used in workshops and innovation more generally to achieve success, and different mindsets to challenge thinking - including asking "so wot?", "wot now?" and then "wot next?".

Richard also shares how he has pivoted his business to manufacture face shields that carry the CE mark. He plans to continue innovating and growing the business.

Thank you Richard for a great conversation, I'm sure you and the team will go from strength to strength.

Here is the Design Council reference we talked about for the Innovation Process : https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/what-framework-innovation-design-councils-evolved-double-diamond.

To join me free private facebook group for facilitators, Idea Time for Workshop Facilitators, use this link here.

For Force Field Analysis, Risk Register and Reverse Brain Storming workshop templates for delegates, please email me at jo@bigbangpartnership.co.uk and I will send them across to you.

Richard's bio:

Richard started his career aged 16 in 1986 as an Engineering Apprentice at Rolls-Royce Plc. After four years of training Richard was posted to the Engineering Drawing Office at the Derby fan blade facility. After studying part-time night class whilst working Richard then studied BA (Hons) Industrial Design full time. On graduating in 1994 Richard worked for 11 years in industry in the UK, Eastern Europe, the US and China. In 2005 Richard founded Pd-m International Limited, an innovation, product design and manufacturing consultancy. In addition to running the business Richard has been the lead mentor for the Design Council spark innovation fund, a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art and Leeds Becket University. Richard currently consults for Innovate UK and is studying a Masters Degree part time in Senior Leadership at The University of Leeds Business School. In 2018 Richard was awarded Fellowship at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Art, Manufactures and Commerce.

To find out more about Richard or get in touch with him you can find him here:

Instagram @pdm_productdesign
Web site www.pd-m.com
August 7, 2020

Virtual Facilitation using Microsoft Teams & Goal Magic with Leila Ainge

Join me in this episode with my special guest Leila Ainge on Virtual Facilitation using Microsoft teams. We also discuss ambitious goals and goal-setting as well as Leila's 'Pavilion Ponders' and more!


Leila shares tips on how to use Microsoft Teams for facilitated sessions, including setting up breakout groups by setting up channels in advance, using other tools that integrate with Teams and how to chat and messages before your session starts to begin engagement.


Leila also updates us on some new features in Microsoft Teams that are coming out in the autumn.


We discuss the differences, benefits and challenges of using Zoom or Teams and the collaborative tools we use.


For more facilitation tips and techniques and be part of a great community of facilitators, come and join my free Facebook Group, Idea Time for Workshop Facilitators. I'd love to see you in there.


If you'd like to learn more about Leila or connect with her, you can find her at:


www.aingeconsulting.co.uk/blog (home of the ponder)

https://www.aingeconsulting.co.uk/goal-magic-preview Free online course, taking action.

@leila_ainge Instagram





July 31, 2020

Connect with Your Magic. Transformational Change with Christine Francis Asmar

I love that we can unexpectedly find light in unexpected places.


Through lockdown I sat here in North Yorkshire and made a new friend in Christine Francis in Beirut.  Christine is a highly qualified and accomplished change leadership expert and coach, and it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with her on the latest episode of my Idea Time podcast.


Christine and I found each other on Instagram, began a dialogue, worked on virtual facilitation together and found that we have so much in common, especially our values, love of learning and joy of facilitation.


We discuss how Christine has been working a lot with the Change Curve and the Transition Model to support people transition in the uncertain world we're living in. She helps them to tap into their growth mindset, especially when they are at the bottom of the curve because this is either where magic happens or nothing happens at all.  Christine explains how she uses her deep knowledge and training, along with her own personal experience of change, to enable people to connect to their magic at a personal level and at the business level, because we always have a choice, no matter what the situation is, and choose actions based on their values.


Christine also shares her experience and tips on virtual facilitation, and how she has been running change and transformation workshops online for businesses, and the experience of getting back into a physical meeting room with social distancing measures in place.

To learn more about Christine, or to get in contact with here, you'll find her here:
Instagram is christinefrancis72
July 15, 2020

Values-based Leadership in Challenging Times with Sarah Price

Sarah Price is Strategic Manager and Director of a Community Interest Company that delivers physical activities for schools. She is an Idea Time programme member, and has also joined the new Business Growth Club run by Mahmood Reza and me.

Sarah shares her leadership story through recent months and how she has navigated the challenges of lockdown with her school customers and remote team engagement.

She is an absolute inspiration, and I'm delighted that Sarah has joined me on the podcast. The insights and experiences that Sarah shares will resonate with you too, I'm sure.

You can connect with Sarah here on Linkedin, and as always I'd love to hear your thoughts on the episode.

And if you'd like to find out more about the Business Growth Club, please click here.

July 13, 2020

How to Scale Up Your Business

In this podcast, which celebrates the upcoming launch of our new Business Growth Club with Mahmood and Jo  I share the key success factors for scaling up your business. 

I cover:

  • The importance of testing that the demand exists for your product or service
  • Why it's important to have solid, streamlined and replicable business processes to support your scale up and some easy ways that you can get ready to delegate or outsource your behind-the-scenes activities
  • The key financial and cashflow considerations you need to bear in mind, and why

I also refer to Mahmood Reza's excellent free resources to help you work through the cashflow implications of your scale up which you can get here.

July 7, 2020

Business Growth Club with Mahmood and Jo

Join me and my special guest Mahmood Reza, The Numbers Rockstar, in this special edition podcast to launch our Business Growth Club for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to scale up successfully and sustainably.

“Ideas are cheap. It is building them into profitable companies that is hard. Ideas are like insects. Many are born but few live to maturity.” William Hertling

Imagine that business idea you have. Your business idea could be floating in and out, or it may rest heavy in your thoughts.

Either way, you want that idea to turn into something meaningful. Who wouldn’t want their business to make a mark, a difference and an impact?

Meaningful needs to be more. Whatever your business, you need to make money if you are going to survive and thrive.

How you make that money, what you do with that money is part of the deal.

If making money is not one of your business goals , then all you have is a time consuming and expensive hobby.

Let’s get real. Ideas are the easy part of your business journey 

If you expect success to fall into your lap, you have inspiration but no application, and want it all for free, then this program is not for you.

If you'd like to find out more, listen in - and get on the waiting list here - we have only 12 places available, and some of those have gone already! If we've convinced you already, then sign up now for £99+ VAT. 

Really hope you can join us :) 


More about Mahmood:

Mahmood is the Owner Manager of Knowledge Grab and Pro Active Resolutions.  The businesses help business owners make money & save time by using their numbers, through accounting and tax support, training and mentoring 

Mahmood’s business career of over 25 years has been about supporting business and entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow, as well as social enterprises and charities.  He has been described by some clients as “Not your normal boring Accountant!”

Before Mahmood started his own business from his back room, he started his paid for career in teaching.  He has taught at all educational levels, from primary to post graduate, vocational to academic. 

Mahmood then made a transition into Industry, working for a brewing and drinks company as a divisional accountant reporting to board level.  

He then made his next pivot and started his own business in Feb 1995.

Mahmood  is highly qualified in accounting, tax & business, and has picked up qualifications, passed exams beyond accounting: FCCA, ATT, FRSA, DMS, PGCE, BSc (Hons). 


He also publishes regular content, guides, and resources to support business. His weekly podcast ‘I Hate Numbers’ is one way of helping your business get friendlier with your best business friend. The friend that doesn’t lie to you, your Numbers.


July 5, 2020

How to Facilitate a Virtual Sprint

In this podcast, I share some more tips on how to facilitate a virtual innovation or design sprint.

I cover:

  • What is an innovation or design sprint
  • A typical format
  • Different sprint methods - Google sprint, Design Thinking, Creative Problem Solving
  • Toolkit and delegate resource examples
  • How I use tools such as Mentimeter and Milanote to get delegate engagement

To download the slides that accompany this podcast for free, go to:https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/resources/virtual-facilitation-tips/


July 2, 2020

Challenge Statements for Innovation & Growth

Ackoff statement


This episode focuses on how to create great challenge statements for innovation and growth.

Whether you are an innovator, entrepreneur or facilitator, starting off with a challenge statement helps you to focus.


In this podcast I cover:

 - What is a challenge statement, and how they can help with innovation and business growth.

 - Why questions are great for problem-solving and innovation.

 - The characteristics of a great challenge, and different types of innovation problem - i.e..tame, wicked, messy problems.

 - The 4 Ingredients of a great challenge statement.

 - A 4 step process for creating a great challenge statement.

 - The importance of getting info, insights and data together before moving straight to idea generation, including a great template to use.

 - How to use the 'problem family tree' method for deconstructing challenges and generating ideas.

If you'd like to download the slide deck that supports this episode for free, please go to https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/resources/



June 18, 2020

How to Pivot Your Business

Download the slide pack from this podcast from my free content studio at https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/reso...


From March 2020, with the outbreak of Covid-19 and the changes it has brought, how to pivot seems to have been one of the most prominent business themes in the media, after of course the financial and operational impact of the pandemic.

As a result of Covid-19, we have seen gin manufacturers pivot to making hand sanitiser, engineering firms to producing ventilators and medical equipment, and clothing companies to supporting with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). That said, pivoting is something that businesses have been doing since people started to trade goods and services with each other, and the core principles of successful pivoting remain constant.

In this podcast, I share the content of an innovation masterclass that I have been running with businesses to help them decide if and how they should pivot.

It's important to balance the decisions you need to take right now to survive and thrive with the impact that these decisions will have longer term on your business.

You may be thinking about pivoting - which means making a change - large or small - to your business - if your current products and services aren't performing well for you.

I provide a pragmatic checklist and process for you to use if you are thinking about pivoting in your business.

By listening in, you'll gain insights on how to:

- Make your business more relevant

- Implement business changes to generate more cash and profit

- Benefit from new opportunities quickly

Instagram: @ideatimestudio

Facebook: @ideatime1

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonorth/?...

April 30, 2020

Selling in These Challenging Times with Keith Rozelle, The Sales Marvel

Join me for my conversation with Sales Marvel, Keith Rozelle, on Selling in these Challenging Times.

Keith mentors Business Owners, Sales Professionals and Entrepreneurial Students to win more customers. He creates highly effective sales strategies for his clients and is a globally experienced sales leader – both as a Director setting strategy and also as an individual contributor selling complex solutions. Keith has worked at C-level level for many years across a broad range of sectors including Financial Services, Agri-food, Hospitality, IT/Telecoms and Higher Education.

Much of Keith’s professional experience has been in Technology, Outsourcing Services and Education.

He also has substantial international business experience, having lived and worked in the US, Europe and the Far East.

Keith is a visiting lecturer at Aston University and believes that selling is an art, science and craft that should be valued more as a profession.

We all need to be able to sell, but not everyone is comfortable selling – often because of fear of rejection.

People today want to choose to buy – they don’t want to be sold to. The power is with the customer. Product and service differentiation is really important because it means that the choice will be made on factors beyond simply price.

 In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to sell in challenging times, and why it’s important to take different approaches as people experience different stages of the change curve.
  • Sales being about P2P - people-to-people – not B2B or B2C.
  • The need to find a new way to trade that will help us move forward in this situation and the potential future process of ‘cocooning’ even once the lockdown has passed.
  • There is a broad diversity of how people have been affected by the current Covid-19 outbreak.
  • That a good deal of TV advertising has adapted its messaging to sell in an appropriate way right now.
  • Whether it’s a good idea or not to drop prices or discount.
  • The importance of protecting existing revenue and getting the business onto as sustainable a footing as possible for the next few months.
  • How to start selling successfully with more confidence.
  • How to see objections as requests for more information instead of a rejection.
  • The importance of not forcing the sales cycle onto the buyer – instead adapt the sales cycle to what works for the business.


Key to surviving and thriving is making sure that products and services are differentiated in ways that are relevant to target customers.

For small businesses, the business owner or leader may be the key differentiator.

Keith shares a sales process in the Covid-19 context and references the Zyman Pyramid to explain moving from a ‘me too’ provider competing on price to becoming a preferred provider by truly understanding and responding to customers’ needs and building customer trust. Be crystal clear about your value proposition, says Keith, and he points out that all this is true in other, less anxious times too.

Co-creation with customers is much less likely to lead to rejection as the customer has been integral to the process of developing the solution.

Ultimately, sales is about communicating how you can solve your customer’s problem – and it’s essential to keep going and help your customers solve their challenges, as well as protecting your business.

To contact Keith, email him at keith@salesmarvel.co.uk , or you can find him here on LinkedIn.

To attend one of Keith’s free webinars find out more here.