Management Learning & Development Consultancy
Dublin and Belfast
Providing Management Training and Management Development Initiatives Tailored to your Specific Needs

About Bespoke Solutions

Bespoke Solutions was founded by and is run by Management Learning and Development Consultant, John Mc Cabe.

John has spent almost 20 years in Hong Kong holding several senior executive positions with one of the territory’s most successful companys, the electricity utility China Light & Power. These included Training and Development Manager and Corporate Change Manager. In the former he was responsible for managing the corporate training group, including determining associated strategy and policy. In the latter, he was responsible for resolving HR and staff development issues arising from major organisational change.

For the past 20 years John has been a freelance consultant and has provided a range of bespoke management programmes and initiatives. He has facilitated organisational diagnostic and change projects for individual clients.

In addition, he has worked extensively as an associate with SCOTWORK, the leading provider of negotiation skills training.

He has worked across a broad range of organisations, industries and businesses, ranging from multi-nationals to SMEs and startups, in the UK, Ireland, Europe, the USA and South East Asia. These have included, oil gas, electricity, aviation, public transport, food processing, manufacturing, retail, pharmaceuticals, medical research, beauty, broadcasting, telecommunications, engineering, professional services and the public sector.

John is a Master of Science in Training and has Diplomas in Training and Development and Training Management. He has worked with the University of Leicester as an associate tutor on their Training and Development and Human Resource Management diploma programmes.

Our Philosphy

At Bespoke Solutions, we believe that all our clients are different and have unique needs. Our philosophy is to work closely with them to clarify the issues and develop a tailored solution which will provide measurable ongoing results and benefits.

Our Process

We employ a 5 step process and work closely with the client at every step.


What is the current situation, and what is the desired situation? Identify the gap. Define Objectives.


What are the options available to close the gap and bring about the desired situation? What is the best option or combination of options?


Content, methodology and duration. How and when will results be measured against objectives is designed into the overall concept.


Do It! The initiative is delivered.


Measure results against objectives. What is the overall impact of the initiative? What is the return on investment to the organisation?


An indication of the range of our experience and expertise is given below, although it is not restricted to these topics. Individual initiatives would draw from, and add to this to achieve the best match for the client’s specific needs.

Personal Development

Working closely with executives to help them become totally self-reliant in:

  • Taking stock of the current situation
  • Clarifying the desired situation
  • Identifying obstacles and ways to overcome them
  • Identifying resources needed and getting commitment
  • Producing and monitoring action plans

Psychometric profiling is used to help the executive understand personal style, strengths and weaknesses.

Improving the individual overall effectiveness by:

  • Identifying current barriers to using time effectively and make progress towards resolution
  • Prioritising tasks
  • Making more effective use of time spent in meetings
  • Delegating and communicating effectively
  • Managing time effectively

A workshop format is used to enable participants to work on their own issues.

People are not better because they have had more experience. They are better because they have learned more from their experience. This course helps the participants:

  • Understand the learning process
  • Understand their own preferred learning style,
  • Become a more efficient learner by strengthening weaker styles
  • Understand how to make the most of learning opportunities.
  • Produce an action plan for on-going self-development

A questionnaire will be used to help the participants understand their personal learning style.

From this course, the participants will learn how to prepare and deliver presentations effectively and with confidence:

  • Who are the audience?
  • Tailor and structure the content to suit the audience and intended outcome
  • Bringing dry material to life
  • Use of different presentation media
  • Overcoming stress, being yourself
  • Handling questions

The participants will prepare and deliver a presentation. Video feedback will be used.

Management Skills

It has been said that change is the only constant and we certainly live in times of rapid change. To successfully deal with change, managers must be able to:

    Assess & understand the current situation

    Assess & understand the need for change

    Understand and overcome resistance to change

    Understand their own role in process

    Identify key steps & action plans to implement change

A workshop format is used to enable participants to apply the concepts and processes to their own situation.

If required, facilitation can be provided for managers as they work through the implementation of change.

The ability to make the right decisions is a key attribute of any successful manager. Areas covered include:

  • Why do we need to make this decision?
  • What is this decision aimed at achieving? – The objectives
  • Prioritise, rank and weight the objectives
  • Look at possible alternatives
  • Compare alternatives against objectives
  • Consider the risks, pros and cons of the best alternatives
  • Make decision
  • Take steps to protect the implementation plan

A workshop format is used to enable participants to apply the skills and work on their own, upcoming decisions.

Primarily aimed at people who may not realise the importance of their customer service role for example, service engineers and technicians:

  • Develop and agree a mutual understanding of what quality service means to the customer
  • Examine current communications with customers and how these could be improved
  • Understand how we interact with customers
  • Examine ways in which customer service can be improved

A workshop format is used to enable participants to work on their own issues. Psychometric profiling is used to help the participants understand their individual styles, strengths and weaknesses.

Developing the techniques and skills necessary for achieving better relationships and outcomes through improved influencing skills:

  • Identify the participants’’ preferred influencing style and its impact on others.
  • Considering others’ styles and how best to influence them
  • Improving questioning, listening, communication and influencing skills
  • Practising and reviewing influencing techniques and skills and applying them to a personal scenario

A workshop format is used to enable participants to work on their own issues. Psychometric profiling is used to help the participants understand individual styles

Aimed at assisting those new to management or supervisory roles understand the basic concepts of management and develop the required skills:

  • Understanding the manager’s role
  • Learning from experience
  • Understanding one’s own style and its impact on others
  • Communicating more effectively with staff and customers
  • Delegating tasks
  • Managing time more effectively
  • Assessing situations, making decisions and avoiding problems
  • Understanding and improving team performance

Psychometric profiling is used to help the participants understand their management style. Extensive use will be made of individual and group exercises and role-play. Where appropriate, the participants’ own issues will be used.

Please contact for details.

Performance appraisal is something which typically not looked forward to by either the appraiser or the appraisee. This course will develop the skills and confidence necessary to conduct successful staff appraisals:

  • Preparation and structure
  • Introduction and Agenda
  • Managing the Discussion
  • Performance against Objectives and Competencies
  • Ratings - Qualitive and Quantitive
  • Action Plan, SMART targets, short-term improvement and long-term development

The workshop will guide the participants through the process and will use role play and video feedback.

Performance management is often viewed as an add-on to their primary role by managers and supervisors. This course will enable them to carry out performance management as an integral and on-going part of their job responsibilities:

  • Translating business strategy into individual targets and standards
  • Monitoring and reviewing individual and team performance
  • Recognising and rewarding excellence
  • Preventing and fixing performance problems
  • Optimising the fit between individual development and company needs

This course will enable the participants to objectively analyse situations where something has gone wrong and pinpoint the cause before taking corrective action:

  • Define the Problem – Clarify what has gone wrong
  • Describe and specify the Problem in detail
  • Establish possible causes
  • Test the most probable cause(s) against the Problem specification
  • Verify the true root cause
  • Take the most appropriate corrective action

A workshop format is used to enable participants to work through their own problems.

Designed for existing teams or teams formed for a specific project:

  • Understand what makes teams effective and ineffective
  • Understand individual styles and strengths of team members and their impact
  • Make team meetings more effective
  • Develop own team rules and procedures
  • Practice the skills which will ensure team effectiveness
  • Identify the issues facing the team and work towards resolution

Extensive use is made of group syndicate work, with the emphasis on helping the teams address their own issues, find their own solutions and review what works well and what can be improved. Psychometric profiling is used to help the team understand individual styles, strengths and weaknesses.

Management Development

In a rapidly changing world, managers must have the skills to deal with unfamiliar, complex and ambiguous situations. Action Learning is a process which helps managers develop these skills. This is achieved by setting them the task of resolving significant issues which are of importance to their organisation. Usually done in project groups with an advisor whose primary role is to help them reflect on what they are doing and learn and develop new skills and questioning insights, as they work to resolve the issues. The differences between conventional learning and action learning are outlined below.

Traditional Learning Action Learning
Classroom Based Work Based
Individual Orientation Group Orientation
Input Orientation Output Orientation
Knowledge Orientation Action Orientation
Passive Active
Historical Focus Concern with here and now
Teacher Controlled Learner Controlled
Emphasis on Answers Emphasis on Questions
Syllabus Determined by Teacher Syllabus Determined by Situation

Aimed at preparing middle managers for senior manager positions or lower level managers for middle manager positions. A programme typically employs a combination of Action Learning (see above), workshops on specific management skills and exposure to the operations and interactions organisation’s various departments. Normally undertaken on a part time basis, over a 3 to 6-month period.


John has worked with client organisations in the UK, Ireland, Europe, The USA and South East Asia. These have ranged from Multinationals to SMEs and start-ups.