#Leadership  #Social partnerships  #Young professionals

Our Work: The impact of long-term collaboration

posted 08-10-2020

The impact of long-term collaboration 
Since 2015 we have worked together with FrieslandCampina. Together we have taken more than 250 young talents to over 10 countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Where they have worked together with 10 different social partners to vastly increase their positive impact on society; discover their reason of being; and become better leaders within their organisation. All this takes place during LEAP; the leadership development programme that unlocks the full potential of FrieslandCampina employees.

Why it’s important
In this VUCA [1] world, we have to navigate through discomfort and challenge ourselves to grow and develop. By applying Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, individuals, teams and organisations can build the essential leadership capacities needed to address the root cause of today’s social, environmental and spiritual challenges. To shift from an ego-system to an eco-system.

The secret ingredient to create this shift is connecting different worlds. Where FrieslandCampina meets a social partner[2] that is valuable to their business; where two-way learning takes place; where participants work on real-life challenges; close to home and far away. Where equal opportunities are created to learn and grow. An experience that’s always confronting, unpredictable and life changing.

As Betty van der Molen, Global Talent & Leadership Development Manager at FrieslandCampina, said: “On the short-term participants are doing something good for society because they’re working on a real-life challenge, together with a social partner that is extremely mission-driven. On the long term, this programme has ongoing impact because it changes their mindset. This programme can only be that impactful if you’re in a different place than you’re used to in daily life.”

The programme
Science has proven that the only way to transform people is through experience. LEAP is a blended learning and experience-based programme that challenges young talents on their views, their strengths and their ability to bring about meaningful change. It focusses on accelerating the personal growth and purpose of all participants; gives them the building blocks to connect, internalise and activate their mission; and encourages them to take ownership of their own learning experience by confiding in an accountability partner. This dynamic programme consists of four stages.

To kick-off, each participant reflects on previous self-development learnings, which are then enhanced by additional tools like 360 feedback sessions. This gives insight into their personal strengths, personality traits and provides them with tools to shape their growth and development.

Then we embark on a learning journey close to home or far away that enables participants to immerse in new worlds; tackle real-life social challenges; and connect with personal and business-related leadership goals. During the programme, the participants learn to observe, sense and connect deeply. To co-create and navigate in group dynamics and are confronted with their behaviours.

In order to guarantee success, it’s important to foster the knowledge gained during the journey. During an out-take interview with Better Future and FrieslandCampina facilitators, participants discuss their lessons learnt and discover how to translate those into daily practices within the organisations.

The last phase is about maintenance. Periodic conversations with accountability partners; regular reflections on LEAP insights to implement lessons learnt into professional and personal life; define steps to further push career goals within FrieslandCampina; continuous dialogue and development with manager and peer-coach. This phase is a marathon not the short sprint; it requires consistency and commitment.

The impact
Employees with a mission

By working together with a socially driven business, participants experience what it means to work from a deeper cause. To discover what their purpose is within their team, organisation and the world around them.

Solutions thinking
Participants are taken out of their comfort zone where their mindset is transformed drastically. They’re more resilient and prepared for challenges that may come their way.  

Cultural resilience
Different perspectives are essential to solutions thinking. We connect different worlds and allow them to work together. The paradox is that by focusing on and connecting to something outside of yourself, it’s easier to learn and gain new insights that are beneficial to how you do business.

Improved company culture
Participants are more self-aware and self-accepting. They have deeper connections with colleagues; are capable of having continuous courageous conversations; can instantly get to the crux of a problem; and create effective solutions.

The power of collaboration
A collaborative eco-system empowers transformation. Working together with FrieslandCampina fuels the success of this programme. To improve the world on three levels: people, business and stakeholders. Our collaboration stems from deep trust, each from our area of expertise. FrieslandCampina from their needs and goals as an organisation, and Better Future from their mission to create meaningful learning experiences that have positive impact within organisations and the world around them.  

Read the interview with Betty van der Molen about the start of the programme and her experience.
Read the interview with Lesley Cordial as she shares her view on personal missions, the intrinsic needs of human beings, and the need for sustainable businesses.

[1] To describe or to reflect on the volatilityuncertaintycomplexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations.

[2] A mission-driven organisation that has meaningful impact on society.

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