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Anna Greathead

My experiences of Innovation

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I work for an internet-based company, so the very foundation of the business is based on innovation. The company began by running courses which were sold and promoted online. As time progressed online revision services were developed – initially a bank of MCQs then later things like lecture videos and model exam answers and consultations.

Later we added books and other physical revision aids, webinar courses, Livestream options for our main course, one to one sessions in person and by Skype. As a small business we are reasonably nimble and able to respond quickly to new customer needs and to expand into new areas. We are often able to develop new products and services very rapidly as there is essentially only one level of management, and a committed team.

We are always encouraged to suggest development plans. When new ideas are mooted they are extensively discussed and debated and often tried out. The smallness of the company allows us to ‘suck it and see’. There is no policy; another feature of the small company. We launched and then closed a side business in 12 months when it became evident that it would take more staff time and earn less income than we’d expected.

Because of this willingness to work collectively on new projects I am very willing to make suggestions both for new ideas, and also to develop existing ones further.

Examples of innovations I have been part of in recent years:

  • The introduction of a vicarious learning model for our facilitators
  • The development of physical revision aids – case cards, a revision calendar
  • The creation of an online service for international medical graduates who wish to practice in the UK
  • The extension of our online services to include a free mock exam as a sample
  • The creation of four separate courses of different lengths for aspiring med students
  • The creation of two new courses to complement existing courses to extend commercial opportunities and further help learners
  • Reworking existing courses to better meet client needs / preference

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