During this phase, the ethos that underpins the programme is identified and the desired outcomes are agreed upon. These are aligned to the specific organisational values, vision and strategy.
Collaboration and planning forms the basis for this phase and includes the following elements:
As this in-depth process is based on an organisation's own strategic and development needs, it is fully customised and not replicable. Participants must be assessed as competent and the structuring of assignments is of vital importance.
An internal organisational coaching process is advised to assist participants with applying learning within their work environment. USB-ED will guide internal coaches to aid optimal results.
A forum with line managers and other executives will be established to support participants during the actual learning programme.
During the faculty briefing day, faculty has the opportunity to meet the relevant advisors within the organisation face to face.
The second phase of each programme revolves around the practical and structural building blocks and rollout process of the intervention.
This vitally important aspect drives the overall learning experience of participants. It includes the following elements:
It is advised that a pre- and post-assessment exercise forms part of each learning programme. This helps participants to identify the development gaps they should focus on during the programme. These assessments may be used as part of an organisation's own ROI (return on investment) process.
Learning programmes are structured into study schools that are classroom-based. This allows a safe learning space where participants interact in a learning context. A study block should not be shorter than three days.
LABs are structured sessions during a class room-based day, where participants consider and plan how to transfer their new learning successfully to their own work environments and apply it for real return.
The modules on each programme are facilitated by subject matter experts who have both academic qualifications as well as real business and consulting experience.
The role of the learning process facilitator (LPF) at USB-ED aim to ensure return on investment for the client organisation. The LPF fulfils a coaching role and helps participants to integrate and apply the knowledge they have gained.
MOODLE is the online learning platform used by Stellenbosch University. It enhances the learning process by allowing for constant input and communication between USB-ED and participants, and between participants and syndicates.
Company visits are encouraged as they stimulate debate and innovation and assist with benchmarking and best practice.
Participants are divided into syndicate groups to work on business-driven action learning (BDAL) projects that are based on real and current organisational issues. The BDAL project is written up as an academic report which is then reviewed and finally presented. The projects are 'pitched' to internal organisational panels for sign-off.
Reflection on learning is an important element to ensure a change in thinking and, ultimately, behaviour. USB-ED feedback loops aim at checking on participants and assisting with the successful application of learning in the workplace.
The award ceremony is the final accolade for a successful learning journey and a job well done.
It is important that good governance forms part of the entire intervention.
Learning governance is the debriefing and evaluation of the success of the learning programme and includes the following elements:
To internalise learning, participants who have completed a learning intervention 'buddy up' with a new participant to share learning. This creates a natural environment for networking and sharing of learning from both sides and starts to establish a learning organisation.
With their new-found knowledge and insight, participants host a power hour for their own work teams to disseminate pertinent knowledge. This creates thinking environments and stretches teams to achieve more through effective learning and decision-making.
One year after the learning intervention, USB-ED schedules a follow up session with participants. The purpose is to establish how much learning has been applied in the intervening year, what has changed, and what should still change.