BY Sharon McLellan

DATE: 12 FEB 2021


Alive to Virtual Learning

One week last March we pivoted our business. You will recall it all kicked off on Monday 16 March. It amazes me that on the Friday of that week we delivered our first Live Virtual Learning workshop. Apart from noting the client had saved more than our fee in travel and accommodation expenses and that Zoom is not just a song by Fat Larry’s Band, here are three things I was reminded of that week:

  • Fierce deadlines are fiercely motivational (if a little terrifying)
  • We were busy enough but not being brave enough (as a business)
  • Innovation is a team effort (top down and bottom up)

After that first workshop we were immediately all over every aspect of Live Virtual Learning, from an embarrassingly poor starting position. We had not seen it as an option because we were unaware of what was available, or what value our clients might get. Three more things quickly became apparent:

  • Preserving our essential “flipcharts in the room” was a must (see KWCWONDERWALL)
  • No-one in our business had a job in April 2020 (or not the same job)
  • Brave resourcing decisions were needed quickly (time and money)

Pivoting is one thing, closing business quite another. Once in the Virtual room we would be fine, but convincing trepidatious clients was quite another matter. Over the summer we voraciously embraced, Zoom, Teams and social media to keep our team tip-top, maintain existing relationships and forge new ones. Here are three late 2020 light bulb moments

  • Nothing is the same and the pace of change will not let up (this means opportunity)
  • It’s not about the tech, it’s about creativity (you need to experiment and fail a bit)
  • It’s all about the team; culture eats strategy for breakfast (the KWC team is awesome)

I have never been more excited and optimistic about what’s possible; and a little scared too, but so what? We are in a better position than when we started 20 years ago, with no clients, one programme and hoping to do 10k a month. Our REMO ROOM is now a global venue. Three final thoughts:

  • Be brave and invest, but know your numbers (I love a spreadsheet)
  • Be a visible, accessible, empathetic leader (irrespective your personal leadership style)
  • Share the vision with utter transparency (without being naive, of course)

Before March last year we had never delivered a day in Live Virtual Learning format- our bad- so forgive me this little bit of showing off, from a senior consultant in a global business, on a LVL programme we have delivered for a decade in the room, which is now on the Zoom.

I was slightly apprehensive at how an all-day Zoom training would go, but very high energy kept all the participants engaged. The pace and breakout rooms meant there was no time for distraction or to get bored, the content was topical, all participants engaged and took something away. I would 100% recommend this training to my peers and would even go as far as saying it’s the best training I've attended in a long time!

That’s what great facilitators are expected to do, but more importantly what great teamwork can do.



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