The challenges and opportunities of starting a new business during a global pandemic


The Colour Code is a people development company that uses self-awareness as a foundation to strengthen workplace relationships and drive performance. They are the first New Zealand based partner of Insights Discovery; a tool that has been used by more than 6 million people worldwide.

With almost comedic timing, The Colour Code launched just as Covid was taking hold; business plans had to rapidly change; face-to-face meetings were scrapped; the market that they were once placed in prime position for was dramatically transformed.

But, after a spell of feeling sorry for themselves, The Colour Code soon realised that whilst the pandemic was certainly causing them challenges, it was also creating new opportunities. The Colour Code Director, Simon Fowler, mentioned “Good leaders were admitting that they were feeling the pressure and wanted to understand how they were perceived in their teams, so they could model the best behaviour. This was something we knew we could help them with and soon led to some great clients here in New Zealand.”

As lockdown pushed learning online, proximity to clients was no longer a limiting factor and created opportunities to work with new clients in countries they did not initially intend to target, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK.

Through the pandemic, the world of work has changed, remote roles have increased by 8.5 times on LinkedIn and now make up 16% of all jobs listed. As the world shifts to a hybrid working environment, people expect their learning to offer the same flexibility. People have become more familiar with online delivery, Zoom users grew from 10M users to 350M users between Dec 2019 and Dec 2020.

We noticed that some of our clients are not using online learning because they have to, but because they prefer it. However, we want to be a trusted partner for our clients, so we have had to up our game. We cannot simply take our existing content and wrestle attendees to submission during a 3 hour power point session.

Online delivery allows a more flexible approach and supports bite sized learning, which has been shown to increase retention of training by up to 80%. It also gives us the opportunity to make Insights available to individuals and smaller teams, which we have done through the design of our first online course.

We know our work with Insights is needed now more than ever. The McKinsey Global institute estimates 14% of the world’s workforce will have to change occupations in the next 10 years to meet evolving business needs. This means people will have to understand their strengths and how they can adapt to roles that don’t even exist yet. This is something we know we are incredibly well placed to do, in which ever format suits our clients.

Simon Fowler | The Colour Code

For further enquires, contact Simon at