Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Visit our website www.elsbusinesstraining.co.uk to book your next career development course online through our brand new payment portal

or email info@explosivelearningsolutions.com 

or call our sales team on 01235 861805

Thursday, 12 October 2017

ELS is pleased to announce that we have passed the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standard inspections for another year.

ISO 9001 is a certified Quality Management System (QMS) which demonstrates our ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the needs of our customers and other relevant stakeholders.  Our QMS is based on sound quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.

ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted Environmental Management standard that outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place. It has help Explosive Learning Solutions remain commercially successful without overlooking its environmental responsibilities. It has helped us grow while reducing the environmental impact of our growth.

The ability to demonstrate that a company can consistently produce products and services that meet the needs of customers and stakeholders has long been associated with the Quality standards.

Evolving over time out of an MoD requirement for quality assurance from its suppliers the first UK standard for Quality Assurance was published in 1971 by the British Standards Institute. Throughout the 1990’s growing numbers of shelves of procedure manuals led to a radical change in the concepts underpinning what was now the ISO9000 series of standards. Now in its fifth revision ISO9001:2015 the standard reflects the latest quality management good practise standards. The ISO 9001 accreditation provides a reassurance which has been verified by a third party that the companies you are working with are committed to providing a consistent and efficient product or service to their customers.

For Explosive Learning Solutions this means we can reassure all our stakeholders that we are working towards operational excellence, providing a consistently high quality service each and every time. The ELS Business Management System allows us to streamline our processes to ensure we remain agile for our clients and customers whilst maintaining the same quality in all our service provision.

The system defines some of the key principles of quality management and forms the fundamental way in which ELS manages its business
 *Customer focus and satisfaction * Motivated Leadership * Involvement of its people * Defining the processes by which we will operate on a day to day basis. * A systematic approach to management
 * Continual Improvement of services and service delivery


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Now you can instantly book your courses online

Now you can instantly book your courses online

The learning and development (L&D) consultancy, Explosive Learning Solutions (ELS) is pleased to be publishing a new website.

Combining increased user-friendliness with accessibility of information, the new website contains refreshed and clarified content - notably about ELS’s growing range of courses. In addition, for the first time, the website also allows users to book and buy courses online.

“Our goal with this new website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about ELS services and solutions and also to allow the visitor to browse information based on their own choice. The new website is interactive and gives better access to Business Training Courses, Meet the Team, Latest News, Testimonials, Clients, Contact and environments we have worked in”

The site outlines ELS’s portfolio of 30 certified courses in the fields of project and programme management; personal development and management; sales, procurement and commercial; business improvement, and human resources and training. Cath Convery, ELS’s Head of Learning, commented, “The website also includes details of ELS’s bespoke courses, as well as a further 14 or so certified courses that are especially suited to the needs of those in the armed services.”

The courses that are relatively new in the ELS portfolio include the APMG Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Foundation and Practitioner Courses. There are also courses covering planning, scheduling, monitoring and control, along with details of the range of programmes that ELS runs specifically for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Additions to the new ELS website include ‘Meet the Team’ profiles, as well as a ‘Latest News’ page.

ELS’s Cath Convery commented, “ELS is based near Oxford, in the UK and it provides consultancy and business training to a wide range of organisations within the public, private and business sectors, at home and abroad.

“Clients benefit from the vast range of expertise and qualifications that ELS consultants and trainers hold,” she added. “Recognising that the best working relationships are based on integrity, professionalism, and trusted collaboration, ELS is used to going the extra mile to exceed clients’ expectations – as the ‘Testimonials’ page on the new website shows.”

About Explosive Learning Solutions
Founded in 2005, Explosive Learning Solutions (ELS) is a learning and development (L&D) consultancy that believes in using original and challenging solutions to inspire, enthuse and empower people to meet its clients’ needs. Working with clients in the public, private and business sectors worldwide, ELS focuses on organisation-oriented needs analysis; leadership and management; training and development – applying a systems approach to training methodology; learning technology; education; coaching and mentoring; HR development, as well as specialist expertise in the public sector including in defence issues.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Brexit in the media

Brexit in the media – Some thoughts from ELS’ Management of Risk® (MoR) trainer, Brad Lawrence.

The potential impacts of Brexit have received heavy media coverage, and will no doubt continue to do so. Potential dramas related to property rights, fluctuating costs, the standing of the pound, duties, tariffs, contractual clarity and all manner of other woes have all been splashed across the papers and discussed at (often painful) length on all manner of television and radio programmes. We are, apparently, all doomed.

However, before moving on, let’s just clarify something; 99.9% of ‘Risk Management Amateurs’ (ie, normal people!) see or hear the word ‘Risk’ and immediately think negatively, in terms of threat, drama and impending poverty. In a previous life, so did I. By natural inclination, I often still do. I am not alone; this instinctive emphasis is so common as to be almost universal amongst the uninitiated – outside of circles familiar with Corporate Governance terminology and the MoR approach, ‘Risk’ and ‘Threat’ are essentially interchangeable terms. At this stage, though, it’s worth noting that “Management of Risk: Guidance for Practitioners”, the worthy tome published on behalf of the Office of Government Commerce (and currently serving as the MoR practitioners bible) defines Risk as:
“an uncertain event or set of events that, should it occur, will have an effect on the achievement of objectives.”*
Read it again. There you go. The definition is clearly (and very deliberately) neutral in tone. An ‘effect on the achievement of objectives’ can be both positive and negative – Surprise bonuses and ‘Showstoppers’ are both possible and should therefore be considered. This fundamental principle is covered at the very outset of any MoR course, but, regretfully, it appears that few in the national media have attended one!

With this caveat in mind and my ‘Trainer Head’ firmly fitted, some patterns in the media coverage are evident:

1. Threats get all the press.
Not only, as previously discussed, is an emphasis on threats practically hard-wired in humans, but we also have to accept the fundamental truth that ‘bad news sells’. As one famous tabloid editor once stated, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’. Accordingly, it can be argued (very strongly and with a moderate amount of ranting) that balanced and reasonable discussions of Brexit-related risks in the media have been few and far between. Also, and very interestingly, there appears to be a direct correlation between the amount of red ink used on the front page of a particular publication and the magnitude of the negative numbers it cheerfully chucks around in articles about emotive subjects such as Brexit. I suspect this is nothing new!

2. On the rare occasions where opportunities are mentioned, they tend to be discussed…..tentatively.

This point reflects another unavoidable Risk Management reality, which is that thinking pessimistically is easy. You assign values to identified risks in a worse-case, pessimistic manner, throw in traffic jams, British weather and dramas at Paddington, come up with a scary number and trot off to scare your boss. I’ve worked both with and for organisations where this process is as far as Risk Management is ever taken. Opportunities rarely get a look in and when they do, it is with none of the confidence and bluster with which Threats are discussed. This is because Opportunities tend to be harder to identify, clearly define, quantify and address than Threats. Accordingly, people find them harder to champion and present to others. This is widely recognised - It is not by accident, for example, that ‘the MoR good book’ defines only two distinct Opportunity-centric responses (Exploit and Enhance, if you’re following along in said book!), whereas Threats get five. Prove the point to yourself – mentally plan a Friday night motorway journey. I bet you come up with a long list of potential dramas before reminding yourself to try and find some potential opportunities. Furthermore, were I to race around a corner and surprise you with a camera crew, in the absence of a prompt list or any particular message to put across, you’d find yourself speaking with greater confidence and emphasis about Threats than you would Opportunities, assuming you got round to mentioning them at all.

3. It is usually Inherent values that get bandied about, not Residuals.
Whilst I can (grudgingly) forgive and understand Points 1 and 2, this point really has the power to irritate me. If you’ll forgive a brief micro-teach, I’ll explain. In MoR terms, Inherent values are those calculated for specific risks PRIOR to the planning and implementation of any form of response to them. These figures allow for the initial ranking of both Threats and Opportunities in their unadjusted form. This ranking can be used to identify the most significant risks in what can be a long list, and to assess the ‘first glance’ viability of a bid or project, according to a company’s risk approach and appetite. Once a planned response is agreed upon, a new set of figures is calculated. These new numbers, adjusted by the planned response, are the Residual values. Obviously, the aim is that your residual values are lower than your inherent values for Threats, and higher for Opportunities. As you’ll already have realised, the difference between the two values can be dramatic. Accordingly, be very wary of quotes such as ‘could be as high as’ and ‘may reach’ in the media, as any figures that follow will likely be inherent, pre-response numbers chosen for effect. I’ve yet to see any media coverage that adds the suffix ‘if no one does anything’ in articles or programmes talking about Brexit, which is unsurprising, but a bit naughty. As for adverts that use the phrase ‘up to 100%’, that’s a rant for another time and don’t get me started.

In summary then, it is unsurprising that negative Brexit coverage dominates. As I advise my MoR students, readers should approach any media coverage of Brexit (or any other polarising subject for that matter) armed with several bags of salt and be mindful of what we’ve discussed when faced with massive numbers or doom-laden proclamations. To get a balanced view, some digging might be required – hopefully I have given you some food for thought!

*Management of Risk: Guide for Practitioners, OGC Official Product, published by TSO 2010, Crown Copyright 2010.

New COMMERCIAL AWARENESS Course by ELS Business Training


Thursday 14 September (1 day workshop) £290 + VAT
Harwell Science & Innovation Campus


This course is aimed at those interested in protecting their market position, reducing project risk and increasing profit margins. It takes management theory and applies them to a broader Commercial environment. The learner will leave the course having explored these theories and with the knowledge to apply these directly into the next sales or procurement opportunity.

Aim of the Course 

Explore how Commercial awareness can har­ness and maintain a consistent trajectory of growth, while avoiding obstacles that arise from a constantly shifting market. Ensuring there is appropriate ownership of activities within cross­functional teams. Set boundaries and guidance to ensure all procurement and sales areas are undertaken in a timely and effective manner.


  1. Define and understand the context of a legal contract
  2. Identify Risks and Mitigations before the contract is signed
  3. Understanding the importance of cash flow
  4. Chance to review and challenge your Terms and Conditions
  5. Different pricing strategies

More about ELS

Whatever your organisation or discipline, our specialist consultancy services can help you deliver on your next learning and development project.

Helping you to identify training, and designing training courses and development programmes to redesigning existing ones; from maximising the efficiency of your systems and processes, all the way through to your resources; and from delivering specific management training needs to all levels of coaching and research - you will quickly see the benefits of working with us.


Call us on 01235 861 805 for more information.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Summer Discounts on Accredited Training Courses - 15%!

Check out our Summer Discounts of 15% on all Accredited Training Courses - Don't miss out on this fantastic offer!!
Contact Tony on: 01235 861805 or email: tkavanagh@explosivelearningsolutions.com