EARTH DAY AND THE NEW NORMAL

EARTH DAY and The New Normal

My new normal life is one where I get up, shower have breakfast and then walk to my spare bedroom that is set up as a rather pleasant home office. I break my day by having coffee or a fruit tea in the morning, a walk at lunchtime and a ten minute session in the afternoon of doing something I wouldn’t ordinarily do – watch the afternoon news.

Of course there is very little about this new normal that is ordinary. Each day the news bring the number of deaths across the country and the world, a mass grave in New York, arguments over PPE and talk of exit strategies, before we even know what we are to exit to.

We live now in a world where our society, our economics and our environment have been thrown off kilter in a way that this modern world could only have imagined in some dystopian Hollywood movie.

But wait, let’s just think for a minute, wasn’t society all but broken. The welfare state was slowly being dismantled and the gaps taken up by underfunded social enterprises and charities; some of the last to be bailed out by big government. Has the Covid virus pointed a new light on what society really is and how we should nurture the best of it. Clap for the NHS on Thursday, neighbourly notes through doors, homelessness sorted overnight and wealthy individuals, groups and organisations re-thinking their priorities?

“We will ask ourselves about how we do business and social interactions – do we need as many jets in the sky? We can’t allow ourselves to be this vulnerable again?”

Chris Packham Interview by Stephen Stafford & Ben Moore BBC South 21 March 2020

 

On the economic front big government has taken action and an array of grants, salary top ups, loans and payment holidays all now in place to support the workers through this crisis. It seems a huge and generous effort and the right thing to do. What, I ask myself, happens to those who fall through the cracks, because cracks there are. What about the self-employed without two years of accounts, the volunteer manager who hasn’t taken anything, but has survived on the sheer good will of others that can no longer give that support. The gig economy was always vulnerable and now exposed as downright dangerous to your physical and mental health, when extraordinary events take over. In Scotland and in many other countries there is talk of a universal basic income, that may sound altruistic but actually it makes economic sense. A basic right to the cash one needs to survive thereafter taxes to pay for those less fortunate. I like that idea, I like a society that balances the economic with people and puts people front and centre in a value driven world.

Then of course we think about the environmental changes we are seeing in our new normal – the air is cleaner; just a short walk outside and you can smell the pine trees, hear the bumble bees and the birdsong is a symphony of joy.

“Business leaders have a crucial role to play, by putting nature at the core of their processes and decision-making and systematically identifying, assessing, mitigating and disclosing nature-related risks to avoid severe consequences. Businesses can be part of the global movement to protect and restore nature. World Economic Forum 19 January 2020

A recent article on the BBC website showed farmers working away delivering new life into the world, a world that not so long ago they were accused of polluting. Now however with many of the big polluters, travel, shipping and many more at rest, the small impact that farmers make in their work seems less of a concern and more an imperative to keep us fed.

The battle we are fighting against Covid 19 is one that will continue for a long time to come and as businesses adjust to the new normal, we will all have to do our bit to ensure that the battle against climate change doesn’t get lost in the rush to revert to our old ways. We need to make sure our supply chain and our management as custodians of this earth accounts for the best that we can be. The National Green Standard on-line self-assessment is as good a place to check your new reality as any – it’s free with a facilitated cost effective assessment to follow up maybe now is the time to see how you measure up.

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Posted by / April 25, 2020 / Posted in News

COVID 19 AND THE NEW NORMAL

Covid 19 And The New Normal

Sitting at my desk I have a view into the football park where only the occasional dog walker can be seen thankfully keeping an appropriate social distance from anyone else in the vicinity.

This is what working from home looks like, a view from a window into a quiet and almost deserted landscape. A waste collection lorry is moving slowly through the village streets and the men working present the appearance of normal, or what normal used to look like except if you look closely it’s clear they too are social distancing.

This new normal doesn’t quite feel right and I wonder if we will ever return to our old ways?

This makes me think about what I have lost and what I have gained from the isolation that we have imposed upon our society?

I haven’t driven my car in the past eight days and for me this is a joy. I know others will miss driving but it has always been a chore for me and I wrestle with my environmental conscience every time I turn the key to start the ignition.

I have managed to take my one exercise per day in the form of a long walk which suits my personality perfectly. I walk with my partner of thirty years and we are as comfortable with our silences as we are with our chat. I love that we have time to be together in a way that has no pressure to cram things in – we just are and it is refreshing, life enhancing.

Work has become different in the same space it has become more intense and less so. The added intensity comes from the ever present email and now video link which on balance I have to say I love. The flip side of this intensity is that the working day is a different shape – I can work odd hours and still meet my deadlines without feeling the pressure of other peoples’ time requirements. An added bonus is not worrying about the traffic and trying to miss the rush hour!

It is clear we are creatures of habit and changing habits can be difficult, we make excuses, we put things off, we create barriers where non exist. This paradigm shift in how we live has forced us all to look at what we do and how we do it. I have offered coaching sessions on line, the organisational CSR tool National Green Standard always had a strong on-line feature and now we can extend that by using Teams, or Zoom or Facetime to speak to clients.

How much of these new ways of working will stay post COVID 19? I hope many people will see the benefits of remote working and that presenteeism is gone for good.

Daily ‘Teams’ meetings at ten in the morning with my old work colleagues, keeps me in touch and allows for a social exchange before we get down to business. A three o’clock Teams meeting with my new work colleagues focuses on recovery planning for post COVID and prioritising which services will come back and when. Central to this discussion is the reconfiguration of services, looking at how this radical change that has been imposed upon us all can be seen as an opportunity to make us more efficient and effective in the future.

My work is all about sustainability, whether that is environmental, social or economic and it has always been about change. These bedfellows sit well with me; continuous improvement is always welcome and fundamental to how we live. What is really exciting are the big leaps we can make when the conditions are right.

This terrible virus has forced change upon us; it is stripping people of their lives, livelihoods and bringing fear to us all. We must focus on doing the right things, keeping safe and seizing upon our new reality to make the most of what we have.

In the past I, like many people, have sat in meetings thinking that I will never regain the time spent listening to unnecessary chat about someone’s personal preferences that clearly go against all other considerations. A good robust discussion is not what I mean, we have been in the situation where a dominant person just hogs the floor and we passively accept that eventually the deadlock will break and we will get back to business.

At times like this when time is both precious and strange we look back at those days where we wasted time, we procrastinated, we allowed time to slip away without thought.

I wonder how many of us are using our time well. I wonder about making plans as opposed to just doing things.

We are going to trust that life will return to a new normality, one where we can socialise and touching each other is not a potentially life taking exchange.

In the meantime I am enjoying the starlings that sit on my window ledge; I hear their soft chirping sounds and smile inwardly and outwardly. I love not driving to ‘the office’ and I rejoice in seeing my fellow workers in their own homes, relaxed and focused at the same time. The quality of our conversations is better than before, we have a deeper understanding of our individual and collective worlds.

Almost two weeks in and I’m happy to say that social isolation, while very challenging is bringing me a quality of time I really didn’t know existed.

It’s two minutes to my on line morning meeting with five colleagues. My new reality is not one that stresses me in quite the way the long drive to work, the circling of the car park to find a space and the clocking in to a building that is overcrowded does, in fact I am in a good place to have a productive team meeting!

At times like this when time is both precious and strange we look back at those days where we wasted time, we procrastinated, we allowed time to slip away without thought.

I wonder how many of us are using our time well. I wonder about making plans as opposed to just doing things.

We are going to trust that life will return to a new normality, one where we can socialise and touching each other is not a potentially life taking exchange.

In the meantime I am enjoying the starlings that sit on my window ledge; I hear their soft chirping sounds and smile inwardly and outwardly. I love not driving to ‘the office’ and I rejoice in seeing my fellow workers in their own homes, relaxed and focused at the same time. The quality of our conversations is better than before, we have a deeper understanding of our individual and collective worlds.

Almost two weeks in and I’m happy to say that social isolation, while very challenging is bringing me a quality of time I really didn’t know existed.

It’s two minutes to my on line morning meeting with five colleagues. My new reality is not one that stresses me in quite the way the long drive to work, the circling of the car park to find a space and the clocking in to a building that is overcrowded does, in fact I am in a good place to have a productive team meeting!

 

At times like this when time is both precious and strange we look back at those days where we wasted time, we procrastinated, we allowed time to slip away without thought.

I wonder how many of us are using our time well. I wonder about making plans as opposed to just doing things.

We are going to trust that life will return to a new normality, one where we can socialise and touching each other is not a potentially life taking exchange.

In the meantime I am enjoying the starlings that sit on my window ledge; I hear their soft chirping sounds and smile inwardly and outwardly. I love not driving to ‘the office’ and I rejoice in seeing my fellow workers in their own homes, relaxed and focused at the same time. The quality of our conversations is better than before, we have a deeper understanding of our individual and collective worlds.

Almost two weeks in and I’m happy to say that social isolation, while very challenging is bringing me a quality of time I really didn’t know existed.

 

Posted by / March 27, 2020 / Posted in News

EXECUTIVE COACHING

Executive coaching is more than helping a senior person gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve development objectives and unlock potential while acting as a sounding board. Executive coaching is about the whole person,  dreams, fears and most deep seated frustrations. At National Green Standard we also believe that great executive coaching will have an impact on the individual and the team that they work with because through the process of coaching a senior executive becomes a better leader, is enabled to let go of tasks that should be delegated, becomes empowered to make quality decisions and gains clarity of purpose for themselves and their team.

Coaching is a fantastic tool to release potential and unblock an organisation from moving forward, we know because we’ve been coaching people for over fifteen years and our results are impressive. We have a long list of clients who have gained promotions and worked into positions that previously would have seemed unachievable. We help people see their own and others’ potential, we help break the cycle of doubt and self-questioning that no one is immune to.

Testimonials say it all and here are just a few:

Mary McLuskey is a unique coach. She has the ability to put you immediately at ease and makes discussing any issue, business or personal seem the most natural thing to do. Mary’s ability to probe issues is a neutral yet challenge way has helped me on numerous occasions to identify ways forward that I would not otherwise have found. Her style of coaching appears disarmingly simple yet she has a powerfully persuasive ability to get you to look at the heart of the matter and come to solutions that you might otherwise overlook or dismiss. Mary’s knowledge of human interaction and business matters places her uniquely among coaches. If you are looking for someone who can help facilitate change at either a personal or organisational level I would highly recommend Mary.  
Executive Pharmaceutical Sector

Over a number of years Mary has always been someone I can call on as a mentor and for a source of inspiration. Mary has been a great help in enabling me to chart my professional course. She demonstrates great strengths in leadership, inclusion and constancy of purpose.  
Senior Executive Public Sector

Mary carried out work for me assessing how my leadership was promoting delivery of our strategy and how this was owned by colleagues in the organisation… she worked with me to support delivery of structural change. I appreciated her open and direct approach and welcomed her insight. Senior Executive University Sector

I always draw on Mary’s wealth of knowledge and experience. Mary can always see the bigger picture and has a unique way of passing this onto whoever she speaks to. She is trustworthy, highly competent and her challenging way always gets results. 
Board Trustee

Mary is a trustworthy, reliable consultant with a broad knowledge of the business world and the complexities within it. She is highly competent and offers sound guidance and insight. 
Executive Private Sector

Contact us at mary@nationalgreenstandard.co.uk

Posted by / July 29, 2019 / Posted in News

Additional Consultancy offerings enhance and complement current NGS Services

Mary McLuskey of National Green Standard is delighted to be hosting a Culture Audit workshop for Resonate Together to explore the organisation’s culture as part of a development programme to strengthen the social enterprise as it moves forward with its planned strategy.

“Here at Resonate Together we believe that self-sustainability is crucial in enabling community to work with the constant stream of emergent opportunities and challenges. Mary’s vast experience, tremendous successes and multi sector working will ensure that our Culture Audit workshop can support our team to develop their confidence for the road ahead”. Angela Beardsley, Founder and Executive Director

For more details Mary can be contacted on mary@nationalgreenstandard.co.uk

Consultancy services include:

  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Operational planning and implementation
  • Sustainability auditing and accreditation through National Green Standard
  • Cultural audit
  • Social enterprise development and business planning
  • Change / transformation management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Performance Framework Reporting framework design and implementation
  • Fundraising applications
  • Project, Programme and PMO management
  • Business planning income stream development
  • Governance structures, roles and responsibilities of Boards and Trustees
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Interim Executive roles

 

Posted by / June 13, 2019 / Posted in News

Brooker Scaffolding Company Awarded Bronze Accreditation for Sustainability

We are delighted to announce that Brooker Scaffolding Company has been awarded Bronze Accreditation for sustainability and we wish to congratulate them on the success of their efforts and success in this endeavour.  If you are looking for a scaffolding company with a dedication to saving the planet this is the company to call.  click here to take you to their website.

 

QUALITY SCOTLAND Good Practice Partner 

QUALITY SCOTLAND Good Practice Partner

National Green Standard becomes QUALITY SCOTLAND Good Practice Partner for ‘Creating a Sustainable Future’ award at the SABE Awards Ceremony 2019

 

For a fourth year, the Good Practice Awards will be presented at the Scottish Awards for Business Excellence, 19th June 2019. Based on the Fundamental Concepts, these Awards are exclusive to our Recognised for Excellence applicant organisations and only awarded if an organisation can demonstrate a Concept to a high level of excellence, assessed by a judging panel.

Based around the Fundamental Concepts of Excellence we are delighted that National Green Standard is partnering Quality Scotland for the Good Practice Award, Creating a Sustainable Future.

As part of our commitment to supporting sustainably through corporate change, National Green Standard with Quality Scotland is at the forefront of corporate social responsibility. A Gold accredited organisation Quality Scotland has demonstrated leadership in the field and at this year’s ceremony we look forward to others following this lead.

The Awards will again be hosted by David Tanner of Sky Sports.

https://www.qualityscotland.co.uk/content/meet-our-good-practice-award-partners-0

 

Posted by / May 22, 2019 / Posted in News

National Green Standard Sponsors Quality Scotland Awards for the third year

We are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring the Quality Scotland Awards for the third consecutive year.

This year’s event is in the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on 19th June and will, as usual, be a lavish affair with a number of worthy nominees and a subsequent overall winner.

Last year’s winner was Dunedin Canmore and worthy winners they were too.

We are excited to see which nominees have made the cut this year and will enjoy the presentations and keynote speaker along with a delicious dinner and catching up with some old friends and colleagues.

 

Posted by / April 14, 2019 / Posted in News

ScottishPower awarded bronze

We were delighted to award the National Green Standard Bronze certificate to ScottishPower for leading the way in moving to 100% renewable energy

Well done ScottishPower and all partners involved in this endeavour

Posted by / November 3, 2018 / Posted in News

‘Mr Falkirk’ Alex Totten supports National Green Standard Leadership Courses at Falkirk Football Ground

Mr Falkirk, Alex Totten, has expressed his support for the National Green Standard Leadership and Strategic Management Course being delivered at Falkirk Football ground kicking off  on 22nd October

Today’s leaders need many skills and they need to work and act flexibly if they are to succeed. That’s why traditional training programmes are no longer the best option for the emerging leader.

Falkirk Football Community Foundation (FFCF) has a long history of training people in the skills needed on and off the pitch and working in partnership with top leadership trainers they are now pleased to offer a new Action Learning Leadership and Strategic Management Course. Combining leadership training with physical activity ‘On the Pitch’ is an excellent way to develop skills and embed learning. Add into this mix an action learning approach and you have a powerful set of tools transferable throughout your career.

Mary McLuskey executive coach and management consultant said, “Action learning is a very positive and pragmatic way to apply classroom learning in the workplace; it is a sophisticated process to solve complex organisational problems. Reflection and learning form this approach allows you to make better decisions and become a true leader.”

David Stewart, FFCF Community Manager said, “bringing together the ‘On the Pitch’ training with leadership and strategic management development is a unique offering and one that is rarely available. The opportunity to learn within the walls of a football club does not happen often. Getting to develop skills and knowledge in the changing room or corridors of power adds an extra dimension to the learning process.”

The training programme comprises of a set of 5 core modules plus 1 elective module. In addition each module is matched to an ‘On the Pitch’ training activity and a one hour session of executive one-to-one coaching. The cost of the course includes Falkirk Foundation training kit so that each cohort has access to the full spectrum of learning.

“All we ask is that participants come ready to learn in a new way and bring their trainers for activity ‘On the Pitch’,” said Mary.

 

To book your place on the first module on 22nd October, please  click here 

If you would rather have the course delivered on your premises please email allyson@nationalgreenstandard.co.uk OR mary@nationalgreenstandard.co.uk

 

 

Posted by / September 5, 2018 / Posted in News