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10th Aug, 2011

JCI Cambridge go Wine Tasting!
by James Mitchell on August 10, 2011 18:26

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Blog » Patrick Wine Tastine.jpgIn a change from the usual workshops and seminars, JCI Cambridge's August event was Wine Tasting. Over 30 people attending to learn the art of wine tasting and feast upon cheese and biscuits afterwards. Our man on the scene, cheese (and now wine) connoisseur, Works In Print Director Patrick McCrae gives us the low-down on how the evening went:

In keeping with our JCI Cambridge goal to provide business-based personal development-focussed training events we invited Buying Director, Lyndsey from Cambridge Wines to run this months' session.

Pour, examine, swirl, sniff, taste... spit.  Well, let's be honest, no one spat their wine out.  Gallant neighbours of designated drivers took blousey, deep purple, fruity, high minty noted bullets while we all sat around and dredged our memory for adjectives.  

She was not there to tell us about the 3500 wines she personally tastes and buys for their now 8+ shops around the UK, her seven years as the incumbent, nor indeed to tell us about staff management (she is recruiting, by the way) but to tell us how to taste wine!

"What does it look like?" ,  "What does it smell like?"   asked Lyndsey. Of course our hilarious responses to glass one, the veritable (and the best) [insert name]: "tastes of wine", soon depreciated into people shouting out Oak! TCP! Metallic things! Or my personal favourite Cotton wool!  My neighbour (and designated driver bullet-taker) noted that he had just not smelled enough things in his life to fully take part.

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As the evening progressed and we evolved from "Buy One Get One Free" wine drinking troglodytes it seemed our focus may have waned. Much how Come Dine With Me can make a man superbly hungry, so Lyndsey's descriptions of edible accompaniments to the fine wines made everything grumble.  Evidenced by President Jen and Membership Director Nick's hurried arrangement of our cheese selection, as we worked out that bottle five of six would probably sit well with rare steak. 

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We had six wines in total, plucked from Cambridge Wine's '(affordable) bring this to a party and people will love you range' and I know a few people will soon be feeling the love.In short, if you weren't there, you missed out.  Superb night.  People stayed right until the end when we were possibly overstaying Eversheds' generous hospitality.  Luckily for some hangers-on not all the wine was finished so some (unnamed) parties could be seen exiting with half-empty bottles! 

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Apparently JCI Cambridge does it again!

 

 

Blog » Harriet Wine Tasting.jpg

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19th Jul, 2011

LinkedIn: Setting up a good profile
by James Mitchell on July 19, 2011 14:40

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Are you making the most of your LinkedIn account? Jo Evans from Emerald Frog Marketing explains how you can make the most of your online networking.

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful business tools on the web. And it's free! By using LinkedIn for just a few minutes daily you will become more searchable on the internet, increase your business connections and promote your brand online.

LinkedIn has really taken off in recent months and, used properly, can increase your leads and contacts.

Here are our top tips to maximise your LinkedIn profile:

  • Ensure that you have set a good personal profile. This will be the first thing people read so is worth spending a bit of time over.
  • Summarise your key skills and experience in the "Summary" section and select keywords that will be picked up in searches
  • Make sure you include a sensible photograph!
  • When adding your web address, select "other" so that the address itself appears on your profile
  • Contact some former colleagues/customers and ask them to write you a recommendation
  • If someone you wish to connect with has a blue number "2″ after their name, it means that they are already connected to one of your contacts - so have a look at your shared connections. You can ask your contact to "introduce" you to that person, which is much better etiquette than sending them a request out of the blue.
  • If you do not want other people seeing who you are connected to, then go to "Settings" then "Connections browse" and turn off the public view. This is especially important if you have confidentiality sensitive customers.
  • If you do not wish to know whose profile you have been looking at, go to "Settings" and then "Profile Views" and go invisible!
  • Make a point of updating your status everyday so you appear in people's newsfeeds. Don't forget, this is not Facebook - so keep it professional. Perhaps, where you are going or the project you are working on that day.
  • You can also set up a company profile so people can keep track of your news and blogs 

Now you have your LinkedIn profile set up, make sure you promote it! Add a "widget" to your website, connect with  those you meet at networking events and search for events in your area.

Oh, and most importantly, make sure that you join the JCI Cambridge LinkedIn group and contribute to discussions. It's a great way to network with members of the group online and see details of forthcoming events.

JCI Cambridge's President (and resident LinkedIn expert!) will soon be running a special interest group on LinkedIn for members...watch this space!

 

 

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7th Jul, 2011

Punts, Pimms and Partying - The JCI Cambridge Summer Party
by James Mitchell on July 7, 2011 13:27

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July 2nd was the JCI Cambridge Summer Party. If you didn't go, you missed out!

Patrick McCrae, JCI Cambridge Committee Member and Director of Works in Print  gives us the low down on how the day progressed.

Meeting at Corpus Christi clock probably wasn't the best idea of the evening, but it certainly set a precedent for loud, expensive, shiny things. 

A quick stroll down to the punts and we were on it.  No, literally, we were.  Five O'clock means JCI Cambridge Pimm's a go-go.  Delighting in the information gleaned from our punter.  We now all know about the Night Crawler's Santa Hats, why Queens' College is so name and all about Prince Charles and his bodyguards.  

Not long after disembarking the punt Jen, the JCI President, me, the VP, and Lisa the ascending, were seated in hierarchical order in the Cambridge Union.  A brief history of the place was given, famous speakers listed off, but we were all keen to get on and make some cocktails.  Of course it really went downhill from here. 

Gin Martini

Something that tasted like cake

And Mojito.

All brilliant and all made by us.  Wasn't long until we'd left the allocated room and found ourselves moving garden furniture outside to make our own little JCI cocktail bench.  Lovely. 

Not wanting to miss our reservation at Cambridge's fine Crowne Plaza we trotted off and sat down to a salubrious three course meal.  Melon, Pork and then something delicious.  It was getting quite late by the time we'd all finished discussing the finer points of the JCI Creed, so we decided it was probably time to head over to Lololola, Cambridge's newest (and frankly best) club. 

VIP entry of course (they even took my sunglasses into the cloakroom).  Well, up the stairs we went into the main room where cocktails were served in carved our Easter Island heads.  It had a real Tiki feel.  Basically amazing.  

Of course the rest of the evening is really a blur, because it went with such speed.  Snippets: excellent service, Tiki Beats, massive sound system failure, JCI committee all getting down and grinding, broken glass, high-end free BBQ on the terrace, more dancing, cigarettes, more dancing, the return of my sunglasses!  Various chance meetings for some members of our party....!  Macdonald's.  Taxi.  Sleeping in the car.  Bed.  Is everyone still alive?  Yes.  Brilliant.

Another wonderful party hosted, presented, funded and recounted by JCI Cambridge. 

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16th Jun, 2011

Blog » Kevin Bullock.jpgOn 14th June, Kevin Bullock addressed JCI Cambridge in a talk about Outstanding Leadership.

Kevin believes that our effectiveness as professionals is not so much based on technical competences as personal effectiveness.  

The key skills/attributes that make outstanding professionals and leaders are; Emotional Intelligence, effective communication and high expectations. 

According to Kevin's research, the worst part about being a leader is working with adults who will not change. He believes that it is almost impossible to change people as they don't often see life the way it is - they see it the way they are...at a particular moment.  He states that what is needed to truly change a person, is not so much a persuasive argument as a perspective prodder.....it's changing perceptions, not circumstances that moves a person forward! 

Kevin has recently and very successfully rolled out a popular and innovative new project called Excellence Through Employees which a High Impact/Simple Strategy programme that can transform any organisation. It is based on the latest research focusing on the skills/attributes of outstanding leaders and organisations. It also reflects best practice in organisational leadership

The programme supports an organisation in refocusing (realigning its energies) on its core purpose

  • It identifies how every employee/volunteer can have a high impact on the core purpose

  • Helps identify key deflectors from core purpose

  • Supports the organisation in distinguishing between activity and accomplishment whilst ensuring the wealth of excellence in the organisation is re-channelled towards key outcomes/goals.

"All too often I would witness very hard working schools and companies wasting time and energy focusing on irrelevant or low impact strategies peripheral to the organisation's core purpose. I truly believe that effort and energy without a core purpose is like speed without direction!"

Kevin's innovative and refreshing approaches to leadership and communication coupled with his wide experience in both the educational and commercial sectors have resulted in continuing success in his role both as a consultant, speaker and head teacher. Kevin maintains that it is not his ability so much as his approach that has led to this success.

For more information on Excellence Through Employees or Leadership Courses, please contact Sue Ling on 01638 720296 or visit our website www.kbconcepts.co.uk.  

 

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16th Jun, 2011

NLP and happiness in business
by James Mitchell on June 16, 2011 13:23

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Blog » lorraine .jpgLorraine Warne from Advance Coaching Consultants (and September's JCI Cambridge speaker) explains what NLP is and what it means for business:

When I was young I would scribble away at making up stories and dreaming  of being one of the characters in the 'Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'.  Now I can combine my daydreaming in writing with one of my big passions in life which is part of my work called Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)  Yup I  know it's a really weird name and John Grinder and Richard Bandler the founders of NLP are the first to admit that back in the 70's when they were completing their research at University they were not the sharpest marketers in the land. 

I personally love NLP (loved it that much I am now qualified to train 7 day personal development and communication skill courses using NLP tools and techniques) because it gives you the results that you want.  The tools and techniques can allow you to decrease frustration, anger, guilt and increase things that are useful to you such as motivation, confidence and self-belief, so that you can be happy.  Since I began my own training - many moons ago now - I have changed and evolved and now have a great social, health and work balance, just as you can have too.  In fact we all can.  How cool would that be?

The JCI Cambridge workshop presented by Kevin Bullock (brilliant by the way for those of you that couldn't make it) explained what makes a good leader.  He said the 3 key areas of effective leadership are; communication, emotional intelligence and high expectations.  In the 7 day workshop all these areas are covered and then practiced.  It really brought it home to me how special NLP was.  It embodies these three things and when you work in your own context and needs, it really comes alive when you begin to apply it to your own situation.  He also said about changing habits that don't work for you... Yes I thought - because in NLP that's what we work on.  We can change habits that don't work for you to habits that do... I wanted to shout out 'Yes!'  and stopped myself just in time - didn't want to get thrown out or banned ;-)

It's all linked with happiness.  I was lucky enough last week to be working with one of the top Leadership Coaches at the Institute of Directors at the Pall Mall building in London last week.  Ooohhh by the way it's a beautiful building and has a fantastic bar in the basement.  Not that I get excited going there because of the bar of course... hehe.  Anyway, Peter was telling me about how important it is to find happiness first and then success will happen naturally.  There is a professor at Harvard University; Tal Ben-Shahar. He runs the most popular course at Harvard - a positive psychology course for businessmen/women on how to be happy in business - always over-subscribed.  The book is called  "HAPPIER" .  Let me know what you think of it if you get chance to read it.

I'm off to the Glasto Festival on the 23rdth June.  I'm so excited and can't wait to see all those amazing bands there.  So this weekend I'll be buying lots of wet wipes , and searching for me ol' rain coat and wellies ...  just in case.  Well must go and tara for now.  Have a fun and positive rest of the month.  

 

 

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14th Jun, 2011

Networking for the shy: A guide.
by James Mitchell on June 14, 2011 21:22

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Blog » Jo Photo.jpgAre you new to networking? Or does the thought of networking with a room full of strangers instantly make you panic? JCI offers a great introduction to the art of networking and will help you gain confidence and new business contacts. So, how do you go about networking if the very thought of it makes you shudder?

In this blog post Jo Evans from Emerald Frog Marketing (and JCI Cambridge Committee member) gives a few tips on networking for the shy:

"It's not what you know, it's WHO you know". Otherwise known as "networking". It's a very effective form of marketing your business.

Now, networking might come naturally to you, but according to the Shyness Research Institute (yes, really!) at Indiana University, approximately 40% of people describe themselves as shy. This can mean that the prospect of "networking" is one that brings many business owners out in a cold sweat.

So how do you master the art of the "schmooz" and maximise your chances of seizing an opportunity through networking?

Here are our top tips for the shy:

1. Start close to home. If you are shy, a bit of a hermit even, there are probably friends and family that you have not caught up with for a while. Dust off your address book, go through the numbers in your phone and make contact to see how they are. Drop a friend an email, arrange to go out for a drink or invite them round for a cup of coffee and practise your small talk. Practising socialising with people with whom you have lost contact to warm up your skills for when you have to meet strangers.

2. Get a gregarious friend. I used to have a friend called Lara who was a brilliant networker. At parties, whether they were hers or not, she would manage to get everyone in the room talking with each other. She would ask lots of questions then, at a relevant point in the conversation, introduce another person in the room- then discreetly slip away when the new connection was firmly established and moved onto the next wall flower. A Lara is a great person to know. She takes away your nerves and does the introducing for you. Obviously you can't drag your Lara everywhere, but watch how they do it and learn their skills.

3. Ask questions and listen. Talk to your new contact by asking them questions about what they do. Most people love talking about themselves and this keeps the heat off you! Ask lots of "open questions" that begin with a who, how, when, where or why. A question that results in a yes/no answer will be as painful as pulling teeth. If you are at an event ask others what they thought of the speaker/programme/show.

4. Watch your body language. Smile, don't slouch, make eye contact with people, don't fold your arms or talk too fast. If you don't know what to do with your hands carry a pen!

5. Don't scoff all the buffet. It may be tempting at an event to simply avoid people and make a beeline for the buffet. While everyone else is networking you have troughed your way through four platefuls of sausage rolls instead. Not a good start.

6. Be realistic. Talking with two or three people in a room is better than not talking with anyone at all.

7. Watch out for self effacing comments. Don't put yourself down/belittle your job or achievements/apologise all the time.

8. Be a greeter. If your company is holding an event and you have been drafted in to help, offer to be the person on the front desk. Hand out the name badges, say hello to people, tell them where the bar is. You will get to know who everyone is and soon people will approach you for a chat. Or join the JCI Committee and get stuck in. We'll happily give you a role to help you engage with others!

9. Go online. Networking doesn't always mean face-to-face (although this is the most effective way). Get networking via Facebook and LinkedIn. Join online groups and discussions to get your name about.

10. Get over your fear of rejection. You won't be interesting to all people, nor will your product or service be of use to all you meet, so don't worry if the conversation doesn't go anywhere or you never hear from your new contact again. Do drop them an email to follow up after the meeting, but don't take it personally if they don't respond! The beauty of networking is that your business card may get passed to a contact of a contact, so you never know what opportunities are open to you further down the line!

So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy! 

 

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26th May, 2011

JCI Cambridge nominated for European Award
by James Mitchell on May 26, 2011 14:42

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We were thrilled to hear the news our award submission for "Best Membership Recruitment" and "Best Marketing and PR" is being put forward for an award at the European Conference at the beginning of June in Catalonia.

Cambridge marketing consultants and JCI committee members, Emerald Frog Marketing have been regularly promoting the group through marketing and PR activities such as email campaigns, press releases, finding speakers and, most recently, writing the content and optimising the new JCI Cambridge website. Membership of the Cambridge Chamber in that time has grown from a handful of members to now around forty. This is thanks, not only to Emerald Frog Marketing, but also the hard work and dedication of all the JCI Cambridge committee members who work so hard to make JCI Cambridge a success.

Back in December, at the UK conference for JCI Chambers nationally, JCI Cambridge won the UK award for "Best Marketing and PR" and "Best Membership Recruitment" among others ( including "Best Leader" for JCI Cambridge President, Jen Little - so we are pretty chuffed with that!

We can but hope; but know we are up against some VERY strong competition internationally. But even so, to be European Award Nominated is a huge achievement!

Wish us luck!

The next seminar is on June 14th at 6:30pm at Eversheds, Kett House, Station Road, Cambridge - Kevin Bullock presenting "Leadership and Emotional Intelligence"

 

 

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3rd May, 2011

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Jen Little from JCI Cambridge is not only an outstanding leader she is also an expert in how to use LinkedIn. As a recruiter she is always looking for new candidates and LinkedIn has in last couple of years become more and more important in the search for the right person for the job.

How has the way you use LinkedIn changed over the last couple years?
LinkedIn has risen in popularity over the last couple of years which is great as more and more people are using it. This makes it easier to connect to people and from a recruiters point of view it means we have a wider pool of people we can contact. At the bottom of your profile you are able to indicate if you are looking for a new job opportunity again which helps enormously! 

As more people have joined LinkedIn the use of the group function has also grown. We have used this to great effect within JCI Cambridge and gives us some fantastic visibility to non JCI members as well as being a great forum opportunity for discussions for our members. I have found the use of the status update section particularly useful in being able to advertise JCI Cambridge events to all of my contacts. 

You write and edit your own profile on LinkedIn, is it a trustworthy place for information? 
Absolutely! At the end of the day your profile can be viewed by your peers and your boss - in fact anyone! So if it isn't accurate then people will soon tell you! 
 
What makes a LinkedIn profile look professional? Can you give us some tips?
Make sure you have a photograph on your profile, a head and shoulders crop is fine. Logos or you at a distance just don't work, especially if you are using the LinkedIn app on your smart phone when the photo is even smaller! 

Always make sure you include any professional qualifications as well as it is easy to miss these off. And finally ensure that you mention JCI in your profile or hobbies section!

How important is it to have recommendations from others on your profile?
I would say very! Make sure you ask for recommendations from your clients, ex-bosses or even teachers. Just be weary of asking your current colleagues as this does look a little unprofessional.

Jen Little was one of the trainers at the JCI UK marketing Academy and involved in organising JCI Cambridge Business Skills Day earlier in April. 

 

 

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3rd May, 2011

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Ismail Haznedar is JCI Vice President assigned to JCI UK. For many members that doesn't mean much and we tend to use lots of abbreviations in JCI.

Here is a quick lesson how it works: JCI is present in over 115 countries and to keep all countries together and make them work toward our mission there are some "layers" of leadership.

So in short, we have our members, Local Presidents, Regional Group Chairmen, National President, International Vice President (IVP), Executive Vice President (EVP) and JCI World President. Lots of titles and people. In JCI you have one year to lead, one year to make an impact and one year to learn, develop and grow.

Ismail is from JCI Eurasia, one of the chapters based in Istanbul in Turkey (they have eight chapters in total) and JCI Turkey have been growing a lot over the last few years. He was National President 2010 and as IVP he is assigned to JCI UK, JCI Scotland, JCI Ireland, JCI Germany, JCI Switzerland and JCI Austria.

Ismail, how long have you been an active JCI member?
I discovered JCI in 2005 through a training event. After participating in the event I decided to be a member and took responsibility to be a project director.
 
What was it that made you put yourself forward for the role as IVP?
International Vice President position is a great opportunity to continue your development. I also have the chance to share my experience and best practices I learned during my membership and to help support JCI's National Organisations to accomplish their targets. Meanwhile, it also gives a chance to experience the international leadership and to create value within a global network.
 
I happen to know that there are some members of JCI who are aspiring to go for an international position within JCI, do you have any insider tips that they should follow?
Actually, the best advice is always to concentrate on your current responsibility. You can build a career just with a success story. If you can do the best and be open to serve in any position, then opportunity  finds you... Regardless of what it is, in JCI to be active and have a responsibility is a living mission and creates development opportunities.
 
Who is a leader you admire?
I had a great chance to meet, work and participate in academies where JCI World President's shared their experiences. Kentaro Harada, Roland Kwemain, Jun Sup Shin, Graham Hanlon, Scott Greenlee, Lars Hajslund, and other past World Presidents are great leaders, true global networkers and people of inspiration.  
 
How do you describe their values?
They are the ones who live the values of JCI and who realise the chance, first starting with themselves and then being an example for ourselves.
 
You seem to have a lot of energy, do you have any tips you would like to share on how to keep a high energy level?
When you are active and involved with something you love it gives you a positive energy. There's no secret, just keep doing the things you like most. I think that I am lucky to have that.
 
Do you have a favourite quote?
Joel Barker's quote 'Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world' is one of my favorite quotes.

 

 

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3rd May, 2011

Meet Kate Atkin - most outstanding senator in JCI UK 2010
by James Mitchell on May 3, 2011 14:17

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You were awarded the most outstanding senator in JCI UK 2010. That's a great honour!

How have you been active in JCI Cambridge this year? 
I started meeting up with Jen Little, Cambridge Local President and potential council members. I facilitated an induction session to what JCI is, areas of opportunities, how you can get involved and what JCI means to me. Over the last ten months I've been supporting Jen Little in her role as president whenever she has had any questions.

Later in the year I spoke at a workshop about "Dealing with Difficult People" as part of JCI Cambridge training programme. And to help the Cambridge council I connected them with several potential trainers.

When I meet new people I always mention JCI, this has resulted in new members.

What do you think lies behind the success in JCI Cambridge? What's the secret making them so successful? 
To start with getting a group of six young, enthusiastic people in a room, with food (!) to discuss JCI released a lot of energy!

The council (or committee as they call themselves in Cambridge) learned what the organisation has to offer; they learned that JCI is not just another networking club, not just a way of self-development, but a way of making lasting friendships while having FUN. That got the team off to a great start.

JCI Cambridge has done an amazing job with their marketing and PR. The members involved have continued to be enthusiastic, enjoy each other's company and have fun - with strong leadership from Jen.

Can you tell us about one of you best JCI experiences? 
There are many... to pick one is sooo hard.

  • Presenting at my first national council in Kirklees and promoting the Find A Donor project to raise awareness and number of donors on the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Register... and subsequently hearing of other chambers who took up the project.
  • Attending my first World Congress in Nov 1995 in Glasgow.  An amazing cultural experience. Listening to Jack Black, one of the keynote speakers, and deciding to do his "Mindstore for Life" programme the following year.  I also received a complimentary copy of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and influence People, a book I still have on my shelves and have enjoyed reading many times.
  • Receiving my senatorship from my dad at the Regional Conference in Ipswich, when I was outgoing RGC. A complete surprise and very well staged (a memory which still fills me with great emotion).
  • Winning the World Debating championship in Barcelona in 2001.
  • The trials, tribulations and ultimately success of organising the training programme for European Conference in Birmingham in 2003 with Helen Giblin.
  • And many more...!

If you could invite any trainer or speaker in the world to speak at the next JCI conference, who would that be? 
I would love to hear the Dali Lama speak.

Is there anything that JCI can help you with? Contacts? Ideas? Connections?
Over the years I have received great support from JCI members. I learnt my training skills, honed them with Barclays and then took them freelance in September 2000. Since then many JCI members have asked me to talk at their chambers and also to their companies, which I have enjoyed greatly. I'm keen to take my messages on management and confidence to a wider audience so wrote The Confident Manager two years ago. Any ideas on how to take that publication to JCI, or other young managers worldwide gratefully received. 

 

 

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