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The Year That Was…

Horace McDonald
Negotiation New Year [Converted]
© Adobe Stock

The start of 2023 saw Scotwork UK revert to its traditional model of running the majority of face-to-face courses. Whilst Virtual courses remain popular with a handful of clients, most clients recognise the benefits of developing capability in negotiation as a skill being best taught in the classroom. To a degree, this has been mirrored in the broader environment as whilst hybrid working has become entrenched in most industries (for those people who can work remotely), the towns and cities I’ve visited seem to be pretty buoyant. Anyone who’s been into Central London or a shopping mall recently would testify that shopping as we know it traditionally hasn’t gone away and in certain sectors is on the rise.

It has certainly been a challenging year and conflicts of all types continue to rage. Another major war has emerged in the Middle East, the ramifications of another year of high inflation have resulted in significant numbers of strikes amongst public sector workers in the UK (as well as Europe) as well as making it more difficult for the poorer people in our communities to feed their families and heat their homes and whilst climate change remains a major global issue, many families will have been grateful for the mild weather we have experienced in recent weeks.

2024 will certainly be an interesting year in the UK, as it is highly likely that an election will take place this year and it is widely predicted that we will have a change in government. The US will be going to the polls at the end of the year and who knows what might happen after the shenanigans there three years ago. Closer to home one of the things that all companies in the training space will be reviewing is Artificial Intelligence and how it will impact their businesses in the future. In some industries and disciplines AI is already having a huge impact and at Scotwork, we see it as a technology that can enable us to support our clients in ways that are currently uneconomic using our highly able and qualified tutors and to drive even better outcomes.

If 2023 has taught us one thing, it is the importance of dialogue, to listen and to understand. Taking an extreme position and entrenching oneself in it for a long period will invariably result in greater cost and in the most extreme cases, greater loss of life. Most people would advocate for more peace, in whatever form it takes. Building trust and mutual understanding is key to achieving this.

Happy New Year

Horace McDonald
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