The story so far…

28/02/2017

When you start a new company, particularly one like Cortecs which is not following a tried and tested path but forging ahead in new and exciting directions, your feelings, well mine anyway, lurch from excitement to terror like being on a rollercoaster! Since we launched in September so much has happened that it’s a good time to take review of the story so far.

One of the biggest changes is that we have organised the business much more clearly to enable others to understand our specialist areas. We’ve created the Cortecs equation Cortecs = Cognition + Innovation + Learntopia. I do like an elegant equation not quite E =  MC2  but nevertheless a straightforward way to explain the key areas of the business. The first area Cognition, is our range of psychology driven development and training programmes which includes our open ILM qualification programmes, the range of business skills workshops and our Cortecs Corporate programmes, a unique range of programmes which apply psychological science to the key issues currently facing businesses more of which later. The second area is Innovation.  One of our key strengths has always been the ability to go into organisations, identify the key issues and then develop effective bespoke solutions. These solutions draw from our expertise in applying the latest psychological research, our experience and the latest technology to provide businesses with learning solutions that deliver measurable impact. FinallyLearntopia, you’ve undoubtedly already heard of our learning environment which we have created at our Cardiff Innovation Centre through the application of the latest psychological and technological research. We utilise Learntopia with its mix of Virtual Reality, Ball Pit, Challenge Boxes and Real World, for our in-house business skills programmes, as a unique venue and as a showcase for other businesses / learning providers to explore a more experiential approach to learning. As part of our mission to bring fun into the work environment through the application of current psychological research and the latest technology in order to improve wellbeing, learning and performance we will provide consultancy to enable businesses / training providers to develop their own ‘Learntopia.’

So far so straight forward, so what of the terror? Well, we ran two Preview programmes, one for Team Leaders which included the ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management the other for Middle Managers which included the ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management. I’ve delivered these qualifications successfully for years but, this was the first time they’d been delivered with the updated content which utilises the Learntopia learning environment. So much research, planning and effort had gone into these programmes, indeed a completely unique learning environment had been created to optimise the learning experience but, however much preparation and planning is done beforehand, as we all know, until you actually do it you don’t know if it’s going to work. Cue sleepless nights going over every detail! I honestly can’t express how happy I was when the participant’s gave their feedback. In fact  I did say to one participant, following his effusive praise that I could hug him. I didn’t. Which I think for all concerned was a relief. All the participants’ feedback was that they had not only had fun, but, the learning environment had done exactly what it was supposed to do, enable them to learn critical business skills in a way that supported transfer into the workplace, ensured that they made the skills and knowledge their own and made the whole experience memorable and meaningful.

My other terror was networking. I am completely comfortable talking about subjects I am confident in, indeed I will happily, as my Dad would say and often has “talk the hind legs off a donkey” but I am, or at least used to be, terrified of networking. Walking into a room full of strangers is its own kind of nightmare. But something has changed. Not sure if it’s me because I am excited to tell people what we are doing, or the networking, but I have met lovely, friendly and supportive people. So much is said and written about women in business not being supportive of other women, again I have found the opposite to be true. I have made friends, proper friends, people who have gone out of their way to be helpful and who I have turned to for advice and who I would be happy to support in any way I can. Indeed out of this has come the Gender Pay Gap Event on the evening of the 9th November the catalyst for being a genuine desire to support other women.

What else has happened? Well, lots really, we’ve been in the news, invited to events and I’ve been made a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management which is the highest level of ILM membership. This is something I am hugely proud of, even when, on being told of my joining the Fellowship my son’s second comment after ‘Well Done’ was ‘So do you get a ring?…’

Finally I’ve created ‘Glass Bubbles’ which is the first programme in the Cortecs Corporate range. I’ll write a more about this (watch out donkeys) but essentially I have done a lot of research on the communication issues facing businesses, in conjunction with mine and other businesses I’ve worked with experiences and from this I have created a concept I’ve called ‘Glass Bubbles’. In brief ‘Glass Bubbles’ are the often impenetrable communication bubbles that everyone – from individuals to corporations – retreat into in order to avoid actual real-time communication. The ‘Glass Bubbles’ programme enables businesses to identify and burst the ‘Glass Bubbles’ effecting individuals, teams, customers and the organisation as a whole.

So that’s the story so far in terms of Cortecs. The other huge thing that has happened is that both of my children have headed off to University. I am immensely proud of them for all of their hard work and how well they are doing. I’m really lucky that my daughter has stayed in Cardiff as whilst I am missing my son who is in Reading, my daughter has essentially just gained an additional bedroom in University Halls, moving between home and halls constantly mainly depending on where the best food / fun is to be found!

It’s been an amazing two months, thank you to everyone who has been part of the story so far. If you would like to know more about any aspect of Cortecs just email info@cortecs.co.uk or helen.jones@cortecs.co.uk or give us a call 0845 226 8234 as I and the team would love you to be part of the next chapter.

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