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BDAL experiences
SMDP group supports the empowerment of women

Team vision.jpg

Team Vision from left to right: Estee van der Merwe, Willem Bernhardt, Sarah Wolf, Mike Loftus and Rameez Harris.

Link to Grow is a non-profit organisation that aims to develop and advance the status and circumstances of women. A recent group of Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) participants decided to focus their business-driven action learning (BDAL) project on supporting this worthy organisation. The group realised that this was a project where their input could have a real beneficial impact.

Through their knowledge, professional and executive experience, skills, networks, time and effort, Link to Grow connects and strengthens ties with other links in the social capital chain. Team Vision saw that the organisation had a huge amount of potential but that they needed to define their future direction. The goal of the BDAL was to enable Link to Grow not just to survive but to thrive in future.

At the outset of the project the team regularly met with the NGO to get to know them inside out. By listening and observing they were able to identify various areas of strengths and weaknesses within the day-to-day operations. The team then made use of models and strategies they learned during the SMDP to identify which issues needed to be prioritised, and felt the key business need that had to be addressed was Link to Grow's lack of sustainable membership growth. The team delegated tasks among themselves but made sure to inform and involve each other at every step of the way. The dedication of the team to adhere to goals and deadlines, and the constant progress shared with Link to Grow, contributed to the enthusiasm that was the driving force to find solutions.  

Link to Grow's management consists of a large group of people who have a passion for their cause. According to their Chairperson, Hannl Cronje, working with Team Vision opened their minds to the way forward. "We realise that change is inevitable. (Team Vision's) input and guidance inspired us to implement outcomes and recommendations successfully and to inspire and empower women in the Western Cape with vigour and energy."

Team Vision believes the scope of a BDAL is far wider than a simple report and presentation, and say it brings groups into contact with organisations that do incredible work in challenging circumstances. "Groups are challenged to adapt their business skills in ways they may not have envisaged at the outset of the programme. Getting to know your NGO and grappling with the challenges they face not only makes your solutions far more useful to the organisation going forward, but also gives you an attachment to their prospects of success." Team Vision will continue to support Link to Grow, owing to their affection for the organisation's inspiring work.

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