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Good Morning Everyone,

I have just written my latest blog on e-learning. Please feel free to have a look and send over any feedback.

Many thanks

Jeremy Francis

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E-Learning – it’s time for a step change

There comes a time in the life cycle of any product or service when the original idea behind its launch is no more ‘of its time’.  The market has moved on, customers have moved on and technology has moved on.  Such is the case with conventional e-learning.  It’s now time for a step change in how it is delivered.

Originally introduced to be a cost effective way of delivering distance learning via a variety of digital media with students undertaking self-paced learning on their own in an asynchronous environment it always required an extremely high level of self-motivation from the student to complete sessions.

There now exists literally thousands of e-learning programmes which can be completed on-line.  But what is the take-up of these programmes by employees?  If a large global corporate client of mine is anything to go by, as few as 4% of their employee population complete e-learning programmes on offer.  The majority of these being completed being driven by compliance or regulatory issues.

Why the reason for this low take up.  Here are some reasons given by employees:

-  Boring content

-  Poor structure

-  Too rigid

-  Patronising

-  Lack of interaction with others

-  Lack of access to trainer

-  Frustration when it comes to arriving at right answers for tests

-  De-motivating

Delivering highly engaging content for a live trainer is a challenge in itself.  To reproduce this online is no less of a challenge but it can certainly be done, and done very effectively.  The time has come to make a step change.

Today’s students like to learn in a synchronous environment which is highly interactive and media rich.  They want online sessions which:

- Involve interaction between them and the trainer and between them and other trainees

- Use slides sparingly

- Include video clips to demonstrate points

- Enable them to complete online self-assessment questionnaires and get the results instantaneously

- Provide practical personal development ideas

- Use role-plays

- Use breakout rooms for small syndicate discussions

- Use polls to poll the thinking of individual students and the group as a whole

- Enable sharing of information by students using screen sharing

- Are supported by personal workbooks

- Can be recorded for future use with students

- Link to online and other personal development resources

This form of e-learning is referred to today as ‘Virtual Classrooms’ i.e. the delivery of an online instructor led classroom using all the features and benefits of instructor led live training.

Gone are the days when e-learning is a pedestrian, plod though uninspiring material on your own.

With the use of today’s technologies you can access truly engaging online training which is very motivating and extremely enjoyable.

Why not treat yourself to a demo.

Just contact us:

Jeremy Francis

CEO Constantior


Tel:  +44 (0)1634 787454

Mobile: +44 (0)7973 216323

Skype:  jeremy.francis1904

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Creating A New Business? - Five Tips to get Started

Ask yourself these five vital questions.

What is the current situation?

Cover the following:

1. What is my target market-place?
2. What are the trends in the market I am targeting?
3. What are the drivers of these trends? e.g. New Legislation, 4.Economic Environment, Culture Change, New Technology, New Social Norms/Beliefs
5. What are my potential customers wanting; how can I segment these customers by type of business and size of organisation, or age, sex, geography, background, employment etc.; i.e. individual consumers, what are their specific needs?
6. Who is offering what right now to these potential customers address  their challenges and needs?
7. What success are they having and why?
8. Where are they  apparently not succeeding and why?

Looking forward, 12 months from now, what would be a preferred future situation for potential customers?

Cover the following:

1. What products, resources and physical materials will they be buying; how will they want to access /pay for these?
2. What services, advice, and value added knowledge, insights and know how will they be acquiring; how will they want to access/pay for these?
3. What would be a business model that would deliver to these needs including the pricing model, the features, characteristics, differentiators and of course benefits?

What therefore is the gap between the current and future situation which you will need to address?

Cover the following questions:

1. What key external issues which you will need to be focussed on, e.g. demands of customers, rivalry between existing suppliers in the market, new entrants to the market, threat of new substitute products/processes coming into the market?
2. What internal issues will you need to address e.g. people resourcing issues, premises, plant, equipment, machinery, IT systems and finance?
3. How much time do you have to address these issues?  Where will you need help?
4. What is the plan to address each key issue?

The plan should include:

The vision for the business.
1. Key objectives for the first 12 months, and following 12 months.
2. The  initial  strategy e.g. a start-up and organic growth as a single enterprise (starting from scratch), partnering with others (employing the specialist skills of others as required), or acquiring an existing supplier (who has already built a business which largely meets the needs you have identified).
3. The deployment and use of resources required when the resources will be required; when they will need to be paid for and how
4. The structure required to organise the operation.
5. The required culture/values; what will make your brand distinctive?
6. The leadership and management of the business, by whom, and with what style.

What will be the evidence of success?

Cover the following measures:

- Numbers of clients
- Types of clients
- Product revenues
- Services revenues
- Client feedback and testimonials
- Growth of market-share and influence in the market-place
- Thought leadership displayed
- Reputation and market standing
- Profits
- Directors' drawings/income

Before starting the above five step process carry out thorough research.

To address Steps One to Three it is a good idea to use a Focus Group to work through each of the questions and to prompt further research where there are knowledge gaps.

To draw up the Business Plan (Steps Four and Five) you will best achieve this using an external facilitator/mentor to help you address each issue and to formulate a plan.

There is of course a lot more to starting your own business, not least obtaining the necessary finance and seeking  the best advice to do this, but get the above basics right and you should at least be well placed for a successful launch!

Good luck.
Jeremy Francis

#business   #businesstips   #startup  
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Good Morning

My name is Jeremy Francis CEO of Constantior. We provide highly interactive online learning using virtual classrooms, online personal development resources, and consultancy to deliver cloud-based learning on demand anywhere and at any time.

I have written an article about helping your business to gain a competitive edge. I hope you find it useful.

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Good Morning

My name is Jeremy Francis CEO of Constantior. We provide highly interactive online learning using virtual classrooms, online personal development resources, and consultancy to deliver cloud-based learning on demand anywhere and at any time.

I hope you find this article useful;

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Good Morning,

My name is Jeremy Francis CEO of Constantior. We provide highly interactive online learning using virtual classrooms, online personal development resources, and consultancy to deliver cloud-based learning on demand anywhere and at any time.

I hope that you find this article useful... 

So, what would your organisation give for a competitive advantage?

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Intellectual Capital - The New Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantage. What would your organisation give for it? Long term, sustainable, unbeatable competitive advantage, in today’s global market-place. Is it possible? And intellectual capital. What is it? Why is it our only hope for real competitive advantage?

E-businesses are growing. Long established, profitable, household names are being eclipsed in terms of shareholder value by organisations which trade on intellectual capital versus financial capital. Why this apparent madness? The truth is simple-access to a new global market which never sleeps, never closes and is hungry to do business. The entrepreneur’s ultimate dream has come of age!

Ask yourself one fundamental question-what does it take to succeed in this new dream world? The answer - knowledge and the use of it.

Knowledge, or intellectual capital, is easy to access in well developed, long established markets in which every major player knows where the information is and how to acquire it. But knowledge in a trail-blazing, pioneering and information age market is a different challenge altogether.

So how can you access the vital intellectual capital to ensure that your organisation is a future winner? Here are ten tips:


Our conventional wisdom tells us that the more long-serving, experienced, and proven people in our organisations provide the wisdom, and in their wisdom is the key to future corporate success. But they may be limited by old paradigms. In today’s turbulent world it could be that the younger, openminded, and cavalier business brains are better equipped for information age companies. These people do not necessarily have conventional skills sets.

In your search for intellectual capital start with those you recruit. What about a new employee proposition which stresses the value you place on intellectual capital?


Scrap the organisation chart and conventional reporting lines. Find out what people know, how it can impact the business, who else needs to know it, and how the knowledge needs to be captured and transferred. We do this when collating essential management information. We now need to do it with ‘competitive advantage’ information.

Here are some clues as to what to capture:

Market trends
Your changing customer profilesCustomers’ perceptions
Opportunities for cross-selling
Substitute products
I.T. and other technology trends
Best practice competitor initiatives
Employees motivation to give of their best
Draw up ‘competitive advantage’ success criteria and monitor them ruthlessly using the best evaluators you have-your people!


Knowledge, know how, and insights are in abundance in your business. Create an internal market-place in which your people can trade them.

If teams and individuals were engaged in best practice forums and used e-coaching to trade their knowledge, your organisation would begin to resemble the market-place in which it was trying to operate.

To use intellectual capital you have to acquire it, move it, and add to it starting with what you’ve got! You’ll need to re-think people’s abilities and conventional roles to do this. You’ll need to re-design systems and databases to support them.


Competitor activity is one of your greatest sources of intellectual capital.

Your new competitors will probably not be the familiar names you have tracked over the years. They may come from a different country, a different market-sector and a different corporate culture.

You will need competitor scouts constantly scanning the horizons of new competitor activity and feeding you intelligence. You will need the means to capture this information and use it.

Review your external focus with a passion.


Changes in your market-place will happen faster than ever before. Defy your conventional wisdom of having no spare resource available.

Have a rapid deployment force continually at the ready, which can respond to a new competitor initiative within days versus weeks or months.

Keep them apart from the mainstream business and unfettered when it comes to corporate politics or 
organisational constraints. Make them an elite group which people long to join.


Don’t just talk about innovation, practise it.

This means sponsoring it at the highest level. What about a board member who is ‘Director of Innovation’? Taking innovation seriously means resourcing the critical stages of:

Generating new ideas
Validating ideas
Turning ideas into prototypes
Market testing prototypes
Launching new products and services.
This does not happen without managing information in your business. Not to manage it is simply to wish it! It simply will not happen.

Reward the whole organisation for it. Create a separate innovation bonus pool and fund it from a percentage of the revenues of new products. Inculcate innovation into everyone’s mind-set. Make sure that people know that it’s rewarded.


You will need to continuously work on your existing business to make it more profitable. Your future will depend however on the launch of new businesses.

Launching new businesses and new revenue streams requires a different type of know-how. This is the calculated risk-taking know-how of the entrepreneurs.

Your business will not survive unless you are prepared to be radical in launching new businesses. Remember the corporate life cycle on which your core business was originally built. It grew to ‘prime’ through the stages of:

How many new businesses do you have which are currently undertaking this same journey? Are you injecting the necessary intellectual capital into each one of them?


The market may be global, but you will still need to succeed in it at a local level.

Local cultures and different business environments require local know-how . You may not need the bricks and mortar of a local presence but you will need the intellectual capital of people who know local markets. Aim to be both ‘click’ and‘brick’

Make sure you build into your business the means to attract high quality individuals from all over the world who could bring both global and local thinking to your business.

If you were a global recruitment agency how would you attract them? Create the necessary employee value proposition to attract your ‘global’ intellectual capital.


In order to succeed, you will need managers who can grow your talent. These will be managers who can:

Stretch their people
Recognise and value people’s contributions
Attract the talent they need
Coach and mentor their people
Support people’s personal growth and development
These are the ‘corporate generals’ of the new millennium. They will need to be trained and groomed for the role.


Lets face it, your business is your people.

It’s your people that have got it to where it is now. It’s your people who will keep it there and it’s your people who will grow its long term competitive advantage.

Your competitive advantage depends quite simply on your people and their know-how. Your organisation’s unique challenge is to create the intellectual capital they must possess to succeed.

Invest in this capital now - you owe it to yourself.

#competitive   #advantage   #IntellectualCapital  
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