Don’t listen to Michael.
Listen to Richard, Nicola, Gary, Mary, Chris, Linda, Joe, Victoria, Adam, Ros, Robert and others…
Ultimately, the proof of the pudding when it comes to the qualities any individual can bring to an organisation lies in the way in which the key people in that organisation view that individual’s contribution.
Below are the unadorned and unembellished views of some of the industry leaders with first-hand experience of the impact Michael’s ideas and actions have brought to bear across a wide range of market sectors.
“Michael I am truly impressed by your deep knowledge and I will call you much more often because your contribution to this Industry is exceptional.”
Gaetano Cavalieri – President of CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation
“As a marketeer, Michael’s business acumen, intelligence and vision are second to none. His passion for brand strategy and instinctive understanding of what is required to differentiate and drive a brand mark him out as an outstanding talent. Not only that but Michael is also a great listener who is always receptive to new ideas.”
Richard Grisdale – Independent Marketing and Advertising Professional – ex Saatchi,JWT,DDB
“Michael really helped us focus and put more rigour into how we both manage and evaluate our marketing activities. Through his engaging personality he enthused our doctors and clinicians to be much more proactive about marketing their services. His advice was both supportive and challenging.”
Professor Ros Keeton – Chief Executive, Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.
“Thank you for being a most focussed and professional moderator and doing an excellent job keeping us on track, whilst directing and helping us understand the priorities.”
Gary Williams – Chairman Hatton Garden BID Development
“Grateful to the NAT WEST Accelerator for connecting me up with Michael Donaldson. Fabulous discussion today – helpful advice, thought provoking questions and vision empowerment made simple! Michael was very helpful in teasing out key issues and giving me a new perspective on the project. He is quick to grasp new information, breakdown the figures and ask reflexive questions. A really informative session, from which I benefited greatly.”
Anita Devi – CEO & Founder
“Michael was my mentor on the Worcestershire Here2Help Business Mentoring Programme and he really helped me transition as a relatively new business owner – I restructured my week after we analysed where my time is spent more valuably. This included much needed encouragement to also take time off which overall increased my productivity and creativity. Together, we updated my proposition to appeal to potentially larger and longer-term business customers and created targeted promotional material for other customer types. I now have a greater understanding of the importance of building relationships and I also value my time and expertise better than I did, which is reflected in my improved pricing structure. Michael is a very inspiring businessman. He was an excellent mentor and a perfect sound board for any decisions that needed to be made. The knowledge, experience and anecdotes he shared were invaluable and gave me a huge insight into the realities of being a business owner”.
Joanna Wyatt – English Genius
“We appointed Michael to complete a competency and competitor report on two new market entries that we were considering. He presented a comprehensive and compelling report that advised the board against the activity, in turn saving the business a very significant six figure sum of money.”
John – Finance Director with a £5m turnover business
“There are some people on this planet that I know can make a difference in how we think, how we act, and how we move forward in not only our actions but our attitudes too. One such person is Michael Donaldson. Happy to share this thought provoking piece of writing (on Diversity & Inclusion). Well done Michael!”
Sadie Skipworth – Social Media Specialist with over 30,000 LinkedIn Followers
“Just a very quick email to say I got the job in Birmingham, and wanted to thank you for your help and advice prior to the interview, it really helped”
Angus W. – Business Executive
“I can personally highly recommend Michael for 1-2-1 mentoring. His advice was absolutely invaluable to us in our family business. It is interesting how an outside set of eyes can put a different take on things. We were so pleased we asked him to help, it was money well spent for us”
Sophie – Owner of a 3rd Generation Family Business in West Sussex
“When the senior partner of the small retail and e-tail company that I work for suggested that we brought in a business consultant to improve the performance of the company, Michael Donaldson was recommended. Together with our senior managers, Michael worked with us and guided us to reach a consensus on our vision of the business, our key objectives and our priority list of actions.
During the course of three months Michael’s guidance and support enabled us to establish a better management organisation and without a shadow of doubt such guidance and support has contributed to the company’s improved sales performance over the last 12 months”
“PS sales turnover for 2017 was much better than 2016. I believe your consultation with us is bearing fruit year on year”.
Florence – General Manager London
“Your workshop was really insightful and your methods are so logical and understandable. Now to put things into practice!”
Sam Lloyd – FGA EG London
“I would like to extend my personal thanks to YOU Michael for the continued professional support, leadership and understanding you give to the group both collectively and individually. In the early days of lockdown your financial remuneration was temporarily withdrawn, but you instantly realised that this group needed the support of “yourself” and that of the group more than ever – you just selflessly carried on with the job.”
David Rowe – Director Torquay
“Thank You very much for driving the session today, it would have been immensely challenging without your control, structure and direction.”
CEO – Feedback post stakeholder meeting
“Michael is known for his leadership in team building and strategic positioning. He has a high industry profile and is well respected by customers and competitors. He built and grew the retail business segment with a strong team focused on customer satisfaction and profitability.”
Richard Powers – CEO and President, Cookson Precious Metals
“Within a 20 minute conversation with Michael today, I was gratefully provided with not one solution to my limited marketing strategy but a vast range of effective tools to work on. Left the meeting feeling very optimistic with key marketing solutions during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Thank you very much indeed!”
Kelly Imir – Founder in Cycles
“Michael, recently shared a number of his key business wisdoms around People, Product and Process as part of an excellent seminar presentation he delivered to my members. From the positive feedback I received it was clear that attendees got a tremendous amount from his insights. Michael drew on his breadth of experience at the top level across industries from the FMCG sector, to domestic appliances and the jewellery sector at a UK and International level.
If you are open to ideas from an experienced practitioner who has ‘walked the walk’ and not someone who just ’talks the talk’ then you’d do well to speak with Michael, The Value Innovator”.
Paul Angus – Director The Business Network.
“Thank you very much as always, for mentoring me and making me ask deeper questions.”
Manish Jogia – Managing Director in Jewellery
“The brief was to write a training session that would develop existing staff skills in the areas of customer engagement and effective interaction; which was to be delivered by third party trainers to mixed store groups of 40 staff, including new starters and long servers, across a broad age range – not an easy task.
Michael produced a half day session that met the requirements of the trainers, the delegates and importantly the business. The content was informative, engaging and interactive with a good mixture between podium delivery, role plays, videos and group exercises.”
Alice Rigby – Buying Manager Argos.
“I met with Michael for a mentoring session as part of the Nat West Accelerator programme and in a very short space of time, Michael got to the heart of my issues, relating everything back to my purpose and values. This was a monumental shift in my mindset and one that will create huge value within my business and focus for the next quarter. A highly recommended value creator and communicator!”
Paul Rhodes – Managing Director Green Gorilla Software
“Michael has been an excellent business mentor for my business and myself. He has advised me about many areas of my business, including re-branding, web site, personnel management, range planning and improving the look of my boutique. My confidence and enthusiasm has increased greatly with his encouragement and support. With Michael’s input Linda Rose Lingerie is on track to grow turnover by 25% for the coming year.”
Linda Randell – Director The Fabulous Lingerie and Swimwear Boutique.
“Just a very quick note to thank you so much for your time over our two sessions. It was (and will be) a huge help and was extremely thought provoking. What is so great is that it has given me a clear line of actions and opportunities. As you say, strategies do not need to be complicated! So, thank you again”.
Edward Theakston – Managing Director Edward Theakston Associates
“Since joining the group our annual turnover has increased by £300,000. I am not sure I can give the group credit for every penny, but a good proportion of it has come from the encouragement, suggestions and ideas shared by the other group members.”
PFG – Managing Director
“I worked with Michael when he was the Acting CEO of the NAJ (National Association of Jewellers) and my role was to recruit the next permanent CEO. I was hugely impressed with Michael’s exceptional attention to detail, swift grasp of the association’s challenges and his sterling judgement in identifying those urgent matters which required a swift decision and those he ought to leave for his successor. He acted decisively, with appropriate consultation.
He was a delightful client to work with, organising everything I could wish for at the association end, and managing interviews extremely professionally. We appointed a great new CEO too.”
Niall Campbell – CEO Recruitment for Associations
“Michael, really appreciate your time and feedback. Sometimes you get so caught up in the business you lose grasp on the basics, it was a much-needed eye-opener!”
Anthony Green – Operations Director, Moving Image Creations
“We thoroughly enjoyed the brand workshop and it was great to take some time out of the day to work on our essence; which has led to a re-examination of our marketing and an increased focus on our core strengths, particularly with regard to customer service.
Armed with this knowledge we have also been able to make clearer decisions on what messages we are sending to our customers. The new website is up and running and is a better reflection of the style of our shops, and our 3rd shop is due to open in August.
I think the full benefits might not be felt until later, but I certainly feel we are operating in a more focused way as a result of the workshop. It was brilliant to hear your insights into marketing/branding and we were grateful for your time and expertise.”
Robert Ogden- Managing Director Ogden Harrogate.
“Thanks for yesterday it was inspiring and invigorating.”
Peter Wong – Business Owner, Liverpool
“Michael, a GREAT talk on strategy at IJL today”.
Founder – KASHA, London
“WOW! I just wanted to say thank you for arranging such an interesting day yesterday.I’m still buzzing from all the ideas I took away – it was such an interesting, useful day. I’m really looking forward to working with both you and all the guys in the future.”
Nicola Vern – Sales Manager Winchester
“I am the Chairman of a charity which promotes an annual music festival in rural North Yorkshire. We were looking for guidance on how we might develop our brand and reach out to new audiences. We were also interested in exploring ways in which we might expand our artistic offering and develop a vision for the future. We engaged Michael to help us with these various objectives. Our day began with an in depth investigation of our present position identifying our strengths and weaknesses and building up a concise statement of how we saw ourselves. This was followed by an analysis of where we would like to be in 5 years time. The final part of the day was devoted to developing a plan as to how we might achieve our ambitions. Throughout the exercise Michael succeeded in getting us to examine all aspects of our offering and helped us enormously in devising a strategy for the five year period. All of us who partook in the exercise found the process to be both stimulating and enjoyable.”
Sir Andrew Lawson-Tancred- Chair – Northern Aldborough Festival.
“Michael, both of us got great things from your workshop. I hope I get to hear you speak again.”
Kerry Gregory – Managing Director Gemmology Rocks
“Michael has incredible experience and makes his speaking events interesting, and entertaining. I have heard him a few times and like his ability to make a subject ‘stay’ with me.”
Alison Mardell – Customer Service Xylo Flooring
“Just wanted to say thank you so much for yesterdays meeting, I really enjoyed it and pretty much everything we discussed was really relevant. I have taken away some things to think about and my team loved the £99 cleaning cards so we are working up an example of that at the moment to implement asap.”
Sophie C – Retail Director
“Michael chaired the unification working party meetings for our respective trade associations in the 12 months leading to the critical AGM votes and subsequent appointment of a CEO for the newly formed association. He was extremely effective.
He established the common ground between the different views expressed by board members to help us to draw up an agreed structure. He also ensured we remained both on track and schedule by clearly defining the process we needed to follow. In both cases he offered his views where appropriate, but ensured that the outcome was determined by the collected views of the board members.”
Gary Wroe / Andrew Hinds- BJA Chairman / NAG Chairman
“Interestingly what I arranged to see you for, we didn’t get round to discussing as you raised something I didn’t expect and it proved to be worth more to me than what I was hoping to get out of the meeting, so thank you for that!”.
Greta Hegedus- Founder Six Figure Nutrition Web Business.
“Just wanted to let you know that the weekly focus is really working well. I briefed the business development team first; I then realised that this was a powerful tool that could work to focus the entire team. So, we have completely changed our team meeting – we now use this board to drive all discussions. It drives home not only our performance but also the importance of ensuring everything that we do is about driving revenue.
And the team really seem to like it!
I also used the weekly view in Exec and was able to give detailed analysis and commentary on where are and what we are going to do about it. The key is of course sustaining and improving; but I wanted to let you know that I am applying the processes and that not only are they working, they are also motivating me to learn and do more.I’m feeling very focused and driven.So thank you.”
AP- Sales & Marketing Director Service Provider.
“Congratulations on organising and facilitating a brilliant day,with a really great mix of speakers.
To be honest I had thought it might get repetitive with all the speakers presenting the same subject, but in fact it actually helped reinforce the central principles of good leadership skills. Each speaker approached the subject from a very different angle, with interesting and diverse backgrounds, but all seemed to agree on the overarching bases of honesty , openness and fairness which was very refreshing. A great day.”
Chris Garland- Managing Director Bransom Retail Systems
“I asked Michael to review our digital activity for a new product launch. His feedback was clear, concise, very commercial, easy to implement, and made a measurable difference.”
Adam Brown- Managing Director Steroplast Healthcare.
“My head is buzzing with all sorts of changes and improvements that we can make to make the whole thing better. Above all I get what you were saying about a direction and focus on what we are doing and where we are going to enable those around us to work with us on it. I haven’t felt like this about the business for some time so thank you for showing us what we haven’t been able to see.”
Mary Dieu de Bellefontaine- Owner Bellefontaines.
“Thanks Michael, the chiclets always talk about the value you have added when they speak with you.”
Joe Trodden- Enabler at Nat West Entrepreneurial-Spark.
“I would like to thank you, for me personally the situation of feeling like I am back in a learning environment and role playing is very uncomfortable and you understood that, you not only made me feel at ease (well more so than I thought I would) but kept my attention focused on the here and now, making it for me a very worthwhile learning curve.”
LM- Office Administrator (and Grand Mother).
“I attended Michael’s workshop on Making Memorable Presentations with my fellow Directors and Managers. It was of outstanding quality, the content was both excellent and extremely useful; and conveyed in a very engaging and understandable manner – Michael has obvious expertise in speaking and presenting.”
Dippal Manchanda- Technical Director BAO.
“Michael delivered a great strategy day for the directors and staff of the N.A.G. Everyone was engaged throughout the whole day, and I received only positive feedback from the participants.”
Michael Rawlinson- Chief Executive Officer National Association of Goldsmiths.
“Thank you for facilitating a great meeting on Thursday,I really enjoyed the interaction with the other members, and have felt very productive and energised since returning to my business”
Paul Magri-Harris- Retail Member of the Executive Development Forum.
“Michael is a conscientious and dynamic leader. It is innovators and risk takers like him who drive success within a business. This was particularly evident when I worked with him to introduce Fairtrade gold at Cookson. He took time to understand the challenges, provided innovative solutions and actively sought out opportunities to make the project a success for all stakeholders.”
Victoria Waugh- Business Development Manager Fairtrade Foundation.
“Working with Michael was always a pleasure given his integrity and efficient professionalism.He would be an asset to any major company with his skills.”
Alan Frampton- Managing Director CRED Jewellery.
“Michael is a very bright and personable individual. He is highly self-motivated, efficient, independent and well capable of achieving any goal he sets his mind to. His co-workers also held high regard for him as a valuable resource and looked to him for innovative direction and advice given his strong communication skills. His ability to liaise with retailers and officials and regulators is very strong as well as his skill in the preparation of, and participation in, international trade missions..”
Usman Khan- Product Manager CPM
“I wanted to write to you to express my gratitude for the large contribution you made to our sales and marketing efforts. I certainly feel re-invigorated as a result of some of your analysis and I know I’m not alone in this.”
Rob Harding- Sales and Marketing Director, Coats Viyella Carpets.
“Michael’s supportive management style was one of the key drivers in allowing myself and my colleagues in Ireland to successfully achieve our strategic aims… His willingness to constantly embrace change greatly helped us deliver challenging projects successfully…and his genial manner coupled with his drive to achieve and make a difference made working with him both enjoyable and rewarding.”
Ken O’Brien MBA- Business Operations Manager.
“I’ve worked 3 years with Michael and I appreciated his way to manage and get the people involved. Michael has a great directorship and a high strategy’s skills. He definitively added value to the company and helped to develop its business.”
Arnaud Flambeau- CEO and Managing Director at FLAMBEAU LUXURY TRADING DMCC.
“Michael is a well balanced team leader, coach and team member. His vast experience and expertise are very evident in his handling of people, situations and processes. He is supportive with great coaching skills, a keen sense of customer needs and the capability of a company to deliver.
Michael is organised, professional, balanced and innovative, with a disciplined way of working. He works with integrity with stakeholders and is very approachable, making him very easy to deal with. It has been a great learning experience to work with him as he is always willing to share his skills in the interests of making the business more workable, practical and successful. He makes it his priority to engineer win-win situations for his company and his customers alike!”
Pulkit Singhania- Managing Partner PCF Thailand.