Whilst we are more than convinced that our programs create great value not just for the communities and entrepreneurs which we support but also for the participants of our leadership programs we wanted to have a closer look and gather facts and date. That's why we've conducted an in depth impact survey with our program alumni – the ones who have joined our various learning programs in the past. And the results have exceeded our wildest expectations: 100% of all our program alumni state that our action learning programs have transformed them in their personalities.
There are thousands of leadership programs out there in the market. What makes our action learning programs unique? If you ask our program alumni, they put our learning by doing approach first. This entails engaging in a hands-on experience in which candidates take responsibility as a social entrepreneur for themselves, for others and for a joint higher goal. As a result, they transform an entire community, themselves and their private and professional environment. To date, there is no other comparable program in which candidates are challenged to step into the shoes of an entrepreneur and create something tangible for which they have to be responsible.
Our impact is our right to exist. This is why we frequently assess the impact created by our programs on the professionals who participated. In 2020, 91 professionals took part in a survey in which we asked about the impact the program has had on them personally as well as the impact they have had on others based on their experience in the program. We are proud to share the results of the survey.
"Keeping in touch with our program alumni is important for us. First, we can support them in impacting their environment. Second, it allows us to assess our impact even years after the program." Carsten, Co-Founder, BOOKBRIDGE
100% of our program alumni went through a personal transformation
All our program alumni state that the program has had an impact on their personality. Looking at the impact our programs have had on the individual, the development of an entrepreneurial mindset, dealing with uncertainty, a can-do attitude followed by leading yourself, leading others as well as business skills receive the highest scores.
Digging deeper into the individual changes and developments, 28 out of 59 comments by program alumni quote personal transformation as the key change the program had brought to them. With support from our program, participants started to reflect about their own life and work, changing who they are and becoming the person they want to be. Listening skills and a humbling attitude supported them in developing their personalities.
"The Capability Program changed my view on my own abilities and what I want to focus on in my life." Linda Nordin, Field Engineer, Hilti Sweden
Personal transformation was followed by purpose-driven leadership as the second-most cited key change delivered by our program. Purpose-driven leadership entails leading yourself before leading and others. Alumni also referred to the experience of working as a self-organized team which made them develop trust as basis for high-performing teams.
"Through the program, I found my WHY." Karthik Elangovan, Director, CDB, Sri Lanka
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset ranks third in the quotations by program alumni. This entails taking risks in situations with ambiguity as well as making decisions with incomplete information. Participants also referred to the ability to start a business and focus on what is important. Or as our alumni Andreas Schraft put it:
"The program changed the way I solve problems, I have become more pragmatic and a better team player." Andreas Schraft, Co-Founder, Beyond Purpose, South Africa
Related to the mindset of an entrepreneur, agile working skills were cited as key change or development through the program. This entails learning to unlearn, failing as well as developing a positive can-do attitude towards challenges put at you.
"The Capability Program changed my approach to undertakings where the goal is not visible and made me a more efficient person when it comes to dealing with uncertainty." Grazyna Kosno, Global Service Manager, Hilti Group
The experience of working in a diverse team was quoted as key change through the program. The experience of working with teammates from different cultures helped them to change perspectives and understand cultural differences as a source of inspiration.
"The view was opened even more to me that we are a human family on this planet and that it is therefore worthwhile to discover and learn to appreciate the foreign in the foreign." Peter Glaser, Former Director, Jugendsozialwerk, Switzerland
Self-confidence was cited as key change the program brought to our alumni. The program broadens participants' horizons regarding their role on this planet and makes them step up and take responsibility – not only for themselves but also for others and for a joint higher goal. Read our impact story with Gary to learn more about self-confidence.
The program has changed my self-confidence. It's a huge wave of optimism, positive risk-taking and trust. Claudio Morando, Head Portfolio Analytics & Strategy EMEA, Swiss Re
Finally, making an impact in terms of creating something for the benefit of others has been cited as key driver of our programs. Participants learnt about social entrepreneurship and took up the challenge to create a social enterprise from scratch in a disadvantaged community. Listening to the target group, understanding the program and developing ideas towards a sustainable solution changed the way how they perceive themselves as actors of global change.
"I am now very clear about the importance of working on solutions to the societal or community challenges and generating income out of this." Dorah Marema, Head Municipal Sustainability Portfolio, South African Local Government Association, South Africa
We are very proud what our program alumni haven taken away for themselves on their learning journeys with us. In the next blog post, we present what impact they have had on others with their social enterprises as well as in their respective private and professional environment. We will continue to assess our impact on a yearly basis and support our alumni in transforming not only their lives but also the lives of others.