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Ray Brown Q&A: Second Lockdown

A question and answer session with KnowledgePoint’s Sales and Marketing Director gives insight into, key actions for learning services business, his personal goals, and the differences this time around during second lockdown.

What is the key action learning services business can take to survive the second lockdown?

In my view the lockdown hasn’t necessarily brought about anything revolutionary, however what I have seen is three things that have accelerated:

  • The shift in “ways of working” that was already underway (to differing degrees in different markets and businesses); the enforced move to homeworking, the adoption of online meetings of all kinds and the increased use of technology has been incredible.
  • A broader understanding that wellbeing, resilience and support are critical to ensuring that the primary asset of any business – people, is cared for and protected.
  • The way in which successful businesses have adapted quickly, but then continued to evolve as they learn what works and what doesn’t.

Given the above I only have 1 recommendation for businesses who want to survive (and perhaps even thrive) through the second lockdown – listen to your clients! Take the time to understand what they want, how they want it and how to best engage. In my view this is where success lies.


What are your personal goals during this lockdown?

Starting a new role during lockdown has been a weird experience – both good and bad. The ability to focus and be incredibly efficient thanks to the reduced travel requirements, the increased use (and acceptance/understanding) of technology and the need to focus clearly on the critical factors has been counter-balanced by the lack of face to face interaction with new colleagues and the growing “Zoom fatigue”.

So, my goals have been quite simple:

  • Embed, understand and shape the business for growth.
  • Ensure that we continue to look after and engage with our clients.
  • Make sure that the team is looked after and cared for.

What are your recommendations for keeping your team motivated whilst working from home?

Encourage frequent breaks from the technology – get out and get some fresh air! Working from home can cause people to abandon ways of working that were once natural, and the home desk can become quite magnetic!

Regular check-ins – ask the questions, get a sense from the answers. People need assurance, support and sometimes a chance to vent. Everyone handles it differently

Celebrate success – we can’t always get together, but we can find a way!

What will be different about this lockdown?

We’ve clearly learned from the first lockdown and this is good (in that we can evolve our habits/behaviours), but also bad (we can become complacent or lazy). I think that this, together with the fact that we are now into Autumn/Winter will make the experience different and we should judge it on its own merits. We need to constantly review our personal risk assessment and make our own judgements on how we act.

How can learning services ensure they can still deliver their content?

Be flexible, listen to your clients, seek external views; the clients are learning too! We’ve seen a shift where different clients offer a complete mix of face-to-face learning (physical, virtual and combined) supported by options for support material (print delivered to home and/or digitised material delivered via MyLiveBook). We’ve seen audiences who never want to handle a book again, and those who just don’t want to embrace digital. At the end of the day (excuse the phrase) they are the ones who count – we need to embrace their views and offer practical solutions.

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