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How to become the #1 in action learning with impact

As Confucius once said: “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.” In his HBR Article on Action Learning, Sumit Sahni extended the quote by “I reflect and I learn.” to describe what action learning is really about.

Since 2010, BOOKBRIDGE has been running professional action learning programs. More than 40 social entrepreneurs, 490 professionals and 21 impact investors have developed their business and leadership skills while co-creating 48 tangible social enterprises.

The part-time leadership program builds capacity on all sides in design thinking, lean start up and agility while experiencing value-based leadership and true co-creation at eye-level across cultures. Professional business and leadership coach accompany the entire team.

The social enterprise has empowered thousands of people in disadvantaged communities to help themselves and contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals. 93% of the social enterprises created are still active today run by the people who created them.

For our unique approach in making individuals and organizations step up and take responsibility, BOOKBRIDGE has won awards like the Ashoka Fellowship, HR Innovation Award and Venturekick. Our programs are accredited by WHU and ZHAW.  

What has made BOOKBRIDGE so successful? We are proud to share how our action learning programs have become as successful as they are. They are part of our offering to organizations who would like to follow us and implement similar offerings.

Make candidates reflect on their achievements and failures. Following the extended quote of Confucius, we have implemented a separate leadership stream along the action stream to draw candidates out of the hamster wheel and make them reflect upon what they have learnt. Each candidate is accompanied in his/her personal development by a leadership coach in 1:1 coaching sessions.

Integrate state-of-the-art tools and methods in your program. Nowadays, "agility" is in everybody‘s mouth. In our programs, candidates experience design thinking, lean start up and agility tools like SCRUM by applying them in the setup of their own social enterprise. This allows them to collect experience and judge the suitability of tools before they implement them at their workplace.

Design the program holistically so that everyone benefits. Our programs are a win-win for all parties involved as professionals develop their skills and personality while co-creating a tangible social enterprise. Organizations engage their employees while fostering agility, entrepreneurship and new ways of leadership. Impact investors engage actively in the way their money is spent. Social entrepreneurs win a strong team and capital to turn their vision into reality. Finally, our social enterprises serve as a platform for volunteers and donors to create impact.

Offer life long learning to increase impact and stay in touch. Much of the impact created only materializes after the program has ended. How to harness these learnings and turn them into impact? We offer an extensive life long learning program in which the team of professionals keeps in touch with the social entrepreneur through regular reports, video update calls and physical meetings. This allows them to continuously reflect about their learning journey and learn.

"You should never send a changed person back to an unchanged environment." Henry Mintzberg

Make the line manager part of the program. True impact means that our candidates become different people once they have gone through our action learning with impact programs. To support them in transferring the skills to their professional and private environment, we invite the line managers to join the program for a 1 hour video call on three occasions: before program kick off in a call with all line managers, for the investor pitch to see their candidate in action and during the debrief module to assess the learnings and help the candidate to make a difference in the work environment.

More than 40 organizations like Swiss Re, Hilti and Bosch Siemens Household Appliances trust us and send their key talents to our programs. Swiss Re started last year to run their own action learning with impact programs. We support them in copying our approach.

Coming back to Confucius‘ statement, we have remained an agile learning organization over the past 10 years as well. We continuously adapt and further develop our programs based on the feedback from our candidates, clients and social entrepreneurs.

If you would like to learn more about us and our action learning with impact programs, feel free to visit our website and contact us.


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