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An interview with GBS Managing Director, David Price

Who are you and why did you get into leadership and management?

I’m the Managing Director of the GBS Corporate Training group, one of the oldest established training companies in the UK. We were founded way back in 1966 which is, coincidentally, the last time England won the World Cup! We are based in Fleet Hampshire and have a team of highly qualified trainers based across the UK and also in the US supporting some of our global clients.

I joined the company over 25 years ago as an account manager, Sales Director and then as managing director coming out of a management buy-out to where we are today. We are an inquisitive company who looks to create and provide the most applicable solutions to our client needs with the objective of improving their people performance with enhanced management and leadership skills. GBS are proud to be the UK and Ireland global Affiliate for Dr Paul Hersey’s Center for Leadership Studies offering the renowned Situational Leadership® suite of courses and trainer accreditation.

We are also an ILM, CMI and CQI approved training provider for their accredited qualification which demonstrates the breadth of our potential offerings across our clients and prospects.

What kind of businesses does GBS aim to help?

Because of the breadth of our expertise we support organisations, large and small, across Corporate, Public and Charitable sectors in both the UK and overseas. Whether this be a major rollout or supporting just one individual with coaching we strive to offer flexibility in the solutions we provide. We can also align our training to the courses providing management and leadership qualifications by the Chartered Management Institute and Institute of Leadership and Management.

How do you create a tailored training package?

As I mentioned earlier, GBS looks to provide the best solution for our clients’ needs and we do this by having detailed “up front” consultative conversations to fully understand what the “real” issues are and how we can provide the most effective solution to achieve positive results and behaviour change. Every solution is different in terms of outcomes, context, content, duration, participant mix and end point to ensure the maximum return on investment. We take great pride in working as a “partner” with our clients rather than a “supplier”.

One of our recent developments is our flexi-day sessions which grew from clients wishing to focus upon short, JIT training avoiding the need, where appropriate, for days away from the office. These flexible bite size sessions can be combined in a training day leaving participants to select the most relevant topics for them…total flexibility.

What courses are the most popular?

In terms of demand we see the most interest in clients developing their managers and future leaders to be able to build their businesses. To do this there is the need to enhance all aspects of communication, particularly in the digital world we live in. Every year sees different areas of focus, recently this has been demonstrated by the demand for Resilience, Wellbeing and Mental Health First Aid, all of which we have added to our portfolio as we listen to our clients and where we can support them.

Offering topics in short sessions is also on the increase and also by webinar which again we offer to clients wishing to use technology in the mix.

The only area of training we don’t offer is IT training….we leave that to the experts.

How do GBS efforts tie in with your sister company Brighton School of Business and Management?

Almost three years ago we acquired the Brighton School of Business and Management who offer a broad range of courses available to study exclusively “online”. Clients tend to be individuals looking to build their careers using CMI leadership and management courses and also we offer HNC/HND courses which can lead to a degree with Arden University…totally online. The acquisition further enhance the Group’s capability in offering different ways of learning should classroom based learning not be available to them.

We have currently over 800 students across the world taking BSBM courses with excellent pass rates. These courses reach level 8 in Strategic Direction and Leadership and allows persons to study at their own pace, time and place, even whilst they are working. We will be adding online Project Management training to the range this year which will support those involved in company projects.

Is there anything exciting on the horizon for GBS?

GBS Corporate continue to listen to our clients and the training market in general to be continually evolving and growing in the products and services we offer. Years ago, we provided a broad range of public courses but, as training budgets were squeezed, these began to be less popular and difficult to provide economically. Hence, we changed our focus in providing in-house events which can support a group of up to 15 staff and spread the budget more sensibly. We now offer coaching as an alternative to training, again where appropriate, and now have a team of qualified coaches to support this requirement.

As an alternative to public courses, we will be offering a new approach, offering online courses in the traditional topics we would have been offering as public courses, through our new business CPD Digital Learning which allows clients to build their CPD hours and use technology to achieve this. These courses will be available on all devices to complete on a just in time basis. This will go live in early 2020 so look out for this exciting new range of offerings.