• pic1
  • pic2
  • pic3
  • pic4
  • pic5
  • pic6

Common themes

OvationXL has now worked with clients on well over 300 distinctly different business development opportunities and challenges. Just a few of these crop up time and time again.


Leadership skills for partners, directors and emerging leaders


Most successful managers are also successful leaders, motivating people towards achieving their organisation's strategic and commercial objectives. Many people are promoted purely because of their professional competence… …read more about this topic

Thinking, behaving and directing strategically and commercially

Many entrepreneurs and business leaders are so preoccupied by working in their businesses that they forget to work on their businesses… …read more about this topic

Building trust and ‘buy-in’ for ideas

Leaders know only too well that their business can soon vanish off the map if they fail to respond to market forces. The one constant these days is change. As a successful leader you need a thorough understanding of ways to innovate… …read more about this topic

Managing people

Research shows that only 2% of business isn't delivered as a result of teamwork. Collaboration may be purely internal within your organisation or with your clients and suppliers… …read more about this topic

Business turnaround

OvationXL know of some businesses that perform better during recessions than in the so-called ‘good times’ To achieve this for your business you need to work 'smart' and in a highly focused way …read more about this topic

Easing pressure on team

When left to their own devices teams can become highly stressed, limiting productivity, stifling creativity and eradicating the fun that work can bring… …read more about this topic

Re-assess business structure and processes

Streamlined structures and management processes are essential for creating efficient and cost effective management, and you may benefit from reviewing them annually… …read more about this topic

Board team working with clarity at the top

How do successful boards elevate their collective performance to far outweigh the sum of the individual contributions of the directors? How do boards work together optimally so that friction is minimised and output is high? … …read more about this topic

Successful public speaking

Have you wondered what qualities make a truly great public speaker? How is it that some people seem so natural, confident, interesting and engaging, when most don't? How do successful speakers captivate their audience and get people talking afterwards? … …read more about this topic

Exit and succession planning

As the UK's workforce becomes older, the task of finding experienced successors for key management roles gets tougher… …read more about this topic

Redundancy, de-equitisation plus dealing with under-performance

Many leaders find discussions about under-performance, or the need to move people on, extremely tough… …read more about this topic

Reputation as preferred employer

Jack Welsh once said "if you can create an organisation where people really want to work you have got your hands on one of the most powerful competitive advantages in the game: the ability to hire and field the best team"… …read more about this topic

Run decisive meetings

Research suggests that businesses waste millions of pounds every month by holding unnecessary or unproductive meetings… …read more about this topic


Winning new business and business development

Winning new business

Do professionals sell? Whatever the answer it's almost certainly time to increase the quality and success rate of your new business activities - and suffer fewer lost opportunities… …read more about this topic

‘Personal branding’– self-promotion through key messages

It's no longer sufficient to be technically adept. To move up the ladder you need to self-promote. You know that you want to be more successful and yet you're not sure what more you can do to achieve this… …read more about this topic

Influence & persuade to get 'buy in' for your ideas

A core competence of anyone in management or sales is the ability to persuade and influence. Businesses waste millions of pounds through internal indecision or by not dealing correctly with a client’s endless procrastination… …read more about this topic

Networking time-effectively

Many organisations claim that effective networking is one of their most cost effective ways for winning new business. Some successful people are natural networkers whilst others require coaching… …read more about this topic

Focus on your top 20% - refreshing existing and lapsed client relationships

Pareto's law suggests that the top 20% of almost anything equates to 80% of the benefit. So how can you maximise profitability from your best clients? … …read more about this topic

Persuasive bids, tenders & proposals

Almost all partners, directors and managers have a role in writing proposals. It is one important part of the process of winning new business - the seed corn of prospering enterprises… …read more about this topic

Selling skills for non-sales people

Many senior lawyers and other business professionals were not given any training to promote and develop their services to new or existing clients. Even today some technically experienced professionals pooh-pooh the widely-held thinking that it is an expected core competency of staff (at every level) to new win business… …read more about this topic


Time to climb - personal impact and effectiveness

Self confidence, self worth, status and resilience

Raising self confidence and learning how to become less sensitive to criticism is one of the most common requests that we receive… …read more about this topic

Self awareness - understanding your impact on others

Self-awareness is one of the top scoring requests that OvationXL receive. Senior management may be unused to receiving candid feedback on their style and mannerisms… …read more about this topic

Advanced communication skills to get 'buy in' for your ideas

Most business leaders find this topic enthralling. You learn about your own communication style and how it differs from others… …read more about this topic

Adding value to help secure my future

As businesses constantly evolve, some people get left behind. Businesses constantly adapt to ever-changing markets, the threat of declining revenues, shorter product life cycles and the need for performance improvement efficiencies… …read more about this topic

Successful interview techniques

Business people are interviewed during pitches to win new business as well as during those moments when they seek promotion or change. Have you ever wondered about the reasons that some people are able to get the job they want time and time again, or they consistently win the deal, whilst others invariably don't? … …read more about this topic

Build rapport with people unlike you though conversation and body language. Understand others’ agenda to get idea blockers on side

All business is conducted between people - not businesses. Therefore an ability to build on-going profitable relationships, internally and externally, is crucial to accelerating your own success. Bu… …read more about this topic

Preparing for and delivering key meetings, persuasive bids,
tenders, pitches and presentations

Almost all partners, directors and managers have a role in writing and presenting proposals. It is one important dimension to the process of winning new business – the seed corn of any prospering enterprise… …read more about this topic

Solving problems quicker by learning positively from mistakes

The ability to be decisive and to solve a problem within an appropriate time frame is a core skill for anyone in business. Often decisions need to be taken by a team rather than just one person - the knowledge of a team is usually far greater than the knowledge of just one person… …read more about this topic

Understanding and succeeding in my new role

In this time-scarce world, OvationXL coach leaders and managers to understand their new roles and to provide guidance on those parts of their jobs that are to generate the greatest value to their business… …read more about this topic

Consultancy skills

An ability to provide pragmatic advice and support to external clients or internal colleagues is regarded by many leaders as a core skill to be nurtured… …read more about this topic

Disruptive innovation 'outside the box'

Businesses attach a high value to processes that create innovation-driven growth - maybe by developing niche markets that reduce competition for which premium rates can be charged… …read more about this topic

Project management

What are the secrets of running a successful project? This topic will interest project managers and anyone tasked with delivering complex initiatives … …read more about this topic

360 degree assessments

Are you considering introducing 360 degree appraisals into your organisation? If you are, OvationXL can support you at each stage… …read more about this topic


Life’s choices

Expand interests outside of work

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Pressures on highly intelligent leaders can turn your work life into an addiction without you noticing. Work becomes all-involving… …read more about this topic

Work/life balance and success

Work-life balance is about people having a measure of control over when, where and how they work. It is only properly achieved when an individual's right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected… …read more about this topic

Life coaching

Every sportsperson recognises the need to train regularly to stay at his or her peak performance and yet most of us don't apply the same logic to our lives… …read more about this topic

Pre and post maternity leave advice

The prospect of maternity leave or returning to work can be stressful. Most human beings are more comfortable with the status quo. All sorts of fears (most turn out to be irrational) can enter one's head… …read more about this topic


Deal with distractions

Waste of time management

Unsurprisingly time management is a top theme for a great many leaders and senior managers. How we use our time is a critical skill if we are to consistently achieve the results we need in the workplace… …read more about this topic

Back in control with more energy and less stress

Stress, pressure and bullying each block optimum performance at work in different ways. Stress and pressure are a part of everyday life and are not always a negative influence… …read more about this topic

Bolder, more proactive and less defensive

Most leaders have considerable untapped potential that is ready to be unlocked. Many get through their working lives by side-stepping conflict… …read more about this topic

In control of emotions

Many people live a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ existence; one moment calm and approachable and then switching to someone who comes across as frightening and out of control. Emotional conflict makes you extremely hard to work with… …read more about this topic

Perceptions & slurs - how to deal with them

We used to find it surprising how many Directors/Partners/Managers complained that they were victims of unfair perceptions of their personality/style. To move forward you can be coached to deal professionally with damaging perceptions… …read more about this topic

Raising ambition, motivation and ‘hunger’

Boredom can strike at any time and can be immensely destructive. The good news is that it is possible become re-motivated and ‘hungry’ again without necessarily moving jobs… …read more about this topic

Behavioural change

People are often blissfully unaware how their personality negatively impacts on those around them. Yet even the most successful people have negative traits or behaviours that can be corrected to mutual advantage… …read more about this topic

Trusted to reliably deliver projects on time, every time

Delivering projects on time, every time, builds trust. Conversely, getting a reputation for delivering late erodes trust and creates a great deal of frustration with your peers… …read more about this topic

Using humour appropriately

People have different degrees of humour and what someone finds funny others find abhorrent. It is safer to err on the side of caution and be respectful at all times… …read more about this topic

Challenges with own parents, partner or children

Leaders are just the same underneath and certainly not immune to the stresses and strains of normal family life… …read more about this topic

Fear of failure

It is human nature to have occasional self-doubts. For some people, however, fear of failing becomes so overwhelming that it can sometimes prevent them from completing even simple tasks… …read more about this topic

Chasing clients for fees

Chasing slow paying or non-paying clients is a phobia shared by many professionals and yet it is only fair to be paid in a timely manner for the professional services that you or your team has provided… …read more about this topic

Coping with office politics

Business is JUST a game. If you’re not enjoying it then you are doing something wrong. You haven’t understood the rules that others are already following… …read more about this topic

Deference to authority

The roots of deference to authority may go back to your early career or even childhood. Being overly deferential can take away from thinking strategically and commercially which is what is needed at a senior level… …read more about this topic

Professional intervention of a personal or workplace crisis

Senior executives and other key personnel may encounter personal crises of one sort or another just like everyone else. Failing to support your key employees at times of personal crisis can have a negative impact on their colleagues and on your business… …read more about this topic

Controlling use of power & assertiveness

There are many different styles of leadership and management. Not all are good. Some people raise their voices to get their points across; others are unable or unwilling to provide any direct feedback to their team… …read more about this topic


First understand 'you'

Set SMART goals

The main reason most people drop goals, including New Year's resolutions, is that most people do not know how to define them sufficiently for them to stick… …read more about this topic

Strengths, weaknesses & values

A great starting point to most 1-2-1 business performance coaching is a rapid analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats… …read more about this topic