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Posted on Jun 8, 2014 by dave in General

19 Things I Learned On A Training Day For Spies

19 Things I Learned On A Training Day For Spies

Or: how you too can fail to become Jason Bourne in just a few hours.posted on Feb. 28, 2014, at 1:36 p.m.

1. I learned that there is a secret spy training centre in Soho.

This is a slight exaggeration. These are the offices of a PR company, who wanted to plug a new series that’s out on DVD and Blu-Ray, and to do so they hired in some ex-spies and soldiers to teach journalists how to be James Bond. I thought I’d spotted a gem of an opportunity and took them up on this.

It turned out pretty much every other publication, all the way from the Sunday Sportto Vice to the Telegraph - had also taken up the offer. What I assumed was going to be intimate, personalised training was actually going to be a sort of corporate away day for hacks who wanted to laugh at each other.

Posted on Mar 8, 2014 by dave in Articles

Could you be a honeytrapper? Reveal goes undercover...

Could you be a honeytrapper? Reveal goes undercover...

Reveal sends senior features writer, Sarah Whiteley, to spy school, where she discovers there's a lot more to discovering covert information than a pair of high heels and a tight dress

"Taking a sip of wine, I scan the bar and, catching sight of a couple of good-looking guys in their early 30s, I nudge the girl sitting next to me.

'What about them?' I murmur discreetly. As they glance over, we both smile invitingly (or at least we hope it's invitingly, rather than manically) and decide to make our move.

Posted on Feb 17, 2014 by dave in Press Releases

Jack Ryan Recruits Empire Magazine's Chris Hewitt

Chris Hewitt: Shadow Recruit

Somebody’s pulling me close to the ground. I can hear, but I can’t see.

The immortal words of Carlito Brigante, there, but right now they apply equally to me. I am being pulled close to the ground - dragged along a corridor by two burly goons who keep telling me to shut up every time I ask where we are - and I can hear, but I can’t see, thanks to the hood they’ve thrust over my head. The black isn’t quite of the pitch variety, but it’s damn close, and my breathing is very loud. Probably because I’m breathing quite fast. You tend to breathe quite fast when two burly goons drag you out of a car and pull a hood over your hood, just the capper to a day during which I’ve been stalked, chased, shot at and kidnapped.

They drag me into a room. It’s deathly quiet. They plonk me into a chair. Silence. All there is is my breathing. Then they whip the hood off and, after my eyes have adjusted to the shining light, I see the evil mastermind behind the whole nefarious scheme.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

A typical Monday for me goes something like this. I wake up, I potter around the flat for a bit, I get dressed and go into work where we have an issue meeting at 10am.

This is not a typical Monday.

Posted on Jan 27, 2014 by dave in General

We jumped aboard Britain’s last surviving WWII cruiser for a night of code-cracking.

Tried & Tested: I Spy

We jumped aboard Britain’s last surviving WWII cruiser for a night of code-cracking.

HMS Belfast. Stop. 16.09.13. Stop. 6pm. Stop. And that was all we were told. Need-to-know basis – very hush-hush. Spy Games had made the effort to come down from their stronghold in Milton Keynes, so it was the least we could do to wander (furtively) a couple of miles downriver from our Vauxhall HQ.

Posted on Jan 2, 2014 by dave in General

Made In Chelsea's Binky and Lucy talk girl power as they're put through their paces on combat training course

Made In Chelsea's Binky and Lucy talk girl power as they're put through their paces on combat training course

Exclusive interview with Binky and Lucy: Combat training with the girls plus the DVD release of The Heat.

By Maria Nichol | Yahoo Contributor Network – Thu, Nov 28, 2013 16:37 GMT
As 'The Heat' hit DVD shelves on Friday, I got the opportunity to attend a special female cop combat training day alongside stars of 'Made in Chelsea' Lucy Watson and Alexandra Felstead (Binky) in celebration of the film's release.

Posted on Oct 10, 2013 by dave in General

How to be a secret agent: A day at spy school with Homeland season 2

How to be a secret agent: A day at spy school with Homeland season 2

Ever wondered what it's like to be a secret agent? One of our ITN reporters found out, and it's not as fun as James Bond makes it look. Homeland season 2 is out on DVD in the UK on September 23, so we sent our reporter to get tortured and chase suspects at spy school

Posted on Sep 26, 2013 by dave in Articles

Individualism vs. Teamwork

As you travel around corporate America these days, you hear a lot about "teams"; that groups, departments or whole divisions are trying to behave more as a team as opposed to a group of individuals. Its the latest catch phrase du jour. I guess someone finally figured out the power of teamwork. But just how much of this represents sincere efforts? My corporate contacts tell me its mostly facade. They contend they get some nifty new corporate shirts and some great pep talks, but aside from this, little else. As much as corporations tout the need for teamwork, most still encourage rugged individualism.

Posted on Sep 2, 2013 by dave in Articles

Business Process Consulting – Five Critical Steps in Corporate Team Building

A well-designed house starts with a solid foundation so that it can withstand the challenges of its environment. But even before the foundation is laid or the first nail is hammered, we must first have a model or a picture in our mind’s eye of the completed project. Locking in a solid foundation is likewise critical for Corporate Team Building. Individual team members must prepare themselves by making a commitment to ongoing and continual self-examination, learning, planning and execution.

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Gaining Commitment Or Compliance From Your Team? Some Guidelines for Team Decision Making

Rob worked as a qualified, but junior physiotherapist in a busy hospital. He along with three of his colleagues were asked by their manager to discuss amongst themselves how they would like their rosters to be organised (i.e. who would do what shifts etc.) and put forward their proposal. Rob and his colleagues were very happy with their final choices as they had considered all of their personal and professional needs and felt that their decision was the best for all. A day before the new rosters were to start, Rob found out by rumour during his lunch break that their roster recommendations were not to be implemented. Worse still, the rosters decided on by their manager did not suit any of the four. This decision by their manager resulted in a severe lowering of morale within the team and created a culture of mistrust with management. In future, they would be very wary of any suggestion from management.

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 by dave in Articles

Team Building – The Only Way to Succeed

A great way to build a stronger team is to increase the understanding that every member has with regard to the part they play in the team and the part that all other members play. The more a person knows about how they contribute to the whole the more motivation they will have to do their best. If everyone does their best the teams will always succeed. It is just that easy.

Posted on Jul 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Health & Safety on Team Building Events

The UK has some of the most stringent Health & Safety standards in the World. Most blue chip companies go even further than the prescribed standards to ensure the wellbeing of their employees. Yet the majority of companies employ team building providers without checking on their own policies and procedures. In effect they are handing over the wellbeing of their employees to companies who do not have the same standards as they do and in some cases companies who have no standards at all.

Posted on Jul 6, 2013 by dave in Articles

Team Leadership - Lead Your Team, Don't Manage It

Team management in the context of setting tasks, prioritizing, monitoring progress, agreeing and setting performance measures is all relatively straightforward.

If you don't agree - get help now!

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Removing Mediocrity from Business Teams

If you run a company and you run it like a sports team or Navy Seals Special Team, well then you should be congratulated indeed. It is that level of commitment, which can win markets in business thru streamlined efficiency in Management at all levels and camaraderie at the front desk and line workers. We all know this is true, but how come when the team’s engine is firing on all cylinders is it so obvious?

Posted on Jun 8, 2013 by dave in Articles

Broken Teams Damage Your Business

A profitable business bottom line depends on effective teaming as much today as it ever did; yet, “effective teaming” may be destined to be no more than another irrelevant buzz phrase, because by and large teams are still dysfunctional and broken.

Posted on May 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Business Team Work and Super Stars

Have you ever been on a business team and noticed that the other team members do not pull their weight? Have you noticed them sloughing off responsibility or even ethics to get their workload share done faster, but turning in a half-baked effort?

Posted on May 7, 2013 by dave in Articles

Interviewing - The Single Most Important Question To Ask

When prospective employees are being interviewed, they are asked about their past employment. But they are usually asked about what they did. These answers may be shaded to reflect a well..... favorable impression. Sometimes the answers won't be truthful. Don't you really want to know how well they are going to get along with you and your group after they've been hired?

Posted on Apr 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Teamwork...Bizz Buzz or Biz Bust?

What is a team anyway?
One of the most popular of business buzz concepts for many years now has been teamwork. We are always looking to be part of a team, seeking leaders who can develop teams and hunting for employees who aspire to be team players. Team is derived from the use of oxen or bullocks shackled together to create a focused, shared force, for transporting heavy materials. I like to think of a team in a different way. A team is made up of individual stories; it is more than a group of people who have willingly set aside their egos; it is about not having or being a boss. A team is a collective of individuals each of whom contributes to the working of the whole. A team is in fact a living entity.

Posted on Apr 5, 2013 by dave in Articles

101 Ways to Motivate, Energise and Inspire Your Team

Here is a long list of effective and simple incentives for your team.

At the conclusion of an incentive program, it is important to assess how successful it was. Did you get the results you wanted? One of the best ways to judge the program's effectiveness, besides considering your own observations, is to get feedback from the reps and administrators involved. You want to be sure that your directions were communicated clearly and at the right intervals, that the rewards were appealing and sparked interest and drive, that your team members felt supported and prepared to take on the challenges being presented, that the program boosted morale, team effort, energy and creativity, etc.

Posted on Mar 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Team Building - Your Way to Success

Companies have always wanted to improve their profits and their efficiency. For this reason years ago larger companies decided to look inward instead of outward to improve their company. These people found that the more of a cohesive bunch their employees were the better they worked together. The better the employees work together the higher the level of efficiency and production will happen. The companies discovered that the better the employee efficiency and production the higher the profits. This led to the development of programs to help the personnel work better together.

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 by dave in Articles

Attitude is Infectious - So Inject Your Team with Joy

Take time to enjoy your leadership role and take the necessary action to infect those around you with joy.

Teams take their attitude from their leader, so be as positive and upbeat as you can. People will naturally absorb and adopt your energy level; if you are “down”, it can worry them and bring them down as well. Be honest – do not put up a false front in the middle of a crisis - but try and put a positive slant on things wherever you can.

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 by dave in Articles

Team Building - Not Just For Sports

Most people think that a team is a group of people gathered together with a particular goal in common. In a way that is right but in many ways tat is very wrong. A group of individuals that are working together without a clear understanding of how they fit into the whole and how everyone else fits into the whole cannot possibly work in symphony and be a truly cohesive team. Now on the other end of the equation we have a group that has an intimate knowledge of how they contribute to the goal and how the other team members contribute to the final result. This group of people can be considered a team since they truly work together, not just work in close proximity.

Posted on Feb 3, 2013 by dave in Articles

Ensuring Effective Teamwork in Organisation

It has been becoming a common practice in organizations to produce high productive results through ensuring effective teamwork. Many experts have argued that teamwork is really an effective tool in organisations where work is highly interconnected and demands up to date information sharing. For that purpose, it is imperative to first build an effective team and second to motivate them in various monetary and non monetary ways to gain maximum output.

Posted on Jan 27, 2013 by dave in Articles

The Changing Face of the Stag Do

Those twenty-somethings just now experiencing their friends getting married may be surprised at the kind of stag weekends that are being thrown these days. Gone is the stereotypical night down the pub with a cheap stripper or sleazy and embarrassing kissogram ending up gaffer taped naked to a city centre lamp post. Instead, the modern stag do is much more tasteful (usually) definitely more varied, much more suited to individual taste and much much longer.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 by dave in Articles

Understanding Group Dynamics - Stages of Team Growth

Before we actually look at what is commonly regarded as the 4 stages of team growth, it's worth spending some time understanding the team dynamics when, for example

The team gets together for the first time

  • Someone leaves and someone joins an established team
  • The team leader is replaced by an "outsider"
  • The team leader is replaced by a current team member

Posted on Nov 23, 2012 by dave in General

The Benefits of Team Building

Few of us work entirely alone and unsupported - even James Bond 007 has M briefing him and Q providing the tools to help him to get the job done...