Viv Cole Associates

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Smarter learning for smart organisations

Your situation is unique. Your culture, your learners, the journey that needs to be travelled. We invest time to understand you and your needs so that you get the best solution. But what's important to us?

Guiding principles

Our Guiding Principles

As we offer a bespoke service, every project is different. Our principles are the common thread which describes the thinking behind how we work.

We draw on over 15 years of experience in L&D, but as part of our commitment to showing a clear path through complexity we have pared this down to three principles.


  • 1% of a typical work week is all the time that employees have to focus on training and development (source: Bersin). When you have more than 1% of a learner’s attention, how can we make that count?
  • We make it clear why the learning is going to be relevant and useful (to them personally, not just in the organisation’s interest). We use learning frameworks and theories which work in our experience and are backed up by empirical data, not what the industry press deems to be fashionable this week. We have the confidence to know when a framework is helpful and when to go off-piste to get better results.
  • Once we have a learner’s attention we work hard to keep it by providing learning experiences that are memorable, fun, intuitive and/or surprising.
  • We also respect learners’ time because the opportunity cost of removing them from their normal workflow is often larger than budget for the L&D intervention. We work hard to ensure that you get a positive return on your investment.


  • Every situation and learning intervention is unique. However there are usually several themes in common. How do you judge whether to work from experience or to research new information?
  • We know how organisations tend to work and are fast at understanding the differences that make your culture unique. We use benchmark data to provide extra insights. When useful we run questionnaires, focus groups, interviews and/or shadowing to diagnose the learning needs and inform the solutions.
  • Different subject matters lend themselves to different learning approaches. We understand which learning tactics to apply for what purposes.
  • We make time to diagnose what messages are important to position in the foreground and which can be pushed into the background. We help you cut through the politics and the complexity to reach the heart of the matter and give learners the excellence they deserve.


  • If you go to an e-learning company you will be offered e-learning. If you go a training company you will be offered training. Talk to us and you’ll get unbiased advice on the best design for your learning experience.
  • We have built a strong network of practitioners in the e-learning, training and other sectors. This helps us keep up to date with latest trends and what actually works. If your project requires a specialism beyond our skillset, we’ll know experts personally who can help.
  • Our focus is on providing the best learning outcomes for your budget. This means designing the right blend of learning channels and implementing these effectively. If we think you’re better off with a resource rather than a course we’ll happily explain why.
  • Viv’s independence is recognised by his position as a judge for the Learning Technologies Awards for the past 5 years.

Thanks for investing your time to find out more about us. If our principles sound like the way that you like to work, let’s talk.

Viv really opened our eyes to what it was possible to achieve. His calm self-assurance and professionalism was central to bringing a complex change process involving the whole organisation in on budget and on a tight timescale. Amazing. Viv was a pleasure to work with and I would enthusiastically endorse his approach and expertise.

Graham Broadbelt, Common Purpose

Our Guiding Principles

You can get in touch with Viv Cole via email:

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