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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

December 16, 2019

For many people, including myself, the holiday season and New Years is both a time for reflection on the year past as well as anticipation and preparation for the year to come.

 

At this time of year, I really try to focus on the positives – celebrating both business and personal successes and appreciating the people, including family, friends, coworkers and clients, who’ve joined me on the journey.

 

There have been a few milestones here at Accredentials this year that I wish to celebrate and share.

I have been a training consultant since 2006, and have been hired by numerous businesses as a consultant for blended training delivery.  In 2019, I still have consulting relationships with a few clients.  What has changed, and what I am proud to share, is that I’ve achieved a major milestone in 2019. As I onboard new clients, I have created a training delivery boutique with trusted, senior level creative partners, that deliver your training plan for you.  We are highly skilled at building training videos, eLearning, webinars and classroom training.  Consider us an outsourced partner for your training delivery services. 

 

Yes. We execute training programs. I clarify this point, because I have found as a business owner; I have looked for help on many different things.  My experience is that it is easier to find people who will give you strategic advice at a premium cost, but hand it back for you to figure out how to deliver it. Not us. Not. Us.  This is my biggest pet peeve in the consulting world. If you need to get it done, call us. That is our happy place, and that is what I want to be known for.

 

Getting this boutique stood up has been with a little help my friends. A big thank you goes out to my business coach John Breeze at It’s All About Connecting, for talking me through the ‘crunchy’ bits. 

 

Other highlights in 2019; I upgraded my two desks with an ergonomic solution from inHabit Workplace Wellness. I now create training from their sitting (or standing) desks, with a standing mats and adjustable chairs.  It seems like a small thing, but this was a big deal for me.  Developing eLearning programs (which is my core business service) involves a lot of sitting. The new office furniture has definitely made my world comfortable and productive.

 

I also have my document management handled – hooray!  Working with Evolution Group Corporate Services Inc., my document management processes are now streamlined by using SharePoint, Office 365 and OneDrive. This document management ecosystem not only offers security, it also gives me confidence on how to keep information organized, shared (or private).  I am proud to offer a secure, online collaborative space to work with my clients, partners and consultants.

 

In October, I went to the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas and received a whopping 90% on my Adobe Captivate Certification.  I’ve been using the tool for years but wanted to learn the new version with Virtual Reality and 360. 

 

In November, I added a WhisperRoom to my office off Blackfoot Trail.  I felt a recording studio was necessary for professional voiceovers for eLearning.  I looked into building one, but then discovered that the engineering was already done by WhisperRoom, so decided not to reinvent the wheel. The WhisperRoom, along with upgraded sound equipment, will be my tool of choice for eLearning voiceovers, and will be available for rent for other content creators in late January 2020.  I also upgraded my business internet line to a 1GIG fiber line, ensuring that there is no latency for webinars or streaming held at my space.  My computer systems were already optimized for the work I do, but my environment needed some tweaks, which have now been made.  Evolution Group and I also negotiated a contract starting in January, 2020 for IT services for my Blackfoot location, so that I have tech support available for myself and my clients.

 

With all of this progress, I need to also reflect on what I could have done better.  For starters, like all business owners, I need to create more time.  One way I strive to do this, is by creating training programs for Accredentials that manage the on-boarding process to the systems and processes in my business. This is not a replacement to a walk through (after all, learning should be blended).  However, it is important that I create a system to support new hires to learn and find information when they need it.

 

Other ways I endeavor to create time is to continue to create a roster of trusted senior consultants in the creative space. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best talent in Calgary in the areas of videography, graphic design, branding, communications and technical writing. I strive to continue to onboard those consultants into the Accredentials family, so that your work is executed quickly by specialists. I do not want your work completed by generalists. That creates time for everyone.

 

It’s important to remember, even in a training company, we need to slow down sometimes, take a step back and have an objective look at how we are doing things. I see in my own business, there is room to automate some (not all) of this information through eLearning, and also to ensure that reference guides and procedures are readily accessible should they need to look something up and I am not available.

This brings us back to the New Year. What are your plans for 2020? The best way to achieve goals is to set them in the first place.

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