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Back to school, back to work, back to normal

1 September 2021

Summer has come to an end. Students are heading back to school, and workers are going back to work. In many cases they’re starting to go back to physical workplaces for the first time in 18 months. It now seems like the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and we can all breathe a deep sigh of relief as we start the work of getting things back to normal. It’s a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s also the perfect time to take a step back, reconsider old ways of working, and perhaps try different approaches to overcoming old challenges.

One of the best things you can do to help your business and further your personal development is to join a business peer group, such as those operated by the Peer Networks programme.

A blend of group discussion and structured learning

The Peer Networks programme is an opportunity for business leaders to join a group of their fellows to share experience, knowledge and advice. As well as the networking and mutual support elements though, there is also structured learning during which participants can learn from highly experienced business experts. 

There is no strict content plan for each session, and each week’s topics are intended only to help facilitate group discussions. The participants will also input on the topics they would like to talk about. However, over the course of the programme, subjects that could be covered include (but are not limited to) finance, human resources, sales and marketing, change management, adoption of new technologies and cyber security, the use of data to drive value, how to trade with the EU, and ways to make your company carbon neutral.

Building on the success of previous Peer Networks programmes, a flexible session plan has been created, giving participants the opportunity to discuss all these topics and more over the course of 18 hours of group sessions.

Week one is the launch session, during which the group will be able to meet, introduce themselves and get to know each other, and expectations will be set for the rest of the course. Over the course of the next five weeks, the group will discuss various topics, including marginal gains, how to build and nurture customer advocacy for your business, and talk about customers, competitors, and how each relates to their business. 

During the final meeting, each group member will draw up their individual Action Plan, based on what they have learnt during the programme.

On top of this, each participant gets two 90-minute one-to-one sessions; the first during weeks one and two, and the second during weeks three and four. Each group member will then receive a final 30-minute one-to-one catch-up session before the Action Plans cohort meeting.

This marks the end of the structured Peer Networks cohort. However, as the participants each go out to implement their actions plans and take their businesses to the next level, there’s no reason why the group members can’t continue to stay in touch with one another. By doing so, they can carry on providing and receiving the support, advice, knowledge and accountability that they each benefited from during the course of the programme.

Peer Networks is a unique opportunity for business leaders to develop their knowledge, hone their skills and build commercial and personal relationships that will benefit them for years to come. With a flexible and responsive content plan and expert-led delivery, this is an opportunity not to be missed, and one that participants have greatly valued. 

Abi Adefisan, of Yumchop Foods said:

“The content has been very rich and comprehensive. The facilitation has been great and the guests invited for the topics have the experience and know their stuff. I am looking forward to the rest of the sessions.” 

With new cohorts starting soon, you can find out more about the SEMLEP Peer Networks programme, and whether your business might be eligible, by visiting: www.semlepgrowthhub.com/peer-networks

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