4th Dimension – Summer breeze!

The team have been involved in various activities over the last few months to ensure we practise what we preach when it comes to taking head on challenges and sometimes tough conditions!


Jenny Sjollema Hackney Half Marathon

Peter and Jenny took part in the Hackney Half Marathon in May. It was a rather hot day and Peter achieved a personal best. Jenny managed to do it in just over 3 hours, with new trainers and achy toes.


Peter Race to stones

Peter and Tony, with brother John in tow (literally), completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge in June, covering over 42 km and over 1000m of up hill struggle.

Peter also completed the Race to the Stones with his daughter Nicola, covering in just 2 days over 100km along England oldest footpath, cutting from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire across the Thames to the North Wessex Downs, the trail has existed for 5,000 years.


Tony Copsey Bike Ride

Tony got on his bike and took on 3 challenges – the 316 in Marjorca; raising money for the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust he completed a 386km bike ride around Wales with other former Welsh Rugby International’s Ryan Jones, Colin Charvis, Rupert Moon, Richard Parks and Robyn McBride; and finally just for laughs the Coast to Coast ‘Way of the Roses’ – a 274km ride taking him from Morecombe on the West Coast to Bridlington on the East coast over the Yorkshire dales in the wind and rain.

Peter Bleeze Cycle Ride

Pete Bleeze, our Health & Safety Consultant, achieved two bike rides and the Great East Swim.

The first bike ride across the two southernmost states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala perfectly depict the contrasting nature of India a total of 420 miles in just 10 day.

His second much more changing ride was up and over the High Atlas Mountain of Morocco. The challenge here was not only the challenging climbs to the summits but the temperature up to 50 degrees.

Pete’s third challenge was to complete the Great East swim in aid of MacMillan. Sadly this year his time was just a few seconds slower than his time for last year.

Ed Tapp Bike Ride

But all the above was smashed out of the park by Ed Tapp, our consultant who completed the Trans America bike race. This is without doubt one of the longest and hardest ultra-endurance cycle races in the world.

He set off with 100 other cyclists from all over the world to cycle the  4,200 miles across the US continent from West to East. He crossed 10 states, climbed the Rockies, battled head winds over the Great Plains and avoided storms and tornados in Kansas to complete the journey into York Town, Virginia in 23 days (15th place). Typically averaging between 180 – 260 miles per day Ed described it simply as an adventure of a lifetime.

Find out more about our team here.


Client Project Update By Peter Copsey – Director Fourth Dimension

Over the last few months our clients continue to keep us busy, despite the general economic uncertainties. They remain resilient seeking fresh input to find new ways to reduce cost, increase capacities, improve service, quality and support people driven performance.

In a snapshot, we have:

Designed a new layout and process flow to increase capacity for a joinery company to support the roll out of their major contract with McDonalds. This provided units for McDonalds latest fit out within their restaurants up and down the UK, consisting of upgraded decor with soft wood effect.

Working with an innovative lighting controls company, who are developing a new control system for smart buildings and engaging with new supplier sources for electronic manufacturing.

Working in a Basildon factory manufacturing modular housing in cross laminated timber. Having completed early builds the team are working to develop and implement the capabilities and processes to deliver a targeted 300 to 400 new homes a year. This represents a productivity double the speed of a traditional site build. The first deliveries to site have been completed, with a challenging ramp up in volumes planned over the next 3 months.

Working with a large pharmaceutical business to advance their planning, purchasing and inventory processes.

With the same pharma company, to advance their management team performance based on a recent Leadership Discovery and Diagnostic Review.

Supported our client through some difficult HR restructuring issues to reshape their operations team.

Advanced a number of our clients beyond Level 1 Health & Safety Compliance towards best practice safety standards.

Find out more about out Health & Safety services here.

4th Dimension – Sporting Challenges

Peter delighted to have taken part in the 75th Anniversary Trek of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea

Over the 10 days Peter , with his good friend Mark Webster , retraced the steps of the brave soldiers of the 39th Australian Militia.

Through steep ascents and descents, along a narrow mountain track in the humidity and rain of the Owen Stanley Mountain Ranges.

As we approach remembrance Sunday the words by their commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner.

How do we remember them?….

They died so young.

They missed so much.

They gave up so much.

Their hopes; their dreams; their loved ones.

They laid down their lives that their friends might live.

Greater love hath no man than this.

When should your Star Performer be given the boot?

Last week Harlequins Rugby parted company with Marland Yarde – the England International flying wing. A player who has very impressive stats – 31 tries from 100 first class matches and 8 tries from 13 test matches. He is a 6ft power house of a player and when seen playing for Quins always gives his all. Why therefore have they given him the boot?

Well you only have to hear from his current and former team mates Chris Robshaw and Ugo Moyne.

Chris Robshaw said “Harlequins is in a ‘better place’ without the winger.”

Ugo Monye said “Over the past few years, Marland’s off-field behaviour has not been in line with the core values, culture and beliefs of Harlequins, and that is what has led to this decision being made’’.

It is often very difficult for organisations to know what to do if there so called star performers play up.

Most teams whether in the sporting arena or in the business arena have to come to terms that they will have a collection of personalities fulfilling different roles. On top of this many will be on different pay scales.

It is key for organisations that they create an environment for high performance as well as creativity.

When I played at Saracens I shared a dressing room with three of the most iconic Rugby Players who ever played – Francois Pienaar, Phillip Sella and Michael Lynagh. We may have shared the same dressing room and played on the same pitch but I obviously knew they were being paid a hell of a lot more money than me for that privilege.

Did I have an issue with this – of course not. They all for one were revered players who have proved themselves World Class players. Two were World Cup winners and the other at the time the most capped international in the world with 111 caps.  Any recruitment company would tell you for World Class performers you need to pay top dollar.

The other reason I did not have an issue was they were absolute professional in the way they went about their business. Not only did they work hard – never late always early to training, putting in extra time to practice core skills – but also as senior team members they spent time with other members and set the standard and lead from the front.

Take Marland Yarde – he is a top earner at properly around £350K per year and at 25 years and given his experience certainly should be seen as becoming a senior pro. As a senior pro within the team therefore comes great responsibility. It is no good just turning up and doing the bear minimum – senior pros need to lead, set the example and bring an organisation values to life.

One thing any organisation or team cannot do or should ever tolerate is any senior pros falling below the standards and values expected of your team or organisation. If they do ‘give them the boot’ or else be prepared for a decline in your culture and performance.

Often in teams we speak about ‘values’ and ‘team trade marks’. Teams should agree and fulfill their values and how they expect each other to behave. They need to show each other the mutual respect and live up to them. Again failure to abide by this should lead to the individual being performance managed.

Unfortunately Marland fell short and Quins quite rightly decided they needed to move on.

For more information on Leadership and Team Performance visit our website

A big 4D welcome to the team

Peter Bleeze

Peter is an IOSH Charted Health and Safety Consultant with over 20 years’ experience delivering H&S Consultancy and training. Accredited to deliver and assess over 60 distinct areas, Peter has a wide range of knowledge and hands on experience across small and large companies, multiple sectors.

Ed Tapp – Lead Consultant 

Ed has over 10 years’ experience in logistics and manufacturing with, particularly within large FMCG companies. His specialist areas include: supply chain, inventory management, manufacturing, project management and systems & software optimisation, where he is able to evolve the latest innovations and ideas into a client’s existing systems.

Ian Barclay – Executive Consultant

Ian is a highly motivated leader specialising in operations, technology and people. This is comes from more than 25 years of distinctive experience across varied sectors including advanced industries (automotive, aerospace, defence),  financial services, chemical industries, and healthcare, with a portfolio of 100 plus transformational engagements. These achievements are based on a solid foundation of world leading operations and business consulting from Toyota and McKinsey and holds a 1st class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Salford.

Find out more about our team.

Health and Safety

No greater way to show respect to your people

At 4th Dimension we have always advised and encouraged our clients to install and manage an effective Health & Safety system as the foundation for any business transformation.

Clearly you have a legal compliance responsibility but beyond that there is no greater way to show respect to every individual and organisation associated with your business than to create a safe, healthy environment in the workplace. If you can install and manage consistently an effective H&S process this will enable you, and give you confidence to, transform other operational and business processes.

That we believe is enough of a compelling reason to involve experts in supporting you to develop your H&S system. In the busy day to day pressures of managing a business it is all too easy to allow these processes to slip and therefore using a consistent external resource can ensure vigilance and improvement is maintained. Our case study and these examples from the HSE support that view:

The last set of published figures for UK covering a full year.

• 1.3 million working people suffering from a work-related illness

• 2,515 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures

• 144 workers killed at work

• 72,702 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR

• 621,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey

• 30.4 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury

• £14.1 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2014/15)

Add to this the risk of any sort of prosecution as illustrated in a recent case:

“Engineering company fined £40,000 after worker suffers hand injury.”

Whilst using a manually operated metalworking lathe, the employee’s hand became entangled with the rotating workpiece. This incident resulted in the worker later requiring surgical amputation to part of his left index finger.

The company failed to identify that employees were routinely carrying out an unsafe work practice when hand applying emery cloth to a workpiece rotating at speed. The HSE report stated:

“The company also failed to take the faulty lathe out of service, resulting in the employee not being able to stop the lathe immediately. All companies have a duty to ensure employees carry out work in a safe way and the machinery they are using is in good working order.”

Read our case study here.

Fourth Dimension Insights

As we progress through our 6th year of trading, during arguably some of the most difficult of business environments with the added complications of BREXIT uncertainty, we are delighted to say that both we and our clients continue to grow and improve.

In this latest communication, Fourth Dimension Insights, we aim to provide occasional updates on our activities and share our thoughts on key success criteria that we have experienced first-hand. We also want to encourage a wider discussion on sharing thoughts and experiences to support cross-enterprise learning.

We hope you enjoy these insights and, of course, if you would like to discuss further how these may be relevant to your own business needs, we are happy to meet up and talk about it.

Fourth Dimension

Insight Four: Latest News at 4D

In the last year the team at 4th Dimension have been working on:

  • A major transformation programme for a high technology company involving a major move of complex physical infrastructure and a full operational excellence lean programme to deliver a significant reduction in footprint whilst creating increased capacity, freeing up working capital alongside driving towards best in class service and quality levels
  • Delivering major productivity gains for an automotive supplier through equipment and people performance
  • Project managed the transfer of production between sites
  • Project managed from design through to completion the new R&D and Manufacturing facility for fast growing consumer product innovation company
  • Established new production lines for next phase growth and productivity in electronic assembly
  • Delivered H&S & HR support for an increasing number of small to medium sized businesses
  • Provided a full range of advice support for a major investment group from initial scoping and due diligence through to business and non-executive support
Training your people

Insight Three: A change in the mindset

In this insight we discuss some of the common themes that emerge during client engagements.

Our approach is centred on focusing the team to strive for excellence. Core to this is to bring about a change in mindset: getting team members away from quick fixes to root-cause problem solving.

Engagements start with a diagnostic analysis – the core tool used to identify the biggest issues, prioritise actions and map the journey. Once the facts are proven, select the appropriate solutions from a well-established tool kit.

From diagnostic to implementation: hands-on approach to kick-start the change process and build momentum. Team members need to become engaged and stay involved. This is achieved with some initial team building games, followed by working on actual processes with immediate impact. Constant communication is vital, a combination of the informal at the workplace and more structured team briefings. Support this stage with simple measures to track progress.

The first signs of success are the new dynamics in the team: leaders emerge, showing technical and project skills and – most importantly – energy, enthusiasm and drive. Identify problem solvers who find ways to break down habitual barriers and overcome negativity.

Outcomes of project engagements are not only measured in financial terms, which typically show 20% or more in efficiency gains, but also in the positivity of a team working together and communicating effectively. With this essential shift in the mindset, stress caused by constant quick fixes and fire-fighting activities can be reduced and efficiency maximised.

“As always, it was a pleasure to have you on site. You hold up the mirror – we do not always like what we see but we are always better off for the looking. You are the only consultants I have ever worked with who did not borrow my watch to tell me the time.” 

Find out more on our Transformation and Change and Training your People pages.

Insight Two: 70 minutes in and it is a 2-point game

How the dynamics of a rugby game can be applied to business operations

In this year’s Six Nations, we witnessed some inspirational examples of team performance when it mattered. Losing 16-14 against Wales 70 minutes in the game, England went on to win 16-21.

Imagine a similar scenario in a business environment. How good is your team in a critical situation concerning the daily output or a project that seems to stagnate when it should progress? Who can you bring in ‘from the bench’ to turn around the result?

Whether you are a coach or a manager, you are on the bench, looking in. You are involved but detached enough to be able to see what is going on in the team. You discuss what needs to be done in order to change a situation for the better. Sometimes a fresh player, an outsider who can see the opportunities, can slot seamlessly into the team and turn the whole dynamics around and move the situation forward. Sometimes you need a change of tactics or a new viewpoint to develop your team and help them to work together more efficiently and successfully.

Are you looking at your team in the same way? Have you developed a total squad mentality in your business? Is everyone trained in the techniques and processes to allow for seamless changes, provide extra support and cope with increased capacity? Here are some key elements to focus on so you can get your team in top shape:

  • Develop the support team as well as star players
  • Provide systematic training
  • Standardise processes
  • Encourage a team trademark
  • Adopt review and response methods

If you are in a similar situation and want to improve your team’s performance, please get in touch for an informal chat to see how we can help you and your business.

“Fourth Dimensions Elite Performing Team programme has transformed the way my operations team interact, projecting a united front in their restless pursuit for excellence.” 

Find out more about maximising team performance on our Training your people pages.