News & Reviews

Below are a selection of news articles featuring Business Command.

Business Command contributer and Zulu Creative MD features in KPMG Alumni Magazine

Published - 30/03/2011

This month, Business Command contributer and Zulu Creative Managing Director, Ivan Yardley, featured in the KPMG Alumni Magazine, ‘Connected’.

Ivan worked at KPMG heading up the Creative Services department in the UK between 1995 - 2002, building a team of 75 staff. Whilst gaining valuable insight and experience working in a large professional services organisation, Ivan completed an MBA as well as an MA in Strategic Marketing. He also served as an Officer within the Territorial Army.

Since leaving KPMG, Ivan has furthered his academic achievements (achieving his PhD qualification), and he is also a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University. He continues to serve in the Territorial Army, whilst building his business. Zulu Creative is a full service design agency which he established in 2002.

To find out more about Ivan’s outlook on business, his experiences in the TA and his thoughts on the economy, download the PDF from the link at the bottom of the page.

To download the clipping of the Alumni Magazine, please click here.

Business Command Seminar (3): Managing Change

Published - 22/11/2010

On Wednesday 17th November 2010, the third and final Business Command seminar of the series was delivered to a captive audience at The Metro Bar and Grill, Birmingham. The presentation was focused around managing cultural change and formed a nice conclusion to the series in which leadership and decision making had also been discussed.

The seminars have given a small insight into how the British Military provides the operational excellence that we have all become reliant upon, but various other seminars have been scheduled to take place in the coming months, so please feel free to get in touch should you wish to attend.

To download the accompanying slideshow for this seminar, please click here.

Business Command Seminar (2): Decision Making

Published - 13/10/2010

Wednesday 13th October saw the second of three seminars delivered by Ivan Yardley, Zulu’s Managing Director. The event was sponsored by Zulu Creative, Jasper Corporate Finance, and Active Human Capital and the presentation explored the challenges of decision making in complex and volatile environments.

Decision making is a subjective process that needs to be reviewed in context. However, there are “golden rules” that guide effective decision making. These principles were discussed over a wide range of circumstances and were explored within the current business (global) environment.

The seminar reviewed the need for risk-taking by explaining why it is often best to choose the 80% solution and acting before it’s too late.

The presentation was well received with a number of individuals registering for the final seminar on the 17th November, before they’d even left the venue!

To download the accompanying slideshow for this seminar, please click here.

Business Command Seminar (1): Leadership

Published - 15/09/2010

“This was a hugely interesting insight into how the military select their leaders for the modern world, very thought provoking”

On Wednesday 15th September, the first of three events sponsored by Zulu Creative, Jasper Corporate Finance, and Active Human Capital, took place at the Metro Bar on Cornwall Street in Birmingham.

The event highlighted the changing face of leadership and the challenges faced in the current environment. The presentation explored new organisational forms which have emerged in order to occupy a new, more dynamic space. This ‘new world’ is governed by ideas and vision rather than the limitations of organisational boundaries. It also requires leaders to be able to manage their organisations in the more complex world which we find ourselves in.

As well as early morning bacon sandwiches, the attendees were given the opportunity to form new acquaintances and business connections.

Have you ever thought how you would perform under fire?

The next seminar will discuss the importance of making effective decisions in complex and volatile environments. If you would like to know what makes the British Military Officer tick, then register at the Business Command website.

To download the accompanying slideshow for this seminar, please click here.

Zulu MD interviewed about survival strategy

Published - 25/02/2010

It used to be the bible for every sharp-suited business guru.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War was picked up by experts looking to link up the boardroom and the battlefield. But now, at a time when both Britain’s businesses and it’s armed forces are under more pressure than they have seen in half a century, one of the Midlands’ top military men is bringing his experience of the warzone to the West Midlands.

Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Yardley commanded the largest infantry battalion in the British Army. During his two-and-a-half year command in the Territorial Army, his battalion deployed more soldiers onto the battlefield than any other TA unit.

He is now a directing member of staff at the UK Defence Academy on the advance command and staff course. He has also earned a PhD based on leadership and the wider applications of military planning to the business world.

But in his civilian life, he is also the Managing Director of Zulu Creative, an advertising and marketing agency based in Sutton Coldfield, that works with a host of high-profile clients.

He says he is on a drive to make businesses more aware of the benefits of taking a military approach to planning.

He says: “The business community has always been fascinated by military practice, it’s been impressed by its success – the ability to build up trust both individually and within an organisation, and to have a comprehensive way of doing things.

“You can see why war and business might be natural bed-mates. The word ‘strategy’ is from the Greek word for ‘military thinking’ and in the world of marketing and advertising, we refer to a plan as a ‘campaign’.

“But now, in this harsh financial environment, strategic thinking is critical. In any business and in any sector. The secret is to combine it with creative input to give clients a significant advantage, which is where Zulu sits.

“I think that the confidence a military background brings gives people the ability to have a limited risk-taking methodology. You have to be prepared to take risks, because that leads to having a culture of innovation, a culture of support.

“Developing this attitude really makes your business more agile, more responsive. And when businesses are under pressure – as they are at the moment – you need to be adaptive.” He added the responsibility of being at the top of a chain of command had made a huge difference to the way he went about the job. During his military career he said he had to deal with the death in action of his soldiers on a number of occasions, and the challenge of dealing with care, advice and support for families had brought back the importance of people rather than money.

He says: “There is a real misconception that the military has a hierarchy where you do whatever you are told without question. But the reality is it allows you to seek and take advice from people junior to you.

“I think in business its actually much more difficult – if you are having a board meeting with junior people its very very difficult to seek advice from them. And I think it’s something business needs to do more of, without having to fear undermining themselves.

“You need leaders who are good at leading, not just managing.

“And I don’t think business is very good at that in terms of developing leadership because we are focusing on promoting development through pay.

“If you want people to progress you have got to get them to realise that it is a good organisation that they believe in it.”

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