Brexit, the General Election and the Parliamentary Process

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A few weeks ago I published a guide to how the official Brexit process will mesh with the work Government and Parliament must do to ensure that EU law has been replaced or incorporated by March 2019. I've now updated it to take into account the General Election and the impact that will have (the timing is pretty good in terms of the negotiations but it will further limit time available to scrutinise key legislation such as the Great Reform Bill). There are a few new dates for your diary: Queen's Speech likely w/c 19 June Select Committee Chairs, including for the Committee for Exiting the European Union, likely to be elected w/c 16 July If we're lucky Select Committee members will be appointed before the Commons rises for the…
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The timetable for Brexit and the Parliamentary Process

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Building on last week's articles I wanted to provide some clarity as to how the official Brexit process will mesh with the work Government and Parliament must do to ensure that EU law has been replaced or incorporated by March 2019. This document brings together everything we know or can assume about the timetable, including estimates of when the Great Repeal Bill will go through its various stages in Parliament, when consultations will take place, and when secondary legislation will be laid before Parliament. This is important to know - if organisations do not know what to expect, they may miss an opportunity to scrutinise and respond to, or simply plan for, proposed changes. This will further weaken the legislative process - civil servants drafting the legislation will not receive…
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How messy could it get trying to hold an early General Election

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You know you’ve enjoyed an article when it starts sparking ideas, and John Rowland’s consistently excellent blog did just that tonight. In his article – ‘After NICS: are we heading for another General Election?’ – John explores the debate about the logic of Theresa May going to the country to “secure a solid and more biddable majority”. John’s opinion is that “May wouldn’t want the fuss and disruption of an election if she can avoid it”, but a colleague of his has money riding on a 2017 election. Separate of the politics of such a decision, would this be possible? One of the things the Whips Office gave me was a great love of plotting out the sheer practicalities of getting business done. I therefore wanted to provide a bit…
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Essential skills and behaviours for public affairs consultants

All entries, Career development
  This self-assessment tool is designed to help you focus on your development; to identify your strengths and where you may be weaker. It's based on seven key areas and the behaviours and skills a consultant, working in an agency environment, would ideally be able to demonstrate. Click on the picture to find out more.  [caption id="attachment_440" align="alignright" width="879"] Assess your strengths and areas for development[/caption]  
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How good are you really at managing your self?

All entries, Effective working, Handling stress
Struggling to find time? Maybe it’s time to look in detail at what’s going on. We all love a quick self-assessment. Developed for one of my workshops, it takes no more than 5 minutes and allows you to score your strength in time management, and will help to raise your awareness of where things may not be quite as you would like and to take action. How good are you at managing your self? Click the image to find out
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Minds turned to ash: looking at the roots of burnout

All entries, Handling stress
On World Mental Health day, Monday 10 October, together with the Institute of Pscyhoanalysis, and in association with the APPC and the PRCA, I'll be launching a fund to provide high quality initial mental health support to young people in our industry. We hope that it will also be an opportunity to raise awareness of how mental health can affect those in our industry, just as it can affect anyone, anywhere, and to identify that there are things we can do to help move things forward. I'm particularly delighted that we'll be joined by psychoanalyst Professor Josh Cohen. You may have seen his recent article for the Economist on the subject of burnout, and from earlier this summer. Whilst mental health issues will vary, his comments on burnout seemed particularly appropriate for the…
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The 3 Cs of Client Care

All entries, Client relationships
This article is based on three premises: All public affairs practitioners have clients, whether or not they work for an agency. Agencies have explicit commercial contracts with clients, but in-house there is an implicit contract – we are in a support role helping an organisation achieve its objectives and our clients are our internal stakeholders. How the relationship develops with each client will have significant ramifications for you, your role, your job satisfaction and your stress levels.  It is therefore worth raising our awareness of how those relationships are developing, and what we can do to strengthen them.  To help with this I’d like to share a model I use as part of the Confidence with Clients workshop. It’s rooted in my experiences as a client, running an agency, and leading…
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Your best party conference ever!

All entries, Confidence, Networking
(This article has been inspired by the excellent work of Women in Public Affairs and their upcoming event on Wednesday 14th September with Elin de Zoete and Emily Walch, which I thoroughly recommend) Around this time of year, a common theme in coaching sessions is how clients can make the most out of party conferences. It’s a focus not only for my younger clients, but also those who are seasoned professionals, looking to review their approach after many years of the conference circuit. This exercise is designed to give you some room to think and to have the party conference experience you want. You’ll need pen and paper, and 10 to 20 minutes in a quiet spot. If you'd prefer to download the worksheet you can find it here. What does ‘good’ look…
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Reflections on the year

All entries, Company news
A year ago I was preparing to launch the business publicly. Many felt I was taking a big risk, but I had this hunch that it was the right thing to do: that not only might it be very fulfilling, but it would also meet a need in our sector. I’m glad to say that others felt the same - and I’ve been delighted to work with some very capable, resourceful people, helping them to articulate and achieve their goals. I also worked on my own development and qualifications, building on my Public Affairs experience by training with the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and the Coaching Academy. Clients have included: Ambitious and fast growing agencies. Working with their senior leadership to help develop their people, so that they…
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