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Announcing the Launch of our Open Course Programme

We are delighted to launch our programme of training courses for 2014.  We aim to provide a series of practical and highly participatory courses that impact positively on organisations...yet provide excellent value for money.

Broomfield & Alexander, the largest independent firm of accountants in Wales, is sponsoring our first event.  The 'Effective Change Management' course will be held at their Cardiff site at Cardiff Gate Business Park on 20th March.  The event will help leaders navigate a rapidly changing environment by introducing key tools, techniques and best practice change management approaches.

The course will be led by Miles Huckle, a change management specialist and multi-accredited trainer.

Details of the course can be found here and a course booking form can be found here.


LEADing the way to business growth in Wales

We are really enjoying working with Swansea University with regards to their LEAD Wales programme.  It is a development programme for owner managers that we feel confident in recommending to others.  We like the way it is experiential in nature and based around principles that have been evidenced to work in helping SMEs grow.

In addition to short, sharp workshops enabling owner managers to learn the kind of skills you'd expect to see any any senior level development programme, embedding coaching and action learning within the programme is something we applaud particularly.  This really makes the learning stick and makes the programme specifically relevant to the owner-manager's company.  This shows in the impact the programme demonstates on companies where the owner manager has attended a previous programme.

The LEAD Wales course is free in Convergence areas of Wales.  The next course runs in Bridgend but other locations are scheduled.  To learn more, drop us a line.

The Variety Continues

It has been a fantastic few weeks for us.  New clients have been kind enough to choose us as a partner.  Yet again, diversity of project type has been the order of the day!

A new project is just kicking off with Colegau Cymru,.  We are reviewing the work of the Welsh Further Education sector on the international scene.  That's a real passion for Alun so he is really going to enjoy that project.  Miles however, continues to gather interest in his project management development programmes.  North Somerset Council have been keen to develop their people in this area and just this week we were delighted to see DAS, the major insurance group, doing similarly.

Also this week, we became recognised as a business advice and mentoring support partner to Birmingham City Council.  They are a delivery partner for the Start Up Loans Programme.  Given that all the team have experience of setting up their own businesses and have also run businesses for a number of years, this should be a programme where we can share what we've learned and hopefully help others start their own businesses in Birmingham.  It is great that Pam and Mike are joining with us for that work.

It is great to win new business.  Meanwhile, work continues on some of our on-going projects.  The data gathering stage of the review of Disability Wales continues for another two weeks.  There has been a fantastic response in terms of number of people and organisations that have something to say about Disability Wales.  It has really made us think about disability and the issues disabled people face daily.  The social model of disability has won some converts here!  

Supporting Entrepreneurs in Birmingham

We are delighted to be working with Birmingham City Council in supporting entrepreneurs through a new Start Up Loan Programme

Birmingham City Council is an official Delivery Partner for The Start Up Loan Company, funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, to kick-start enterprise.

The initiative is being championed by James Caan, business entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den investor, and has been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

This is a low-cost, unsecured loan available to business entrepreneurs in Birmingham, with invaluable access to quality business mentors and exclusive business products from Corporate Partners including Regus and Intuit.

Loans of up to £7,500 are available and this funding is open to all business sectors.

Please note: loans requested should be the minimum necessary.

The package enables individuals to prepare a business plan to assess their suitability to take on loan finance and their ability to repay the loan with interest. Mentoring support will be provided to ensure clients continue to develop their business and have the best possible chance at success. Where necessary, specific advice will be provided to overcome barriers to growth.

Programme eligibility

  • Do you have a viable, sustainable business idea and are thinking about starting your own business?


  • Are you already in business but trading for less than 12 months?


Range of support on offer:

  • Pre-start up
  • Start up
  • Loan Fund
  • Post-start up

The programme runs until March 2015.

If you are interested in this opportunity, email

Learning from the Great British Bake Off

I loved the Great British Bake Off.  It was really compulsive viewing.  However, it always made me feel hungry and I put on a few pounds over the weeks.

The show also reinforced my thinking on project management.  Just think about the 3 finalists.  Kimberley planned well.  She generally executed the bake well and she was technically excellent throughout.  Unfortunately she sometimes lacked that extra little sparkle that Ruby or Frances could demonstrate.  Maybe the projects conformed to PRINCE2 but that extra little spark didn't always come through.  It is often that ability to innovate on their feet that makes a great project manager stand out from their otherwise excellent peers.

Ruby was, in Paul's words, a natural baker.  She certainly had flair but her results were inconsistent.  A lack of planning was undoubtedly her downfall, albeit her natural ability was evident.  Definitely not a PRINCE2 baker.  Without that foundation of sound planning, her confidence tended to be at a low ebb as she never knew how things were likely to turn out.

Frances, the winner, had a fantastic imagination.  Her creations certainly caught the eye.  Although castigated at the outset as style over substance baker, she learned through the series and brought all of her learning to the benefits management process until she had created good tasting food, well baked that was visually appealing.

My sole request to the TV makers for next year is that they let me be a taster during the competition.  Then my joy will be complete!


Variety is the spice of life

The range of projects with which we have got involved over the last month has been really fascinating. Alun has spent quite a bit of time working with the Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies department of the University of Wales Trinity St David.  They are exploring how they can extend their interaction with a wide range of organisations so that their work can bring practical benefits to society.  It is not often you get to speak to one person about Islamophobia one minute and the next an expert in 17th century Non-Conformist Church doctrinal history!

While Alun has been working with academics, Miles has been spending time at North Somerset Council. The work there centred around introducing staff to a popular project management methodology.  He got great feedback from that training and looks forward to working with the team at North Somerset again.

Meanwhile we've won the tender to work with Disability Wales on their strategic review.  It is always really interesting to work with an organisation closely on their strategic review and planning process.  The different cultures and personalities of different organisations means no two reviews are ever the same.  Variety really is the Spice of Life...and it certainly makes our work really interesting.

Webinars for Business Benefit

We are delighted to have partnered with Software Alliance Wales to offer a workshop on the potential benefits to businesses of webinars.  What uses do webinars have?  What types of business models exist?  How easy is it to start delivering your own webinars?

The session will be held on the morning of Wednesday 27th November 2013 at Nantgarw.  See the Software Alliance Wales website for more details and to book your place.

Website Launch

20 Degrees Consulting is delighted to launch our website today.  Tell us what you think of it!

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