News & Updates

A page for your blog posts

We chatted with The Storytelling Book author Anthony ‘Tas’ Tasgal about why he chose to write this book.

“For a number of years now, everyone in the presentation and communications business, has been slipping into, what I call an ‘arithmocracy’. It’s a system where everyone is becoming more and more obsessed with and addicted to numbers and data, measurements, prediction and control.

I’ve become increasingly worried that when we try to communicate, whether it’s B2B or B2C, writing presentations or doing ads, we’re losing our universal and natural human role as storytellers. We’ve replaced it with this model, which is all about bullet points, data and charts in an attempt to bludgeon people into submission.

For me storytelling is a matter of reminding ourselves that the one thing we’re all born with is our love of stories. We’re best at communicating when we do it through the medium of stories.”

Listen to this episode:

For more information about this book:

60 second

60 seconds of highlights from our interview with Myles Downey author of Enabling Genius. Tune in to episode 2 to hear the full conversation about how we can access our own genius.

“Two and half years ago a small group of people noticed that there was a whole raft of information available on performance potential and all aspects of how human beings can excel. But, they all sat in a whole variety of different silos.

What we decided to do was to see if we could bring all that information together, simplify it, make it more concise and more communicable. The book is an obvious form. That group of people come from Russia, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Spain. It was a huge and very different disciplines. We have a diversity of opinion and thought as we got going.

After a while it became clear to what the essence of enabling genius was.”

Listen to this episode here:

For more information about this book:

recruitment employment
Permanent employment placements dip

Overall employment numbers for permanent roles have dipped by 1% in January 2017, while contractor placements simultaneously increased by 2% year-on-year, according to new survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

APSCo’s, which focuses on professional recruitment, presented data which reveals notable variations between the trade association’s core sector groups in terms of hiring activity. While permanent placements across both IT and engineering, for example, have increased (18% and 2% respectively), permanent placements within financial services slipped by 6%.

Financial services sector scrambles for contractors

Recruitment of professional contactors increased by 2% across the board year-on-year, with much of this activity attributed to a surge in the number of roles within financial services.

Despite the fact that permanent placements dipped by 6% year-on-year in this sector, contract placements increased by almost a quarter (24%) during the same period as uncertainty around the City’s future post-Brexit deters decision makers from committing to permanent hires. Engineering was the only other sector which enjoyed modest growth in temporary hiring, with contract placements increasing by 3%. This is likely to be attributed to the number of large-scale infrastructure projects currently underway across the UK, coupled with acute skills shortages in the sector as reported by industry body, Engineering UK, this month in its annual State of the Nation report.

Average employment salaries down

APSCo’s figures also reveal that median salaries across all professional sectors dipped by 1.4% year-on-year. This figure is characterized by notable fluctuations in terms of sector, with IT, for example, recording an uplift of 1.8% while in banking average salaries were down 4.7% year-on-year.

Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments: “This data suggests that as the as next month’s deadline approaches for the UK to start its formal withdrawal from the EU, organizations are slightly more hesitant to commit to bringing on board permanent staff. Thankfully, the strength of the UK staffing market lies in its flexibility, and it seems that organiz­ations are bridging gaps with contractors to keep the wheels in motion.”

“The fact that financial services firms are scrambling for contractors – while cutting back on permanent hiring – is unsurprising given the uncertain future of the City post-Brexit. While few companies in this area have publicly commented on their future workforce plans, of the 222 firms studied by EY for its financial services Brexit tracker, 15% said they expect to move some staff and 10% are actively committed to the UK. The presumption is the remaining companies are turning to contingent workforces until they have the information they need to make logical and reasoned decisions on where their futures lie geographically.”



Human Resources, employeeWhile the commitment from UK CEOs on developing and retraining staff is encouraging for future talent strategies and employee engagement, failure to upskill and support the Human Resources(HR) function could be detrimental to these plans. That’s according to global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions.

In response to a recent PWC report, which revealed that 81% of UK CEOs are amending their people strategies for the future but only 51% are rethinking their HR function, Alexander Mann Solutions has urged business leaders to consider investing in the development of talent management teams as well.

Lisa Forrest, Global Head of Talent Acquisition, at Alexander Mann Solutions, explains: “Given the growing emphasis that employees place on working for a company that gives back to its staff (and communities), the fact that more CEOs want to invest in people development in order to retain the best talent is certainly something that the HR community will welcome. In particular, the commitment to adding digital training to learning programmes, which is identified in the report, is encouraging at a time when these skills are in high demand but low availability.

“However, for any successful changes to be implemented in people management, the HR function also needs to have the full training and support required, otherwise success can be limited. Of course, HR teams will welcome this commitment from CEOs, but implementing such change is not done overnight. It’s likely to require an investment in new human resources software, upskilling HR teams to effectively identify and implement new training needs, and, in some cases, increase headcount in the talent management team itself.

“If CEOs want to truly cement their pledge to improving the development and training of staff, they need to start with those who will be responsible for delivering any changes and expand from there.”

Alexander Mann Solutions

New research by Shortlister, a leading employers and employee benefits consultants reveals the trends that wellbeing experts believe will define the corporate wellness industry in the coming years. These include emotional and financial wellbeing, rather than the traditional approach, which only addressed physical health.

Shortlister surveyed the nation’s top employee benefits consultants to get their take on the state of the wellness/well-being industry. The experts indicated that:

  • Employers are unanimously:
  • Shifting to an approach of total “wellbeing” that includes emotional and financial well-being, rather than the traditional approach, which only addressed physical health
    • Adding more niche solutions (e.g., diabetes management, financial wellness, etc.)
  • 2 out of 3 respondents reported an increased demand in:
    • Prioritizing wellness/wellbeing initiatives as a strategic business objective
    • Looking for a platform/hub partner to thoughtfully integrate their benefit initiatives
    • Mobile-first or native mobile apps to improve member access to wellness resources
  • The largest negative trend observed was employers actively moving away from carrier wellness programs in favor of third-party vendors

“One factor that surprised us was seeing how these trends are accentuated in the large employer market” said Joe Miller, President of Shortlister. “Large employers are driving the demand for the emerging wellbeing solutions, such as financial wellness and stress or resilience programs.  Small and mid-sized employers are later on the adoption curve and the market is slow to provide solutions to these down-market employers.”

One of the primary areas that the experts predicted would help bolster the effectiveness of well-being programs, was in the approach to employee engagement. 50% of respondents indicated this was a key area of impact. Employers are turning away from the wellness moniker and looking to adopt a more holistic approach to employee health, engagement and emotional wellbeing.

“What we found most promising about the future of the wellbeing industry was a growth in genuine interest from employers to implement resources that support a holistic approach to employee wellbeing,” said Tom Ciccotti, Shortlister’s Executive Vice President.  “From financial to emotional wellbeing programmes, we’re observing a clear shift away from attempting to quantify an ROI solely in terms of medical claim reduction to the realization that the right wellbeing initiatives can foster a culture where employees feel appreciated, empowered and view their organization as an employer of choice.

Source: Shortlister


In today’s challenging economic environment, chief financial officers (CFOs) in the insurance sector operating say that achieving growth is an imperative. However, one of the biggest parts they must play is in supporting the business by providing clear, insightful and timely analysis for decision-making. Against this backdrop they also must balance new accounting standards that are coming, with the search for efficiency by introducing new finance operating models, according to the annual EY Global Insurance CFO Survey, of finance leaders from nearly 60 global insurers

To address these needs, CFOs have a clear vision on their finance priorities through 2020 and beyond. Seventy-four percent of respondents cite providing better insight (including faster, relevant and integrated financial analysis) ranking a top priority. Aligning finance, risk and actuarial information rises to the second spot with 48%, followed by the 47% saying achieving efficiency through process simplification and automation. At the same time, 41% cite fast and secure reporting as a key requirement for providing timely insight, and 33% say implementing regulatory and financial requirements is a top concern.

Nicola Panarelli, EY Global Insurance Finance Transformation Leader, says:

“With growth high on the agenda for the insurance industry, CFOs across all regions (Europe, Americas and Asia-Pacific) are increasingly investing in infrastructure and technology to promote better decision-making. This is vital if they are to achieve the business and revenue growth they seek. Against this backdrop, new accounting standards and multiple reporting bases are looming for insurers. Now is the time to work on the efficiency of the finance framework and to continue chasing faster reporting timeframes, combining compliance with an efficient operating model.”

Supporting business imperatives

Business partnering is becoming the key driver for closely aligning finance, risk and actuarial functions. 48% of CFOs see this as a fundamental requirement to provide insight to the business across all key metrics, including capital and risk. They are robustly challenging the status quo and change inertia that prevents straight-through processing for finance, risk and actuarial reporting and analysis, and are eliminating manual hand-offs as quickly as possible.

In fact, 51% of respondents complain about siloed data, systems, timetables and processes that are not integrated. Their biggest challenge is the lack of a unique integrated platform that is able to manage multiple methodologies across accounting and planning activities. Such a platform would improve the timing of processes and quality of data input and output.

A new finance operating model

Many global CFOs have clear goals in creating their target finance operating model by 2020. A clear trend shows a continued expansion of the CFO role including ownership of all financial data and analytics. A new target operating model, with standardized and automated processes, will enable a more integrated vision across finance, actuarial and risk.

By 2020, the finance and actuarial operations model will need to be properly aligned with strategic priorities, according to survey respondents. Digital solutions will raise business expectations of what could and should be achieved from the finance function. As CFOs better understand the opportunities that technology can provide, many will pilot projects to build the case for their use.

People will also make a difference. Building analytical skills and communication skills are the top people development priority identified by CFOs, with 46% investing in people to develop their skills.

Panarelli says, “Some insurers are already investing in finance change programs that will encourage new thinking about how financial reporting, planning, analysis and management information will be delivered in the future. New technologies and the drive for efficiency presents opportunities for CFOs to press the ‘reset’ button and focus on change.”




In ‘Sweet Success: A Journey of Change and Challenge’, Doug Lapins chronicles the changes, challenges, and guiding principles of a thirty year corporate career in the changing sugar industry. He joins Miro to discuss the many aspects of his work and experience.


Doug can be found at:

Meetings. We all know about them and are part of them almost every day. But how do we make the most of a meeting? Is there anything we can do to turn them into an exciting, productive and core part of our working life?

Author Helen Chapman talks to Miro about how we can do just that.


Helen can be found at:




Your brain is your most valuable asset, and yet we are taught so little about it. The one thing that’s involved in all your feelings, thoughts, and actions, and you’re never given the manual. Consequently few of us realise our potential.

Author Phil Dobson talks to Miro about how we can use our brain to it’s fullest.


Phil can be found at: