A message from our CEO, Samantha Caine
It’s been just over a week since we’ve been in full lock down in the UK and what a week it has been. In that time, one of the things I’ve already learnt to value is the personal touch – something that is off limits in so many ways at the moment – a welcome distraction from the constant negative news stories. I’ve found that I am really benefiting from people sharing their experiences, the challenges they are facing and the many positive things that are happening as a result of the current situation.
As such, partly as a way of updating our customers and partly as a way of expressing myself (call is cathartic if you will) I thought it would useful to give an update about what’s going on at BLT.
As you can imagine, our business like so many others has had to change overnight - it’s pretty tough running a business that is focused on bringing people together and collaborating to achieve results, when that’s exactly what we mustn’t do at the moment!!! So far we’ve found that everything face to face has been postponed until at least June (although personally I think it will be September before we see events being rescheduled) and there is very little appetite for virtual alternatives, even though lots of training companies are pushing the transition. I get the impression that many organisations are really focusing on the core activities that they need to do in order to adjust quickly to this strange new world.
For me personally, it’s given me a great opportunity to focus on what it means to be a leader. In 25 years of working, it’s the first time that I’ve found myself in a really challenging business position and although I already knew I had a great team, I have been blown away by the commitment that they’ve demonstrated to find a way through the issues that we have faced – it’s been humbling to see how each and every one of them has gone way beyond the call of duty, driven by finding solutions that will benefit the whole team, the business and our customers in the long term. I’ve learnt what is truly meant by that clichéd catch phrase ‘there is no ‘I’ in team’ and I’ve learnt that even though there have been some very difficult decisions to make (against a backdrop of closed schools and kids that need constant attention at home) true leadership is not about being the boss, it’s about really involving the team. I can say without reservation that my team have been instrumental in helping me to navigate through the issues, to focus on what’s important and where we are going rather than the mud that we can all feel around our knees right now.
So, in response to the forced postponement of so many programs in the next 3 months, we have reduced our office hours slightly but as team we’ve also taken the opportunity to re-prioritise what’s important to us as a business. Focusing on the future, together we have refreshed our vision of where we want to be when this is all over, so while we will be delivering some virtual sessions, we will be spending the vast majority of our time working on the things that are really important to us and our customers - the things that often end up on the bottom of the pile because although they are important, they are rarely deemed urgent.
I’m confident and quite optimistic (in spite of everything) that when the world emerges from this catastrophe, that as humans, each one of us will have learnt to focus on what’s really important and as a business that we will be in better shape than ever, with a plethora of new and inspiring offerings for our customers.
In between now and then, we are here if you need us and while sharing the expertise of our team in a face to face environment is currently off limits, we can help you with both virtual training and perhaps more strategically, with training design and programme development that will help you to ensure your people have the skills that they will need in the future
Looking forward to hearing from you,