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Taking a creative approach              

Michael Bambacas has a creative approach to workplace learning. When he needed help to ensure his own business thrived, he applied the same principles.

Michael uses his film industry background to develop fun, creative and evidence-based workplace learning and development programs tailored to a client’s needs. Create Learning also harnesses his experience as a Learning and Development Specialist.

“I like to use some film references, both Australian and non-Australian films,” Michael says. “It might be a well-known line from a film or an image that I use to get people talking and relate it to content of the program.

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“For example, I’ve used ‘I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse’ from The Godfather in the sales training program. This can bring more lively, good humoured conversation to the art of customer engagement and help make the learning for participants more memorable.”  

Michael has worked with agribusiness, animal health, the veterinary sector, aged care, child care and the building industry. He covers topics such as leadership development, team dynamics, behaviour and essential sales and customer service skills.


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The evidence-based tailored programs are designed to meet a strategic focus where participants can create positive behavioural change.

“The content is highly engaging, sparks participants’ creative minds, explores new possibilities and taps into their full potential,” Michael says. “It’s all about being purposeful and having fun.” 

As a small business operator, Michael felt he was on his own and “like hanging from a thread”. He wanted a mentor to be an objective sounding board and steer him in the right direction.

Enter SBMS mentor Bill Corbett, an experienced small business operator who has worked with and consulted to large, global businesses. Michael had four sessions with Bill over 12 months, followed by another four.

Bill provided general encouragement and advised on business development, identifying industry segments and potential clients, balancing business development with billable time, professional fee structures and developing a “Confirmation of Engagement”.

They also tested the time Michael spent on management and confirmed he was on track.

This helped him better target potential clients and boost client engagement. Within a year, his programs increased by 57 per cent, sales by 34 per cent and enquiries by 20 per cent.

Without Bill’s help, Michael says he’d still be focussing on unproductive areas, being less strategic and not seeing the bigger picture. He is also confident that he is doing the right thing.

“When the business was not growing as fast as I was expecting, Bill was the voice of reason and he assured me that these things take time and I was in fact growing at a reasonable rate,” Michael says.


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Bill says Michael has done a great job to solidify his business and give it a bright future.

“He’s done a really, really good job and he’s worked very, very hard on the business development area and networking and new clients and following things up,” Bill says. “You need that persistence. He’s really knuckled down on the business development.

The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) is a non-government, non-profit organisation of volunteer expert mentors who give their time and experience to help small business.  It is supported by Small Business Victoria, which refers clients to it.   

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