What We Learned In 2023 - Skills And Lessons From The London Team

Gary Stringer
February 13, 2024
February 13, 2024
Team HowNow

As a company in the L&D space, you guessed it, we take learning pretty seriously ourselves.

And as January is a great time to reflect, we caught up with our London team to hear some of their key learnings of the year. 

Having grown by 45% last year, HowNow looks a lot different to what it did at the beginning of the year.  

2023 saw some giant wins for us, but there were also things that didn’t go quite as planned. And that’s okay! We’ve learned from our mistakes and have started 2024 strong.  

Keep reading to learn some of our key learnings from this journey, including some of the skills that the team have developed over the last 12 months. 

Which skills did we learn this year? 

James, who joined us earlier this year to lead our brand new Account Management Department, understandably learned in a short span of time. 

With the current economic climate, many companies are cutting budgets and that applies for some of our customers. So, James has been focusing on skills like empathy and negotiation to ensure he can handle those potentially tricky conversations in the best possible way.

And working with customers of different sizes for the first time - from 100 to 20,000 people - meant he’s developed his ability to tailor the approach. 

Gary, the host of HowNow’s L&D Disrupt Podcast, has continued his public speaking journey, committing to two Toastmasters public speaking workshops each month and appearing on external podcasts for interviews on all things L&D, marketing and personal development.

Grace and Sonia continued going the extra mile to deliver brilliant customer experiences, and focused on building relationships as a skill in 2023. They put this into practice by launching our Customer Community and hosting a number of events where our customers had the chance to learn from each other.

James (Senior AM) and Jonny (CSM) at World of Learning 

Learning from courses

The team have also completed courses to further their knowledge, covering topics that include: Coding, CIPD, Change Management, Customer Success Management, Product Design and Information Architecture. 

Our sales team undertook training from an external Sales trainer, who led weekly coaching sessions that helped them hone their craft in outbounding.

Pauline completed a Leadership Development course, and in 2024, we’ve enrolled a number of our leaders into management training. 

Learning outside of work

Our HowNowers have been developing their skills outside of work too. 

Sonia, took-up Thai boxing this year, whilst Ryan’s been training hard for a marathon! 

Matt, James, Emily and Rianna (HowNow cook-off, pending) have all been developing their culinary skills. Inspired byTikTok, James has been cooking up an array of dishes including a Lasagne Soup, while  Rianna started baking with her daughter as a fun activity that was also a way to teach her how to make healthy treats…this has now led to making all sorts of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, quiches and pastries! 

And, did you know that HowNow has its own band? Well, not quite (yet). Both Grace and Gary have been playing instruments since they were little. In 2023, Grace, who plays the Bassoon, also became a committee of her Orchestra and she now helps with a lot of the behind the scenes work too.

Gary, who’s been playing the guitar for around 15 years started the year by creating a playlist of songs that he wanted to learn and ticked them all of - including now confidently being able to bust out “Master of Puppets” by Metallica. 

Grace and her Bassoon! 

Learning from each other at HowNow

One important learning for Remi has been creating a work-life balance - something she’s learned from Nelson, our CEO. HowNow’s 10 AM starts and Wind-Down Fridays have also helped with this, too! 

Matt has also spent time working with Nelson and the rest of the leadership team, and has learned a lot from having this visibility. 

An important learning for Emily, has been to make sure brings her own personality and style to her work, which she’s learned from the wider sales team. 

Sonia has learned from her Manager, Sam, how to question, question, question, in order to get a deep understanding of what the customer REALLY wants to achieve. 

The art of juggling many tasks at once can be a complex one. And with multiple deadlines, it can be a really balancing act to understand where’s best to spend your time. 

One of the key skills that Aaron, our Customer Support Operation Manager learned from others in his team, was to use a prioritisation system. This required mapping out his tasks, colour coding or numbering them, using a High/Medium/Low priority system, and picking the top-priority task based on deadlines, the duration, urgency, and customer impact.  A super simple but really effective method of working. 

Our amazing HowNow Sales Team