Stuart O'Brien, Author at Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd - Page 62 of 63
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Stuart O'Brien

Project leaders with high status fail more, according to report

Projects led by high-status managers are less likely to succeed than those with a middle ranking status, according to new research.

The study, run by the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), found that projects with higher ranking leaders were subject to less scrutiny by others as colleagues were more likely to turn a blind eye.

Middle management is less likely to get unconditional support, with teams more likely to challenge key issues, leading to more successful performances overall than a higher-level equivalent.

Research suggested that if a new idea has to be pitched to top management then support needs to be gathered throughout the organisation, and having a good working relationship with other employees is vital to its success.

“We were interested in whether having a high status as a project leader makes a project better and whether these leaders can gather support for high and low quality projects,” explained Balazs Szatmari, PhD student at RSM.

Szatmari admits that higher status in a project can also be beneficial, as it can speed up the implementation process and help quickly gain support, but the advantages are only worthwhile if managers are aware of the pitfalls.

“This is something organisations should be aware of when they assign the managers of projects or even when they evaluate projects in the past.”

On your marks for the Sports & Leisure Forum

Redesigned from the ground up to cater for the growing industry, the Sports and Leisure Forum 2017 will be the ideal opportunity to forge valuable partnerships and learn about the vibrant sports and leisure industry.

Formerly known as the Sports and Leisure Facilities Forum, the fresh relaunch will focus on an intimate audience of just 45 VIP delegates, as well as featuring some of the industry’s most trusted suppliers.


Join the massive community of operations, leisure and facilities managers from across the UK for two days of tailor-made, pre-matched meetings, seminars and dining.

Attend a range of seminars from some of the industry’s most dynamic and innovative minds, with each session offering a CPD certification.

Taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on June 19th-20th, the event will give you the opportunity to engage with industry professionals to debate and connect in a uniquely bespoke event featuring drinks, dinner and discussions that’ll prepare you for the year to come.

For more information about how to get involved in the event, contact Gillian Small or call us on 01992 374073

Forum Insight: 10 ways to succeed at a Networking Event

Walking into a meeting room full of people you don’t know can be a scary experience. But there are proven ways to conquer this fear and make ‘networking’ enjoyable, useful and a great way to do business. Paul Rowney is here to present 10 of the best ways to nuke those networking nerves!

  1. Plan ahead: Get the attendees list in advance of the event and highlight who you want to meet. On arrival contact the organiser and say who you are trying to connect with and if they have the chance could they introduce you when they arrive? Occasionally go to Registration and enquire if one of your ‘targeted’ visitors has arrived, they may be able to point him out to you.
  1. Get there early. If you are one of the first to arrive, it is much easier to start up a conversation with only a few people in the room.


  1. Most people arriving will be in the same position as you-not knowing anyone else there, so prepare a few easily answered, conversation opening questions: “Whose presentation are you looking forward to hearing today?”….”What brought you to this event”.
  1. Joining a group. Approaching a group of delegates already in full conversation with each other is daunting. So be bold, and simply ask “May I join the conversation, I’ve just arrived and I’m keen to learn what’s going on”.


  1. Creating a conversation. Ask questions. Be a good listener, don’t dominate the conversation with your own stories and business ideas.


  1. Be helpful: share your knowledge of the industry, your contacts, sources of information. If people perceive you as an expert or knowledgeable, then they will want to keep in contact.


  1. Use you business card as a tactical weapon. I have a friend who renovates old wooden floors, so his business card is made of a thin piece of wood-a guaranteed conversation starter. Be imaginative with your business card design-and also your job title. Anything that says ‘sales’ or ‘business development’ could cause people to fear a sales pitch is on the way. So try and think of a job title that might encourage, not discourage a conversation.


  1. If you receive a business card, make notes on the back to remind you of the conversation and the person.


  1. Following up: If you have had a really constructive conversation, and you have agreed to ‘follow up after the event’, then agree on how and when you’ll do it Email? Phone? Text? Linkedin? And do it promptly.


  1. Don’ts at networking events: Sales pitches: even if asked “what does your company do”, keep your answer to a very brief, light weight explanation: “we help people solve their logistics IT problems”. Don’t ‘work the room’ rushing from group to group like your serving canapes is not the way to start business relationships. It’s better to have had four good conversations, than a dozen meaningless ‘chats’.

Companies paying millions on health and safety fines

Firms paid over 600 per cent more in health and safety fines last year than the previous two as firms felt the impact of stricter guidelines.

19 fines of over £1 million were issued, compared to three in 2015 and none at all the year earlier.

But this has a healthy impact on employers overall, according to the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which believes it leads bosses will take greater care of their employers now the regulations are tougher.

“The level of fines now being handed out recognises society’s disapproval of serious corporate failures that lead to injury, illness and death,” according to IOSH executive director of policy, Shelley Frost, “Protecting employees and others affected by a business’s operations will not only eliminate the risk of a large financial penalty but can also be key to ensuring and maintaining an organisation’s strong reputation ”

The largest 20 fines for health and safety offenses in 2016 totalled £38.6 million, over £34 million more than 2014, and didn’t necessarily involve death, provided the threat of death was great enough to warrant the penalty.

The largest fine last year was £5 million to Merlin Entertainments after the serious injuries caused at the rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers.

“The increase in fines being issued by the courts demonstrates a desire to drive the message home that ensuring health and safety within a working environment is fundamental,” said Mary Lawrence, IOSH council member and health and safety partner at law firm Osborne Clarke LLP.

“I see many businesses who focus on the safety and health of employees and others experiencing a broad range of benefits, including being better placed to attract and retain talent, scoring points in procurement processes for valuable contracts or even when seeking external investment.”

Natural gas truck wins ‘project of the year’

The first ever truck long-haul designed to run on natural gas was voted Project of the Year at the European Gas Awards of Excellence 2017 at a conference addressing Europe’s energy future.

Developed by IVECO, the new Stralis NP is expected to be a success on the market, presenting a balance of high comfort, lower total cost of ownership, sustainable performance and reports to generate 17 per cent more power than its best current competitor, while lowering fuel consumption by five per cent.

One of five in the running for the award, it celebrates ‘pioneering innovation’, and aims to inspire further competition and invention in order to achieve growth for the European gas market.

Winning the award was welcomed by IVECO, who believed it was a testament to their “commitment to sustainability.”

“the future of transport was in sustainable alternatives solutions,” said IVECO brand president, Pierre Lahutte, “it is the first true long-haul gas truck in the market that offers a real alternative to diesel vehicles and the most sustainable long-distance transport truck ever.”

German legislation to increase workloads for agencies

Changes to German taxation and employment legislation is expected to lead to a more open relationship between agencies and clients, as well as an increase in contractor workloads.

A revision of pre-existing laws on ‘AUG’ labour, the changes relate to leased workers within the country.

Agencies putting contractors in Germany will have to make clear their engagement model in order to increase transparency.

Leading contractor management provider 6CATS isn’t as concerned with the changes as they are about those looking to avoid the extra paperwork, as additional processes and administrative duties will have to be accepted to work within the German market.

As more countries begin to share their information as part of the Common Reporting Standard, the management firm believes that companies will avoid the changes at their own peril.

“Any firms thinking they’ll be able to slip under the radar and get away with it are sadly mistaken, it’s simply not worth the risk,” said 6CATS “breaking the law in one country could have a knock on effect on an organisation’s operations in other fields.”


Industry Spotlight: Simplified add-on services for cloud providers

OnApp has launched v5.3 of the OnApp cloud management platform, which helps cloud providers add value to their customers and users by delivering application services and managed services along with virtual servers in their OnApp clouds.

OnApp’s new Service Add-On and Service Catalog features enable cloud providers to offer a range of add-on services, such as software installs or managed Linux/Windows administration, in a fully automated way – reducing manual effort, and enabling them to tailor their clouds to the specific needs of different customers and users.

OnApp v5.3 is available now as a free upgrade to the global community of OnApp cloud providers, and via a range of easy-to-deploy packages for new customers. More information is available at

Guest Blog: Lindsay Atherton: Where’s your defibrillator?

Defibshop Sales Manager Lindsay Atherton discusses Sudden Cardiac Arrests (SCA), what they are and what you can do to stop it.


SCA is a term you may have heard from time to time whether it is in the news, articles or even on the radio. Regardless, it’s a condition which is very present within the world, affecting more than 30,000 people in the UK each year alone.

Whilst we assume all conditions of the heart are the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, age or genetics; it is a scary truth to learn the Sudden Cardiac Arrest can occur in everyone whether they be young, old, fit as a fiddle or a couch potato.

So what is SCA exactly? Well, often a cardiac arrest is mistaken for a heart attack, which is in fact a very different occurrence. A heart attack occurs when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked. This usually happens as a result of a blood clot whereas a Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a condition caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart which stops blood from pumping around the body. SCA often occurs suddenly, with no prior warning or conditions to prepare the victim and can be fatal, if not treated instantly.

The electrical malfunction will cause chaos in the heart, leaving it unable to pump blood around the body, starving the brain and other vital organs of blood and oxygen. It is only with CPR and a shock from a defibrillator that a casualty’s life can be saved, and action must be taken quickly.

In simple terms, a cardiac arrest is an electrical problem, whilst a heart attack is a circulation problem. Heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding highly processed foods, not smoking and exercising regularly. Sudden cardiac arrest however cannot be prevented and so the only definitive way to protect those which fall victim of SCA, is to ensure the accessibility of a defibrillator in workplaces, communities and other public locations.

Of the 30,000 cardiac arrests which occur each year in the UK, only 10% survive. 12 young people die each week from cardiac arrest, and of these, 270 of these deaths will occur in school.

So what can we do to change this?

A raised awareness of defibrillators, cardiac arrest and the life-saving treatment which can be applied are essential to see an increase in survival. Simple bystander CPR can help double a victim’s chances of survival, with the inclusion of a defibrillator shock delivered within the first 3-5 minutes of collapse, a casualty’s chances of survival can increase from just 6% to 74%.

Within every workplace, equipment such as fire extinguishers, escape plans and regular drills are put into place by law to ensure the protection of employees against a fire…but what about cardiac arrest?

Statistics show that approximately 300 people will die each year from fires in England; the fatalities of cardiac arrests in the UK are 100,000.

Whilst fire precaution and safety is absolutely essential within every workplace, we feel cardiac arrest prevention simply must be held in just as high priority and made lawful for every workplace to be equipped with an accessible AED. With every minute a victim is in cardiac arrest, chances of survival decrease by 10%, by making AEDs more available for public use and increasing education on the life-saving steps to take in the event of an SCA, we can see a positive change in the fatality rates and increase the public’s ability to save a life.

We have helped many work spaces become “heart safe” with a defibrillator, with some of these devices supplied being the reason for the survival of victims which fell victim to a cardiac event whilst in work.

Whilst defibrillators may look like a complicated piece of tech, they’re designed to be intuitive and easy to use by practically anyone. With audible narration or visual instructions to help guide you through the process one step at a time, from pad application to CPR to shock administration, it’s really never been easier to save a life.

As the most important organ in the body, an investment into the protection of your heart is the most significant one you can make. Education, first aid courses and access to an AED in public areas, schools and the workplace are the most effective ways to prepare for a cardiac arrest and provide victims with the highest chance of survival against cardiac arrest.

For more information on Sudden Cardiac Arrest and defibrillators, please visit

Forum Insight: Pictures from FM Forum and what to expect in 2017

Starting off 2017 as we mean to go on, this year’s first forum ended last week, with people from across the UK booking in to the Radisson Blu Hotel for two days of meeting, greeting, wining and dining with some of the industry’s leading names. With seminars throughout the day tailored to individual industry needs, and meetings through the day to set up the right people, our Forums and Summits offer a bespoke experience for senior figures to get together to learn, share, network and engage.

“Forums like this give me an opportunity to see the people who I would like to work with, get to know more about these companies,” said Javed Sheikh from ICIC Bank UK, “it’s very important for me that I have vendors that are industry accredited and these are the Forums where I get a chance to know more about the companies, know more about what’s happening in the facilities world.”

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“From what I was hearing in the seminars, it’s such a wide field, and want to be able to go back to my office and say to my sales guys ‘right okay we need to be targeting these guys or those guys’” said Ed Taylor, Taylor Made Designs, “I’ve had a couple of meetings this morning and you get such a broad spectrum of people in this sector, it can range from a guy that’s just a one man band facilities manager to a big construction firm who are in charge of multimillion pound projects with hundreds if not thousands of consultants and staff”


“I think you always have to take time off from the job that you do to just take a step back and look around, so for me, meeting people who you wouldn’t necessarily normally have anything to do with is a good thing.”said Carl Boorer from Solid Management, “It’s been a good Forum, you’re always looking for new and fresh ideas. I think if you don’t keep your eyes and ears open then you get left behind, really,”


“We come to this one and the OSH one in February and normally get good results from it,” explained AGF Fire Protection’s Ruth Cunningham, “it’s our main marketing, we don’t do any other advertising, this is what we do.”

If you are interested in attending one of our 27 industry Forums throughout this year, you can send us an email at for more information

Royalty-free music site generates £1m for artists

Music streaming site Jamendo has revealed they paid over £1 million to independent musicians in 2016.

The site and mobile app allow users to browse and stream songs from a base of over 500,000 artists, and profits are generated through their licencing scheme.

Tracks from Jamendo have featured in a number of high profile advertising campaigns, including Sony, Ford and Nestlé, with up to 65% of revenue shared with the artists.

Selling licences for anything from personal or YouTube use, to large-scale advertising, the range in options aims to give the company momentum as the streaming industry continues to grow.

“From the very beginning, the idea was to gather a community of independent music and help create value around it,” said Martin Guerber, music and content manager at Jamendo, who explained how the company fits in among streaming heavy hitters like Spotify or iTunes.

“Our model is quite different than Spotify’s or iTunes’,” he continued, “because it’s mainly focused on providing a free music discovery experience and free services for artists, then using the licensing model to generate revenue and help us keep supporting independent musicians.”

As the popularity of free streaming continues to become the consumer norm, the worry for independent artists is that their music will be heard, but not paid for. However, Martin believes that while free music is becoming more popular, so too is its use in the commercial market.

“The need for music in videos or shops/public places has never been higher,” he said, “In 2017 we are looking to enhancing the artist experience and bring creators more services in order to promote and monetize their music better.”