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52 Weeks in Education (Week 15)

What does it mean to be Entrepreneurial?

It’s not just about starting your own business; it’s a mind-set, a way of thinking differently.

I’ve met a lot of entrepreneurs that wouldn’t recognise themselves as being entrepreneurial.

Individuals that think act and do things differently.

There are countless, often faceless people carrying out their jobs in a way that fulfils their own need to be effective in the workplace and also produces great results for the companies they work for.

You’ll have met them too.

People who are flexible in their approach to work, thinking for themselves, making decisions and acting on them.

People who take responsibility for their decisions but don’t look for credit when improving a system or process.

Being entrepreneurial can mean knowing your job, and sector inside out, and exploiting that knowledge to create new opportunities for yourself and others.

Being entrepreneurial means sharing ideas freely, and recognising failures as a learning experience.

Being entrepreneurial can mean simply thinking outside of the box.

Entrepreneurial thinking enables people to be flexible, adaptable, and see opportunities.

It’s great to see so many entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses but the success of these businesses lies in the entrepreneurial attitudes and mind-sets of those people employed within the business.

To succeed in business it’s important to surround yourself with complementary skills and expertise, but it’s essential to give people the freedom to really be entrepreneurial.

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Week 14)

Always Learning

I don’t know about you but I would be dubious of anyone who claims to remember taking their first breath, but that’s when we all embarked on our journey of learning.

Learning how to walk & talk, learning how to wake up during the night to use the toilet, reading, writing, riding a bike, the list goes on.

A lot of our learning is experiential, and although our early development is taught by our parents or guardians, it is competence based learning. We learn by doing and practice until we can do it effectively.

We also learn instinctively, especially as a child trying things for the first time. When learning to ride a bike we aim to stay upright because it often hurts when we fall off, and before we learn to talk, we learn how to let others know that we’re hungry, tired or perhaps a little uncomfortable in our smelliness!

Learning is an integral part of our lives even before, and after our introduction to compulsory education.

As we become more confident, and competent we expand our range of experience which in turn increases our knowledge, confidence, competence and experience.

Sound cyclically familiar?

I have never met a child, or young person that isn’t excited from the enthusiasm displayed by the person introducing them to something new, but I have met people that don’t know how to inspire their children and I have met educators that are worn down by bureaucracy, or stuck in a way of doing things that’s no longer relevant, and I’ve seen the impact this can have on a young person’s enthusiasm for learning.

Let’s be clear, you cannot turn off your natural instinct for learning, but you can choose to ignore it.

If we learn how to play football and go on to score a goal, that feeling of accomplishment is euphoric, and palpable. That same feeling exists when we gain new knowledge or skills.

Understanding the application of a maths problem, passing that exam you were nervous about, learning to weld, or making sense of a computer programme. These are all accomplishments that make us feel good.

Academic and vocational education are both essential in our society and must be recognised as having parity of benefit, recognising that knowledge and skill go hand in glove with experience, but we must do more to ensure that we capitalise on the enthusiasm displayed by young people, avoiding, whenever possible, the time when some people choose to ignore their instinct for learning.

We have the foundations of an outstanding ‘all age’ education and training structure, but each stage often operates in isolation with little consideration for a joined up approach.

As we stand poised, as a nation, ready to take hold of our independence on the world stage, we need to plan for, and implement a significant drive to ensure that more people have the knowledge, skills and experience we need as a country to be independently great again.

As I think about all the stuff I’ve learned and experienced, it inspires and excites me to learn and experience more stuff, and as an educator, I want to share that enthusiasm with others.

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

52 weeks in Education (Week 13)

What kind of leader are you?

Has it ever been said to you, when you’ve done something over and above the expected norm? “Oh you’re only doing this because…..” with the expectation of you having received a reward for your actions.

Over a number of years I’ve experienced this in many different roles. Most recently because “you're the owner of Springfield Training”, but past examples include “well you’re the manager”, or, “you must be getting paid to do this”.

Not every deed is undertaken with personal gain or financial reward in mind. I often do things instinctively because it’s the right thing to do, or because it will be of benefit to others.

I now have two and a half decades in education and I have worked with a wide range of people, all of whom I have supported in the hope that they would either out grow their current role and place of employment, or their organisation would grow with them and ultimately become better at what they do.

I have witnessed people who have allowed personal greed or ambitions determine their direction of career travel. I experienced betrayal from colleagues who I considered to be loyal, but importantly, I have seen people grow in knowledge, confidence and humility, going on to be outstanding in their area of expertise.

Leadership isn’t a job descriptor bestowed on those in a position of authority; it’s an attitude and mind-set, an ability to inspire others to be the best they can without thought of personal reward, and I’ve been inspired and motivated by so many different people throughout my life so far.

I do have times when I feel angry towards those that have used my knowledge, experience and kindness to step on the backs of others for their own personal gain, but they are insignificant when I consider those people who have gone on to be better, and in turn, made me better.

Education is the linchpin of our society and we are all teachers and students, as we impact the lives of those around us.

We just need to ensure that any imprint we leave on others is a positive one!

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Week10)

Week 10

I’ve always considered compromise to be a much used, yet greatly misunderstood term, although if you disagree I’m open to a healthy debate in an attempt to reach some common ground.

We all invariably want our point of view to be heard above others and our ideas to be the ones implemented, but how often do we stop and truly consider to the views of others.

Working in a team of intelligent, professional and ambitious people will always be a vibrant atmosphere with a wide range of views and experiences that must be nurtured if we’re to be the best at what we do.

Having a forum in which everyone can air, and share their views and ideas will allow creativity to flourish, providing benefits to us all.

In business negotiation and compromise are common place, but each party must see benefit if the arrangement is to be successful.

My week and many preceding it have involved significant negotiation and compromise in the hope of reaching a mutually satisfactory outcome to a long standing disagreement, but there are times when the offer of compromise is a smoke screen for delay.

The true success of any negotiated agreement is to know in advance, a line you’re not prepared to cross, and stick to it. Although that line must be set realistically, with compromise at its core and you must be prepared to accept the consequences of not reaching an agreement.

You can never be completely sure that a decision you reach is always the right one, but you must be sure that it’s the right one at this time.

This is equally applicable to education. We, as teachers, agree and set targets with our learners, we reach mutually acceptable compromise for when work will be completed and we accept there are consequences for the choices we make.

Compromise by its very meaning involves giving as well as taking, and this gives us the opportunity to learn from others as we practice humility, courage, strength and determination.

Have a great week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Weeks 8 & 9)

Weeks 8 & 9

Have you ever been to the loo and found that someone had pee’d on the seat?

What’s your reaction? One of disgust, disappointment? What do you do next?

Well if you need to go, you’ll clean it, or you’ll chose to wait and leave.

We all have expectations of others, we may not think of them consciously all the time, but they’re there!

In the education and training sector I’ve met a wide range of influencers over the years. Some are blinded by their own personal greed and ambition, and are willing to step on others to achieve this, regardless of cost, while some see the good in others and strive to help without thought of personal reward.

As educationalists our core purpose is to help, support and inspire others to push their own personal boundaries as their knowledge and skill develops.

These are inherently selfless principles that can be enhanced further by using our own experiential learning as a base line.

We’ve all experienced memorable learning, both positive and negative, and it’s through our own experiences that we can facilitate the development of others.

People often do things without any thought of their actions, or the impact on others and it’s within us all to influence positive change in those around us.

If we can all make just one person each day think about their actions and influence some change then we will start to see a positive shift in the behaviours of those around us, and just maybe, we won’t be confronted with pee on the loo seat.

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Week 7)

Week 7

I've been giving a lot of thought to how we treat our customers this week, spurred on by my own recent poor experience.

Towards the end of 2017 we were struggling to recruit people into vacant roles but against my 'gut' instinct I agreed to speak to a recruitment agency.

The meeting was really positive and having discussed our requirements, and the process of recruitment to meet these requirements, we set about reviewing CV's that we'd been assured had been long and short listed as well as a telephone interview with this agency.

We initially wanted a telesales person and a vocational teacher. We went through two telesales people one after another who only stayed for their induction, leaving when the sales bit started, and we had various issues with the vocational teacher who found work to be getting in the way of their personal life.

Now I accept that this isn't a science but having challenged the suitability of the candidates, and a substantial bill, I was told that it was our responsibility to ensure we had the right people, and although recruitment is in their name, and service offer, they stated in response to my concerns, that they only provide an introduction.

We are now 2400 lighter plus the additional costs related to new colleagues joining an organisation and we still haven't filled the roles we set out to recruit for.

I am aware that recruitment is our responsibility, and we didn't have to take these people, but we were assured that they'd been through the above mentioned, rigorous process and we just needed to concentrate at interview on their occupational competence and experience.

That along with being brushed off when challenging this doesn't make for a good customer experience, or a long term business arrangement.

I have always believed that if you treat people as you wish to be treated then you don't need to work hard at providing a good service to your customers, and lasting relationships are built.

It's important to me and my colleagues that we have the right team of people supporting our customers and it's clear that giving the responsibility of sourcing those people to an outside agency isn't, and wasn’t the right thing for us to do. We need to ensure that anyone joining our team, or working in partnership with us, share our values and integrity, and this wasn't the case with this agency.

We will put this experience behind us and learn from it as we go on to directly recruit new people with a passion for education and training, and ensuring that our customers get the experience they're hoping for when learning with us.

Although it's left me feeling a bit like I've been had, it does also give me renewed confirmation that we provide a good long term service to our customers and not that of a short term return.

I hope you have a good week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Weeks 5 & 6)

Weeks 5 & 6

I'm not sure what happened but I lost a week somewhere, so this is my attempt at catching up.

It's certainly been a busy time with the change in our status to Main Provider, and the mandatory training that goes with that, as well as picking up new contracts for delivery within the Yorkshire and Humber regions.

This isn't a complaint. We've worked hard as a team to build our delivery, and I won't ever complain about being busy!

Although I'm still sniffing a bit, I have, hopefully seen the back of my Man Flu. Did I mention how bad it was?

It's great when you feel better following a virus, having all that energy and feeling unstoppable, apart from the odd nap, and I've managed to get out for a few runs which always helps to get my creative juices flowing.

More and more we are being made aware of the wellbeing needs of the teams within company's we work with and winter always sees an increase in people taking sick leave. It is essential that we work to ensure that our teams not only feel valued, but also supported. We spend too much time at work to do it badly!

I spoke to one employer this week, with a busy customer service team, who is introducing 'vent sesh' an opportunity to get together regularly and unburden themselves of the difficult customer issues they've dealt with in a safe, confidential and none judgemental environment in an attempt to avoid their team burning out. What a great concept.

Here at Springfield Training we're introducing a range of mindfulness sessions for colleagues to relax at the end of a working week, entering the weekend with a positive mind-set to enjoy their personal time. Work is important, but so is our family and 'me' time and I want to achieve that balance for my colleagues and myself.

As I prepare for another busy week I recognise that there is only 168 hours to play with, and although I will spend a large proportion of these hours working, I will make sure that I send time with my family as well as some time pounding the streets as I train for my Scottish half marathons.

I hope you all have a great week and achieve the work, life balance you're looking for

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Week 4)

Week 4

Have you noticed how some history seems to be rewritten or adapted to suit current situations, and this is often accepted by the current generation as being the new truth?

I’ve spent some time on my own this week while ‘C’ has been in Scotland, and while still nursing my Man Flu, although I don’t talk about it, I watched a documentary on Walt Disney.

Having long admired people who pioneer change and achieve success against the popular norm I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed it.

What struck me after watching this was our general interpretation of a Micky Mouse company.

This term is used to describe a poorly functioning company operated by buffoons, and this rides against what Micky Mouse stands for.

I understand why poor companies became known in this derogatory way as Micky Mouse was portrayed as a wacky, unprofessional character caught up in nonsensical pandemonium for comic effect, however in the late 1920’s Walt Disney created something never before attempted, and against the advice of the experts of the day. He wanted to create animations that would capture people’s hearts and imagination, evoking emotion from people watching cartoons.

He had a vision and stuck to it, despite the early hardship this caused him, and when Micky Mouse hit the screen in a talking feature length cartoon, people immediately warmed to him, knowing he was fictional, but buying in to his world.

This was further proved at the premier of Snow White when the audience cried when she was poisoned. Sorry for the spoiler if you’ve just spent the last 80 years on Mars!!

My point is that Micky Mouse is the epitome of creative invention and not the derogatory term it’s become over time, and it’s an example of what can be achieved if you believe in your own ability.

It’s very difficult to operate in an established market place when you’re pushing against existing practice, and time has shown us that recognition for innovation doesn’t always land where it should. But you should do it anyway!

If you believe it’s possible, you have to try!

That’s the purpose of education. Our sector is built on pushing boundaries, challenging established practice and continually discovering new ways to improve, well, stuff.

On a day to day basis we often get lost in meeting targets, chasing payments and generally worrying about important but mind limiting things.

Trying and potentially failing is only an issue if you give up. Failing forward with a renewed understanding borne through experience will help you achieve your goals, and let’s face it, if it’s easy, then it’s unlikely to be exciting and potentially world changing!

It is difficult to remain focussed and motivated when times are hard and your paddling to stay afloat, but it is worth it.

You may find this difficult to believe but I am opinionated and sometimes vocal about my beliefs, I know, but it’s true, and I will continue to push for improvements in education delivery to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, and I’m proud to manage a Micky Mouse company.

I’m away now to (sniff) try and shake off this Man Flu – But I’m OK (sniff).

Have a Good Week

Cheers

Noel

We caught up with our very own Georgie, an apprentice administrator here with us at Springfield Training to find out how she was getting on 6 months into her employment and apprenticeship

What does your typical day look like?

I kick start my week on a Monday morning by logging all learner review dates I have been told about on the previous Friday by the teaching team. Well, after a coffee, of course!

I work for a training company, so it is important to keep track off all learner reviews and make sure they’re all okay, otherwise no-one will be getting payed! Haha

I look after the administration in the office with Sally and make sure the team is filling out the correct paper work – no easy task, I can tell you! As well as answering phone calls and enquiry emails. My job is in a bit of a routine I do the same things most days, but that doesn’t make it boring because of the banter me and all the staff have together, they’re very entertaining and have taught me so much, if it wasn’t for them I would probably die of boredom!

What do you like best about your job?

To be honest I’m quite a lazy person I don’t really enjoy doing work, not this work in particular I mean any work in general, but I do it with all my effort, no sloppy work, that’s just life!

Therefore, if I had to pick the best thing about my job it would definatley have to be the team of people I work with. Everbody is really funny and nice! I started working here 3 weeks after leaving school and it’s so different, if I had to decide which I prefer it would 100% be work because it is completely drama free unlike high school and I like that we get to choose when to take a holiday off, plus I also get a pay slip at the end of the month!

The fact I don’t enjoy doing work doesn’t mean I am not eager to learn, there’s so much I don’t know about the world and other stuff in general that I would like to know and since I started working here, the staff have taught me so much and really increased my knowledge on some things. It’s nice to be around intelligent people for a change because my friends aren’t exactly smartest people... but I still love them haha it’s just nice to be around different company sometimes.

Why did you decide to start an apprenticeship?

I was really keen to start working and earning money, and an apprenticeship was a great way to do both. I knew I’d gain so many new skills that I‘d never be able to learn in a classroom. I wanted to have more professional confidence too. I work five days a week doing a job that I enjoy, gaining valuable work experience, earning money, and training towards a qualification – it’s an amazing opportunity.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start an apprenticeship?

Make sure you find the apprenticeship that’s right for you. Something that suits your own particular skills but that will also challenge you, and ensure you learn a lot. Make sure you prepare a good personal statement that tells the employer what experience you’ve had and what your goals are, as well as the kind of person you are. Also, you’ll be interviewed the same way you would for any job, so do lots of preparation beforehand – do research into the company and think of questions you could ask that will make you stand out from everyone else.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to other people?

Without a doubt, I’d definitely recommend apprenticeships. I’ve learnt such a lot in just a few months and gained skills that will help me throughout my whole life. You earn whilst learning, what more could you want!

Georgie

52 Weeks in Education (Week 3)

Week 3

What a week!

There’s so much uncertainty and unrest in the sector at the moment and most organisations are sitting on their funding until they, presumably, get some certainty, which isn’t coming any time soon!

We’re in one of those really frustrating positions of having more companies, and learners, than we can fund at the moment.

In a search to increase our funding I have spent a lot of time on the motorway networks this week. Which incidentally, are in dire need of a significant rethink! On Tuesday I had, according to my sat nav, an eight hour round trip, which took twelve, plus the meeting. I averaged thirty miles an hour on the M1 & M25 and on Thursday my M62 journey into Hull lasted over two hours, double my normal time!

All this I might add whilst suffering with Man Flu! I know what you’re thinking. How did you function with such a serious condition? Well I’m not sure because I was of no use to anyone, and I’ve probably infected the population of Yorkshire!

On top of my gender specific really, really bad cold we have had three, yes three power cuts at home, our neighbours garden wall was knocked into our drive by a car slipping in the snow and I haven’t been able to get out for a run. But I’m not one to complain!

Sometimes stuff just happens. There’s no pattern, or conspiracy it’s just a part of life, and it’s how we react to things that really matters.

Picture this.

I’d had a really difficult day on Wednesday, on top of feeling unwell. Did I mention my Man Flu?

I arrived home in heavy snow to find a wall on our drive and my daughter stood with a Birthday candle trying to be helpful and light my way during a power cut (she couldn’t find anything bigger), before having a take away pizza dinner, by Birthday candle light. What’s not to laugh or enjoy about that?

Although we have now bought candles and lighters, just in case!

As we head into a new week I am determined to secure funding for all our learners and I’m equally determined to break the back of this really, really bad cold so I can get back out for a run and if stuff should happen, well I'll just get stuck into sorting out, whilst complaining to anyone who'll listen about my worst cold ever!

Have a good Week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Week 2)

Week 2

Do you ever feel like you’re trying to pay a two pound bill with thirty pence? I’ve had a week like that, but I still come to work every day feeling proud of what I’ve achieved so far and excited about what I’m going to achieve next.

Things are starting to pick up pace now following the festive break and although our sectors fraught with multiple challenges, I can still see the significant opportunities available, despite the week I’ve had!

My plans for 2018 include two half marathons in Scotland. The Alloa half in March and the Edinburgh half in May, and although fitting time in for training can be difficult, the benefits gained from running don’t just get me ready for a race, they provide me with the clarity I need to keep doing, well, education!

If I’ve had a really bad day running makes me feel exhilarated, and if I’ve had a really good day running makes me feel exhilarated!

Our jobs in education and training revolve around helping, supporting, educating and training others. It’s not a responsibility we should take lightly and I feel very privileged to be working in this sector. Admittedly I don’t always feel like that when I’m in the middle of doing daily stuff, but it is ultimately what matters.

We’re currently in the middle of a large group of learners achieving in January and this always involves us running around tidying up the last minute bits of administration, cross-referencing and undertaking those final Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) checks, and among all this organised chaos we have learners coming to the end of a long period of sustained learning whilst continuing to work, full time, and hold down a personal life, which is pretty impressive.

I’ve been talking with a colleague this week about how we can introduce mindfulness into our daily lives in the workplace, where we spend a significant amount of our time. I am conscious of, and experience the challenges we face, managing caseloads of people who are undertaking their learning whilst managing their own workloads, and if it’s possible to change the way we view our daily challenge through being more mindful, well, it’s a no brainer!!

I want our learners to remember their experience positively, not of that red faced teacher with steam coming out of their ears, running to and from their car in a rush to be at the next appointment!!

Just because the skills we teach and broadly the same it doesn’t mean that we have to provide our delivery in the same way as it’s always been done. I’m determined to achieve a model of outstanding teaching, learning and assessment for our learners with a team of people who have a great, enjoyable work, life balance!

Although if you’ll excuse me I still need to pay that two pound bill with my thirty pence, coordinate the exam resits, clean the staff kitchen and toilets………………..................................

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

52 Weeks in Education (Week 1)

Week 1

Ok, here goes. Throughout 2018 I’m going to chronicle each of my working weeks, building a picture of the peaks, and troughs that is the world of post 16 education and training. This will be a transparent, ‘no holds barred’ account of my experiences during this period.

I enjoy the Christmas break, our only shut down of the year, because I know that no one else is working so I can switch off and relax, spend some time with my family and drink the odd brandy, for medicinal purposes only!!

We returned to work on Tuesday January 2nd following the Christmas closure and although it was a four day week and I was pretty chilled, it did feel longer.

Here at Springfield Training the majority of our delivery falls within the overarching apprenticeship family of qualifications from level 2 up to level 7. We are, according to our learners, very good at teaching and assessing, and we’re pretty good when it comes to engaging with employers and maintaining repeat business, but the challenges we’re currently facing relate to accessing enough funding to meet the demand we have for apprentices within a range of skill shortage areas within the workplace, and the Government changes to funding are not yet having the impact they’d hoped for.

During our first week back I’ve had a couple of very positive employer meetings, planning for more learner enrolments as well as chasing payments that are late due to the festive break, and I’ve caught up with colleagues within the sector who have started the new year doing the same!

I’ve really struggled to get my rhythm going this week and although I accept that administration isn’t my strongest skill, I really haven’t made much headway this week. In fact I can’t see over the piles of stuff on my desk that I need to clear!

The atmosphere in the office has been really good and it’s good to see the team laughing and joking as they planned for a busy January. I’m constantly aware of how lucky I am to have such a great team to work with.

This may come as a surprise to you but I have a pretty stern resting face, apparently, and they’re quick to point out that I look like a slapped, erm, bottom, which keeps me grounded and occasionally smiling.

Unbeknown to me at the time I spent Thursday singing to myself, but loud enough to be heard by colleagues which is a bit embarrassing, and in true work mate style, instead of telling me, they just laughed. Although it could have been worse, I could have heard it myself!

It’s been a relatively quiet start to the New Year and even though I do expect a bumpy ride over the next 52 weeks in this turbulent period of educational change, I’m determined to drive further improvement and meet the needs of our learners and their employers and keep a running weekly log of the highs and lows of my weeks.

Have a Good Week

Cheers

Noel

As we prepare for our Christmas closure, a week of overindulgence and the work we have planned for 2018 I’ve taken a look back through 2017

2017 has been an exciting, and busy year for us here at Springfield Training.

Through our work with a wide range of employer partners we have expanded our delivery to include all England's regions, not through a desire to be as big as we can, but rather through the great partnerships we've built with employers who have asked us to do more within their national companies.

Partnerships are all about getting to know each other, sharing the same values and importantly, learning to listen to each other and being willing to adapt and change if things aren't working as they should be.

Our team here at Springfield Training take pride in our ability to give and receive honest feedback and adapt to meet the needs of our learners and you, their employers. Too often relationships can break down through an inability to just stop, and listen, and then as partners, agree how to move forward.

We are extremely proud to have trained over 350 people during 2017 and we're really excited to see what 2018 will bring.

Like you, we don't get the opportunity to wind down to Christmas, our only shut down period of the year, but we are starting to think about our opportunity to switch off and just chill out for a week, with the obligatory over eating and mind numbing T.V.

As we head into 2018, what's happened to 2017?, our ambition isn’t to necessarily train more than 350 people, it's to improve our relationship with you, delivering the best training we can and building on some already great partnerships. Of course we want to provide education and training to as many people as possible, but only if it's meaningful training that positively impacts on the people we work with.

If you'd like to have a chat with us about your current or future plans for staff training then please give us a call and we can arrange to come and see you over the next few days, or in January.

Don't forget, we close at 4.30pm on Thursday, December 21 2017 and reopen on Tuesday January 2 2018.

Finally we'd like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and we hope, like us, you're looking forward to a great New Year.

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

The Power of Positivity

August 10 2017

Our 2016/2017 contract year here at Springfield Training has been a roller coaster of challenges and opportunities and it’s only when you step back and take a good long look, that you can truly appreciate what’s been achieved.

On a daily basis being in business can often appear to be just an endless slog, but don those positive pants and the world looks completely different.

I accept that running a business in a competitive market will always present challenge and bad days, but it also presents opportunity and good days.

Over the past year we’ve invested in new technology to improve our blended learning provision, we’ve moved to new premises, we’ve grown our team to meet a growing demand for our services, rebranded, expanded our delivery to include national reach and all this while continuing to deliver outstanding education and training to exisiting, and new clients.

Yeah, daily stuff can always distract us from our ambitions and bigger goals, but maintaining a positive attitude, particularly at difficult times, working honestly through any challeneges thown your way and grabbing all opportunities, will always be rewarding.

Doing all this with a team of committed professionals with shared values and complementary skills has made our current success possible and I’m excited to see what the coming contract year will bring.

Have a good week and don’t forget to put your positive pants on!

Cheers

Noel

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‘Knowledge itself is power’ Sir Francis Bacon 1597

July 24 2017

Have you ever felt empowered when you are having conversations and the audience were actively listening, interested and intrigued in what everything you were saying? Feels good doesn’t it! Sir Francis Bacon in 1597 quoted ‘knowledge itself is power’ – what a brilliant quote! Having knowledge enables you to confidently join conversations, have your say on matters which you are passionate about committed to, both personally and professionally.

Knowledge comes from everywhere. From what you read in books, on the web, articles to what you watch; films, documentaries and then there is what you listen to; conversations you have, pod casts, audio books etc. We also learn from experiences that we and others have, when we share those experiences with one another. We are constantly soaking up and taking in new information all the time. We are constantly learning and adapting. Developing your knowledge development in our instincts, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. Our knowledge is what help us grow and develop. Learning keeps our brains stimulates, keeps us interested and engaged across different areas of our life.

Knowledge and learning isn’t always just work based, although makes up a lot of learning and development. But personally, think about how many times you have googled something just because your intrigued, or something occurred which triggered a thought so you needed to find out more about it, happens all the time doesn’t it. We enjoy learning about new things which we are interested in. Chinese Proverb ‘learning is a treasure that will follow the owner everywhere’ – never a truer saying.

The more questions you ask the more knowledge you obtain both professionally and personally, which in turn helps us grow and develop as humans. Without learning and development we would not be able to walk, talk from a young age we naturally wish to learn and develop. As we age we begin to comprehend the obstacles of life, however sometimes we have to go through something to learn new skills in how to deal with the situation, every experience is a lesson to be learnt.

In the work place learning and development is important. As things are constantly changing we need to be prepared so we can develop with the changes. Learning and development in the work place, to me is so important. It helps individuals and teams upskill and creates a sustainable and successful organisation. As an individual, you will feel more confident, competent and engaged in the role.

Personally, development is a lifelong process. From been a baby we age with wisdom and constantly learn new things which help us adapt and progress through our lives. Maslow Hierarchy Needs suggests that when we reach the highest peak, self-actualisation this is where we realise our full potential, self-fulfilment and see personal growth.

Therefore, I truly believe that every moment has potential for us to learn. Knowledge is empowering and supports development both personally and professionally. The more we learn the more we grow. The more we grow the more we develop with our self-confidence, self-belief and unleashes further our potential.

Have you ever felt empowered when you are having conversations and the audience were actively listening, interested and intrigued in what everything you were saying? Feels good doesn’t it! Sir Francis Bacon in 1597 quoted ‘knowledge itself is power’ – what a brilliant quote! Having knowledge enables you to confidently join conversations, have your say on matters which you are passionate about committed to, both personally and professionally.

Knowledge comes from everywhere. From what you read in books, on the web, articles to what you watch; films, documentaries and then there is what you listen to; conversations you have, pod casts, audio books etc. We also learn from experiences that we and others have, when we share those experiences with one another. We are constantly soaking up and taking in new information all the time. We are constantly learning and adapting. Developing your knowledge development in our instincts, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. Our knowledge is what help us grow and develop. Learning keeps our brains stimulates, keeps us interested and engaged across different areas of our life.

Knowledge and learning isn’t always just work based, although makes up a lot of learning and development. But personally, think about how many times you have googled something just because your intrigued, or something occurred which triggered a thought so you needed to find out more about it, happens all the time doesn’t it. We enjoy learning about new things which we are interested in. Chinese Proverb ‘learning is a treasure that will follow the owner everywhere’ – never a truer saying.

The more questions you ask the more knowledge you obtain both professionally and personally, which in turn helps us grow and develop as humans. Without learning and development we would not be able to walk, talk from a young age we naturally wish to learn and develop. As we age we begin to comprehend the obstacles of life, however sometimes we have to go through something to learn new skills in how to deal with the situation, every experience is a lesson to be learnt.

In the work place learning and development is important. As things are constantly changing we need to be prepared so we can develop with the changes. Learning and development in the work place, to me is so important. It helps individuals and teams upskill and creates a sustainable and successful organisation. As an individual, you will feel more confident, competent and engaged in the role.

Personally, development is a lifelong process. From been a baby we age with wisdom and constantly learn new things which help us adapt and progress through our lives. Maslow Hierarchy Needs suggests that when we reach the highest peak, self-actualisation this is where we realise our full potential, self-fulfilment and see personal growth.

Therefore, I truly believe that every moment has potential for us to learn. Knowledge is empowering and supports development both personally and professionally. The more we learn the more we grow. The more we grow the more we develop with our self-confidence, self-belief and unleashes further our potential.

Have you ever felt empowered when you are having conversations and the audience were actively listening, interested and intrigued in what everything you were saying? Feels good doesn’t it! Sir Francis Bacon in 1597 quoted ‘knowledge itself is power’ – what a brilliant quote! Having knowledge enables you to confidently join conversations, have your say on matters which you are passionate about committed to, both personally and professionally.

Knowledge comes from everywhere. From what you read in books, on the web, articles to what you watch; films, documentaries and then there is what you listen to; conversations you have, pod casts, audio books etc. We also learn from experiences that we and others have, when we share those experiences with one another. We are constantly soaking up and taking in new information all the time. We are constantly learning and adapting. Developing your knowledge development in our instincts, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. Our knowledge is what help us grow and develop. Learning keeps our brains stimulates, keeps us interested and engaged across different areas of our life.

Knowledge and learning isn’t always just work based, although makes up a lot of learning and development. But personally, think about how many times you have googled something just because your intrigued, or something occurred which triggered a thought so you needed to find out more about it, happens all the time doesn’t it. We enjoy learning about new things which we are interested in. Chinese Proverb ‘learning is a treasure that will follow the owner everywhere’ – never a truer saying.

The more questions you ask the more knowledge you obtain both professionally and personally, which in turn helps us grow and develop as humans. Without learning and development we would not be able to walk, talk from a young age we naturally wish to learn and develop. As we age we begin to comprehend the obstacles of life, however sometimes we have to go through something to learn new skills in how to deal with the situation, every experience is a lesson to be learnt.

In the work place learning and development is important. As things are constantly changing we need to be prepared so we can develop with the changes. Learning and development in the work place, to me is so important. It helps individuals and teams upskill and creates a sustainable and successful organisation. As an individual, you will feel more confident, competent and engaged in the role.

Personally, development is a lifelong process. From been a baby we age with wisdom and constantly learn new things which help us adapt and progress through our lives. Maslow Hierarchy Needs suggests that when we reach the highest peak, self-actualisation this is where we realise our full potential, self-fulfilment and see personal growth.

Therefore, I truly believe that every moment has potential for us to learn. Knowledge is empowering and supports development both personally and professionally. The more we learn the more we grow. The more we grow the more we develop with our self-confidence, self-belief and unleashes further our potential.

Amy Burton

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

The frogs are back in town

July 18 2017

We’ve had a pond in our garden for around 17 years. Well it was there when we moved in, and over that time we’ve had a variety of creatures making it their home.

Around 4 years ago the frogs just disappeared. I’m not sure if it was something we did, or said, but they were gone.

Well they’re back.

Again I’m not sure what, if anything we’ve done differently, maybe they just needed a change of scenery, but it’s nice to have them back.

Nature can teach us a lot about resilience and if we look closely enough we can find inspiration in all that nature provides.

The ingenuity of a spider using engineering excellence to weave a web before lying in wait to capture its food, the accuracy of a sparrow hawk spotting and capturing it’s pray, bees and ants working selflessly for a common cause, or the natural instincts of migration simply to survive.

As mammals we possess the natural instincts of many of nature’s survivors and yet all too often we suppress these instincts in favour of a safer option, often having a gut feeling or a deep rooted ambition that we fail to act upon.

There’s no doubt that the modern trappings of life have dispensed with our need and ability to hunt, fight and survive, but our base instincts are still actively talking to us, even when we don’t listen.

Our natural environment and the creatures that inhabit it are not only fascinating to watch, providing us with the inspiration to innovate, but they’re essential to our survival and should be afforded the room and environment in which to thrive.

I often observe nature’s creatures in action, fascinated by the resilience they display, considering how I can learn from their superior skill and ingenuity, and I invariably listen to my gut instinct before giving it structure.

It’s great to have the frogs back in our pond and I am grateful for the role they play in managing our little piece of nature.

Have a good week

Cheers

Noel

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