Monthly Archives: September 2013

Reading makes you “Smart” – Why reading is good for you!

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Is the traditional book dead?
With the arrival and increased use of Kindles, Nook readers and ipads many argue that traditional books are dead; some people however still like the look and feel of a paper book. Whatever your preference there can be no doubt that electronic books have features that paper books don’t.

Read in sunlight and enlarge the text!
With an electronic book you can see the screen clearly even in sunlight as well as being able to enlarge the print on the screen or plug in earphones and ‘listen’ to a book, which is great if relaxing, travelling or when on holiday. This ability to be able to enlarge the typeface is also a valuable factor for the visually impaired and for the more mature generation who prefer larger font size.

10 good reasons why you should read more
Reading undoubtedly will helps make you smarter! But there are other factors about reading which are also good for you; whether you read an electronic or paper book. Here are 10 good reasons why you should read more.

1. Reading expands your vocabulary
When reading literature of different genres, it is likely that you will encounter words you don’t usually use in your regular every day conversations. The beauty of this is that there is no need to search for a definition of every single word you don’t know because in most cases your brain will automatically tell you what the word means in the context of the piece. Reading not only helps expand your vocabulary, but also improves your literacy.

2. Reading fights stress
Nowadays, fighting stress is a big concern for many people. Even though you may be manically busy at home or at work reading can help de-stress you. That is because the richness and rhythm of the language soothe the psyche and rids the body of stress. Apparently reading science fiction before bed is particularly helpful.

3. Reading develops cognitive abilities
The positive effect of reading on our cognition, the ability to acquire knowledge through reading, reasoning, intuition or perception is one of its key advantages. That is because when we read, we have more thinking processes going on to comprehend the ideas of the book.

4. Reading protects against Alzheimer’s
We are often told to keep active as we get older, both physically and mentally. According to the latest research, reading does indeed protect against brain disorders; that is because when we read, our brain activity improves.

5. Reading gives you confidence
Books not only relax us and keep us alert, but they also make us more confident in our own aptitude and knowledge. When we demonstrate deeper knowledge of a topic in a conversation, we automatically start behaving more confidently. In addition recognition of your intellectual capabilities by other people has a positive effect on our self-esteem too.

6. Reading makes us more creative
Creative people generate several great ideas at the same time. Where do they find their foundation for these ideas….. In the books! When you read, we discover lots of ideas, some of which we can use at work or in your own lives.

7. Reading improves sleep
The people, who make it a habit to read before they go to bed, find that their bodies soon gets used to it. Reading will become a signal for your body, it will automatically know about the forthcoming sleep. Not only will you have a good night’s sleep, but you will also feel positive and cheerful in the morning.

8. Reading improves brain function
When reading, we imagine many details – characters, their clothes, scenery, objects and plots. We also need to keep in mind many facts in order to understand the book as a whole; therefore by reading we are training our memory and logic.

9. Reading improves concentration
When reading we need to focus on the content of the book in order to comprehend what is going on as we turn each page, without cheating or jumping ahead to the next chapter. This skill is very useful in your other activities in life, whether at home or at work. That is because without realising it reading also helps develop objectivity and reasonable decision-making.

10. Reading helps us to be aspirational
Reading provides insights into how others live their lives and do things; it also provides fantasy and escapism. For many without the fantasy and escapism of books there is no aspiration or desire to try and do things differently. All management books, self help books and the like are based on the readers desire to be “aspirational” in their lives or roles…..and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So what “aspirational” book are you reading today?

Reading makes you smart!
When interrupted and used properly management books can be a great training aid. Put simply reading makes people “smart”! At Partners in Solutions we recommend fun and informative management books to compliment our training and coaching packages.

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Learn more
If you would like to learn more about how to use management books in training or to train your staff in strategy, business planning or general management then please contact us today either by using the comment box below or via the ‘contact page’ on our website.
Trisha Proud
Partners in Solutions Ltd


Does your business need a strategic compass?


Which business are you? Large, small or independent…..

Sometimes when we are running a business, whether large, small or independently owned, we don’t realize that creating a strong strategy is just as important for us as it is for any other business.

You need a strategy regardless 

Yes of course most large corporate businesses have a strategy of one type or another. Sadly though there is a misconception that smaller and independently owned businesses don’t need a strategy….this simply isn’t true and could prove costly.

Businesses grow and develop in many different ways

Some business owners are super organised and spend months planning their business strategy, and in some cases producing a huge document which covers the strategic business plan, plus executive summary, marketing plan and of course financial data; others launch their business without really thinking about where the money is going to come from or how they are going to market or maintain their business or generate new clients; or as is often the case you might find that you are somewhere in between.


No matter how you started, it’s always worth revisiting your strategy and figuring out whether you are on the right track and whether the assumptions you made ‘yesterday’ still hold true in today’s marketplace.

Business values need to inspire you

When you approach your business strategy there are a number of key elements that you need to bring together. The first thing though, and certainly one that we at Partners in Solutions believe you must have, is actually one that many people don’t even think about, and that is the key area of defining your values.

The values that you focus on are the foundation of your business

Core values is the place that you come from when you are making decisions around branding, products or services, engaging your people and suppliers, developing partnerships and general day-to-day business and customer service focus. For us here at Partners in Solutions they are a point of reference against which we can measure what we are doing, what we put out in the world and how we do it. However, they are not static.

Today vs. yesterday

The values that you had when you started out, may not necessarily be the values that are most relevant to you today and it is always worth revisiting them at least once a year.

Strategic values and qualities

Before any business can start developing their Strategic Business Plan they must have a base upon which to build – they must know what their core values and qualities are. The ethos by which they wish to do business and by which they wish to be known and build a reputation on.

It can be difficult to know where to start with something like this, so instead think about the companies and brands that you most admire and ask yourself why this is so.

Here are some companies that we admire and why we admire them:

Apple Modern, unique, trendy design, aspirational

– Disney Fun, creates wonder, has the ‘customer’ at the heart of what they do

John Lewis Customer focused. Trust and reliability

Cirque de Soleil Creative, wow factor, performance excellence

No management ‘speak’ please!

Your values need to come from the heart; they need to inspire you every day to build a business that is going to set the world alight – at least a little bit. They should reflect your uniqueness and will be the guide for your business strategy, your recruitment strategy and your product and or service strategy; however…..

The turn off!

Whenever and wherever you can avoid ‘management speak’ please do so as this is simply a big ‘turn off’ to anybody that reads them and more importantly, the people you work and interface with that have to deliver them. In a nutshell keep your business values simple and easy to understand. That way you stand a far better chance of actually living and breathing them on a day-to-day basis.

Strategic training or development required?

If you would like to learn more about how to develop your business strategy or to train your staff in business planning then please contact us today either by using the comment box below or via the ‘contact page’ on our website.

Trisha Proud

Partners in Solutions Ltd