Author: Christopher Wandel, Shelton Development Services
Things happened fast. One day we were coming in to work as usual, the next it was bumping into the odd colleague who also happened to be on a looting trip searching for screens and clearing out drawers in anticipation of a new domiciliary life.
Our remote learning programme, with its live online classrooms was rolled out to all our trainers swiftly in a matter of days, so all of our training could still be carried out. Our support department was in immediate demand, as working from home through workplace servers caused issues for those doing it for the first time. But soon it died down.
We had dispersed into our own worlds, figuring out our new telephone system, Zooming and the very human reaction of individually wondering on some level if the company would survive in its current form. We are a small organisation and nobody knows what a modern day pandemic brings after all. We all reacted in different ways ranging from casual denial, to delayed acceptance, and finally figuring out how to manage and maintain productivity.
Our biggest discussion was centred around how we would continue to support our customers, and bring in new business. That meant going live, online. People were still there in front of their screens. It was the obvious choice, but the content had to be useful, not just riding the covid exploitation bandwagon.
The road to live broadcasting new content was paved with challenges and fears. Would people turn up, and stay if they did for that matter? It was a terrifying thought to put on something substandard, even though we’re all doing this for the first time.
We spent a lot of time formatting the programmes and the first invite triggered a much bigger reaction than we anticipated, with more than 70 attendees confirmed. We were elated, but then we realised we had to deliver, and that was a whole different feeling. 5 rehearsals later we went live and watched them filter in.
The subject matter was spot on and well received. We had made our customers’ lives easier, giving our insight and helping them to remodel their development schemes to cope with the current situation. It was so successful people wanted more. The stage has been set not just for live webinars on Development Finance but also for topical interviews to generate a regular viewership. Covid may have brought the end of our traditional approach (for now), but it has been the beginning of a new channel, a voice unlocking authority and leadership, hot debates and conversations. SDS is now live!