Leadership Training

Below is the case study for Leadership Journey in Melbourne, Australia.

Project nameLeadership Journey
LocationBased in Melbourne, Australia
Date case study completed04-Jan-11
Contact for more informationFor more information on this project contact the TBN office at info@tbnetwork.org
Background, purpose and progress to date
What was the problem / opportunity?Leadership Development is all too often an esoteric product which focuses on transactional business processes and functions. A product is needed that will take business leaders out of their organisational and societal cultural milieu for a period of 8-10 days with the purpose of immersing them in a culture which will help them to think more objectively about their value set, beliefs, world view and leadership behaviour.
At the same time, most Australian companies struggle to develop credible socially responsible activities that go beyond basic volunteering and adjusting their environmental footprint. The Leadership Journey is a leadership development program facilitated in a development project context overseas.
What is the Project's vision?Our vision is help corporate entities in the public and private arenas to develop a genuine mid to long term relationship with a development project that they fund with a pre-agreed sum of investment per journey.
How is this vision to be achieved?This is achieved by helping a business partner with a quality NGO who has a suitable project overseas. We facilitate the Leadership Journey by taking a group of 8-10 leaders to a development project of their choice for a period of 8-10 days. These participants become 'Champions' who advocate for the project upon their return with a specific financial target to be achieved.
What progress has been made to date?We have not run a pilot yet. We have relationships with a number of international NGOs and a dozen project destinations listed on our website in six different countries in Africa and Asia. There are many more projects that are ready to be added.
When will the project be self funding, i.e. cost covered by earned income?We are investing significantly in the project in 2011. Our target market is primarily the corporate market and we hope to become profitable in 2012.
What has been the direct and indirect impact of the project to date?We have not run a pilot yet. We're speaking with a number of interested potential clients. The NGO partners that we have visited overseas are encouraged by the model because it is a win/win for each party involved. Many of the programs that involve taking people over to view a project never return significant funds to the visited project. They usually do not have a pre-agreed donation.
Specifically, how many FTE jobs have been created or sustained? This year we will employ two FTE personnel in our Melbourne office. Job creation is not our core aim however.
How much direct and indirect investment has been made to date?Direct investment (to the end of 2011) will be ~A$200,000. Indirect investment is difficult to measure. I have been working part-time on this project since January 2009 and self-funding along the way.
Lessons learned
What lessons have been learned? What do you know now that you wish you knew at the outset?Selling an innovation is difficult. Corporates are driven by peer pressure, like the average consumer, and cautious about taking a risk with a new product. You have to look for the early adopter. Secondly, it is easier to sell a product when you have competition. When you're selling something that is rather unique it is very hard to create noise in the market place and to get your product/ service in front of potential clients.
Expansion and replication
What are your plans to expand or replicate the project?This year we are investing A$150,000 in sales and marketing in an effort to get some runs on the board. We have also begun work on a separate, but similar, product which will be marketed to the 'sacred sector' (churches and theological colleges).
How many FTE jobs do you expect to have been created or sustained in 3 years?In our business plan, which we feel is realistic; in 3 years we will have created 4-5 FTE jobs. We will provide ~A$420,000 to the development projects we conduct Leadership Journeys to in that year.
What help do you need to achieve your goals?We need to raise the profile of our product among corporate entities that have a 'felt need' for this kind of offering. We are finding that multi-national companies are more open to this offering as they already experience the challenge of working cross culturally. They are also aware of the need to be seen to be doing good work in the countries in which they are present and they need to develop personnel who will work in culturally sensitive ways in their overseas placements.
Could this project be replicated by others elsewhere? What would be needed to do this?The project could be replicated elsewhere and we would be happy to work with others to do so. What is needed is relationships with quality NGOs who are willing to open up development projects as Leadership Journey destinations. The other key is to have a team of facilitators who have the skills needed to run the program, care for the participants and navigate the vagaries of working/ travelling in a developing world context.
Are there documents to aid replication in the TBN resource library?We would prefer to speak directly to and potentially partner with somebody seeking to do this kind of work. Due to the fact that we are operating as a for-profit selling a product into the corporate sector we have to be a little protective of our intellectual property.

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Leadership Journey - Australia
Leadership Journey – Australia
Leadership Australia.pdf

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