Jackie Black, director of Digital Business Communication Ltd, talks to BQ about her business and why she got involved with the Digital Knowledge Exchange.
What is it that your company does?
My company offers a range of training courses for those working virtually, those who want to feel more confident using technology to communicate, or for those new to leading virtual teams. All courses are bespoke and content is therefore adapted to suit individual needs.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I train both online and face-to-face, delivering courses on how to communicate effectively in a virtual environment. My target audience is often people working in international projects where using technology to communicate with team members is essential.
In these courses, the emphasis is on using the right tools for the job, but there is also an element of intercultural awareness involved since the way we communicate is often impacted by our cultural preferences.
I also like to help those Generation Xers who are less familiar with technology and may feel inhibited or even afraid of using it in their businesses.
How did you come to do the work that you do?
As a freelance trainer working for a local business language and communication skills training company, I noticed how communication was moving rapidly away from face-to-face delivery to online, whether it be giving presentations or facilitating video conference calls.
To keep up with market needs I had to upskill myself and create training materials more relevant to learners' needs. After being asked by the company to co-author a training book on the subject of working virtually four years ago, I decided to set up my own business and look for clients who need this type of training.
I find it a truly fascinating way of working which has still not been fully embraced by many. My personal challenge is to help people see how important it is to use the technology effectively in order to not only save time, but also avoid potential conflict through miscommunication. This last year I signed up to be a mentor for the Digital Knowledge Exchange and thoroughly enjoyed every moment!
What exciting things are happening in your industry at the minute?
Digital platforms for delivering training are constantly improving, with a greater range of functions to make delivery more engaging. In e-learning too, the tools available are making it easier for educators to create more meaningful programmes.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I want to be working with global companies based in the ASEAN region. I see myself delivering high quality blended training: both face-to-face in-country and using digital platforms to enhance the communication between international stakeholders working on virtual projects.
Why was it important for you to support the Digital Enterprise or Digital Knowledge Exchange?
As a mentor for the Digital Knowledge Exchange, I had the opportunity to learn what challenges small business owners faced in terms of digitalisation and offer assistance in solving some of their key issues.
As a participant in the programme, I picked up a huge amount of knowledge related to SEO, website development, making videos and blog content creation. It has given me the confidence to put new ideas into practice, re-vamp my business brand and raise my profile to become a more credible expert in my field.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Make use of all the funding and free workshops available to you. There is much more out there than you imagine and it is not as difficult as you may think to access it. More importantly, you will learn so much about business in the real world and meet so many interesting and useful contacts.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
It’s not easy to get your proposals in front of the real decision-makers.
Why would you recommend Digital Enterprise or the Digital Knowledge Exchange?
The expertise of these people is invaluable to anyone struggling to make sense of the digital world. The workshops are informal but professionally run, which puts you at ease and makes learning fun. It is also a fantastic way to build your network and collaborate with business owners across the region.
If you liked this post, please share with your friends and followers. If you are interested in digital, why not check out the Digital Enterprise Top 100, a major initiative to identify those companies that are setting an example for others to follow within the world of digital transformation.
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement