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chase25: The Verdict

6th August 2018

Michael Webb established the Charities and Associations Exhibition, known thereafter as CHASE in 1991, and kept it going for an astonishing 24 years! ...


Cyber-risk: What is it and How Can Associations Protect Themselves?

3rd April 2018

Figures revealed by the Financial Conduct Authority’s head of technology, resilience and cyber, Robin Jones, in a speech on 25 January 2018, show that...


CHASE Away Winter Blues

8th February 2018

Glenda Parker, Rob Dobell, and Allen Reid of Hart Square, gathered together a ‘coalition of the willing’ in London recently to launch the CHASE 25than...


Doughnut Economics

21st November 2017

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century EconomistKate Raworth


Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories

14th November 2017

If you’ve ever felt disadvantaged by imperfect knowledge of the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century; ever been party to a conv...

Public Affairs

Jewellers: Let’s Get Planting!

24th July 2017

Since the turn of the century jewellers have come under sustained pressure from campaign groups to consider the human and environmental costs involved...


Book Review: Client Earth – Building an Ecological Civilisation

23rd July 2017

 Client Earth are activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet: using environmental law to protect oceans, forests, and other habitats as w...


THINKTANK: Curtains for Cash?

23rd July 2017

Is it All Over for Cash?   I make contactless payments just like anybody else, and it always alarms me to hear the person next in line decline their r...


Why CRM Projects Succeed or Fail?

10th July 2017

At the back-end of 2009 I signed the go-ahead for a CRM system that was going to integrate all my association’s systems, including membership, trainin...


NetXtra Breakfast Club ‘MIND THE DIGITAL GAP’

10th July 2017

The phrase “Mind the Gap” was coined in about 1968 as an automated announcement, after it became impractical for drivers and station atten...


THINKTANK: DATA – Democratic or Divisive?

21st June 2017

It Does You Good The flavour of the month may be data, especially in its ‘big’ form. But are we deluding ourselves into believing that big is always b...


THINK TANK: All in Favour Say Aye! : Associations’ Digital Democracy Dilemma

22nd January 2017

As recent events – such as allegations of Russian electoral hacking – have proved, the merest hint of uncertainty over the conduct or legality o...


Book Review

16th January 2017

Keep those brain cells active! Here are two titles to make you think: keeping you on your toes until we see you again in the New Year! They may not be...


Disruptive or Destructive: Associations Technological Balancing Act

16th January 2017

What does the brave new world of disruptive technology have in store for trade associations? Will they have a future purpose, and how will they justif...


Is Yours an Über Association?

16th January 2017

Before the headline-grabbing taxi App misappropriated the word for its own purposes über – the German prefix – had become a term to denote something o...


Association Collusion Model?

6th June 2016

According to recent reports in The Guardian the Association of Model Agencies (AMA) has about three months to submit their responses to allegations by...


Jewellers: Prevent theft with Medusa.

26th April 2016

Selling jewellery involves the risk of theft!  That it is easily transportable, can be recycled, or broken down into component parts, and still repres...


FLUX: Fair Luxury

25th April 2016

Thirteen years as CEO of the now defunct National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) and I was beginning to experience a sense of frustration that the de...


A Gem of an Idea!

11th April 2016

The jewellery industry has been angst-ridden for most of the current century over the moral, ethical, and environmental damage done by the exploitatio...


Disruptive Diamonds

9th February 2016

For most of the twenty-first century the jewellery industry has agonised over the moral, ethical, and environmental damage done by the exploitation of...


Associations: Adapting to the ‘Uber’ World

14th January 2016

What does the brave new world of disruptive technology have in store for trade associations? Will they have a future purpose, and how will they justif...


Getting a Buzz out of Jewellery Drones?

14th December 2015

The jewellery trade press are reporting that a business owner in the U S has completed what is thought to be the first ever drone-delivery undertaken ...


Associations: risk it or list it?

18th November 2015

Nobody expects the unexpected, but you can at least try and plan for it! Opening up the building after the Christmas shut down a few years ago I disco...


Association Meetings: Virtual or Interminable?

10th November 2015

Do you have virtual meetings? By that I don’t mean ones where virtually no-one shows up, but ones where decisions are made by email only. It appears t...


All in Your Head? Qualities of an Association Chief

3rd November 2015

What does an association CEO actually do? Good question! A combination of politician, ambassador, tactician, and showman you might say. And a small bu...


Skilled Navigation for Associations

30th September 2015

Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” whilst Thomas Edison is credited with, “I have not failed. I’v...


All Aboard the Association!

21st September 2015

It may be flattering to be asked to join your trade association’s board but it could also be a very bad career move. So, before joining, you should co...


Dysfunctional by Association

9th September 2015

Sports Direct is facing heavy criticism in the press. Its board labelled as dysfunctional by the Institute of Directors (IoD) for failing, among other...


Associations’ Digital Democracy Dilemma

26th August 2015

As the Labour leadership contest proved, the merest hint of uncertainty over the conduct or legality of a selection process can seriously damage the c...


Strained Relations in Associations

13th August 2015

Association executives will all have experienced difficulties with presidents, chairmen, or directors. They are a mixed bunch and over the years the g...


Block Jewel Thieves with Medusa

12th July 2015

Hilaire O’Shea is a man who has spent most of his professional life dying bank notes lurid colours or sticking them together into inseparable lumps. N...


They Paved Paradise

14th May 2015

I love trees, and one of the great things about London – compared with other cities – is it’s green spaces and tree lined streets. So I’d like to see ...


Silence: The Future of Luxury?

25th April 2015

The opening of the new V & A exhibition – What is Luxury? – has got the press into a lather this week trying to decide what constitute...


Retail’s Richest: All In It Together!

23rd April 2015

As a nation we seem to have a developed a thirst for lists and superlatives, and TV shows ranking everything from top ten records, funniest comedians,...


Dash for Drones?

16th April 2015

Was it an April Fools stunt? When launched on the first of the month, some commentators thought Amazon’s new Dash service was just that. But it isn’t!...

Public Affairs

Ethical, Transparent, Traceable: Who Says?

10th November 2014

“Is armed conflict always wrong? What is child labour, and is it always wrong? If gemstones come from land taken from indigenous people without compen...


Sticky Wicket for Associations

28th October 2014

So, as a membership organisation, trade association, or professional body, your world is changing. Your role as gatekeeper to privileged information h...


Long Slow Road to Ethical Jewellery

24th October 2014

It came as a shock to realise that over ten years have passed since a conversation between Greg Valerio and I that led to the Joint Ethics Committee U...


Wake Me Up When It’s Over: Association Merger Talks Don’t Inspire

11th September 2014

With echoes of the Scottish referendum, the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) and the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) issued – accor...

Public Affairs

Co-op’s Ethical Title: A Message for Jewellers?

6th August 2014

The Co-operative Group has been voted the most ethical company over twenty-five years despite a recent crop of scandals including those at its bank th...


Summoned by Bells

12th June 2014

Regent Street is to become the first shopping street in Europe to pioneer a mobile telephone app which delivers personalised promotions to visitors. C...


Internet of Things?

3rd June 2014

OK, so retailers have got face scanning technology, and the self-service checkout, what next? Zooming right to the top of the list of stuff we didn...


Phone Fatigue

19th May 2014

About 9.30 a.m. on Bank Holiday Monday my home telephone rang, and I answered it cheerily, thinking it was an offspring anxious to share his latest tr...

Public Affairs

Cracking Wheeze Grommit!

15th May 2014

Man’s capacity for finding ‘miracle’ solutions for problems of his own making never ceases to amaze me! The latest wheeze involves what the Daily Tele...


Don’t Crunch the Gears Engaging with Social Networks!

29th April 2014

Every trade association or membership organisation should have a social media presence, right? Yes, but think hard before leaping in! It’s not somethi...

Public Affairs

No Rest Required!

12th April 2014

The big retailers are making another of their periodic attempts to abolish Sunday Trading restrictions.  But why? According to the Daily Mail, Philip ...

Public Affairs

Court in the Act!

13th March 2014

It seems that on-the-spot justice is back on the agenda again. But isn’t right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange just putting old ideas in new ...


High noon on the high street

27th January 2014

A couple of weeks ago I wrote (Wait for it…wait for it!) about the  adrenaline kick from the instant gratification provided by shopping; remarki...


Let them eat cake! Or is that corned beef?

13th January 2014

Thirteen million people are believed to live below the poverty line in the UK. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static incomes, high unempl...


Fox meat found in Walmart donkey dish

13th January 2014

This headline in the January 3rd edition of The Daily Telegraph has to be one of the most intriguing of the year so far – just for its sheer improbabi...


IofAM: Prompted on Pensions

11th December 2013

Running anything – let alone a trade association – is never easy, but to do it with your head buried in the sand requires not only a certain level of ...


IofAM: Digital Democracy

11th December 2013

As a trade association manager, how many times have you been asked your membership’s view on a particular issue, policy, or piece of legislation, only...


Wait for it…wait for it!

2nd December 2013

Long ago, I, like most well brought up children was taught that the satisfaction of acquisition was made all the sweeter if you had to wait for it. It...


Next step facecrime?

13th November 2013

 ‘Tesco is to tailor adverts in petrol stations by using face scanning screens’ according to The Grocer magazine. Detractors are already lining up to ...


A Pivotal Role for Fairtrade Gold

10th October 2013

A few days ago I spoke at a Fairtrade Foundation gold meeting in London – standing in for Vivien Johnston – and was privileged to meet the miner...


Security: Don’t just be led by price!

4th October 2013

Twelve years on the periphery of the jewellery industry and my association with SaferGems taught me that security is never far from a jewellers’ mind ...


Making Trouble, by Greg Valerio

23rd September 2013

Should be a must-read for the jewellery sector and anyone who wants to make the world a better place. It’s not often that you read a book that is so a...


Switching might be easier – but there’s no escaping banks!

17th September 2013

The repeal of the Trucks Act in the mid 1980’s changed workers’ relationship with their wages for ever. A series of Acts in force since the 15th...


Here we go again: ‘Shoppers may face plastic bag charge’

5th September 2013

A couple of column inches on the front page of today’s Daily Telegraph suggest that payment for carrier bags may be back on government’s a...


Rip it up, and start again?

12th August 2013

Reports in daily newspapers (Daily Telegraph 05-08-13) that the planning minister Nick Boles is to grant local authorities greater freedom to convert ...


Show-rooming: Sinful or Sensible?

6th August 2013

Show-rooming, the act of checking a product in store then buying cheaper online: we all do it, so it’s acceptable, right? That was the headline ...


Jewellers shut as buyers prefer online links…

19th July 2013

..At least that is the claim made in a short item in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, that I came across recently, and also mentioned in The Times, and ...


Strategic Retail Issues: Tiger Kidnap and Social Media

4th July 2013

An item by crime correspondent Martin Evans in yesterday’s (3rd July) Daily Telegraph newspaper highlights the unforeseen hazards of using Twitter. Ac...


A Future for Independent Retail?

28th June 2013

In my last post I argued that we already have too many shops and that developers need to wake up and smell the coffee. I have also previously contende...


Better Shops Not More Shops!

17th June 2013

Oxford is a beautiful city, of that there is no doubt, but put together its historic street layout, listed buildings, and the colleges who own most of...


Mary, Queen of the High Street

30th May 2013

So another series of Channel 4’s Mary Queen of the High Street has come to a close and once again it’s time to pop down town and see what progress has...


Website Coming Soon…

1st February 2013

  I’ll soon be promoting my services through this page – but whilst we get this webpage up and running, feel free to get in with me v...