Bringing the LWC LENS into focus

I start 2012 with a new look, one that builds on the past and shines a confident light on the future. New possibilities, new ideas, renewed energy and heightened enthusiasm are currently being brought to bear on the development of my business. I enter the next phase of my business knowing that all good things are possible.

LENS… Learning, Energising, Networking and Supporting … is my personal acronym for my business platform and will form the foundation of this and future blogs.

Learning is the keystone to what we all do whether this is through formal involvement in training programs or picking up ideas during a meeting, seminar or conference, and all opportunities in between. We can only help our clients if we recognise what we need to learn and take steps to somehow acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. The next trick of course is to take what we have learned and apply it in some useful and beneficial way for our own and our clients’ businesses! We then become energised and can give our clients and their employees the added impact and energy to move forward with new ideas and skills. Future thoughts will talk about quality assurance and business improvements and the steps LWC is taking to make this standard practice.

Networking is incredibly important in our sector, and as business people we should reach out and grab every chance for constructive networking. There are some fabulous opportunities for networking in the cleaning and facilities management industries. We are always delighted to share our news and best practices with each other, and I see this blog as an excellent networking tool, with Linkedin and Twitter playing an important role too. It is impossible to underestimate the value of networking to any business person, whether this is through face to face meetings and encounters or via the technology which becomes an increasing feature of our working lives. Local networks are valuable too in terms of keeping your finger on the regional pulse. Forward Ladies is one such network that does great work in many regions and in which I am determined to be more involved this year.

As the year progresses the support that LWC consistently offers its clients continues, with an increased recognition that it is essential to work hard to fully understand the issues that face. It will be a challenging time for most, and at the forefront of everyone’s mind is how best to ensure consistent quality service. This is certainly at the forefront of my own mind as I develop my plans for the year ahead.

I recently contributed to a debate for making savings in cleaning services and cost cutting measures. It is a time to be brave, stand up and be counted and actually say “we cannot cut any more!” There is a danger of service providers being tarnished with poor cleaning outcomes through no apparent fault of their own when frequencies are reduced and SLA’s are slashed to the bone. It could be time to suggest ‘which page of the spec should I tear out’ or ‘which area of the building do you not want cleaning’ …..? LWC looks to help and support clients in asking the hard questions and making the difficult decisions whilst maintaining a ‘best value’ and ‘compliant’ service.

The start of a new year is always a time of reflection, and as I cast an eye back over 2011 I have to say that it was an amazing time for me personally. 2011 was a year of personal achievement and recognition that has left me feeling both honoured and proud.

A spring highlight was being listed as one of the Top 100 Most influential Women in Hospitality, Travel, Leisure and Tourism by People 1st. The awards ceremony at the recently refurbished Savoy Hotel gave all the guests a night to remember and a great platform for moving forward. Women 1st was launched in January and we look toward developing mentoring schemes for other women in the sector, helping them to strive for success and achievement. I am personally hoping to become a mentor inYorkshire, so if anyone is interested in pursuing this please contact me.

It was the second year of my term in office as the National Chairman of British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) where we embarked on the celebrations of the Institute’s Golden Jubilee; from formal lunches and a church service, to an Educational Conference and various regional events culminating in the Annual Awards Dinner it was a fabulous high on which to leave the Chair.

The question of what does one do with a wardrobe of evening dresses remains unanswered! And a word of advice for other female professionals: try and negotiate a dress allowance if you take on a similar role. Men can wear the same dinner suit and black tie (and hopefully a clean shirt) but women will always need a different outfit for the photographs – someone is sure to comment if they wear the same dress too often! I may venture onto Ebay with my fairly extensive collection.

The standout feature for me, and not just for the year, was to be awarded the Sholom Gordon award, for Outstanding Contribution to The Industry, as I stood down as the Chairman. This is a great honour and one that I treasure.

As I bring the LENS fully into focus for this year I find myself asking, ‘what will it bring for each of us?’ I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the year ahead.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 11:53 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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