How did you find we pivoted as a business, we have traditionally for 30 years been in a classroom, in a working environment, dealing with industry leaders, firefighters from different backgrounds from different industries, we have been in that classroom getting to know individuals looking into the whites of their eyes. How have you found personally that transition over to online learning and how do you think as a business we have dealt with that shift in concept overall?
The move to online as ALD always is, impressively quick, within 7 days of the first lockdown we were training online, no problem. We have always been extremely fast to react to our customers I think that’s one of the things they love about us Matt Chapman from Oxfordshire always talks about our flexibility and our ability to adapt very quickly to their needs and wants in fast changing environments. So, from that point of view really quick to adapt.
From a personal point of view I have already hinted at it, training online is difficult, it is much harder they are looking at a TV screen all day and unless you are very tuned into doing that it is a hard thing for the delegates not just for the trainer it is harder to reads things like body language, harder to spot when people are getting tired, discussions have to be more controlled in terms of the roles and when people can speak and the free flowing discussion you usually get isn’t quite the same and that I have missed a little bit if I am honest because I like to be in a room and I love challenging delegates, I love those sometimes those fiery discussions. I deal with leaders and managers, these are confident usually educated professional people who have opinions, and then get to these positions from hard work and speaking their mind. So, I love that, cut and thrust of discussion. Because leadership and management is often is contextually variable and perception has a large amount to play and everyone can see the same situation in two different ways.
So, it is harder to have those free flowing discussions and just to get that vibe, there is something about real human beings in a room, that adds a little bit of something different to the way we treat each other when we are together. That has been the hardest thing I think we have overcome, and it adds something to the quality of the training I think people get more involved when they are in a room. But, that being said the situation is what it is and ALD have always adapted and that is why it has been around for 30 years, you adapt and you cope. But, I am starting to see some of our clients move back into training rooms and I have to be honest I am loving that. I went and worked with the firefighters charity, and I will be there again next week at a conference with 20 odd people in it and yeah I think I have got my mojo back, I am loving doing that again.
That being said, all of my trainers will carry on being professionals in training rooms, online wherever you put them you will always get that standard of service that you would expect from us. A suitably qualified trainer, an expert in their field experience in the industry, that is always very important, these people are not just academics they have worked at these levels so they bring a lot of anecdotal evidence in play to support the theories within leadership and management.