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Looking Forward To Christmas!

By Caroline Esterson, Chief Creative Officer and Wendy Gannaway, Chief Performance Officer of Genius Learning Ltd. This team supports teams and individuals to be more successful. Based on a mix of modern psychology, and their own vast well of experience, Genius Learning offers a breakthrough system for rethinking how to unlock your own unique genius and rocket fuel your success.

Genius Learning has been at the forefront of innovative learning for the past 25 years. Their unique style has enthused audiences around the world with their innovative perspective and provocative challenges to the conventional wisdom of leadership and peak performance. For more information visit 

www.inspireyourgenius.com

What does Christmas 2020 mean for you both in your business? 

As business owners operating in the Learning and Development space working with clients in the corporate world, our focus has been more towards ‘autumn/winter’ because that is the time when organisations tend to schedule training for their staff. 

So for us this is our busier time of year operationally. During this time we are designing, delivering training and providing follow up support for the projects commissioned by our clients. The two week run-up to Christmas is when everything calms down for a brief time before take-off again in the New Year. 

It is our opportunity to connect with our clients in a more relaxed, informal way to review how the year has been for them and explore what help they may need for the coming year. 

It’s an opportunity for us to spend quality time with members of our team who have been busy doing great work with our clients, without the pressure of hectic delivery schedules. It’s important for us to dedicate time and focus on being the right kind of support that each of our team needs, because this focus helps us reconnect…and this connection at a personal level is what the team do so well for our clients. 

And then thirdly, it’s time for us breathe, review and ensure our plans for 2021 are in good shape.  Relationships are really important for our business both internally with our team and externally with our clients, some of whom we have known for over 20 years. We say that ‘Results Revolve Around Relationships’ which is why we are constantly striving to be the best that we can be for those who we are privileged to work with.

In your business when do you start planning for Christmas? 

Our business runs in clear cycles during the year. The last and first quarter are our busiest times which means we allocate time during the summer to crystalise our focus for these six months so we can maximise this opportunity. There are clear themes that start to emerge on which we build our messaging to make it relevant for clients and prospective new clients.

Will your business be operating differently during Quarter 4 2020? 

The main difference is that where we would normally be physically seeing clients either to review or plan formally for forthcoming projects, or to celebrate successes (often involving enjoying a nice venue and food together), this will be done virtually for us in Quarter 4. We have had several ‘Virtual Cuppas’ and ‘Afternoon Teas’ in place of the real thing. Yes, we know it’s not the same, but it’s the next best thing.  

Are you planning any events in Quarter 4, virtual or real world? 

The biggest event we have coming up is the launch of our next book which is "The Secrets To Unlocking Your Everyday Genius". In this book we share how everyone has unlimited potential to shine. 

In our field research spanning over 25 years we have found three types of genius who all shine uniquely. 

Not all geniuses will show up boldly ‘all guns blazing’ and through these insights, together with our seven-step breakthrough system, this book will help people to thrive even in the tough times so they can live up to their full potential.

Have you got any milestones to share? 

Launching the book is our key milestone. It’s a very exciting development in our business and is the springboard for moving from solely serving the B2B corporate market to helping us reach a wider audience.

Have you faced some challenges which have changed things for you? 

The pandemic has significantly changed our business offering. We are known for the way we run live learning events that are high octane, fun and super memorable. Our workshops are immersive multi-sensory learning experiences, brimming with colour, posters, music and activity that are meaningful and memorable. This is the style of learning that we are renowned for. 

At the beginning of the year 2020 was looking all set to be a year of significant growth with a number of major projects scheduled. Then Covid-19 hit in Europe. Overnight all our contracts were cancelled across Europe and here at home in the UK. 

As many of our clients were furloughing staff there wasn’t even the opportunity to pivot quickly to virtual learning. So, we took the decision to give the business a little bit of a rest. We could have rushed to develop a virtual offering, but as so many other training providers were doing that, it would mean competing in a crowded marketplace and we didn’t want to do that. 

We had been incredibly busy for so long that it seemed like a good opportunity to pause and give ourselves the head space to dream again. We had always said we would love to write a book. 

So lockdown gifted us the time and space to fulfil that ambition. We didn’t just write one book, instead we ended up writing four! One of these was a collaboration project called ‘Ready To Rise’ which became a bestseller on the day it launched! All proceeds go to WHO and NHS Charities Together. 

The next was 'Your Genius Ideas Book - A dose of commercial creativity for busy L&D professionals.' The third book due for publication before Christmas is 'The Genie Within You - The Secrets To Unlocking Everyday Genius'. 

The fourth book to be published in early 2021 is specifically designed for leaders on how to get results by working with EveryDay Genius. 

How are you feeling generally about business in your community at this time? 

Businesses are on their knees and it’s painful to see. Independent businesses in particular who don’t have the ability to compete with the large online providers. 

Whilst smaller town centres are still busy, the cities are like ghost towns, night life is non-existent. Life will not be the same coming out of the pandemic. 

Now more than ever the government should have a policy of buying UK and not abdicating responsibility to the likes of Google to promote buying local. They need to be shining a light in their example to support UK manufacturing and local buying to ensure that we have the businesses still alive to kick start the economy once a vaccine is live.

Any special offers you’d like to mention? 

We are doing virtual keynote speeches to help people understand and work with their own Everyday Genius, as well as the Everyday Genius of others around them.

And finally:

If this time has taught us (or reminded us) of anything it’s that out of chaos comes clarity. Often the answer is right in front of you, but when we get absorbed in ‘busyness’ we don’t always see it. 

When you stop – and the pandemic forced us to just stop – it’s amazing what you notice and the treasures that you find.

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