How Impellus has successfully used its own strategic business modelling to reinvent itself in the recent time of uncertainty. By David Ross, Lead Trainer at Impellus and Business Strategy Trainer

At Impellus, we’ve previously delivered our courses face-to-face and maintained that this was the best way to experience learning that will make a real difference to the habits and working practices of our delegates back in their organisations. We ran up to 9 open management training courses per week at venues across the UK.

While we’re still great believers in the enhanced benefits of this personal touch, as we all know, the world has changed and our last face-to-face course was delivered on Friday 13th March – an omen perhaps, we thought at the time.

Of course, in March none of us knew how the impacts of Covid would affect us nor for how long.  We, like many organisations, had a period of “it’ll be fine, we’ll be back before you know it”.

However, it soon became apparent that the operating environment we had become used to actually no longer existed and thoughts quickly turned to survival followed by furlough for many of our team.

Using Business Modelling to Determine Your Position and Set Strategic Leadership Direction








This is a model that we use in our Organisational Leadership Skills course entitled The Lifecycle of a Business and we certainly found ourselves on the downslope of decline. Overnight. Not a blip. A fundamental market change and thus something we had to address in that capacity.

That’s where tough and sometimes uncomfortable decisions need to be made which brings me to the title of this Blog.

“Every day provides a new opportunity for renewal – a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill”

Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 1989 (Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw)


We have a positive and proactive leadership approach and value set at Impellus so once the reality of our new world had sunk in, we were determined to hit the rebirth up slope and re-invent our way of working.

Online delivery of management training courses presented the answer, but how to create them when our previous thoughts were about the engagement of face-to-face training which we wanted to keep as part of a mix?

Since March, as a delivery team, we’ve adapted all our Leadership and Management courses for online delivery so we can keep the training engaging, purposeful and enjoyable. We’re now running them successfully; we’ve developed striking new workbooks for many of our courses which can be shipped to delegates in advance much more easily and with higher user-value. Feedback from delegates suggests that almost all are finding them just as engaging as face-to-face courses.

We’ve redeveloped presentations which work better online, not just made the training room slides fit; developed video-based online ILM management qualification products. The list goes on and continues to grow. Every department has had similar successes because of the way in which we read the situation and took strategic management decisions based on our current and future trading environments.

The results have led us to beating pre-existing financial targets for the year to date and being able to provide more relevant management, leadership and business development training for our clients.

An added bonus of our rebirth is that our skills and expertise as individuals have grown beyond all recognition. We’re now carrying out projects and tasks that would’ve been outsourced before March due to lack of time and skill.

Rebirth is the beginning of the next stage, not the end of the story. We know we’ll have to keep re-inventing as we go forward. The great thing is that everyone in the company has discovered what we’re capable of and what they contribute, so we go forward with a massive boost to morale.

How have you considered your long-term strategy? Are you embracing the opportunity to sharpen the saw?