Introducing Our Training Room…

Training Room

Welcome to Our Training Room

We are proud to introduce you to our dedicated training room. The Training Room is a flexible space which can accommodate up to thirty people. It is the perfect space for workshops, tutorials, and meetings.

We’ve created this short video to show you round.

Situated at the STAMC offices in Cupar, the training room offers the option of a space away from clients own workplaces in which to host the workshops, tutorials and meetings relating to their course. This is perfect for when a company does not have space onsite for training.


  • Capacity of up to 30
  • Flexible space
  • Projector
  • White boards
  • Wi-Fi
  • Disabled access
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • Parking

If you’re interested in finding out more about the facilities here at St Andrews Management Centre then get in touch.

Our Living Wage Journey

New Living Wage Rates £8.45 UK, £9.75 London

As we recognise Living Wage Week, I thought it worth reflecting on our own journey to becoming a Living Wage Employer.

When we started training in January 2014, it was just Rick, my business partner, and I working from a small room in a business centre in Kirkcaldy, Fife. We were determined that we were going to grow a successful training business that was going to make a difference and inspire people to make a change. This has been captured in our motto “Inspiring people at work”: the play on words represents how we wish to inspire employers and employees in their workplace by bringing Clarity, Competence and Confidence but equally it reflects our view that we are physically engaged in the inspiration process and that is what we work at.

This isn’t restricted to the delivery of our learning, but is ingrained in everything we do.

For example, we support the Prompt Payment Code – we pay people on time, because we want people to pay us on time.

We treat people the way we would wish them to treat us. Treating people fairly isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s the only thing to do.

And it’s the same thing with the Living Wage it’s a message that we value our employees and that we want to treat them fairly when they work with us.

And it’s good for business too; there is no denying that a team with good compensation and working conditions is better placed to provide a better experience to customers both internal and external.

Will it change anything? We sure hope so.

We hope that others will see, learn, and change.

You can find out more about the Living Wage, including how to become a Living Wage employer, by visiting the Living Wage Foundations website at If you have any questions about STAMC’s own Living Wage journey then you can contact us here.


The Management Journey: Searching for Mentor

Hand presenting a new idea lightbulb

Welcome to the third installment of guest blogger, Gregg Patterson’s, Management Journey series. This month Gregg shares his thoughts on the positive impact of mentoring on both Mentee & Mentor, the attributes of a good mentor and how to go about developing this relationship.

Gregg Patterson
Guest Blogger Gregg Patterson


Enjoy the read!





Searching for Mentor

by Gregg Pattterson

Want Mentor?

Here in the States, people are yapping (lots!) about mentoring. I’m Big Sam’s career mentor, Big Sam is my career mentor,I’m looking for a Big Sam type to mentor me during my journey from Minion to Big Cheese. Lots of talk about ‘doing mentor’ or ‘being mentored’. Lots of touchy-feely. Lots of hot air and vapour.

Mentoring is needed for Mentors and Mentees.  Questions need to be asked, and answered.

If you want to be an informed consumer of the Mentor-Mentee Experience and if you want to avoid wasting time on worthless Mentees or bombastic, puffed up Ain’t Got the Goods Mentors, then you’d better start asking a few Mentor / Mentee questions. So, Mentors and Mentees, consider these questions and answers:


What’s a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced, thoughtful someone you turn to for advice and insight before making a decision.


Why does an already successful upwardly mobile young professional need a mentor?

Mentees need someone who’s done the Beta Testing, who’s screwed up and learned, who can help them understand what they’re experiencing, can help them anticipate what they’ll someday encounter and can provide insights into decisions that need to be made.


What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor?

A coach is skills focused, observes your doing and tells you WHAT to do in a given situation- whereas a mentor gives advice and insight and lets YOU make the decision.


Why do you need a mentor when you’ve got good friends?

Good friends are a critical part of the Mentoring Network.  Great friends can be great mentors but are sometimes too close to the Mentee to provide the type of objectivity that good mentoring sometimes requires.


When should an Up-and-Coming Industry Professional initiate a Mentor-Mentee relationship?

When there are problems to be solved.


Why would a busy manager want to mentor?

Mentors mentor because it’s fun to sit and ponder The Big Issues of life.  Mentors mentor because it’s an opportunity to go deep into the business, to reflect on what’s been done, to see The Big Stuff in the day-to-day.  Bottom line- Mentors mentor because it gives them The Buzz.

What role does the Mentor have in initiating a Mentor-Mentee relationship?

Beyond showing an interest in and an openness to the up-and-coming professional-none! Mentors are responders, responding to Mentee questions. The Mentee is responsible for reaching out to the Mentor. Mentees either want mentoring and do the reach or don’t.


How does a Mentee convince a target mentor to be his or her mentor?

Mentees need only reach out and connect with a comment or a question. The Mentor’s response will signal their yes or no to The Reach.


What attributes does a Mentee need to do Mentee right?

Great Mentees need to have:

  • The Buzz for the Business.
  • A compelling curiosity.
  • A stimulating personality- endlessly funny, positive, upbeat, inquisitive and interesting.
  • A fluency in and a curiosity about the mentor’s Big Issues -and a readiness to discuss any and all whenever needed.
  • A passionate Deep Generalist mindset—a broad spectrum curiosity about every facet of life and of business.
What attributes does a mentor need to do mentor right?
  • Accessibility- in person, by phone or via The Net.
  • Experience- of both success and failure.
  • Reflectivity- goes deep into the principles and practices experienced during success and failure.
  • A high likeability factor- that is, a personality that mentees want to be around.
  • Endless curiosity- about the who, how, why, when of everything around them.
  • Well-developed facilitation skills- curious, asks questions, expands on answers, asks more questions.
  • A track record of doing and then thinking deep about what they’ve done, why they’ve done it and how what they did got done right or wrong.
  • Experienced Parable-izer- able to weave a good tale from most anything that happens, to see the profound in the ordinary, philosophy in the details of the day-to-day life stories.


What’s the best location for mentoring?

Wherever you are: Sitting.  Walking.  Running.  Biking.  Between sets on the tennis court.  In the bar.  At the dinner table.

What’s meant by fast mentoring and slow mentoring?

Fast mentoring is on the run, results driven, when something needs to be done quickly, when I need to make a decision-now. Slow mentoring is over caffeine with lots of conversation, wandering and yapping and exploring without an agenda or end game.


What are unstructured and structured mentoring?

Structured mentoring is outlined in advance—I don’t want to waste your time.  This is the issue.  I need advice.  Unstructured is impromptu, organic, without an agenda, during part of the walk and talk or over caffeine in the staff dining room.


Some say that Upwardly Mobile Professionals have hundreds of mentors along the way.  Others insist that The Upwardly Mobile select one Life Mentor to guide the way. Who’s right?

Everyone has lots of mentors, a network of mentors, who’ve given advice and insight before decisions are made.

However, some Mentees have been blessed with a true Turn-To-For-Most-Things Mentor- that is, a long-term someone who loves to go deep in the business, reflect on The Journey and yap endlessly about The Good, The Bad and This Will Probably Happen. The lucky ones call these Mentors husband or wife!


How does a Mentee know that someone is the right mentor for them?

A Mentee knows the Mentor’s right when they instinctively turn to him or her for advice and insight without consciously asking who should I turn to?


How important is it for a Mentee to select a job based on the mentoring possibilities of the job?

Critical-having a boss whos both coach and mentor is invaluable.  Mentors enrich the job experience.  They speed the journey.  The young should always choose Mentor over Title, Talk over Position.


Are occasional off-site mentoring opportunities critical to the mentoring relationship?

Yes- because everyone needs to escape from the conventional and the routine if they’re going to think differently about the conventional and the routine.


What role does mentoring play in building community?

A mentor rich environment welds people together through shared stories and discussion.  People gain insight from others- and are indebted to those others for the insights given.  Great communities are built collaboratively one decision at a time.  And mentoring is at the core of the decision-making process.

Can Mentoring actually lengthen the Mentor’s career?

Absolutely! Mentoring is a stimulant.  It forces the Mentor to look deeper at The day-to-day madness, takes the Mentor outside of the routine and the ordinary, connects the Mentor with interesting people who are eager to discuss interesting issues.  Mentoring is a stimulant and makes one’s career lots more than it’d otherwise be.


Why would an old hand become a Mentor once they’re out of the business, retired, and into their twilight years?

Old hands have lived lots, experienced lots, done lots, failed lots, succeeded lots and like nothing more than looking back on those experiences to uncover the whys and the hows. Mentees give them the opportunity to ponder The Great Issues that were embedded in experience. Mentoring enlarges their life.  Forces reflection. Makes them feel needed and wanted by those who are on the way up.


Glorious stuff both doing Mentor and being Mentored!

Enlarge The Journey

Mentees need Mentors to enlarge and to stimulate The Journey.

Mentors need Mentees to enlarge and to stimulate The Journey.

Start searching for Mentors.

Adopt a Mentee.

Answer the questions.

And enjoy the journey!

The Management Journey: Round Tabling

Round Tabling

Welcome to the second instalment of The Management Journey by guest blogger Gregg Patterson. This series of articles shares Gregg’s

Gregg Patterson
Guest Blogger Gregg Patterson

ideas, insights and experiences of a long career in management. This month Gregg discusses the benefits of Round Tabling and has put together a ten point guide as to how to successfully utilise this technique.

If you didn’t get a chance to read Gregg’s last post on the “Exec Ed” Contract then you can find it here.

Happy reading!



Round Tabling

by Gregg Patterson



Managers are hungry for ideas to solve problems and create New Stuff. They’re voracious and insatiable.

Successful managers know that creativity is Job One for 21st century professionals, the distinguisher in a competitive world filled to overflowing with technicians and data gatherers. And Successful Managers know ideas happen when they gather The Team, release The Team’s creative juices and capture the ideas that gush forth from The Group’s collective mind.

Releasing Group Think is the key to finding The New and The Innovative. Group Think requires Round Tabling: a facilitated, directed, goal oriented, interactive, small group networking experience that releases group creativity, builds relationships and makes idea generation FUN!!!

Successful managers have Round Tabling in their genes. They find excuses to Round Table during staff meetings, committee meetings, Board meetings and user forums. When ideas are needed successful managers start Round Tabling.

In this dog-eat-dog world, managers need answers to tough operational and strategic questions. Round Tabling is the answer.

 Here’s the template for making Round Tables happen:

Step One: Find The Master Facilitator

Round Tabling doesn’t just happen; someone needs to initiate, direct, enlarge and sustain the Round Tabling experience. This person, The Master Facilitator, identifies the issues, assembles the right contributors, stimulates the discussion, grows the ideas that surface, generates The Buzz and creates a checklist for making the ideas generated happen. Finding the right Master Facilitator is Job One.


 Step Two: Identify Issues and Opportunities

The Master Facilitator must identify a compelling reason to Round Table: a problem to be solved, a question to be answered. Before the Round Table-ers are gathered and the Collective Mind starts sparking, a narrowly defined, well-articulated question is needed to bring focus and energy to the discussion.


Step Three: Find The Oven

 Round Tabling needs a location. The Space should be removed from activity yet close enough to still feel connected to the operational hum. Space that’s a little too small is best because The Buzz gets amplified and heat gets generated. The Space needs the right aesthetics and the right tools: quiet, a nice table, comfortable chairs, notepads, pencils, the right temperature, bottled water, high octane caffeine and soft drinks.


Step Four-Gather The Contributors

Round Tabling needs the right focused minds to make The Collective Mind work. The Master Facilitator needs to identify which minds are right and how many minds are needed for the question being asked.

The Right Number is easy: no more than eight, ideally six at a given table. Why so few? Because everyone will be engaged, no-one can hide, eye contact can be maintained and everyone will speak. Want more ideas from more people? Simply add more Round Table-ers and more tables.


Step Five: Select The Table Facilitator

 Each table must have a Table Facilitator. If there’s only one table to be facilitated, The Master Facilitator will be The Table Facilitator. If there are multiple tables, then each table will need its own Table Facilitator. The Table Facilitator’s job is critical- he or she must clearly articulate The Question, ask pointed questions, make continuous eye contact, listen attentively, stimulate conversation, validate each contributor’s ideas, enlarge upon the ideas presented and add a buzz to the experience. Done right, The Table Facilitator will release the group’s creative juices.


Step Six: Assign The Table Recorder

If the Round Tablings done right, ideas will flow and each of these ideas needs to be written down and memorialized for future use. A Table Recorder is needed, someone who’ll write down every idea, no matter how loopy or conventional, without bias! No filtering is allowed, no that won’t work is permitted. The Table Recorder is responsible for capturing ALL the ideas tossed out regardless of who said what or what was said.


Step Seven: The Contributors

The Round Table-ers were selected because they’re thinkers and talkers and have a personal interest in, or knowledge of, the Round Tabling topic. Everyone who’s at the table is responsible for contributing to the conversation and making Creative Heat happen. The Collective Mind works brilliantly when every participant is coughing up ideas and fully engaged in the dialogue.

The Table Facilitator is responsible for stimulating the Contributors. He or she needs to ask EVERYONE questions, listen to answers, enlarge on what’s said, challenge the Contributor’s comments and then validate the Contributor’s contribution regardless of the quality of the comments made.


Step Seven: Timed Ponder Time

The Master Facilitator must establish an end time for discussion. Knowing how much is more art than science and is dependent on the subject being discussed, the tables familiarity with the topic, the Table Facilitator and the Contributors involved.

However, there are Ponder Time guidelines. Speed Round Tabling, which involves no more than ten minutes of ponder time, should be used when there are lots of tables, lots of topics, limited time or when high octane interactive toss this on the table now a Buzz is needed. Normal Round Tabling of fifteen to twenty minutes should be used if the group’s filled with first timers, the subject’s complex or detailed tactics need to be generated.


Step Eight: No Escape

 Some Round Table-ers will be tempted to escape the space and take their table elsewhere for uninterrupted ponder time. NO CAN DO!!! Doing so diminishes The Heat in the room, reduces The Buzz and tempers the free flow of ideas. Compression warms the Collective Mind and gets Contributors cooking. 


Step Nine: Going Public- Part A- Assign The Master Recorder

If there’s more than one Round Table, a Master Recorder is assigned. Their job will be document the ideas generated by each of the tables and to memorialize those ideas for the future. Again, The Master Recorder records ALL the ideas generated, without bias, and distributes them to The Contributors for further pondering.


Step Nine: Going Public-Part B- Stand, Deliver and Get Facilitated

 If there are multiple Round Tables and when the Ponder Time is over, someone (usually the Table Facilitator or Table Recorder) from each of the Round Tables stands, speaks and delivers the ideas generated by The Table. The Master Facilitator will enlarge and enrich the discussion by asking questions and providing commentary on the issues raised.

Note- most groups list principles rather than practices and the Master Facilitator’s job is to keep asking questions until TACTICS are identified which flesh out the principles.

If there’s a single Round Table, the Table Recorder will review the ideas generated, the Table Facilitator will stimulate further discussion and the Recorder document comments raised during the post generation discussion.


Step Ten: Do and Review

 When the talking’s done, the Master Facilitator asks The Round Table-ers to prioritize the ideas generated and to identify a timeline for their implementation. S.M.A.R.T. assignments are given- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time related.

The Round Tablers are then re-assembled periodically to address the actions taken to execute the ideas raised during the round tabling session.


Start Round Tabling

 Everyone has problems and opportunities. Ideas are needed to solve the problems and to take advantage of the opportunities. Ideas are generated using the Collective Mind and The Collective Mind is best realized through Round Tabling.

Round Tabling is an Idea Engine. Cheap. Fun. Effective.

 Round Tabling works.

Give it a try.

And enjoy the journey!



The Management Journey: The Exec Ed Contract

Business person signing the "Exec Ed" contract.
Gregg Patterson
Guest Writer Gregg Patterson

We’re pleased to welcome you to the first blog contribution of our guest writer, Gregg Patterson.  Entitled The Management Journey this series of articles will share his ideas, experiences and insights based on the learnings of a long and successful career.

Based in California, Gregg spent 33 years heading up The Beach Club in L.A as their General Manager. Prior to The Beach Club, Gregg cut his teeth as the Assistant Manager of the Bel-Air Country Club and as a Systems Analyst for the U.S. Army Club System. Gregg has been a featured presenter at various club management seminars, assistant manager conferences and hospitality forums around the world.

He’s conducted management development programs on a variety of topics for many organisations including the Army Club System, Para Los Nis, the Junior League of Los Angeles, the P.G.A, The European Golf Course Owners Association, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the Professional Club Marketing Association, the Scottish Golf Union and the International Association of Hospitality Accountants.

Gregg is the author of Reflections on the Club Experience, an anthology of essays on club cultures and operations.

First and foremost, Gregg is a thinker, a contemplator of ideas and a hunter of best practise which is why we are delighted to welcome him as a guest writer.

The “Exec Ed” Contract

By Gregg Patterson

Why Spend the Time and Invest the Money???

Continuing education is a must-do for management professionals in this ever more competitive, dog-eat-dog world of business. Here in the States big bucks have, for years, been committed to executive education to keep business leaders sharp, honed, creative and primed to spank the competition. On this side of The Pond, ongoing executive education has been an a priori must do for a very, very long time.


Executive Education—that is, education delivered to working professionals— is expensive stuff since time is money and money is money. Times are hard, money is tight and those who are paying are looking more closely at the product delivered and the benefits received during the Exec Ed journey.  The costs are known—time and money.  But the goods received and the expectations of the attendee are often fuzzy, poorly defined, with a low stick factor, open to comment and criticism.

Companies who’ve routinely funded executive education in the past are starting to ask “what’s in it for US, the company that’s paying The Big Bucks for YOUR executive education?”  Budgets are tight, owners want answers and simply saying it’s a Must-Do isn’t enough any more.  Justification is needed.

Those who’ve attended conferences, seminars and workshops explain that these events are the drug of choice for Managers and Wanna-Be-Managers needing a Professional Management Fix.  They tell The Payers that these half day, full day and multi-day events are a gathering of the tribe, an energy boost, an enlightener and an enlivener, an all-consuming experience that needs no explanation or justification.  For those who’ve experienced executive education and have drunk the EXEC ED Cool-aide, attending is that special.

But, for owners and share-holders who are funding the journey, who hear about touchy-feely break-out sessions, post seminar cocktail parties and exotic workshop locations, all this conferencing stuff sounds like a boondoggle, an all-expenses paid vacation to interesting places where good times trump class time every time.

Managers who attend, or want to attend, seminars, workshops, and conferences need to answer questions raised by the skeptical, the unenlightened, and the down-right hostile.  Attendees need weapons to defend their going and their spending.  They need a document that explains The Why and The What, something they can wave in the faces of the sneering and the cynical and proudly declare that conference is a Must-Do for serious professionals.

Managers need a document that’s legally binding between The Consumers of Executive Education and The Givers of Executive Education, a written something that clearly states, in black and white, what a conference, a seminar or a workshop will deliver and what attendees must do to consume, digest and disgorge the insights being delivered.


They need—The EXEC ED Contract.


The EXEC ED Contract—Section I–Conference Will Deliver

Managers need to identify what conference will deliver.  They need to show the Whining and The Judgemental the Guaranteed Deliverables from the conference / seminar / workshop experience. Managers who want to attend and those who did attend need to beat their chests and tell The World that EXEC ED delivers The Goods for the dollars paid and the time invested.  Here’s the Giver’s side of the EXEC ED Contract.


Section I—Article 1—We Will Re-Affirm Your Why and The Why of Your Business: This conference / seminar / workshop will identify and affirm The Why of your business; will confirm, restore and amplify your reasons for being In the Biz; and will fortify and inspire you as a business professional to go forth and do good in their pursuit of The Why.


Section I—Article 2—We Will Stimulate Your Curiosity:  This Conference will make you curious about new stuff, old stuff and other stuff in the world of your business. We will provide interesting workshops, social experiences and classroom opportunities that will stimulate your curiosity about stuff you never thought you’d be interested in and will accelerate your curiosity about stuff you already find interesting. We will make you curious about hardware and software, about The Poetry and The Machinery, about The Philosophical Why and The Practical How of your business.


Section I—Article 3—We Will Create Networking Opportunities:  This conference / seminar / workshop will provide opportunities for connecting and reflecting with other industry professionals.  We will provide meet and greet and bump into others opportunities, interactive round tabling experiences and facilitated discussions of interesting topics.


Section I—Article 4—We Will Provide Education:  This conference / seminar / workshop will deliver education by providing insights into The Why (The Principles) and The How (The Practices) of Your Business and will do so formally in the classroom, semi-formally during the trade show and informally during hallway debriefs.


Section I—Article 5—We Will Provoke Personal and Professional Reflection:  This conference / seminar / workshop will provide managers with the opportunity to go deep into their own personal and professional questions.  We will encourage those questions and provide opportunities—both formal and informal—for managers to ask their peers and industry experts about The Big Issues that they’re confronting at the club and in the home.


Section I—Article 6—We Will Deliver the Buzz for The Business:  This Conference will energise, stimulate and invigorate attendees.  We will provide speakers and role models and inspirational videos that’ll recharge their batteries, buck up their spirits and give managers the lift they’ll need to attack the issues, both petty and profound, that threaten to beat ’em up and beat ’em down in the coming twelve months.


The EXEC ED Contract—Section II—Attendee Must Dos

Managers need to explain that they ain’t passive when Doing Conference.  They’ve signed the contract and they’ve got responsibilities.  They accept that they have to do the reach, grab the food and consume the meal that’s there to be eaten.  Here’s the Attendee’s side of the EXEC ED Contract.


Section II—Article 1—I Will Be Curious:  I will be curious about everything I see, hear and experience at this conference / seminar / workshop and will actively seek exposure to people, places, things and ideas within and outside of my comfort zone.  I will express my curiosity by asking questions about The What, The Why, The How and The When of the people, places, things and ideas I’m exposed to.


Section II—Article 2—I Will Attend Workshops, Seminars and Lecture Sessions:  I will have a listing of all workshops, seminars and lectures available each day and will fill my day completely with these educational and informational offerings.


Section II—Article 3—I Will Take Notes:  Knowing that I can’t recall most of what I see and hear, I will take notes during every meeting I have with other professionals, during every encounter I have with places and things and during every workshop, seminar and lecture I attend.


Section II—Article 4—I Will Identify Interesting People: I will consciously and actively search for interesting people: attendees, speakers, administrators, exhibitors and random personalities, who I believe will enlarge my personal and professional life through great conversation about important issues, ideas or things.


Section II—Article 6—I Will Reach Out to and Engage Interesting People in Substantive Conversation:  I will approach and initiate conversations with the interesting people I’ve identified. I will facilitate these conversations with questions, artful listening, personal comments and follow up questions that probe deeper into the substantive issues raised during the discussion.


Section II—Article 7—I Will Debrief Educational Insights, Personal Encounters and Experiences and will Record those Insights and Ideas: I will review the notes I’ve taken on people, places and ideas encountered, will digest those summarising ideas and will record the distillate in my Idea Bank for future reference, review and use.


Section II—Article 8—I Will Act Once I’m Back: I will identify and prioritise those ideas with utility identified during the conference, will establish tactics needed to implement those ideas, will establish a schedule for making those ideas happen and will act to translate those ideas into action.


Gotta Do EXEC ED

Executive education enlarges the journey.  It stimulates the curiosity to seek, opens the eyes to see, provides the tools to do and delivers The Buzz to make stuff happen.

Serious professionals do EXEC ED.

Serious professionals push EXEC ED givers to deliver The Goods.

Serious professionals accept their responsibilities as Attendees.

Serious professionals extol The Virtues of EXEC ED to the cynical, the sceptical and the dismissive.


Do Executive Education.  Know why.  Tell the world.

And enjoy the journey!