Category Archives: Performance

Leadership Profile: Kenny Wilson leads the home of modern vintage as CEO of Cath Kidston


‘You have a long working life, you need to enjoy it.’

When I meet Kenny Wilson, the affable yet determined powerhouse heading up Cath Kidston as its CEO, he certainly seems to be enjoying his job. The news that the company has been bought out by private equity group Barings Asia has just gone public. Wilson describes the transaction as representing a continuity of ownership and indeed, a simplification of the stakeholder structure, leaving just one investor and giving access to more funding to drive their next phase of growth. A smooth deal then, but even if the takeover waters had been choppy, Wilson strikes me as a man who can cope with pretty much any difficulty thrown at him, not least because he is open-minded enough to be on an ongoing journey of learning and self-development and has both the courage and humility to surround himself with capable people. But more of that later. (more…)

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Flow into Autumn: How to recharge your batteries with a new challenge

By Ann Orton

1-img_0289It’s the Autumn Equinox, when we officially move into autumn and the day is evenly split between light and dark. It feels like a timely point to share my reflections on an aspect of my summer. In early August, I took myself off to the wild and unspoilt countryside of the Welsh Borders to a stone carving course. It was an experiment:  on two consecutive summers several years ago I had attended a four-day stone carving course at Chelsea College of Art next to Tate Britain, learning the basics in the original mortuary of what was the Royal Army Medical College, and commuting from home.  But the course had been dropped. (more…)

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Change Our Habits, Change Our Lives

By Liz Gooster

Gretchen Rubin

Do you make your bed in the morning? If you do, that’s good. If you don’t – yet – starting to do so could make a drastic difference to your clarity of mind. Sounds trivial, and yet in her extensive research into the habits that work for us, and against us, Gretchen Rubin, author of bestselling The Happiness Project and now Better Than Before, has found that there is significant truth behind the notion that outer order contributes to inner calm. And what about those people who make their hotel bed on the day they checkout? Well, that’s a whole other category … (more…)

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… And it ended with three little words

By Linda Feerick

i-love-youMy previous blog (It started with a kiss) described how we start our Alliance meetings, highlighting why we think the start a meeting is critical. Well, we also think that the middle and end are important too. Typically, it is the middle section (‘the business’) that gets all the attention and by the end we are in danger of morphing into Usain Bolt as we sprint to our next meeting (for which are probably already late).  (more…)

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It started with a kiss …

by Linda Feerick

It started with a kiss…. kiss

…well it didn’t actually but at least I have your attention! Last week I chaired our monthly Alliance meeting. The first item on the agenda is always ‘Positive Beginnings’ and it is one of the items that never gets cancelled or shifted. So, we sat in silence for a couple of minutes and then slipped into a discussion on the question ‘If you were invited on to Desert Island Discs’ (which happens to be on my bucket list but I think I have some work to do to get an invite) what would be your luxury item?’ (more…)

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Achieving Peak Performance


By Liz Gooster

Alliance partner Juan Coto has been working closely with tennis player Johanna Konta for over a year. As Johanna soars from one achievement to the next – as I write she has just beaten Zhang Shuai to win herself a place in the semi-finals of the Australian Open – in The Alliance we are reflecting on some of the factors that contribute to peak performance, in business as well as sport. While it might sound counter-inuitive, once you approach the top levels of any field, success is not mainly due to technical ability or expertise. In a Grand Slam match, it’s unlikely you will lose because you don’t know how to serve. If you’re hired as a lawyer from a top tier firm, you’re expected to know the law. These skills are a hygiene factor, the price of entry if you like – they’re a necessary but not sufficient condition for success. (more…)

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