One of the UK’s top management experts has praised the North East as an area of “huge potential” during a seminar with more than 50 of the region’s top company directors and senior managers. Tony Barnes, a best selling author who travels the world lecturing on leadership, change management and continuous improvement, was guest speaker at a breakfast event organised by Assessment North East at Durham County Cricket Ground. “The aim was to give businesses in the region the opportunity to look at the leadership and management issues which are a fact of business life today,” said Rob MacLeod, Managing Director of Assessment North East. “The management of change, handling pressure and meeting challenging responsibilities are all part of the day to day requirements of top managers.” Assessment North East, based in Sunderland, provides an assessment service to organisations seeking the Investors in People Award and works with more than 600 regional businesses, of all sizes, every year.

“We were not surprised that so many business leaders wanted to hear Tony Barnes as he is a unique speaker,” said Rob MacLeod. “It also gave them an opportunity to network and to explore the opportunities available through Investors in People, which has a leadership and management model, and through MAP (Management Assessment Proficiency), a leadership assessment tool we have recently introduced to the region that is proving a big success.” Tony Barnes began his career as a member of the Deming team in Japan during the 60s and 70s where he experienced at first hand the application of new holistic management practices that produced the Japanese post war economic miracle. He praised the MAP leadership assessment tool as a highly cost-effective tool and said that he was impressed by the work being done by businesses and business support agencies in the region. Delegate Marie Matheson, Human Resources Director of SCS Upholstery plc, said: “We are a North East based business with 65 stores and more than 1000 employees. We have been in operation for over a century but are always looking for continuous improvement. I have come away with a number of very useful ideas and will certainly be thinking about the MAP assessment.” Dorothy Winter, Personnel Manager for the Land Registry in Durham, said she had found Tony Barnes “inspirational.” “We already have members of our senior management team linked in to a leadership programme and this event will add to that process. I also welcomed Tony Barnes’ support for businesses working in the community as the Registry does have business ambassadors and mentors working in our local schools.” Other organisations represented at the seminar included universities and colleges, NHS Trusts, magistrates courts, police forces, probation services, local councils, charities and the Royal Air Force. Companies included Elmwood Sensors Ltd North Shields; Unipres (UK) Ltd, Sunderland; Capita Hartshead, Darlington; Pfizer Inc Morpeth; ETEC (Sunderland) Ltd; Warburtons Ltd, Newburn; Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd; Hertel Services Middlesbrough and Cummins HR Services, Stockton. Details of MAP, IIP and Assessment North East’s other assessment services are available from ANE on 0191 5166464 and at www.aneltd.co.uk< PICTURE CAPTION: From left: Rob MacLeod of Assessment North East; delegate Marie Matheson, SCS Upholstery, Sunderland; speaker Tony Barnes and delegate Dorothy Winter, Land Registry, Durham. For further information please contact Rob MacLeod or David Dale, Assessment North East, Business and Innovation Centre, Sunderland Enterprise Park, Sunderland SR5 2TA Tel: 0191 5166464 OR Joan Grant Publicity 0191 2852475

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