Personal Edge is a radical new approach to help your people to develop the individual ‘edge’ they need to to achieve exceptional results in a competitive and turbulent world – an approach which is not only more effective but also a fraction of the cost of conventional training programs.
Please click on the titles below for more details on how Personal Edge can help your people to achieve edge.
There will be no 'back to normal'
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many business leaders were already using a term borrowed from the military to describe the business environment – VUCA – Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous. The big destabilising force was, and still is, technology.
“In 10 years, 65% of jobs will be jobs that don’t exist today.”
World Economic Forum
Then COVID-19 hit and it's now VUCA2.
Optimism is vital – but it has to be realistic optimism. In the words of James Stockdale, who survived 7 years of living hell as a Vietnamese prisoner of war:
"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
And the 'most brutal facts of the current reality' are that the repercussions of the pandemic will be immense, very hard to predict and will continue to be felt for years to come. It is almost certain that many businesses, including lots that were well-run and profitable, will fail. Each failure will cause ripples through the local economy, damaging suppliers and customers … and their suppliers and customers …
And as unemployment increases, consumer spending decreases and the dominoes continue to fall.
In every sector, existing players will cut costs and slash prices in a desperate bid to survive. New players will enter sectors, seeking to make-up the shortfall in revenues in their current markets. And many will bring new technologies and business models that transform how business is done.
Competition will be fierce.
And at some point, we will have to pay the bill for the financial support provided by governments.
It's going to be tough.
But, as always, for those organizations that are prepared, there is the opportunity to shine in the chaos.
Surviving and Thriving in Chaos
I believe that people are the key.
Imagine the difference in results between people who have and don't have these attributes:
- effective habits and efficient processes
- a growth mindset: adaptable and seeking continuous improvement
- excellent communication skills with the ability to influence others
- results-focused and able to manage multiple priorities
- insight into what makes people 'tick' – colleagues, customers, suppliers …
- negotiation skills to ensure that you get the best deals
- understanding and management of internal drivers and unconscious biases
- strong connections – a source of information, opportunities, resources
- a strong personal brand that gives others confidence in their abilities
- resilience in the face of setbacks
- a supportive, emotionally-intelligent, colleague
- realistic optimism and comfortable working in uncertain conditions
These attributes I call 'edge' – because they give your staff the personal edge to outperform individuals with similar roles in other organizations. And the collective personal edge of your people leads to competitive edge for your organization.
These are not innate, you-either-have-or you-don't, attributes. Every single one can be developed. And The Personal Edge Program is the most effective way to do this and at a fraction of the cost of conventional training.
There are 2 versions of The Personal Edge Program:
- Core Program: an online program consisting of 5 integrated courses
- one2one Program: the Core Program plus 3 one2one sessions between an individual participant and a facilitator
If you are used to conventional face-to-face training programs, it would be understandable for you to have reservations about online learning. Having earned my living as a face-to-face trainer, I was certainly resistant. However, as I gained experience in online learning, I came to realise that, done in the right way, not only does it cost significantly less, it is also more effective.
We learn best when:
- we're in the mood and the conditions are right – we choose the appropriate time
- information is presented in small chunks (no information overload)
- we have time to analyze, reflect and make connections to our situation
- we can refresh our knowledge by looking at materials again
- we can choose to interact with others on our terms
The Personal Edge Program was designed with these principles in mind.
The main content of the program is presented in videos. There are also articles, questionnaires, templates and links to additional resources.
Whether a night-owl or an early-bird, participants can access the program materials at any time that's convenient for them and on any device with an internet connection. There’s no software or add-ins to install and our system will track their progress, allowing them to re-start where they left off. They can go at their own pace, analysing and reflecting on the content. When appropriate, they can experiment with their new skills, then analyse and reflect again. This is what brings about real personal growth.
The starting point is our Learning Management System, LMS, which will guide them through the course content. In addition to the lessons, there will also be tasks to complete to embed learning. Click the button below for a brief video overview of our LMS from a participant's perspective.
The one2one Program includes all the content in the Core Program, together with three one2one sessions.
A one2one session is a highly focused discussion between an individual and a facilitator. The purpose is to help a participant to clarify their thinking, gain new perspectives, develop plans, overcome obstacles …
You will note that this is a 'one2one' rather than a 'coaching' session. Coaching is a questioning approach that facilitates self-discovery. A coach will ask questions that help the coachee to discover new ways of thinking. During one2one sessions, the facilitator is likely to use a coaching style most of the time. However, they may, when appropriate – and with the participant's permission – make suggestions, share experiences, direct towards relevant videos, articles, websites etc. (we stress that we are not in a position to make recommendations).
In addition, participants will also be able to interact with the entire Edge Community – featuring threaded discussions, messaging and alerts. All the features of Facebook and LinkedIn groups but with the added focus that the program content provides (and without the trolls and the constant stream of connection requests from spammers).
Here participants will benefit from the perspectives of business people from many different sectors, types of organisation and, because this is a global program, countries. They will be able to seek advice, feedback, ideas and recommendations for products and services – and share their thoughts too.
Brief Course Outlines
Here are brief outlines of the courses in The Personal Edge Program. There are comprehensive details of each course below. Or you can click the course image in the outlines immediately below (links will open in a new tab).
The overviews are written from the perspective of the course participant.
People Insight has 2 dimensions. Firstly, you. How you perform depends on how you think – and yet so much of what happens in our brains is unconscious and automatic. If you understand your own emotional triggers, personality and cognitive biases, you can press pause and interrupt these hidden thought patterns. Then, not only will you make better decisions, you will become more flexible; the best version of you for each situation.
The second dimension of People Insight is understanding others so that you can build better relationships – which leads to more cooperation, support and effort from others on your behalf.
You’ll achieve a lot more with others on your side than you can on your own.
You know how much more productive you can be on a good day – imagine how much you could achieve if every day was a good day.
This requires you to have robust plans and systems, effective habits and checklists and a productive mindset that ends procrastination and increases resilience.
Some people are naturally organized and get a kick out of planning their lives. But like the other edge attributes, the ability to work smart is not some innate, you-either-have-it-or-you-don’t, quality. Even a clinically untidy supposedly lost-cause such as myself can learn to work smart.
From time-to-time, you may need to be persuasive – the best ideas do not always win and whether you are selling your services, negotiating with a supplier or asking a colleague for help on a project, the ability to influence others is an essential attribute in achieving results. It requires more than simply building a cast-iron logical case for your proposal – how many times have you been 'right' in a discussion and yet no amount of facts or data can sway the other person to see things your way. Effective influencers work on multiple levels and turn doubters into committed advocates. And, if they can't, they know how to negotiate to get the best deal.
Wouldn’t it be great if people could see all the fantastic work you do, the challenges you overcome, the effort you put in … but they don’t. They are too busy doing their own stuff. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t make judgements about you, sweeping judgements about your attitude, expertise or flexibility based on how you behaved in a meeting. It’s not fair but there’s a good chance that you’re just as guilty as I am of putting people in boxes.
Managing your personal brand means acknowledging this is the way the world works and taking responsibility for the perception that you create in others’ minds. It doesn’t mean being false or fake – it’s about helping people to jump to the right judgments about you – whether to trust you, have confidence in your ability, see you as dependable or believe that you care about them. These instinctive, snap evaluations can have significant outcomes, such as winning a contract or being selected for a major project.
In a competitive, rapidly-changing world, networks are vital. Sometimes, it's not what you know, it's who you know, and organizations can benefit substantially from the informal contacts of their staff.
Networks connect you with opportunities, influence people on your behalf, help you to source trustworthy suppliers, keep you informed and provide feedback, encouragement and advice.
In a turbulent, winner-takes-all, competitive world, having these attributes will set you apart and give you the edge to achieve exceptional results.
Why the Edge Program is so effective
I have shared my thoughts on why I believe online learning is effective. But what makes The Personal Edge Program specifically so effective?
I don’t make wild promises of a cookie-cutter, universal blueprint for success; there’s no such thing. Instead, I combine the latest scientific findings from areas such as neuroscience and psychology with tried-and-tested approaches that that I have learned from my work as a consultant, trainer and coach with business people in many different sectors.
The purpose of The Personal Edge Program is to provide a range of tools and help individuals to develop insights, plans, systems, habits … so that they can plot THEIR individual route to success, based on their unique situation.
4 Stages of Development
Of course, there is a fifth stage in the development of The Personal Edge Program.
My learning journey continues as I interact with participants in group webinars, one2one sessions and our forums.
The Personal Edge Program will always be a work-in-progress.
Before developing and delivering training programs, I was marketing manager for one of the Top 40 companies in the UK, overseeing a marketing team and a multi-million pound budget. Earlier in my career, I was a director of a consulting firm and established my own company marketing interior accessories to major retailers.
My training work has included developing and delivering programs for these organizations, amongst others:
My longest association has been with Ericsson, the biggest supplier of telecommunications infrastructure in the world, employing more than 100,000 people. I have been an accredited facilitator on the Ericsson global leadership program for over 20 years, designing and developing several iterations of the program.
My experience with Ericsson has helped me to understand what it takes to survive and thrive in a VUCA environment. I have helped Ericsson people to cope with the 'dotcom crash', the rise of Chinese competition, the emergence of smartphones, recession, regulatory issues and the rise of the 'Internet of Things'.
I have an MBA from City, University of London and a masters in law from Oxford University.
"Paul Taylor has been a global consultant of Ericsson since the late 1990s. In the last six years, Paul and I have worked very closely together in designing and implementing at least three of our most sought-after global leadership programs. Under immense challenges of time and cost constraints, with Paul's active involvement, we were able to design and roll-out world class programs, all on Blended Learning Methodology. Specifically, we combined use of self-produced e-learning and video material, virtual group discussions, face-face workshop and coaching.
From my perspective, Paul is a unique blend of business, human and technology expertise which he utilizes and puts together. He is creative, using this to find various learning approaches to learning objectives. The programs Paul has worked on and conducted have been well received. Participants find them business and work relevant, very useful and applicable at work."
Joselito Rivera, former Head of Global Leadership Development, Ericsson
The Personal Edge Program is the most effective way to develop the edge of your people. They can learn when it’s convenient for them, go at their own pace and take time to analyse, reflect and experiment. They will be accessing content developed from 20-years of research, refined by feedback, discussion and implementation by hundreds of course participants around the world.
there are discounts for multiple bookings
5 integrated courses – People Insight, Maximum Productivity, Communication & Influencing, Personal Brand, Effective Networking.
Price per participant
Core Program plus 3 one2one sessions.
Price per participant
to discuss your requirements and buy places on The Personal Edge Program, please contact us
Additional Option – Virtual Classes
We have extensive experience designing and facilitating Virtual Classes.
The online classes are not lectures. While some new content may be introduced, the emphasis is on the participants – their questions and insights, how they can apply their learning to real-life situations …
Most of the courses have questionnaires that reveal the preferences or default thinking of participants (for instance, personality or leadership style). The online classes are a perfect environment to discuss each person's results. They illuminate how others see the world differently and help participants to identify possible new approaches.
Online classes also activate the 'deadline effect'. From experience, I know that learning often falls into box of 'important, but not urgent' and so gets shunted to the side. The online classes help to keep participants on track.
We appreciate that once people have left full-time education, learning can be a challenge – there are many more demands on their time and it takes a little more effort to remember stuff. And since they are not simply acquiring information but developing new ways of thinking and behaving, the challenge is even greater.
Online group sessions are a great way to overcome this challenge. Group members can get to know each others' challenges, stimulate each others' thinking, bring new perspectives, provide support and encouragement, give feedback, and, perhaps most importantly, push each other towards action. Not just for a day or two, as with a face-to-face workshop, but for several weeks – and then beyond if they wish.
Each webinar can contain up to 10 members (though we recommend 6). By restricting the size of the group, it's possible for the members to get to know and discuss in depth the issues of each person. Acquiring knowledge, reflecting, experimenting and then engaging with others leads to much richer discussions than most face-to-face training sessions.
A group may consist of (for example):
- people from a project or leadership team, a department or a location
- managers, graduates or new recruits
- members of a dispersed / remote team (to help build a more effective team)
- participants from across different functions (to increase cooperation)
Additional Option – Face-to-Face
I have over 20-years' experience developing and delivering face-to-face training sessions in over 40 countries and would love to discuss your requirements.
The Personal Edge Program could be the key to unlocking the full potential of your people. By complementing their technical skills and hard work with edge attributes, they can achieve exceptional results and help to differentiate your organization from your competitors.
People with edge are the key to surviving and thriving in a VUCA2 world.
Pretty much any desktop, laptop or tablet with an internet connection can be used. The systems we use do not require any additional software or browser extensions to be added.
If you purchase optional one2one sessions, a microphone and speaker, integrated in most laptops and tablets, will be required. Alternatively, a headset, costing a few dollars, can be used. Although not essential, a webcam makes the sessions more personal.
Participants can be located anywhere in the world.
We are based in the UK but are happy to extend our working day to accommodate your requirements for one2one sessions or organization group webinars.
Face-to-face workshops can still be effective for honing and refining skills – after knowledge has been acquired online. As mentioned above, many face-to-face training workshops leave too little time for participants to reflect and internalise new knowledge. However, an online program lets individuals manage their own learning, allowing time for reflection, experimentation in real situations and discussion.
A face-to-face workshop may still be appropriate in certain situations. We have facilitated hundreds of these sessions and are happy to discuss face-to-face workshop sessions with you.
How do you persuade someone? There are lots of influencing techniques and tactics that we could talk about but the starting point is the individual that you're trying to persuade – their personality, their emotional triggers, their thinking patterns. You adapt your approach to the individual.
How do you improve your decision-making? It would seem sensible to consider the impact of your own personality, emotions and thinking patterns.
I could go on but I am sure you can see that all of the courses in The Personal Edge Program are interlinked. Rather than covering a topic like, for instance, personality superficially in several courses, it makes more sense to cover it in-depth once.
You may be concerned that about the low price.
We made a strategic choice.
Rather than spending $000s on marketing trying to find 100 people who can afford to pay $200 a month, we prefer to have a 1,000 members paying $20 (who then tell their friends …). It may involve more work for us but it means we have an active community full of diverse ideas, perspectives, experiences and tips.
And we want The Personal Edge Program to be within the reach of as many people as possible.
When you cancel your subscription, you lose access to all content, past and future. For instance, if you cancel in Week 3, we will not charge you for any further weeks and you will not be able to access any content.
If you complete all subscriptions, you then have lifetime access to all content.
We do not refund earlier payments since you are given a week to review any content.
But, of course, we understand that sometimes life gets in the way. If you forgot to cancel and we can see that you haven't accessed the system (all logins are tracked), we will usually be happy to refund a subscription or two.