CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Action Learning Groups, Gloucester Enterprise Business Services

PUBLISHED: 12:08 17 December 2010 | UPDATED: 14:59 20 February 2013

Denise Taylor

Denise Taylor

Real entrepreneurs learn more from their peers rather than from advice given by more traditional sources such as the bank manager or dare we say it, a business adviser.


If you watch the BBC TV programme Dragon's Den, where would-be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to five successful businesspeople who are willing to put their money where their mouth is, you'll know what we mean. Some of those pitching their ideas to the five monied 'dragons' would rather make use of their business knowledge and experience than their money (although if they're offering both, hey, so much the better).



Lots of people join business clubs, saying that that it's a good way to network and pick up new business, but what many are really looking for are others in the same business boat, to share experiences and swap ideas.



No business can operate in isolation, whatever the size and wherever the market. Meeting with like-minded individuals who want business success as badly as you do is a great way to inspire you to greater achievement.



You can do this through business clubs, or on-line through web-groups which are increasing exponentially. You can also do it through Action Learning Groups, a well-respected national programme which is run in the Cotswolds by Gloucester Enterprise Business Services, which provides a range of support to help small businesses in the county.



Action Learning Groups are small groups of business entrepreneurs who, with the help of trained facilitators, develop into a strong support network of people who understand each-other's business issues. Over a period of six months the group get to know each other and work together to improve their individuals business through sharing knowledge and offering informed advice based on their own experiences.



The groups can be made up of a diverse range of businesses, it doesn't matter if an organic cheese producer is in the same action learning group as an interior designer or the managing director of an engineering company. The point is that whatever your business, you'll share similar problems and issues and having someone in a different field of business can often give you a completely different and unexpected helpful perspective.



At the start of the process, members of an Action Learning Group agree confidentiality levels, so that everyone can talk freely and openly about their business issues. After the six months is up each member of the Action Learning Group has become an enthusiastic advocate of fellow group-members' businesses and has a greater understanding of wider business issues.



Denise Taylor runs a national award-winning career's coaching company called Amazing People. (www.amazingpeople.co.uk).



"I wasn't sure about joining because I thought would be for new or struggling businesses, but I was completely wrong, and it's proving very successful for me."



Based in Tewkesbury, Denise joined the group last September and says that it was very positive and motivational. Her group is made up of all women in different businesses: one runs a manufacturing company, another specialises in the environment and another is an image consultant. Yet another runs an accountancy practice.



After just two sessions, Denise started to become more ambitious for her business after she heard what others were achieving.



"I discovered that the only thing holding me back was me, and when discussing other's businesses and offering advice it sparked ideas to develop my business.



Denise also says that it forces her to take time to think about her business ambitions before attending the meetings, so she is thinking more strategically rather than just filling her time with clients.



Philip Timson is director of Gloucestershire Enterprise Business Services and has facilitated a number of Action Learning Groups over the last ten years. He said: "If a business does what it has always done, it will get what it's always got. If you are ambitious, you need to change the way you work and you'll need to look at your objectives. Business growth only takes place when you identify the issues blocking the way and Action Learning Groups are an incredibly and often surprisingly effective way of achieving that."



For more information this and related topics visit the GEBS website on www.glosebs.co.uk, or call 01242 864200 and speak to a member of the GEBS team.

0 comments

More from People

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

25 years in business is no mean feat – and the owner of Lauren’s Catering has lost none of his ambition

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Julian Dunkerton has moved his family’s cider-making business from Herefordshire to the outskirts of Cheltenham, where it boasts a state-of-the-art production unit and a stylish new shop. But don’t think the heart of the business has changed one whit: it still honours the core values Ivor and Susie Dunkerton held dear when they planted their first apple tree, nearly 40 years ago

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

If you want to spread some Christmas cheer to those in need, here are some fantastic charities in the Cotswolds to donate to

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Cotswolds’ very own Prince of Wales turns 70 this month, so we looked back on some of the highlights of his life and career, and wondered what birthday pressies we would buy for the man who has the world at his feet

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

When landowners are looking to sell their land, and want a transparent journey that delivers them best value, Rosconn Strategic Land is here to take them through the process.

Read more

Radio DJ Paul Gambaccini has secured a payout from prosecutors over unfounded allegations of historical sex offences. The presenter, 69, was arrested in 2013 over a claim he sexually assaulted two teenage boys in the early 1980s. Mr Gambaccini always denied the claims, calling the case “completely fictitious”. He spent a year on bail before the case was dropped. Two years later he gave this interview to Katie Jarvis

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Barn Theatre’s artistic director, Iwan Lewis, talks to Candia McKormack about a rather special project aimed at bringing the Cotswold community together in commemoration of the Great War’s fallen

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The environmental charity set up to protect Stroud’s industrial heritage now enhances the lives of its own volunteers. Katie Jarvis meets chief executive Clare Mahdiyone to hear about her Cotswold Life

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Alex Caccia was in two minds about setting up Animal Dynamics as a limited company, but a shark attack warning changed all of that. Tanya Gledhill meets a man on a mission to change propulsion, one animal at a time

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

He quit his job with a few thousand pounds in savings and an empty garage. In less than a year, Nick Grey’s technology company Gtech was flying. Tanya Gledhill meets him

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

How does it feel to interview Sir Michael Parkinson, the nation’s best-ever interviewer? Katie Jarvis takes a very deep breath – and finds out

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When Charles Martell became the latest High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, he started discovering things about the county he never knew – not to mention things about himself, too. Katie Jarvis spoke to him about saw pits, walnuts, peaceable towns and pink-headed ducks

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search