Public service – virtual classrooms (‘flexinars’)

Most of our work for public service clients (particularly local authorities) is done on a tailored or completely bespoke basis.

That’s not to say, however, that we don’t see the same topics cropping up time and again – we do. It’s just that each client needs a slightly different ‘take’ on the subject. So we’ve ended up developing a lot of material on a fairly narrow range of topics.

At the same time, clients are also looking for shorter sessions, particularly if they’re to be delivered virtually.

This means that if you ask us for a 90-minute session on time management, for example, it’s a challenge to decide what to keep in and what to leave out.

So we thought we’d duck the issue and leave it to you! Hence this range of flexible virtual classroom sessions – ‘flexinars’ – each one with a ‘menu’ of options to help you build your own programme:

Agile management

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


‘Agile working’ describes a world of work without fixed times and places to work from; freed up by a combination of smart technology, digital working practice, life/work balance and wellbeing approaches; and responsive to external demands from stakeholders such as customers and Government.

This virtual classroom aims to help you embed and manage effective flexible and remote working in the different forms it now takes as we move into the post-Covid world of work. Explore the challenges of managing performance to outcomes. Learn how to build trust and manage engagement and communication. Assess how well you model an agile style and help with challenges such as workload management and remote presenteeism.

Honest conversations

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


Do you find that the conversations you need to have aren’t always easy? Then this is the session for you!

You’re optimistic about people management. You know honest conversations are the key to growth and improvement. You recognise the value of clear and open communication at all levels. You’d like to increase your skills and confidence in holding great feedback conversations. You could do with some practical techniques and ideas when managing others, whether things are going well or are a bit more of a challenge

Holding honest conversation is a skill that can be learned – now’s your chance!

Influencing with impact

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


The person with the most flexibility has the most influence. This ability is a life skill but also one that has never been so critically useful at work.

This practical and energising session will set you on the road to discover what you need to be able to do to take others with you. This means learning tools and strategies that fit the situation you’re in and making sure you use the right skills and behaviours to influence well, whether it’s just one person or many.

You’ll learn proven models of behavioural change to help you influence people positively and ethically. This includes influencing upwards and working with elected members.

Line management – the essentials

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


Having the right set of skills, tools and techniques helps us to manage in a productive and beneficial way and supports our growth as a manager, as well as the development and performance of those in our team.

This is the ideal session for anyone who is new to managing, is ‘acting up’ or is an ‘accidental manager’ who hasn’t had any formal management training (still very common – you’re in good company!). It’s also a great refresher.

The virtual classroom offers a practical overview of what it takes to be a line manager and explores the roles and responsibilities involved. The aim is to equip you to do your job effectively and help you engage with your team with confidence whilst understanding which areas need development. The session will also help reduce your stress levels – and your team’s!

Motivation and engagement

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


Motivation is a key factor in successful team work and performance. Post-Covid, managers may well be faced with a range of motivation issues and challenges as people remain anxious and stressed (well-being issues), as well as less motivated about their work and environment (management issues).

Motivation involves engaging and developing people as well as creating the right environment in which everyone can flourish and feel engaged.

This virtual classroom offers a good balance of learning to choose from. It relies on participants using the activities presented, and the group chat, to apply ideas and learning to their personal experiences.

Performance management

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


This virtual classroom session takes a practical approach to the different aspects of performance management for managers. It’s about the practice of effective performance management, not the systems, processes, recording and form-filling that may be how your organisation manages performance.

The aim is to increase your confidence in the skills needed to have effective performance and development conversations with your team. The session will help you address the nuts and bolts of the various elements that make up effective performance management and choose those aspects you need to work on.

Political environment

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


The local government political management process works best when elected members and officers understand their respective responsibilities, have good communication systems in place, and have good working relationships.

This virtual classroom will help you navigate your Council’s decision-making processes more effectively and get to grips with who is responsible for what. You‘ll get a better understanding of where you fit in, and of your roles and responsibilities, and you’ll also get some very practical suggestions for influencing elected member relationships.

You will increase your knowledge and understanding and be able to think about how you manage within a political environment.

Resilience and wellbeing

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


Learning to be resilient remains vitally important for our wellbeing as we emerge from the pandemic and as remote and more flexible ways of working are set to continue. In times of uncertainty it is more essential than ever that we look after ourselves and safeguard our wellbeing and emotional fitness.

This session aims to help anybody who would like to strengthen their resilience or would just like to tap into some ways of managing their wellbeing more effectively at work. The techniques suggested are up-to-date, evidenced-based approaches that will enable you to optimise your personal resilience rather than spend time wading through endless wellness fads and promotions.

Identify what you need to do differently to maintain your wellbeing and prioritise your personal resilience at work. Discover ways to deal with challenges, such as negative emotions and feelings of overwhelm, to help your mental fitness. Take away practical ideas for immediate action.

Time – making the most of it

A unique ‘flexinar’ programme


The time challenges we all face in the world of work have changed during the pandemic. Or have they? Has working from home given time back or does it present a new set of time challenges?

This virtual classroom offers a fresh approach to how we each deal with time, as well as exploring habits we need to change to be more effective with our time in the more fluid and flexible work environment we find ourselves in post-Covid-19.

The webinar relies on participants using the activities presented and group chat to apply ideas and learning to their personal experiences.

Putting you at the heart of the design process

Each of the session outlines gives you a menu of options to choose from. The options fall under three headings:

  • How to
  • Tools and models (based on the latest theory and practice)
  • Ideas, tips and techniques

You decide what content you want in relation to your outcomes and what would be most useful for your people to learn about the subject. So it can be all about upskilling and tackling personal thinking and behaviours through ‘How to’s’, which improve personal effectiveness of the individual. Or it can be about tools and models, including helping people understand and decide how they will use them. And there are always techniques, new ideas and tips if this is the most important to you (particularly good for refresher or booster sessions). Or you might decide you want one of each. The choice is entirely yours.

The ‘flexinar’ format

Most clients want 90-minute sessions and that’s how we’ve structured them. But, again, the choice is yours – from 45-minute bite-sized sessions up to three hours (including a break).

Choose one numbered topic for a 45-minute session, two for 60 minutes, three for 90 minutes. If you want more topics, give us a call and we’ll discuss the best way of structuring the session for you.

‘Introduction’ and ‘Action planning’ sessions come as standard to help participants identify what they need to do differently to improve their personal effectiveness.

The face-to-face format

Of course, if you prefer, these topics can all be delivered in classic face-to-face mode.

See sample outlines here.

The learning experience

These ‘flexinar’ sessions have been designed, and are usually delivered, by Amanda Dudman, leader of our public service practice. She brings the knowledge, understanding and expertise on the subject matter to the session whilst learners bring their experience of the role and their personal situation. Amanda bridges the gap to enable participants to apply learning of new tools, ideas or skills to their role or situation. This places responsibility for learning and application on the job holder and completing a personal action plan helps them to decide how they will put their new-found learning and ideas into practice.

The context of working in public service is recognised and reflected in all sessions.

Chat, group breakout rooms and polls are used to facilitate thinking and learning.

Action planning is standard in all sessions and completed at the end. Participants are encouraged to share their plan with their Line Manager and/or colleagues back at work. We include sign-posting to in-house learning opportunities, resources and further support, including ideas for self-directed learning as part of this activity.

A short PDF handout or activity sheet is provided for each session. This acts as a reference point and resource to support the topic. We can tailor it to include your in-house learning information in this, such as links to e-learning on the subject or your preferred tools.

Group sizes

These programmes are highly participative, so for a 90-minute virtual classroom the maximum group size is 15. If you need higher numbers then we suggest a lighter-touch, 45- or 60-minute session instead, in which case we can take as many as you like.


If you’re hosting a session for a specific team then please allow a bit longer, so there’s time for quality break-out discussions and feedback and a bit more space to action plan personally and collectively if needed.


The sessions are designed to run on Zoom (and see our Zoom FAQs, here). But let us know if you need to use a different platform and we’ll reconfigure the session accordingly.


See some of the comments from participants in Amanda’s sessions for public service organisations:

  • Brilliant all round!’
  • ‘I liked that the trainer engaged with the activities that needed her input and then stepped back and allowed us to get on with things.’
  • ‘Very alive!’
  • ‘Very interactive.’
  • Inspirational
  • ‘The trainer was great, really understanding.’
  • ‘Amanda was really helpful and explained everything well.’
  • Excellent I learned a lot about myself.’
  • ‘Just great!’
  • Great facilitator!
  • ‘This is the second bite-sized course I have done with Amanda – great, engaging course leader.’
  • I loved it.’
  • ‘An excellent course.’
  • ‘I would recommend this to everyone.’
  • Great course and trainer. Amanda helped to make me feel at ease.’
  • ‘Great trainer.’
  • Brilliant!’
  • ‘Excellent course – thank you! I have learnt so much from this.’
  • Fantastic.’
  • ‘Day flew by.’
  • ‘Excellent day. Best training delivered to me so far.’
  • ‘The day has flown by. A very enjoyable course which I think everyone should go on.’
  • ‘Very informal trainer. Knows what she is taking about, energetic and passionate!!!
  • ‘Extremely good.’
  • ‘Very knowledgeable and very clear messages. Showed experience in the topic.’
  • ‘The trainer was awesome.’
  • ‘[Amanda] was bubbly, very friendly. Knew her stuff. Very inspiring.’
  • ‘Excellent. Font of fantastic knowledge.’
  • Fab!!!

Any questions? Can’t see what you want? Just give us a call today on 01582 463460 and we can design a programme from scratch, just for you.