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  • Title: M Institute: Home
    Descriptive info: .. M Institute.. Home.. Blog.. Understanding medium enterprise.. Research.. About M Institute.. Categories.. Financing medium enterprise.. Growth in medium enterprises.. Medium enterprise thinking.. Policy-making for medium enterprises.. Sustainability.. Technology and business processes.. M Institute's Partners.. CBI.. QCA - The Quoted Companies Alliance.. Durham Business School.. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.. Enter your email address:.. Delivered by.. FeedBurner.. Mid-size enterprises are the powerhouse of the UK economy.. Although only a tiny fraction of UK companies are in the £10-£250 million revenue bracket, these businesses employ 30% of the British work force, and generate 20% of all corporate profits.. Their annualised growth rate is at 8%, which is well above the national growth rate.. Despite this sterling performance, mid-size enterprises are nearly invisible.. They have no profile in the market, government does not pay them any attention, and  ...   organisations in the UK, including the CBI, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Durham Business School, and the Quoted Companies Alliance, among others.. To find out more about medium organisations, check out this website.. We publish.. research from M Institute.. here as well as an occasional.. blog dealing with issues important to medium enterprises.. Recent Posts.. Bruntwood builds value through employees and local communities.. Sustainable Value Creation report available for download.. Family businesses focus on sustainability to drive competitive edge.. Adnams brews long-term value through modern thinking.. IFB and M Institute to carry out joint study on sustainable value creation.. M Institute partners Future Cities Institute in focus on growth hot spots.. MSB 101 for policymakers.. Getting smart about mid-sized business.. Dealing with management challenges.. 8 half-hidden truths about medium enterprise.. Subscribe to this blog's feed..

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  • Title: M Institute
    Descriptive info: October 17, 2012.. As UK property loses its gloss, one business continues to build value in this space.. Jyoti Banerjee met up with Chris Oglesby of Bruntwood to learn how its long-term thinking has enabled it to succeed where short-term profit-seekers have lost out.. Bruntwood.. was started in 1977 buying out old industrial property.. In the 1990s, it decided to move into the provision of office space.. Chris Oglesby took over the running of the company from his father Michael who was the founder.. Today, the company employs 450 people, up from twelve in the early 1990s, and has converted an initial investment of £50,000 in 1976 into a net worth of £330 million.. Over the company’s life, it has experienced growth of over 20% per annum.. Typically, the funding for this has come from banks as private equity funders have been much more aggressive in their demands.. However, there is a new stream of funding entering the market.. As Oglesby points out, “The main change in the market is that annuity funds are entering it and they are long-term lenders.. The fact that we are a long-term family business gives us a good position in that market.. ” As a result, Bruntwood has recently agreed a £130 million debt facility from a life fund.. “Family businesses, when they are good, are one of the best forms of ownership,” says Oglesby.. However finding equity finance that is matched and aligned to our family values is difficult.. ”.. A different model.. What Chris and Michael Oglesby have built is a company that understands its position in the communities in which it operates.. It’s found a property model that works for regional cities in the UK, such as Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham.. In each of these cities, it is a leading provider of office space.. But it is more than just understanding the market that serves Bruntwood.. The values it brings to each regional community is important as well.. “We participate in the Local Enterprise Partnership where we are based.. Our people are involved with sixty external civic and charitable organisations in the cities we work in.. I sleep very soundly knowing that the contribution the business is making to the broader community is very significant,” points out Oglesby.. The company’s growth was checked by the 2008 downturn, when its revenues dropped 20%.. Although the business is back to pre-2008 levels, there were dark moments when Oglesby and his team thought about reining in the commitments the business has made to its local communities.. “Each time we chose not to,” says Oglesby.. “The way we do business means that we have to be true to our values through the difficult times.. If anything, this is even more important.. Oglesby likens the way the company works to a game: “The way you play it is important.. We are in it for the long-term.. What the company stands for is important to us.. The team is important to us.. ” Which may be why Bruntwood does not offers bonuses to its staff, but allows all staff to share in an allocation of shares in the business.. As Oglesby explains, “Research shows that bonuses do not support superior sales performance.. If you recruit the right people who buy into the bigger picture of what you are doing, the success of the business works as a motivator.. Bruntwood has discovered that employing people who come from non-family companies can require a reset in their expectations about work.. Bruntwood found that a number of its competitors did not invest in training their staff and responded by increasing its investment in people capital, making it a strategic priority.. As a business that differentiates itself on service, Bruntwood has chosen to look after its people, on the basis that service only works if the staff feel cared for.. This attitude of care at Bruntwood carries through to the local community.. A quarter of the business is owned by the family’s charitable trust which focuses its giving in the local community, strengthening the contribution that Bruntwood makes to society, and creating trust in the business.. This case study is drawn from.. M Institute s recent report on Sustainable Value Creation.. , published by the Institute for Family Business.. Posted at 10:58 AM in.. ,.. |.. Permalink.. Comments (1).. TrackBack (0).. Technorati Tags.. :.. capital.. family business.. Jyoti Banerjee.. local communities.. office space.. partnership.. property.. sustainable value creation.. October 10, 2012.. M Institute's new report.. Sustainable Value Creation.. , published by the Institute for Family Business and the Family Business Network, is now available for download.. The report offers four keys to the creation and maintenance of sustainable value plus a discussion on practical steps a company can use to measure and manage its value creation processes.. Our ideas on value creation have changed forever.. No longer can we assume that value creation is only about financial performance.. It turns out to be much, much more than that.. It took the global financial crisis of 2007-08 to bring home this truth.. However, we find that our planet is also fighting a huge battle when it comes to environmental impacts, driven particularly by climate change and resource depletion.. Plus, the world’s population continues to grow beyond the point that the planet can sustain, given what we know today.. How can business respond to these challenges? Not by using the same old ideas and methods that have dominated the way our companies have worked over the last decade, or even the last century.. We need a new model for sustainable value creation.. The good thing is that there are already companies engaged in inventing this next phase of capitalism.. For this report, we engaged with a number of companies that have started to think in different ways about the wider challenges that they face.. Some of these companies are well-known corporate organisations with large footprints, such as Puma, SAP and Unilever.. The problem with looking at well-known companies like that is the view that many have that these companies can do what they do because they are large international companies with (relatively speaking) limitless resources.. However, we have chosen to do detailed case studies on a variety of mid-sized businesses that are doing things that can actually be done by anybody at all.. At the heart of every example is a management team that is committed to finding new ways to build sustainable value.. It is examples such as these that encourage us to keep pressing the case of medium enterprises around the globe.. The M Institute report focuses on ‘four keys’ that, if introduced into the management of an organisation, can give it a structure for creating and sustaining long-term value.. Operating efficiency is a sustainable virtue.. Rather than evaluating a business on just financial or physical assets, widen the operational lens to include use of sustainable and natural capital.. Indeed, as companies deal with depletion of resources, materials security and environmental impacts they are seeking new and improved ways of operating.. Over 40% of second and fourth generation companies have introduced clean-tech technologies in their business and 65% acknowledge a competitive advantage in product and service quality.. Sustainability attracts and retains the best people.. The best employees want to work for companies they believe in.. Forty per cent of family businesses cite their sustainable strategy as giving them a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining employees.. Public forums and government actions are driving sustainability.. Becoming more active in engaging in public initiatives, cross industry bodies and with government to further the cause of responsible business are critical for sustainable, thriving family businesses.. Thirty per cent of family businesses cite a positive impact on local community relations when they engage in this process.. Sustainability requires balancing short and long term objectives.. With a tradition on focusing on the long term, family businesses have a natural advantage when it comes to being an environmental, social and governance-based business.. Combining performance in the short-term and shifting long-term objectives in line with society at large can combine to bring further benefit to a business that has a wider range of values.. M Institute is pleased to collaborate with the.. Institute for Family Business.. (IFB) and the.. Family Business Network.. (FBN) in putting together this report.. We have authored it and they have published it.. The best examples of family businesses are ones that are really good at balancing short-term performance with long-term objectives.. This is exactly the sort of thinking needed to build sustainable value.. We hope you find the lessons from this report to be useful in your context and look forward to your feedback.. Download the.. report here.. Posted at 09:17 AM in.. Comments (0).. Adnams.. Credit Suisse.. Donaldson Timber.. Family businesses.. IFB.. Puma.. SAP.. Soneva.. sustainability.. Wates.. October 04, 2012.. Today, M institute s Jyoti Banerjee will be speaking at the Family Business Network Summit in London to launch our new report.. , which is published by the.. Could it be that one day all businesses will think of value creation in this way?.. IFB research shows that family firms generate £1.. 1 trillion annually in UK revenues, 72% of family businesses have a sustainable strategy in place, and 79% of family businesses have implemented sustainable business practices.. Clearly, family businesses are important for the British economy but are also increasingly moving towards a sustainability agenda to give them a competitive advantage.. A new report entitled.. , authored by M Institute, published by IFB and launched at the Family Business Network Global Summit in London this week, provides practical advice for family firms on how to create long-term value in a company through sustainable business practices.. On average, family businesses pay the greatest attention to issues related to the environment.. A recent report by Credit Suisse revealed that seventy two per cent of businesses led by a second or a higher generation report having a strategy in place related to environmental, social and governance issues.. Over the past three years, 79% had taken some action inside their company in terms of implementing a sustainable business such as introducing clean-tech technologies.. Mark Hastings, Director General for the Institute for Family Business, said, “Family businesses are already ahead of their competitors in understanding the benefits that a sustainable strategy can bring to their business.. By publishing the new report, we want to provide a useful and practical framework for how companies can increase their commitment to a sustainable business.. Companies have to find ways to make sustainability real in the context of their strategies, their operations and their relationships.. Jyoti Banerjee, co-founder of medium enterprise think tank M Institute and author of this report said, “Many companies are trapped in an outdated approach to value creation that has focused on short-term financial performance.. It is great to see that there are some businesses out there, such as the family businesses in the report, prepared to act on the understanding that sustainable value creation requires action in multiple financial and non-financial dimensions in the short and long-term.. Ross Warburton, chairman of the IFB, called upon the Government to boost the economy by making family business its key strategic partner and helping family firms to secure jobs across the country.. He said, “Despite the challenges, family firms continue to thrive and grow and are in many cases outperforming other businesses – a testament to the strength and resilience of the family business model.. But it goes beyond the balance sheet.. In an age where the shock of the economic meltdown has raised questions in many quarters about corporate practice and the role of private enterprise in society, the deep rooted culture of family firms has much to offer the broader business community - built on a bedrock of strong and enduring values, a vision for and commitment to the long-term and a genuine part of and contributor to local communities.. In sum, an example of what responsible and sustainable capitalism can look like.. The report features case studies covering family and non-family businesses, including Adnams, Bruntwood, Donaldson Timber, Puma, SAP, Soneva and Wates.. Posted at 07:25 AM in.. September 27, 2012.. In preparation for our.. forthcoming report on Sustainable Value Creation.. , M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee met Andy Wood, ceo at Adnams, a modern brewing company built around a heritage brand.. The Adnams story is an excellent example of a mid-sized business willing to explore how to create and sustain value from a long-term perspective.. Adnams is a family business that has been brewing beer in the south-east of England for over 125 years.. At the turn of the millennium, the company felt that the competitive landscape was shifting and it needed to change its approach.. We were a small, slow-moving, top-down autocracy, recalls Andy Wood, CEO at Adnams.. The review of the business environment pointed to some massive changes:.. There was a lot of consolidation taking place at the top-end of the market, while the specialist end  ...   as tax, compared to the proportion paid by ordinary enterprises (let alone individuals), we know that these pan-global entities are not contributing to national economies as they should.. Policy-makers should be delighted to know that medium enterprises usually operate within national boundaries.. Sure, some of them are world champs at what they do, but they are more likely to be regional champions within the economy.. The benefits of what they do stay home.. That is a good thing for national performance, and polic-makers should focus on such businesses.. But please don t focus on them to milk them dry - you would be losing the point of earning from growth.. Walled garden.. A great danger of the new-found fashion in mid-sized business is that a brand new walled garden is constructed, focusing on initiatives that fit in with the current MSB zeitgeist.. That would be a huge error.. We don t need a walled garden of policy initatives focused on medium enterprise.. What we need is for the thinking and understanding around medium enterprise to infiltrate and penetrate every corner of business policy.. So, policy-maker, whatever your focus, ask yourself how your work contributes to removing the problems that mid-sized businesses face when it comes to raising finance, or finding.. qualified.. graduates to employ (a big concern for MSBs, by the way) or finding room for them on your ministerial delegations to growth hot-spots in other parts of the world.. Policy-makers have often been encouraged to think small first.. I too drank the Kool-Aid on regulatory impacts on small businesses, when I was part of the Better Regulation Task Force.. However, today, I know differently.. Most small companies miss the threshold on regulations, or they get their accountants to sort things out, or they just go AWOl when it comes to compliance.. Medium enterprise pays the price on regulation, by having to deal with regulation, without having the luxury of special teams to do it, as large enterprises do.. Abolish SME.. By clumping small enterprises together with medium enterprises, the SME definition is completely unhelpful at best.. Worse, policy-makers end up focusing on the needs of the millions of small companies, rather than the substantially different needs of medium enterprises, which are much more impactful as a cohort.. Now I am guessing that SME is enshrined at a special altar somewhere in Brussels, and it would be highly inconvenient to change a lot of government text about SMEs.. That, I am afraid, is your problem.. But don t let the breadth of the problem put you off the fundamental truth that SME is wrong, wrong, wrong.. One silver lining: you don t have to throw away the SME acronym altogether, as you can re-use it for Small and Micro Enterprises, a job it does rather better than its current use.. Summary.. The biggest single difference that government can make to MSBs is to put them on the map, make them visible, celebrate the best of them.. If you do nothing else, please, please do just this.. And you can tell the Chancellor it is not even an expensive recommendation.. Posted at 09:24 PM in.. Comments (2).. BIS.. growth review.. management.. Medium enterprise.. MSB.. SME.. October 31, 2011.. A number of interested (and interesting!) parties are keen to see what can be done to make mid-sized businesses the powerplant of growth in the British economy.. Already, the Chancellor has indicated that medium enterprises will be front and centre of the Growth Review that will be announced at the end of November.. And.. the CBI has made its contribution via the Future Champions? research.. it has carried out jointly with consultant McKinsey.. M Institute is not a representative organisation but, as a think tank, our insights and commentary have already been part of the inputs used across government as well as by organisations like the CBI.. Our goal remains a key focus on medium enterprise: making visible this hitherto invisible segment.. For more on our proposals in this area, check out.. Jyoti Banerjee s presentation to Mark Prisk, minister for business.. , Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.. What can government do to get mid-sized enterprises performing as they can? Here s a list of some of the key ideas we think government can work on:.. Making medium special.. / aspirational – this is about defining the space, what makes it different, and identifying the characteristics of the best companies, including celebrating the best ones.. Currently, medium enterprise is not appreciated as a separate segment, and its best performers are not seen to be the heroes they really are.. Helping medium businesses.. attract the best talent.. , through making our graduates more useful in work.. At the round-table chaired by Mark Prisk, we talked about driving change in universities on issues around the priority accorded to teaching students, including making them employable through greater focus on team-based working, internships, etc.. We also need to see greater emphasis on STEM (maths, science and technology) teaching.. The US has already recognised that it has been left behind in this area by countries such as China and Korea, and has put in place the.. 100kin10 programme.. as a way of creating 100,000 world-class STEM teachers in its schools.. Yes, the UK needs such an initative too, which enables the private sector to participate in raising the next generation of teachers for our STEM-starved students.. Medium enterprises don t have the means of the freedom to help their.. managers develop world-class skills.. in new areas of performance.. Large enterprises do this pretty well, but there just isn t the bandwidth for medium enterprises to invest in their staff in this way.. We would like to see the development of opportunities for ongoing development of management capability in medium enterprises, through a collaborative programme with business schools to enable “top-up” teaching that helps middle and senior managers to grow in the areas that are significant for the improved performance of medium enterprises.. Multi-national firms have a halo effect.. in that medium enterprises that come into contact with them, or compete with them, have to sharpen their game.. We would like government to build the impact of this through a scheme by which senior managers in large enterprises can become mentors and non-executive directors of medium enterprises, particularly when the companies operate in their ecosystems.. We need to see the.. business networks develop in the medium enterprise segment.. so that firms access skills that are relevant to their scale of enterprise, as opposed to stuff aimed at small businesses.. Let s face it: most of the target audiences for organisations like the Institute of Directors and the British Chambers of Commerce is the SME market.. We need to see more action in the space above them.. We think the CBI will be better placed to meet this challenge, but we also feel other organisations with good coverage in the medium enterprise space, like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Institute of Family Business, or EEF, should all step up to the plate.. Government and the various professional bodies should also encourage these businesses to understand that there are certain behavioural issues (such as professionalising their management, putting information and systems processes into place that enable the business to scale, funding options, etc) around which they can benefit from external input where appropriate.. We think that the most likely growth opportunities for medium enterprises will be through being close to the.. hot growth markets.. Currently, these focus around the BRIC economies in regional terms.. However, there is a huge opportunity working through the massive investments that countries like China and Korea are making in the low-carbon sustainable economy.. We need to see British enterprises playing in these spaces: this is not just about renewables and carbon, but is significantly deeper and wider in terms of products and services that will be needed in a lo-carbon sustainable future.. The.. Green Investment Bank.. , as currently defined, does not begin to come close to the scale of commitment being made in some other countries.. For some time, we have advocated the need for.. a different type of credit rating scheme.. for medium enterprises, as well as a debt market aimed at these kinds of companies.. We feel that this area is much-needed, especially as bank finance dries up in general, but particularly for knowledge economy companies with few or no collateral assets.. Overall, we think that most of the things that government can do to help medium enterprises do not have a high price tag in terms of the need for large-scale investments.. Smart focus on certain key interventions can make a huge difference, in our view.. If there is a foundational issue in this, we would say that there is.. a need to address the invisibility of the medium segment.. A lot of the other issues will come into clearer focus if the segment is more widely recognised, appreciated, celebrated and dealt with.. We think.. M Institute s model using behavioural characteristics.. helps define the segment, and lays out the stepped-growth problems that firms have to deal with.. Of course, we are going to say that, but we think there are good reasons why this is so.. Posted at 06:31 PM in.. EEF.. ICAEW.. IoD.. management skills.. Mark Prisk.. regional growth.. STEM.. supply chains.. September 28, 2011.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee presented at a round-table on medium enterprise issues, hosted by Mark Prisk, minister of state for business at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.. Jyoti s presentation focused on the state of management in medium enterprises and presents a number of policy options available to government.. According to research done by BIS, management capability is one of three main hurdles facing medium enterprises in the UK.. The other two issues are access to finance and exporting.. Representatives from the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce presented on the other two issues.. Check out Jyoti s presentation (in Prezi form) here below.. If the presentation window does not show on your screen, you can.. access it directly at the Prezi site.. Empowering medium enterprise.. Posted at 08:09 PM in.. access to finance.. British Chambers of Commerce.. exporting.. management challenges.. August 25, 2011.. Medium enterprises are suddenly getting a lot of attention, here in the UK as well as in other parts of the world.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee lays out some home truths about midsized business that should not be forgotten as new players jump on to the medium enterprise bandwagon.. I have taken part in more meetings about medium enterprises in the last two months than across the previous three years.. These meetings cover government departments, membership organisations, academics, researchers, event organisers and business people.. It looks like medium enterprise, the long-hidden secret of economic growth in western economies, is not going to be hidden any more.. In fact, it is going to come leaping out into the open, particularly once the UK government announces its Growth Review in the autumn, which focuses on the opportunities in the medium business segment.. Thanks in part to its inclusion in the Growth Review, medium enterprise is suddenly hot property among all the agencies that want to influence policy thinking in the UK.. Who does not want to know best, and to be seen to know best, when the policy-makers ask for help.. But it is not just the UK where this is happening.. In the next few weeks, M Institute will be announcing partnerships with international organisations that want to play roles in reaching medium enterprises, and enhancing their performance.. One is based in Australia and the other one is global.. So the medium enterprise contagion is spreading.. And that is a good thing, from my perspective.. In fact, as I reflect on all the newbies jumping on to what has essentially been our very own bandwagon, I can quote Mr James Brown directly and say, I feel good.. When we set up M Institute, we did so because we felt that the power, stability and growth that medium enterprises bring to an economy are largely hidden because people failed to distinguish medium business from SMEs.. Now that everybody else is getting involved, we can feel vindicated.. But, and there s a big but here, I would like to reiterate what we have learned over the last five years or so of delving into medium enterprise because we see some common errors being made in people s understanding of midsized business.. Some of the home truths about medium enterprise are easily missed, especially to people coming in from the cold.. So, for the benefit of all, here are some things that we recommend all the new players in medium business pay attention to.. Continue reading "8 half-hidden truths about medium enterprise".. Posted at 02:27 PM in.. Access to finance.. employment.. foreign direct investment.. Growth Review.. leadership.. Medium business.. midsized business.. Paul Druckman.. regulation.. talent.. technology.. Next..

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  • Title: M Institute: Understanding medium enterprise
    Descriptive info: In a sense, any definition of medium business must be about size.. Medium is neither small nor large.. Two questions emerge from this sort of approach: a) what size is a mid-sized organisation, and b) is size a good arbiter in this issue? M Institute has done research on this important area which we think is helpful in shedding light on how medium businesses should be analysed and understood.. Defining the size limits of a medium-sized organisation is a matter of debate but the UK government and the European Commission share a similar understanding.. The European definition of medium-size is any organisation with employee numbers between 50 and 250, annual turnover of between €10m and 50m, or a balance sheet between €10m and €43m in assets.. Mid-sized organisations are categorised in most UK analytics as part of the SME grouping.. This is certainly tautological in terms of size as SME seems to cover any companies that are not large, but it does not provide any analytical insight on the behaviour of such companies as they are different from small and micro enterprises in a number of significant ways.. A number of researchers have done work on establishing if there are behavioural characteristics that improve our understanding of medium organisations, The  ...   different areas.. Interestingly, in many ways, medium business is rather more like large business in its behaviour and characteristics, which makes it even more incongruous that medium business is compartmentalised with small business via the SME definition.. These differences are summarised in the table below.. Small business.. Large business.. Owner-managed.. Owners plus professionals in key leadership roles.. Professional management.. Micro-management of employees.. Empowerment of employees.. Freedom to act within corporate guidelines.. Informal processes.. Formal processes.. Formal structures and processes.. Short-term planning horizon.. Longer-term planning horizon.. Short-term results / long-term planning horizon.. Low external input.. External input from professionals.. Governance structure separate from management.. Equity held by founder / family.. Wider equity base.. Diversified equity base.. Small customer base.. Diversified customer base.. Diversified markets with diversified customers.. Limited personnel development opportunities.. Culture enables employee / management development.. Multiple career development paths.. Low borrowing requirement – government support possible.. Borrowing needed long-term / funding available shorter term.. Wide pool of funding sources.. Behavioural differences between small, medium and large organisations, M Institute, 2006.. These behavioural differences,rather than size, are particularly important in helping distinguish medium organisations from small and large organisations.. To find out more about medium enterprises, check out the M Institute report,.. Empowering Medium Enterprises - a guide for policy-makers..

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  • Title: M Institute: Research
    Descriptive info: M Institute is committed to differentiating the medium enterprise market segment from the small and large enterprise segments.. The marketplace, and government, usually clubs medium organisations with small organisations under the SME label.. This identification of medium enterprises with small enterprises is fundamentally mistaken as shown by the research conducted by M Institute.. Our research programme provides insight on the shape of the medium enterprise market segment, and its main challenges.. Empowering Medium Enterprise  ...   to focus government attention on three challenges facing medium businesses: access to finance to fund growth, regional integration and regulatory burdens.. Modernising business processes.. A research report from M Institute,.. , focuses on figuring out which processes need to be formalised or modernised, and in what priority.. This is a difficult task for leaders of medium organisations, but an essential one if they want their organisations to grow.. This research study was supported by Microsoft..

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  • Title: M Institute: About M Institute
    Descriptive info: M Institute is a not-for-profit organisation, with the objective of highlighting the opportunities and positioning of medium-sized businesses.. Mid-size businesses are the powerhouse of the UK economy.. Although a tiny fraction of UK companies are in the £10-£250 million revenue bracket, these businesses employ 30% of the British work force, and generate 20% of all corporate profits.. However, medium enterprises are nearly invisible.. They have no profile in the market, government pays them no attention, and they are viewed together with small and micro enterprises via the SME label, although they are significantly different from those companies in almost all respects.. M Institute  ...   and disseminate information that helps create a reasoned basis for understanding the performance of medium organisations.. Liaise with government on the issues that are critical and relevant to M businesses.. Provide a networking community for M businesses.. M Institute directors.. M Institute has two directors:.. and.. To contact M Institute via email, please send your query to the following email address:.. info@m-institute.. org.. Regulatory information on M Institute.. M Institute is a company limited by guarantee.. It is registered in England and Wales with company number 05853566.. The registered office is First Floor, George V Place, Thames Avenue, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1QP, United Kingdom..

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  • Title: M Institute: Archives
    Descriptive info: Archives.. October 2012.. September 2012.. April 2012.. January 2012.. November 2011.. October 2011.. September 2011.. August 2011.. March 2011.. January 2011.. November 2010.. June 2010.. April 2010.. October 2009.. September 2009.. August 2009.. June 2009.. May 2009.. March 2009.. February 2009.. January 2009.. December 2008.. August 2008.. July 2008.. May 2008.. March 2008.. February 2008.. January 2008.. November 2007.. October 2007.. September 2007.. August 2007.. May 2007.. April 2007.. February 2007.. January 2007.. December 2006.. November 2006.. October 2006.. September 2006.. July 2006.. June 2006.. May 2006.. April 2006..

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  • Title: M Institute: Financing medium enterprise
    Descriptive info: Financing medium enterprise.. March 17, 2011.. Growth policy: confusion among policy-makers.. Ever wondered how governments come up with policies on growth? Well, on March 14th, M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee got some insight on how this is done.. The UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, or BIS for short (nee BERR, even more nee DTI, if you have not been keeping up with the changing alphabet soup), invited a mix of policy-makers, academics and industry players to listen to some long-range views on growth policy.. Long range? There were no announcements regarding policy, just an exchange of views on issues that might impact growth policy in the future.. Did I learn anything? Was I encouraged? Will UK growth policies change the growth opportunities for medium business in this country? In short: yes, no and probably not.. In that order.. Continue reading "Growth policy: confusion among policy-makers".. Posted at 09:51 PM in.. financing growth.. growth policy.. high growth enterprises.. LSE.. McKinsey.. OECD.. productivity gap.. March 14, 2011.. CBI is right: concentrate on medium enterprises, Mr Cameron.. Paul Druckman finds himself agreeing with the CBI on its new focus on medium enterprises.. Britain s forgotten army - this couldn’t be a more accurate description by the new Director General of the CBI, John Cridland, who makes.. a strong case for medium-sized business.. And quite rightly so.. David Cameron’s speech has been much publicised in the media, with its focus on enterprise as the catalyst for UK growth moving forward.. But as Cridland points out, investment is usually focused on small and large organisation, with little mention of those in between.. It’s the mid-sized organisations where focus is required for they are the bedrock of this country and it is here, as the Director General rightly says, that the majority of growth and jobs are likely to be found.. However, these organisations need support including access to capital.. If the Prime Minister wants to see the return to prosperity that he desires, he should take heed of the CBI’s advice.. These are themes that M Institute has focused on many times previously.. For a quick summary of our views on policy issues relating to medium enterprises, please read.. here.. This particular blog item was written before the global financial crisis but points to many of the issues that make it so hard for medium enterprises to raise capital, particularly when the banks could not see the kind fo return they could get from real estate (pre-2008) and now can t see the point of lending.. Posted at 08:17 AM in.. growth in medium enterprises.. jobs and the economy.. John Cridland.. M Institute Paul Druckman.. April 29, 2010.. A hung Parliament?.. Should we care that next week we may have a hung parliament in the UK? M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee investigates the options.. I see that a recent study of growing businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce finds that two-thirds are concerned or very concerned about the impact of not having a majority party, while only one in seven respondents feel that it would be a good thing.. Let’s try and place the hung parliament discussion in context.. The one thing that medium enterprises crave from their politicians is a stable economy so that business decisions within the firm are not constantly upset by changes without.. But it is not just a stable economy that they need.. Medium businesses also need top-flight transport and communications infrastructure, access to finance, and a well-educated workforce.. So ask yourself this question? Will a hung parliament actually deliver any of these hopes? Or will it stand in the way of achieving these objectives?.. It is reasonable to expect the main political parties to be different from each other, and given the opportunity to exercise their policies, the UK could look very different in a Labour regime of Big Government, compared to a Tory government of Small Government / Big Society, or even Nick Clegg’s Open Government.. But reality is likely to be very different.. While each of them could lead Britain into completely different economic territory, that is going to take rather a long time.. I suspect Britain’s appetite for a hung parliament may not last long enough to see change on that scale.. In fact, a split leadership may not even last the course of a single parliament.. Continue reading "A hung Parliament?".. Posted at 10:54 PM in.. economic stability.. society.. UK economy.. March 30, 2009.. IT decisions in crunchy times.. Accountancy Age s Rachel Fielding recently interviewed a panel of experts on a webcast, asking what impact tightening financial reins will have on IT spending.. Paul Druckman, chairman of M Institute, was part of the panel and here are some of his comments answering the question What role can FDs take in IT investment decisions?.. The economic turmoil has tilted the balance and the finance director (FD) is becoming much more  ...   reality at the coalface.. It is very difficult to get medium sized acquisition deals funded in the current climate as the banks have little or no appetite for new business.. Judging by recent press commentary about the balance sheet frailty of our leading banks, I wonder if the real exposure to loss here is significantly higher in the banks than has been recognised within official channels.. Is it perhaps the case, that because of the underlying complexity of many of the leading banks’ derivative exposures, they still do not know the full measure of their liabilities? This would perhaps explain the constant flow of further bad news from the banks and the increasing realisation that the first round of government funding has proved inadequate.. Continue reading "Frail banks corrode market confidence despite public funding".. Posted at 03:16 PM in.. March 27, 2008.. New mezzanine finance in government strategy.. The new Enterprise Strategy paper from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), published alongside the Budget 2008, announces a number of finance initiatives that are extremely relevant to medium enterprises.. For the first time, the government acknowledges the need for mezzanine finance vehicles of the sort that M Institute has been campaigning for on behalf of medium enterprises.. Continue reading "New mezzanine finance in government strategy".. Posted at 11:39 AM in.. August 15, 2007.. Banks have better things to do with their money.. than to invest in the growth plans of medium organisations.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee asks if the investment preferences shown by banks are really the results of market imperfections that need to be dealt with by policy-makers.. A few months ago, I took part in a meeting at HM Treasury organised by.. where a few leaders of medium organisations were invited to present their stories: how their companies became medium-sized, and the challenges they had to overcome and still have to deal with.. A recurring theme for these business leaders was the way in which problems relating to access to capital impair their growth performance.. Should government be doing something about it? Clearly, the Treasury officials we spoke to did not think so as there is no evidence in their eyes of market failure.. Without evidence-based market failure, how can the government generate its favoured route of evidence-based policies? (One wag recently commented that it is not evidence-based policy-making at work here – simply, policy-based evidence-making).. There is urgent need for a formal research study that can show if the evidence exists that access to finance is slowing down the growth of medium companies.. This is particularly apposite in the context of a Brown government that has shifted attention from start-up enterprises to existing companies that demonstrate growth – an arena of business where medium companies are very successful.. M Institute may not claim credit for engendering this shift in policy, but it certainly fits our policy recommendations.. In this context,.. please see an earlier blog item commenting on Margaret Hodge’s enterprise policy.. Continue reading "Banks have better things to do with their money.. ".. Posted at 10:31 AM in.. February 14, 2007.. Empowering medium enterprise - a guide for policy-makers.. A.. new research study, from M Institute, sets out challenges facing medium organisations and asks policy-makers to respond.. The UK government wants to see Britain as the best place in the world to start and grow a business.. Yet most of its attention is on policies and measures aimed at starting businesses.. A new research study from M Institute,.. Empowering Medium Enterprise: A guide for policy-makers.. , seeks to focus government attention on the challenges facing medium businesses, and the actions government can take to support their continued economic growth performance.. The research, released October 2006, was carried out by M Institute, and received support from Microsoft and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England Wales (ICAEW).. Key themes emerging from the research study:.. • Medium business is very different from large or small business.. • Medium enterprise growth is held back by certain economic factors.. Posted at 11:03 AM in.. June 22, 2006.. Growth and finance: an imperfect relationship.. Growth needs money, and money looks for growth.. But the two often don t find each other in the M segment of the market.. Jyoti Banerjee gives credit where credit s due.. There seems to be this special bond between growth and mid-sized organisations, or M organisations as I like to call them.. Talk to most leaders of M businesses and they will tell you that they expect to grow at around 20% per annum for the next three years or so.. What’s so remarkable about that anyway? After all, most small and start-up businesses probably expect to grow at around 200% per annum.. Why should we care about the twenty percenters?.. We should, for a number of reasons.. Continue reading "Growth and finance: an imperfect relationship".. Posted at 11:13 AM in..

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  • Title: M Institute: Growth in medium enterprises
    Descriptive info: Growth in medium enterprises.. August 05, 2011.. Video series: Deciphering medium enterprises.. Wondering what the story is with medium enterprises? Convinced you should know more but don t want to spend time reading still more stuff on the web? Well, here s the answer you have been looking for.. In fact, it s a series of answers.. In a series of video interviews, M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee tackles the questions every one is asking about medium enterprises.. The first one series defines a medium enterprise by asking what makes a medium enterprise different from a small enterprise or a large enterprise.. And isn t a medium enterprise just an SME anyway? No it isn t, and if you want to know why, then check out these videos.. The videos were produced by GuruOnline and sponsored by IBM.. Characteristics of medium enterprises.. Growth issues facing medium enterprises.. Business processes in mid-sized businesses.. CIO challenges in medium enteprises.. The CFO s influence on IT in medium enterprises.. Sustainability in mid-sized businesses.. Check out the first video here:.. Posted at 01:08 PM in.. business processes.. CFO.. CIO.. defining medium enterprise.. mid-sized businesses.. January 19, 2011.. Looking ahead: a perspective on 2011.. What are the major trends that medium enterprises will need to pay attention to in 2011? M Institute co-founder Paul Druckman checks out the nearest crystal ball.. Right at the outset, let me explain that I’m not an economist or a futurologist; simply, a businessman who has many connections to those with intellect and foresight!.. There are all sorts of trends that consultants and the economists are predicting for 2011, including further developments in cloud computing, GDP growth and more general strategic and technology advancements.. Here s my pick of the challenges and opportunities that I believe will be poignant in the forthcoming year.. UK Budget cuts.. – this will be significant for British business as the public sector has been a growing market as a customer over the last decade.. I believe we’ll see many companies refocus on the private sector.. A changing workplace.. – I’m not just referring to remote working here.. Workplaces are changing.. This is being catalysed by the arrival of disruptive technologies, particularly social networking tools.. In fact, ‘social business’ is the future - it’s about collaboration, connectedness and lateral management.. We’re moving away from people being told what to do, towards self-service, and seeking out the best workplace environments.. The related trend here is that people are moving on to working for themselves.. Here’s to the rise and success of the micro business.. – a recognition of the twin issues of finite resources and climate change will receive increased emphasis in business circles.. This will be based around the potential of increasing revenues and managing costs.. For example, GE in the USA is basing its strategy on a low carbon future.. Cloud computing and technology advances.. – that word ‘connected’ raises its head here as well.. That’s what technology is all about.. Cloud computing is becoming more popular in specific areas of the business.. Just this month, leading software companies such as Sage and Access Accounts are introducing their own on-line solutions - the cloud is not just about start-ups.. This blog article is based on an interview by.. Access Accounts.. for its newsletter.. Posted at 10:08 AM in.. 2011 trends.. changing workplace.. cloud computing.. collaboration.. UK budget cuts.. January 11, 2011.. Medium enterprises no longer have it so good?.. Analyst Gartner brought out yet another of its Magic Quadrant reports just before Christmas, this time on.. ERP software for product-centric midmarket companies.. The report points to the leading software companies in this space.. But instead of celebrating the achievement of the winners, the report compelled me to ask a question that has bothered me for some time.. Have medium enterprises lost their edge over small business when it comes to IT? Jyoti Banerjee, co-founder of M Institute, thinks the answer has got to be yes.. Let s face it.. It s been a long time since Gartner s MQ reports have had any juice in them.. These days the best writers on software sit outside the large analyst companies, of which Gartner is easily the largest.. The report explores fourteen software products, and picks two as leaders (.. Microsoft Dynamics AX.. SAP Business All-in-One.. ), and reserves the visionary slot for.. Epicor 9.. What was interesting was what the report does not say.. Here are some issues that medium enterprises looking at this market will get little help on from the report:.. Continue reading "Medium enterprises no longer have it so good?".. Posted at 05:38 PM in.. Capsule CRM.. Gartner magic quadrant.. KiteBlue.. Liquid Accounts.. Microsoft Dynamics.. midmarket ERP.. Xero.. November 04, 2010.. Climate war: The economics of clean fuel will beat fossil fuel.. The war over climate policy is being lost to the fossil fuel lobby and its PR army, first on scientific grounds and then in the economic sphere.. Jyoti Banerjee listens to an interview with Eric Pooley of Business Week, who argues that the new clean-fuel economics will see off the old fossil fuel economy - if given a chance.. A very big if.. Medium enterprises, take note.. In the week where the Republican party in the US has won back the House of Representatives, its rhetoric on climate change is getting more intense, with plans being discussed to counter the climate change lie.. Earlier, Eric Pooley, a business editor at Business Week, wrote.. The Climate War.. , a thriller about the failure of climate legislation to be enacted in the US.. His book blames the fossil fuel lobby and its PR entourage for holding back legislation through a doubt and dissension campaign.. He also blames President Obama.. Recently,.. Pooley was interviewed by Francesca Rheannon of Writer s Voice.. and the resulting podcast is well worth a listen, especially for medium enterprises interested in leading the charge in the emerging lo-carbon economy.. Here are three points I appreciated from it:.. 1) The fossil fuel lobby is fighting the climate war on two fronts at the same time: climate science and old-fashioned economics.. By casting doubts on the science of climate change, the public is confused, and legislation is held up, watered down or stopped.. The economics argument is all about jobs, growth and prosperity - can we risk these for the sake of an esoteric idea such as climate change? Of course, to us tech folks, this sort of debating position has a familiar feel: we call it FUD, for fear, uncertainty and doubt.. It s the basis of the defence employed by a large incumbent player about to lose a deal to a young fleet-of-foot pretender.. 2) Pooley is clear that the Big Lie needs to be dealt with: that somehow doing stuff for the environment is bad for the economy.. Fossil fuel drove the economic engine of the last hundred years, but it cannot do so any longer.. It will have to give way to a clean fuel engine which can drive growth for hundreds of years going forward.. Clean fuel will spawn new industries, new firms and new jobs which we currently cannot even imagine..  ...   Good processes do not guarantee success, though bad processes will certainly guarantee failure.. Continue reading "Modernising business processes".. Posted at 10:17 AM in.. November 21, 2007.. Modernising business processes research paper.. is a new white paper from M Institute that seeks to provide some fresh thinking on the business process challenges that medium organisations face so that they are better equipped to make the judgements on how to develop and grow in a way that takes advantage of their growing maturity in the exploitation of technology, innovation and new opportunities in the business landscape.. Continue reading "Modernising business processes research paper".. Posted at 09:02 AM in.. October 04, 2007.. To grow or not to grow - that's an IT question.. and.. Microsoft.. (both partners of M Institute) have collaborated on a piece of research that has an important finding: growing companies make greater use of IT to meet their key business challenges compared to companies that are declining.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee investigates.. The.. research.. , carried out among 401 businesses with up to 100 employees, does not attempt to distinguish cause from effect.. But it does claim that growing companies are more likely to invest in IT in order to better manage customer data, better manage business processes, comply with regulation, and access business information when out of the office.. Although much of the report is focused on analysing the different size cohorts, its writers, Bill Snaith and Ian Stone of Durham, have done an interesting thing in maintaining a constant thread in the report which analyses the research findings by growth performance.. Compared to declining companies, growing companies are more likely to:.. * Use more diversified sources for IT advice.. * Have more software and arguably more sophisticated systems.. * Have more appreciation that IT can (and has) delivered benefits to their business and how it might help them overcome challenges.. * Talk about IT in terms of what it can do for employees, and so have a people-centric attitude to IT.. * Display greater willingness to spend more on IT in future to generate competitive advantage and growth.. Continue reading "To grow or not to grow - that's an IT question".. Posted at 10:28 AM in.. May 31, 2007.. Flat world vibrations: A study of Audio Partnership.. When asked to identify good quality hi-fi brands, most Britishers are likely to pick mass-market Japanese brands such as Sony or Panasonic.. It would be news to them that British hi-fi brands are at the top of the tree when it comes to audiophile cognoscenti around the world.. One company that has taken advantage of the high standing of British brands in international markets is Audio Partnership, a medium-sized British electronics firm that is attempting to exploit globalisation’s opportunities in its march for growth.. It was in the 1990s that.. Audio Partnership.. realised that although British hi-fi companies were being beaten by the Far East when it came to low-cost manufacture, their reputation was built largely on good design and excellent sound quality.. The company took over struggling British brands such as Cambridge Audio and Mordaunt-Short, strengthened their design prowess but outsourced all manufacturing to China – possibly the first Western audio company to do so.. Plus, they built strong marketing campaigns that enabled them to sell these British-designed products across the world.. Today the company reports annual revenues in the region of £25 million with 60 employees in the UK and a number of strong relationships with Chinese electronics manufacturers.. Although the audio market world-wide is in steady-state mode – it is flat screen TVs and iPods that are the growth engines in consumer electronics – Audio Partnership is still able to grow at a consistent rate because of market concentration in traditional audio markets where its combination of British design and Chinese manufacture is proving to be a winner, and because of entry into new international markets, where traditional British audio companies never trod.. Continue reading "Flat world vibrations: A study of Audio Partnership".. Posted at 10:41 AM in.. February 21, 2007.. UK slips against global competition.. The Institute of Chartered Accountants finds that 77% of all British businesses are engaged in international activities.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee explores this finding in the light of UK plc s competitiveness in the global marketplace.. The tenth annual.. Enterprise study.. from the.. Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.. (ICAEW) has found that 77% of all UK businesses are currently engaged in globalisation to some extent.. Filtering this finding to companies with less than 1,000 employees, the research indicates that as many as 44% are engaged internationally, either through having customers overseas, outsourcing, or running operations abroad.. |Its higher than I would expect.. Of the 1100 companies taking part in the study, 42% view globalisation positively, and 18% are concerned about it.. Possibly unsurprising is the fact that it is the financial services sector that is most positive about globalisation, and manufacturing the fastest to recognise the risks, reflecting the relative strengths of these industries in the global marketplace.. London continues to be a powerful global finance centre, while Britain s manufacturing is sliding away, except in certain specialist sectors such as racing cars, boats, and defence.. Continue reading "UK slips against global competition".. Posted at 10:48 AM in.. January 05, 2007.. Outsourcing business processes for M enterprises.. Nobody can be a specialist in everything: hence the growth in outsourcing of standard business processes.. So far business process outsourcing (BPO) has been dominated by large enterprises.. Now M enterprises are moving to exploit its benefits.. Growing maturity of the BPO market is enabling medium enterprises to take advantage of new opportunities.. I asked.. Phil Fersht.. , a former colleague of mine, to define BPO and explain its workings for M organizations.. Phil is vice president of the BPO Group at Everest Research Institute, and is well-regarded around the world for his expertise in the matter.. Over to you, Phil.. Continue reading "Outsourcing business processes for M enterprises".. Comments (4).. July 29, 2006.. Growth in the regions.. Three-fourths of British medium-sized organisations are not aware of their regional development agency, or RDA.. Who cares, asks M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee? Well, the RDAs should, and the government should, and - surprisingly - so should mid-sized companies.. We think of the Chinese as growing unbelievably fast.. India is no slouch either.. Nor is Ireland.. But looking at growth stats for a country as a whole is misleading.. It s not countries that grow fast - it is individual regions that grow.. All over the world, we see certain regions performing so spectacularly that the entire country seems to be glowing green with growth.. But other regions in the same country lag behind.. China is a case in point.. In China s coastal regions, such as Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang, per capita income is around $5000 per year, a figure already surpassed by Guangzhou.. But in the hinterland, incomes fall away to between $2000 and $1000, and lower.. If we treat regions as countries, then nine of the top fifteen Asian countries are actually Chinese regions.. Continue reading "Growth in the regions".. Posted at 11:10 AM in..

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  • Title: M Institute: Medium enterprise thinking
    Descriptive info: Medium enterprise thinking.. October 22, 2009.. A medium enterprise guide to Windows 7.. Does Windows 7 deliver the goods for business? M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee checks out Microsoft s latest operating system.. In our home, October 22 has been the focus of anticipation for some weeks now.. Our eldest becomes a teenager that day, and so the days have been filled with a count-down, and many lists of things to do in the build-up and during the day itself, with friends, and with family.. Well, the day is finally upon us – may the celebrations begin.. But little does my daughter know that this day has been awaited with much anticipation by a slightly larger group of people than her family and friends.. In fact, thousands upon thousands have been waiting for this day: a hundred thousand Microsoft employees and the millions more that share the Windows ecosystem, as October 22 ushers in the official launch of Windows 7.. For many in Microsoft, Windows Vista tarnished the brand of the software giant’s most valuable product.. Although Vista sought to deliver a new architecture for operating systems that addressed growing security concerns among PC users, the end-result was poor performance on many PCs and numerous security features that annoyed the very users they were supposed to protect.. The word on the street was to stick with XP.. Although Vista sold in the millions, the vast majority of the Windows installed base, consumer or business, never moved from Windows XP.. Will anything change with Windows 7?.. The answer is yes, and here are some reasons why.. Continue reading "A medium enterprise guide to Windows 7".. Bitlocker.. carbon footprint.. DirectAccess.. Easy Transfer.. Windows 7.. Windows Vista.. September 22, 2009.. Online security for M enterprises.. Do medium enterprises need to worry about online security in the same way as large companies do? M Institute invited Martin Mackay, vice president EMEA for Verisign, to lay out the case for security within medium organisations.. Every day, people are finding new reasons to go online to access goods and services, not least because of the convenience and choice transacting online offers.. Unfortunately, this growing dependence on online business hasn’t gone unnoticed by opportunists.. Identity theft and online fraud are on the rise.. Scams such as account takeover, phishing, spyware and viruses are rife and growing more sophisticated.. The most recent figures from the Anti-Phishing Working Group show that the number of unique keyloggers and crime-oriented malicious applications rose to an all-time high in July 2008, reaching 1,519.. In April 2009, Gartner reported a 40% increase on phishing attacks from the previous year, whereby e-criminals use convincing fake emails or web pages to trick consumers into handing over an array of sensitive personal information, including user names, passwords, and credit card numbers.. The price can be dear, with Gartner reporting the average loss per attack to be $351.. In addition to monetary costs, companies targeted in phishing attacks also suffer immeasurable brand damage.. Given the current threat landscape, an effective online security strategy is essential for any business, no matter what size.. That’s not to say that security strategies come with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ tag, and medium-size businesses should look to address security issues in a way that addresses their own specific challenges and requirements.. Medium-size businesses may not have the same budgets as very large enterprises, but they do have a similar need to protect their own Intellectual Property and any personal information customers choose to entrust to them.. If you are a medium-sized online retailer, for example, you need to reassure customers that when they hand over their cash online, credit card details and personal information is secured and will remain in safe hands.. Despite the fact that a mid-market company might not be as well known as a larger brand, protecting your reputation is just as critical.. Medium-size businesses rely heavily on repeat customers.. In order to grow, it’s essential to build up a loyal customer following which will continue to choose your products or services again and again.. Mid-market companies need to earn customers trust and confidence to be successful, particularly during tough economic times when consumers are jittery and the competition just a click away.. Action stations.. So what is a medium-size business to do? Several may worry that they don’t have the cash to implement a security program.. That doesn’t have to be the case – the current financial crisis has meant that projects are under extra scrutiny, but not necessarily being abandoned.. The board will closely examine projects to ensure they demonstrate clear ROI and deliver immediate benefits to the business.. Effective security solutions not only protect your customers and safeguard the information that your business holds, but encourage trust and loyalty.. If a customer is confident that they are safe when transacting with you, they are much more likely to hand over personal information and cash.. Recent research by YouGov has shown that companies which clearly demonstrate their online security credentials are more likely to be recommended to others by brand ‘promoters’.. This means that implementing security solutions can help mid-tier businesses achieve coveted ‘word of mouth’ recommendations, drive increased business and directly impact the bottom line.. The proof is in the pudding.. Many mid-size companies have recently managed to reassure customers that their data is in perfectly safe hands when transacting online, and seen sales climb as a result.. One way they’ve achieved this, for example, is by implementing Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates.. These certificates provide an easy and reliable way to verify that a website is genuine and a secure environment for customers making a purchase.. Also known as the ‘green address bar’, it visibly shows that the organisation owning the web site has been authenticated as the legal entity it claims to be, using one of the most rigorous industry standards.. The green address bar also confirms that any information provided by the customer as part of any transaction will be encrypted on its journey to the company’s website.. Direct Line Holidays is one example of a mid-market business which has invested in this kind of technology.. For them, implementing EV SSL led to an 8 per cent increase in conversion to sale rates.. Top tips.. Here are my five top tips on how medium-size businesses can protect themselves online and increase consumer trust:.. 1.. Put customers and convenience first.. Businesses too often enhance their security systems without first taking into account the potential impact those changes will have on the customer experience.. That’s a big mistake, as hard-to-use sites or complicated security layers will cut down on the popularity of cost-efficient online services.. 2.. Invest in a symbol of trust.. to show users that your website is secure.. Consumers react well to visual cues – marks such as a green address bar and padlock icon guarantee that a website is safe.. Online shoppers are encouraged never buy anything without first checking that these icons are present.. 3.. Look beyond the password.. Simple login names and passwords are no longer enough to protect businesses and their customers.. Enhanced validation (EV SSL) and strong authentication technologies, including tokens which display a one-time password generated for every transaction or which send a password to your mobile phone via SMS, offer businesses a user-friendly way to make it difficult for fraudsters to seize sensitive information.. 4.. Know when customers are at risk.. Companies should develop detailed profiles of each customer’s typical online behaviour, such as transaction amounts, time spent online, and frequency of funds transfers.. Using advanced fraud detection technologies and services, they can monitor customers’ activities against those profiles and be alerted immediately when potential fraudulent behaviour occurs.. 5.. Stay one step ahead.. Any business looking to secure its online operations must be prepared to be bold and stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.. Adopting EV SSL Certificates or strong authentication help, but these should be part of a multi-layered approach to online security that everyone with a vested interest must be aware of and prepared to act upon.. Posted at 10:50 PM in.. August 10, 2009.. Confused over the size of an SME?.. The International Federation of Accountants has published a financial reporting standard applying to SME organisations.. But, argues M Institute co-founder Paul Druckman, the new standard will only give rise to confusion.. Paul explains why.. In July 2009 the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) published an.. International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) designed for use by small and medium-sized entities.. (SMEs).. SMEs are estimated to represent more than 95 per cent of all companies.. The standard is a result of a five-year development process with extensive consultation of SMEs worldwide.. This has created a dilemma for countries across the world in reflecting on IFRS implementation in deciding how big is an SME? Leading to a headline in Accountancy Age magazine:.. Confusion over SME size could complicate international rules.. Clive Lewis, head of SME issues at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), stumbled across the curious accounting issue while in conversation with an African colleague at a function.. ‘In a casual discussion we couldn’t find any company that wouldn’t fit the definition of SME in Botswana,’ he said.. Now Clive should know better than that : he should be able to provide a route to the solution, as M Institute has been in dialogue with him and the ICAEW since its formation about this definition dilemma.. We at M Institute are very clear on this:.. it is all about the characteristics of a business, not its size.. When will they learn? When will they listen? Let s have a meaningful conversation around the definition of an SME, and our characteristics model can be a straightforward route to a solution.. Come on, people: talk to us!.. Posted at 11:45 AM in.. May 07, 2009.. Dealing with carbon regulations.. While the Obama administration is moving fast to break with eight years of climate denial under George Bush, the UK government seems to have lost its early focus on introducing climate change regulations.. Jyoti Banerjee investigates.. For a time, a year or so ago, it looked as if UK companies would be required to meet mandatory regulations on carbon emissions.. But the focus seems to have been lost, under pressure from business lobby groups that are concerned about the impact such regulations will have on British companies.. Instead, UK companies are urged to report their carbon emissions following recommended guidelines, and the soonest we will have a carbon regulatory framework will now be 2010, when only Britain s largest companies will have to meet the forthcoming Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) mandatory framework.. The Americans are still debating the merits of  ...   they are starting to build up a significant workforce but may not yet have the critical mass for an established HR function.. Health and safety regulations and VAT are the two next most burdensome requirements for medium business, identified by 19% and 13%, respectively, as the biggest administrative burden.. At the other end of the scale, business taxation and planning regulations are two areas in which medium businesses are considerably less concerned.. Aside from the 34% of medium business that believes reducing regulation should be the government s top priority for improving the business environment, 19% thinks improving the skills and qualifications of the UK population is most important and 12% thinks lowering interest rates should take precedent.. Posted at 11:29 AM in.. November 05, 2007.. UK drifts to 11th in competitiveness league table.. The UK slipped nine places to the eleventh spot on the closely-watched.. table of global competitiveness.. put forward last week by the respected World Economic Forum (WEF).. United States regained the top spot, despite the current turbulence in its economic performance, thanks to its ability to innovate and the efficiency of its markets.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee checks out the league tables in competitiveness.. Coming 11th out of 131 competing countries does not sound too bad – probably a better performance than the collective achievement of the highly-paid elite that make up England’s football team.. What is disappointing is the basis for the fall from second to eleventh place.. According to the Global Competitiveness Report for 2007-08, four of the most problematic factors in doing business in the UK are tax rates, tax regulations, an inadequately educated workforce and inefficient government bureaucracy.. Just take a moment and read that list again.. In every instance, the finger of blame points to one culprit, the government.. Now that’s disappointing.. It was only in February that this.. blog.. pointed to the deterioration in the UK’s tax environment, as we slipped from 7th to 13th spot in the WEF’s tax competitiveness league.. Less than a year later, we are being told that tax has become one of the biggest problematic factors in doing business.. Continue reading "UK drifts to 11th in competitiveness league table".. Posted at 10:23 AM in.. September 25, 2007.. IFAC explores growth challenges in medium enterprises.. A draft paper from the International Federation of Accountants has identified the challenges associated with different growth trajectories experienced by medium-sized organisations, writes M Institute correspondent Joe Lickens.. The paper, entitled.. Typical Challenges for Medium-Sized Enterprises and Responses of Professional Accountants in Business.. , is based on the premise that there are three archetypes of medium-sized business: fast growing , stable and under pressure.. The paper is part of a work program providing international good practice guidance to professional accountants in business (PAIB), but is very useful to senior managers in medium-sized organisations as well.. According to the technical manager of the PAIB committee, Vincent Tophoff: Feedback has so far been very positive.. PAIBs from around the globe who have experience with M companies have been interviewed and the lessons learned will be used in conjunction with the paper when it is published.. Continue reading "IFAC explores growth challenges in medium enterprises".. Posted at 11:46 AM in.. April 20, 2007.. Business process outsourcing for midmarket companies.. Phil Fersht, at the time vice president of the BPO Group at Everest Research Institute, lays out the case for how BPO works for medium enterprises.. Continue reading "Business process outsourcing for midmarket companies".. Posted at 10:49 AM in.. December 01, 2006.. Wising up to crowds.. In the consumer world, we have learned to exploit the collective wisdom of a community as part of our on-line buying experience.. Can this wisdom of crowds apply to business communities, asks M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee?.. Tomorrow we will go to the Christmas fair at my daughter s school and attempt to guess how many jelly-beans are in a glass bowl.. It s what you do at school fairs.. What is certain is that no one will guess the right number.. What is also likely is that almost all the answers given by the individuals entering the contest will be far off the mark.. Yet, if it were possible to average the answers across all participants, the resulting mean will be about as good an answer as we can expect all day.. One or two of the girls.. may.. improve on the mean score but they will represent a tiny minority.. How can I be so confident of this result? Just over a century ago , Francis Galton, polymath inventor of the idea of a statistical mean, found that the sort of aggregation used by measures of central tendency (such as the mean, median, etc) results in the removal of errors that individual datapoints could suffer from.. At a country fair near Plymouth, he found a large group of people guessing the dressed weight of a slaughtered bull.. The average across 787 entries turned out to be 1,197 pounds, which turned out to be within a pound of the actual weight of the dressed bull.. Given that the crowd had a few smart people, a few informed people, and a bunch of no-hopers, what right did the average answer across the crowd have any right to be anything but dead wrong?.. Continue reading "Wising up to crowds".. Posted at 10:51 AM in.. November 08, 2006.. Software joinery at work.. Bill Gates calls the gap between personal productivity and business application software the last mile in productivity.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee has been waiting fifteen years for this bridge to be crossed.. I have learned (and continue to learn) a new way of working.. Through the use of portable computing, mobile connectivity and the Internet, my working life has been transformed – and so has the organisation of the rest of my life.. And I am not alone in this, because every single one of you reading this blog will have a similar story to tell.. However, the organisations we work in, with few exceptions, still work in the same way as they used to ten years ago.. Business processes may have got automated along the way, but the engagement between person and process has not changed as much as the changes in personal productivity.. Although I have talked much about this for the past five years, I have felt this was largely a lonely crusade.. Frankly, nobody seemed to care much about the gap between person and process.. This week my crusade acquired a very big gun.. Bill Gates, no less, speaking at the Convergence 2006 event in Munich, trained his rather punchier firepower on what he calls the “last mile of productivity,” which he describes as the gap between personal productivity software and back-end business systems.. Gates’ phraseology may be borrowed from telecoms, and his ambition is certainly shared with every other vendor that has used an Excel link as a fig leaf to paper over the disconnect between personal productivity software and the software that runs the enterprise.. Continue reading "Software joinery at work".. Posted at 10:53 AM in.. November 05, 2006.. Hodge has high hopes for enterprise.. Margaret Hodge is keen to kick-start the spirit of enterprise among Britain s young people.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee asks if this is wise.. Let me place my cards on the table right at the outset.. Fewer than one in eight start-ups make it to their third year in Britain.. In other words, seven out of eight are doomed to fail.. Do we really want to get people out of jobs and employment, give them some government grants and then sit back and watch them fail?.. Margaret Hodge, minister of state for the Department of Trade and Industry, will vehemently disagree with me on this but that, ladies and gentlemen, is her recommended course of action.. OK, I grant you that she would not sit back and watch, but whatever she, or anybody else from government does, the rate of failure of business start-ups has been pretty steady for nigh on three decades.. Continue reading "Hodge has high hopes for enterprise".. Posted at 10:56 AM in.. October 11, 2006.. Should M organisations be listening to Nick Carr?.. Nicholas Carr wants companies to spend less on IT.. M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee ponders that advice on behalf of medium enterprises.. At last week s London debate with Bob McDowell of Microsoft,.. Nicholas Carr.. restated his well-known perspective: IT does not add strategic value to an organisation, so companies should spend less on it, and business leaders should intentionally choose to be IT followers, not leaders.. What was different about this debate from many similar ones was the focus applied to medium organisations.. Carr s usual analysis is based on large enterprises But does this approach work for medium enterprises as well?.. My instinct is that Carr s ideas work better for medium enterprises than they do for larger organisations.. Typical medium enterprises don t have the budget, bandwidth or business practice to justify expensive investments in what Carr calls distinctive technologies.. Instead, they prefer their tech to be low, and their infrastructure commoditised.. Of course, there are at least three caveats that are worth pointing out.. Continue reading "Should M organisations be listening to Nick Carr?".. Posted at 10:59 AM in.. September 17, 2006.. Laying down regulatory burdens.. As far as business is concerned, regulation of any sort is a burden.. How burdensome is the burden, asks Jyoti Banerjee? And what should government be doing about the burden?.. The burden of regulation shows itself in three ways.. One, business carries the burden of much of the interchange between government and its citizens, whether processing tax, tax credits, maternity pay or even alimony payments.. This represents an.. administrative cost.. on businesses for the privilege of being employers.. There is a separate regulatory burden that comes from meeting government policies that relate to public safety, correction of market failures or the promotion of a fair business environment.. This is usually referred to as the.. policy cost of regulation.. Finally, there is a cost borne by business that relates to the policy cost – this is the.. administrative cost of complying with policies.. : getting to know the policies, keeping records on policy issues, reporting on compliance, and costs relating to government inspection and enforcement.. Each of these costs represents separate strands of regulatory burden.. Although it is important to understand the components of the burden of regulation, it is fair to state that, as far as business is concerned, all these costs are taken together when it considers the costs of regulation.. Continue reading "Laying down regulatory burdens".. Posted at 11:04 AM in..

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  • Title: M Institute: Policy-making for medium enterprises
    Descriptive info: Policy-making for medium enterprises.. September 06, 2007.. Conservatives challenge on regulation.. The Conservative party s.. economic competitiveness policy review.. was published this month, dealing with a remarkably broad selection of topics.. The report looks at the current state of transport, skills and training, regulation, energy, the public sector, ownership, and taxation, and offers extensive recommendations for each, ranging from the seemingly banal (the re-phasing of traffic lights) to the controversial (the abolishment of inheritance tax).. The proposals that deal with regulation are perhaps of most interest.. Some are drastic (scrapping data protection, for example) but, overall, the focus on tackling regulatory burden is welcome.. The report argues that often regulation is used to impose practices that businesses, in the interest of competitiveness, already have in place.. Furthermore, it argues that some regulations achieve the opposite of what is intended: in such instances, regulation sometimes produces unintended consequences that are more harmful than the issues the regulations are dealing with.. The report proposes a governmental push for deregulation: new regulations would have to be debated before being implemented and annually reduced regulatory budgets would be given to each department.. The report advocates exemptions, where appropriate, for SMEs.. Unfortunately, in M Institute’s view, the report fails to distinguish between the very different needs of small and medium sized businesses.. Medium businesses usually do not qualify for exemptions and are treated exactly the same as large enterprises.. Posted at 11:51 AM in.. September 04, 2006.. Counting the uncountable.. How many M organisations are there in the UK? M Institute co-founder Jyoti Banerjee ventures an estimate.. In a recent.. , Philip Woodgate opines that that there are 26,000 medium  ...   employ 30% of the British work force, and generate 20% of all corporate profits.. They have no profile in the market, government does not pay them any attention, and they are usually lumped together with small and micro enterprises via the SME label, although they are significantly different from those companies in almost all respects.. Mid-size businesses are in a different ballpark from small businesses.. Mid-size businesses are categorised in most UK analytics as part of the SME grouping.. Continue reading "Extracting M from SME".. Posted at 11:35 AM in.. Digging for M content.. Readers of this blog will be aware that the mid segment in the British economy is badly in need of definition and recognition.. Jyoti Banerjee identifies three layers of information that will help in this process.. The M sector is remarkably well-hidden in the British economy despite its sterling performance as a growth engine.. Its features are well submerged under the SME definition.. In order to get better definition of the M sector, we need at least three distinct layers of information, which in turn need to be configured in a way that will help two key stakeholders: executives of mid-sized organisations, and government.. Layer 1: Macro analysis on economic performance of the M sector.. Macro-economic analysis needs to be generated to help policy-makers understand the benefits that the M sector brings to the economy, particularly in terms of growth, jobs and innovation diffusion.. It would also cover the challenges that they face, particularly where the issues are such that policy-makers can impact on them through their actions and prescriptions.. Continue reading "Digging for M content".. Posted at 11:20 AM in..

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  • Title: M Institute: Sustainability
    Descriptive info: Sustainability.. June 01, 2009.. Copenhagen summit on climate change sees greater US engagement.. A first-hand account on last week s Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, from M Institute co-founder Paul Druckman, who is also chair of the Accounting for Sustainability Group led by the Prince of Wales.. My main recollections from the 2009 World Business Summit on Climate Change coalesce around a few key themes: engagement from the great and good; the Copenhagen Call; an immersion in USA-centric Americans; a lost opportunity to engage with the delegates; but a great initiative that should be applauded and advocated.. The summit opened with Al Gore delivering a performance that we have come to expect, but he did hit the spot, in my view.. His perspective is that business can only operate on the rules constructed by the world’s politicians, who need to reward good corporate behaviour by accounting for externalities.. A great quote from his session: “.. Mother Nature does not do bail outs.. Throughout the summit the focus was on China and the USA because they have such dominant markets but also because they are the new dimension to these talks compared to Kyoto, with both governments becoming major forces for change.. The aviation session left me cold, I am afraid, mostly because of their goal to have “carbon neutral growth” – notice the word growth in that statement.. They just have not got it.. For me, the key speech in the politicians session was from the Chinese Minister who gave a stern warning to the developed world to maintain the “principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.. ” His main position was that current negotiations have still not reached substantial progress, because of  ...   from others, much less expect in a dinner conversation around the table.. The Business action session was entertained by the contribution from Shai Agassi, once the darling of German software giant SAP and now at the sharp end of technology change with his fledgling electric car company.. A great quote from Shai: the one thing we can’t say to God is that we got the carbon pricing wrong.. Shai, though, did bring some more reality to the proceedings by referring to behavioural change in stating that “this is not Google or the iPod which creates a new market.. This is changing the economies and the businesses – get the incentives right.. David Blood from Al Gore’s.. Generation investment vehicle.. couldn t understand why investors in the major capital markets continue to invest in high-carbon companies - instead, he points to low carbon businesses as the future.. I was looking forward to the communications session and was poised with my laptop keyboard to gather some words of wisdom.. Let me say I was somewhat underwhelmed, only absorbing that new media is important and that perhaps people do not respond to fear but to disgust.. The closing session brought attention to the need to be quick, and on a global scale.. Of the developed world, Australia has seen the effects of climate change at first hand and has it as a current imperative.. For other developed countries, it is a message of potential problems rather than having to deal to current disaster - getting the right kind of attention is a challenge, as a result.. Copenhagen Call.. was the finale, important but unfortunately not done with style or any expertise.. Posted at 12:56 PM in..

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