Digital Leaders course helps set a path for the future

LUCINDA Lloyd, our Head of Operations and Clinical Support, recently completed a Digital Leadership course organised by the business group Inspire. Here she talks about her reasons for taking part in the course and what she gained from it.

How did you hear about the course and what did it involve?

It was recommended to me by Nynke Hunter from Inspire, of which JJ&A is a member. It was led by Kate Doodson and Julie Hawker from Cosmic, who are Digital Skills Specialists and provide digital skills training and services to organisations and businesses across the South West. The course was made up of five monthly workshops including digital strategy, technology, culture and processes.

Why did you decide to take the course?

As a business, we had just become paper-free, and I wanted to learn more about how we could continue to move forwards with streamlining our office processes by utilising different digital technologies.

What did you learn that surprised you the most?

When we became paper-free we used SharePoint as our cloud-based system.  What I was not aware of until I attended this course, is all the different additional applications that are available to us within Microsoft. What was also fascinating and slightly daunting, was how vast the digital world is and how much it has developed in the last 20 years.

How challenging was the course?

It was very challenging but also very interesting. Kate and Julie are fantastic coaches, and they could both clearly explain the more complex areas within the digital world for those of us who were unfamiliar with certain topics. We had to go away after each session and consider what we had learned and try and relate it to our own business. At the last session, we had to present what digital changes we had made and were going to make in the future. We had to make a presentation to the whole group at the end of the course and give each other feedback.  For my presentation, I really stepped out of my comfort zone and taught myself to use Microsoft Sway.

Did it change any of your perceptions about your business?

I don’t think it changed my perception of the business, but although JJ&A is a well-established SME and has been running successfully for more than 35 years, it was clear from undertaking this course, that any operation, no matter what the size, must embrace the right amount of digital technology to have longevity.

What changes have you made as a result of the course?

We have utilised more applications available within the Microsoft Suite to make us more efficient. We now regularly use Teams, Planner, Shifts and OneNote, along with SharePoint, as part of our day to day running of the business.

What would you say to anyone else thinking about going on the course?

I would highly recommend it to any business owner. It was a really well tailored course, in that it did not matter how much or how little you knew about the digital world. That said, it is a challenging course, and you have to put time aside to do the additional work. Additionally, I feel very lucky to have met a fantastic group of business owners, from whom I learnt a great deal. 

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