January 2017 Newsletter

Reviewing Marginal Gains, Dealing With Difficult People, and Understanding The Customer Journey. Click the following link to see the full 8 pages ISSUE+3+-+Cognisi+-+v20.1

One Page Business Plan

Business Plans:

On just one page!

Every organisation should have a good, solid business plan. A well-structured business plan shows where you are now, what you intend to accomplish and how you plan to do it. However, the problem with most traditional business plans is that for the most part they just gather dust because they are often seen as too wordy, daunting to read, difficult to appreciate the nuances of phrasing and often lack connectivity.

Traditional plans take too long to produce because writers typically spend hours agonising over the prose; making sure the document looks good and “flows “properly; worrying about the level of detail (too much?….. too little?).

Traditional plans are not dynamic – once written they take too much effort to update – ask yourself when was the last time your plan (if you have one) was re-written.

Traditional plans are often deemed “so important” that they are only shown to a select few! Which if you think about it is rather perverse. They aren’t used to help create a universal understanding of where the company is going, they don’t aid communication if anything they hinder it.

Traditional plans are often seen as “high level wishes” and often lack details on the execution – I recommend that you get every department, profit centre, function to develop their own one page plan. This will help ensure “buy-in” to the bigger plan and keep everyone “on message”

Over the last few months I’ve been helping a number of clients develop ONE PAGE BUSINESS PLANS and have been amazed at their effectiveness.

If you want to improve your business, engage your employees, communicate your strategy better, then I urge you to develop a one page business plan. Once written put it on your wall for daily reference (the bigger the paper that it is written on, or printed on, the better e.g. A1 or even A0).

One page plans work because:

  • They are flexible, easy to edit and revise.
  • They enable you to track objectives, goals and targets.
  • They are highly visual and improve communication of the business strategy to everyone in the company/department.
  • They can be created in a few hours – no agonising over the time spent producing a document that is hardly ever referred to
  • They focus on actions rather than the process of writing a document.

For help with creating your plan please click here for a free consultation.

Evan Davis The Botton Line

“Dare to be…. There comes a time when your experiences and hard work aren’t enough.”

The Bottom Line Radio Programme with Evan Davis


Evan Davis recently hosted the business conversation show The Bottom Line and looked at executive coaching and its role in supporting business leaders. A few of my clients who listened to the programme said that they recognised much of what was discussed…. the reasons for working with a coach; the benefits accrued; the approach and style of the coaching sessions …. basically they said it resonated with them and endorsed why they use me to support them in their business.


After such a positive recommendation I thought I’d forward a link to the programme and hope that you will listen to it:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0739rfv

If the discussion tempts you into wanting to know more, please contact me by email (leigh@cognisi.co.uk) or ring me on 07768 290694 for a FREE, no obligation introductory coaching session.


“Cognisi coaching helps business owners and directors unlock the 10-20% of hidden potential that exists in most businesses….”

Location in perspective!

This puts size and location into perspective

Click here to see the size of the earth in comparison to other heavenly bodies

Also view the video below to put distance into perspective

Mind Mapping

Buzan's iMindMap


Buzan’s iMindMap® Mind Mapping Software

ThinkBuzan has introduced iMindMap® V4.1 the official Mind Mapping software from Tony Buzan. We offer links to FREE trial downloads and versions available or click here to purchase now.

Mind maps work the way the brain works — which is not in nice neat lines.

Memory is naturally associative, not linear. Any idea probably has thousands of links in your mind.

Mind maps allow associations and links to be recorded and reinforced.

The mind remembers key words and images, not sentences — try recalling just one sentence from memory!   Mind maps use just key words and key images, allowing a lot more information to be put on a page.

Because mind maps are more visual and depict associations between key words, they are much easier to recall than linear notes.

Starting from the centre of the page rather than top-left corner allows you to work out in all directions.

The organization of a mind map reflects the way your own brain organizes ideas.

Mind maps are easy to review. Regular review reinforces memory. Best is to try reviewing in your imagination first, then go back and check on those areas that were hazy.

We remember what stands out (where were you when the Two Towers in NY were destroyed?).

Visual quality of mind maps allows you to make key points to stand out easily.

Mind maps help you Structure your thoughts – They are proven to help you:

  • Develop new and creative ideas quickly and easily
  • Make better, faster decisions
  • Solve problems and find the best solutions
  • Prepare and prioritise plans
  • Capture and organise your thoughts and ideas on one page
  • Prepare and deliver presentations and speeches
  • Write letters, reports and documents

Buzan's iMindMap

iMindMap Elements
The Elements Edition is a simple and easy-to-use tool which allows you to create organic Mind Maps. Ideal for home users and students.

zBuzan's iMindMapiMindMap Professional
Professional  gives you more features when exporting, drawing and controlling maps and limited intergration with Office software. Ideal for business users and teachers who want to use Mind Mapping to help write documents, letters or proposals.


Buzan's iMindMap

iMindMap Ultimate
If you use Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or iWork then you want the ULTIMATE Ultimate tool for full integration with all of your important documents. Contains all the features of Elements and Professional and additionally allows you to enjoy full integration with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and iWork (exporting options from text documents to spreadsheets to PowerPoint), attach audio notes to branches (perfect for speed or brainstorming), integrates with Microsoft Project and Outlook and includes a full Project Management System including Gantt Charting. Discover the award winning Presentation Mode to create and deliver professionally animated Mind Map presentations with ease.

“Dare to be….” the ultimate coaching programme

“Dare to be …. BETTER!”

Senior Directors and managers of businesses today are often characterised as being energetic, single-minded, results orientated, organised and experienced. Yet we all have areas where we can make improvements – none of us “know it all”. It is also often true that once people reach a level of “seniority” they don’t dare to admit that they need help for fear that that others will see them as vulnerable, a weak leader or have a weak team.

 It is because we all have some shortcomings that Cognisi’s “Dare to be….” programme has been developed. It is designed to help address a wide variety of issues in an environment where there is no finger pointing and will reinforce your self-sufficiency and independence rather than challenge it.

 Before you contact us for a FREE starter session, start with a few minutes of self reflection and identify in which of the following should you “Dare to be….BETTER”:

  • Dare to be ….more strategic – should you prioritise your work in the areas where you can add most value? Be driven by what is urgent not what is important? Avoid the tendency to be driven by pressure to be seen to be busy?
  • Dare to be ….a manager not a doer – do you need to stop micro-managing and getting bogged down in operational detail, disempowering your teams by pushing your own solution instead of drawing solutions (and greater commitment) from others?
  • Dare to be ….less stifling – should you avoid trying to do too much yourself and punishing mistakes rather than proactively cultivating a culture of creative thinking and learning from mistakes?
  • Dare to be ….more customer focused – do you recognise the need to undertake more contact with external and internal customers to genuinely seek to understand the needs of all stakeholders and strive to help them?
  • Dare to be ….a better listener – how good are you at questioning and actually listening to the responses so that you create a full open dialogue, leading to real understanding of the other party’s issues, concerns or views?
  • Dare to be ….more aware – do you recognise your own behavioural style and its effect on others? How emotionally intelligent are you?
  • Dare to be ….more flexible – should you embrace more input from others and fight your strong desires to always be right? (often the result of a narrow background or being too internally focused)
  • Dare to be ….focussed on developing others – is your style of coaching to tell others exactly how to do something and criticise mistakes rather than use a combination of appropriate praise and open questions designed to draw solutions out of others?
  • Dare to be ….an agent of change – do you have great ideas but no one else seems to understand or “buy-in” to them?

The common underlying theme across these development needs is a narrow focus on me and immediate gratification of my needs. The me emphasis leads to pushing one’s own agendas and ideas, being overly defensive, not liking to look bad or lose and wanting to score all the goals oneself. If you “Dare to be….BETTER then contact me now for a FREE taster session