Scratch Post


July/Aug 2010
Win a round of Golf at Loch Lomand – Read on!


Top Ten Business Concerns

According to the Ernst & Young ‘Annual Global Business Risk Report 2010 the most pressing business risks this year are likely to be regulation and compliance – as opposed to credit access, which was rated as last year’s number one risk. This understandably highlights the concerns arising from the recent near collapse of global financial systems – but also alludes to increased pressure on other sectors, targeted for increased taxation to help restore depleted Treasury coffers.

Also in the ‘Top Ten’ are fears over a possible double dip recession, in at number 3, whilst concerns over cost cutting (what, when and how) surface at number 6. Interestingly, the need to retain talent is also a significant concern – at number 4.

It will be interesting to see how these ratings change over the next two-three years, as the full impacts of the financial crises and the measures instigated by governments to deal with the after-effects start to bite.

A ‘Dressing Down’ for Dressing Down

On a different and more frivolous note, apparently 30% of employers relax their dress codes during the summer months in favour of less formal and cooler attire.

However, according to The Institute of Leadership and Management (in a survey that looks about as light-weight as the garments it refers to) many staff cross the thin line between what is acceptable and unacceptable summer-wear, with at least 34% of managers surveyed having to talk to staff who overstep the mark. Inappropriate garments include shorts, short skirts, low cut tops and flip-flops. Ties can come off then – but think twice about the Bermudas and the garish Hawaian shirt that really shouldn’t be seen out in a built-up area.

However, whilst the heat-wave enjoyed by certain parts of the UK could understandably have presented such awkward managerial challenges, we in Scotland rarely have such a problem – although I’m told that pacamacs now come in a natty range of colours.

What We’ve Been Up To:

Wildcat One is delighted to have been joined by Linda Buchan, as an Associate Consultant. Linda has a wealth of HR experience, having worked with a number of blue chips, including Standard Life and Boots, prior to setting up her own business.

Linda and I have been working closely on the design and delivery of a wholly bespoke Middle Management Development Programme, for the Scottish Operations Division of Forth Ports Plc. Built around a set of core management competencies, this modular programme also encompasses psychometric assessment, coaching and work based projects to help embed learning. Linda is currently leading on Programme delivery, which commenced this summer and will roll-out to all of the company’s Scottish ports.

Wildcat One has also been working with a number of other clients on assignments ranging from pay benchmarking, coaching, restructuring and performance management, including;

Thank you, as ever, for your business.

University of Aberdeen, Management Studies Bursary

Wildcat One will again be funding a bursary for a Management Studies student in 2010. Aimed at providing additional financial support for the duration of their 3-4 year degree course, it is specifically open to potential students who have financial hardship and who may struggle to fund a place at university without additional support. The recipient of this year’s Wildcat One bursary is from Edinburgh and will commence their studies in the autumn.

And Finally…

I am indebted this month to Claire Dunning, of branding and marketing company Dunning, for drawing my attention to a website that is – surely – long overdue and merits attention for the name alone.

Skelptarse.com offers the opportunity to publically name and shame organisations which appear to go out of their way to make life more difficult and frustrating than it needs to be. So, if you’ve received shoddy treatment at the hands of another – be it mind numbing stupidity, the highest levels of incompetence, or the spite of a ‘jobs-worth’ scorned, then skelptarse.com is the website you’ve been waiting for.
Vodafone is this week’s target. Who’s next? You decide.


Play Golf at Loch Lomond – Courtesy of Wildcat One

Wildcat One is giving away the opportunity for a party of four to play a round of golf at the 18 hole Carrick Course at Cameron House Hotel, Loch Lomond.

The deal offers a tee-time for four, to be taken prior to the end of May 2011 and arranged through Wildcat One. There is no catch – and, as I am no golfer, there’s no need to ask me.

All you need to do to win is to send me an example of the worst piece of management jargon or gobbledegook you’ve come across, translate what it means (in plain English) and tell me why you hate it so much. The more pretentious, obtuse and funny they are the better.

If you are interested in the round of golf, just let me have your management jargon ‘hates’ by 16th August 2010.

Thanks and until next time,

Pat Tomlin

April 2010

Welcome to ‘Scratch Post’ Wildcat One’s new blog, which replaces our e-newsletters.

In Scratch Post I’ll keep you up to date with what we are working on, specific areas of interest and – of course – any amusing and ridiculous stories we come across, that should really be confined to 1st April, but sadly are true.

Who We’ve Been Working With:

I’ve just completed an assignment with Glasgow Cultural Enterprise Ltd (Glasgow Concert Halls), working closely with the Acting Director Peter Winckles and the Senior Management Team, on the transfer of business activities, assets and staff to Culture and Sport Glasgow and Cordia – arms length companies of Glasgow City Council. This involved developing and project managing the implementation of an HR strategy to achieve a complex and, at times, difficult TUPE transfer. However, the transfer was achieved to deadline, on 1st April.

I was also recently asked to talk about the benefits of effective Performance Management. The talk, entitled ‘Performance Management – Does it do what it says on the tin?’ was for an audience of managers across NHS Education Scotland, at events to launch the organisation’s new line management ‘Toolkit’ resource. If anyone is interested in a copy of the presentation please let me know.

New to Wildcat One

I’m delighted to welcome Kirsty Vincent to the Wildcat One team. Kirsty is our virtual office PA and, although not physically based in the Wildcat One office, she has already become very adept at managing us remotely. So, if you want to leave me or any of the Wildcat One Associates a message, do please call the office and Kirsty will be very pleased to help you.

Website Re-launch

Finally, the Wildcat One website has been updated and refreshed, with new content, additional case studies and a new page for client testimonials.

However, we hope it’s still as easy to navigate around and find whatever information you’re looking for. So do please take a look and let us know what you think.

And Finally…..

It had to happen – apparently it is now discriminatory to ask for ‘reliable’ people in a job advert, as this could be construed as discrimination against – um – unreliable people (yes – you did read that right).

Apparently a recruitment agency placed an advert with Jobcentre Plus for a Domestic Cleaner, using the dreaded ‘R’ word only to be told that the advert could not be displayed due it potentially discriminating against unreliable applicants.

Later, a spokeswoman for DWP refused to comment on the incident, but confirmed that the advert had now been placed and emphasised that reliability is a very important trait – including for Jobcentre Plus, one wonders?

You just couldn’t make this up could you.

Follow the link to enjoy the full article.


Pat Tomlin