A pioneering, commercially focussed and remotely delivered development programme for an annual cohort of sporting future leaders.
The context: Following a 12 month process of vendor research and evaluation, YCN was appointed by the global talent development team at adidas to design, produce and deliver a series of topic specific learning modules, remotely presented as 'Skills Gyms', to annual cohorts of future leaders enrolled on the business's Talent Carousel development programme. The Talent Carousel is a real-time, real-life on the job two-year learning experience that offers cross-functional and cross-cultural exposure, experience and support to 20 talented performers, enabling them with "creatively, collaboration and confidence to lead our business in the VUCA world."
These Skills Gyms would be central to the programme's content, needed to develop capability that could be applied to specific live business assignments and must connect participants with smart and inspiring thinking from outside the business. The ambition was an enticing, interactive learning experience — delivered entirely remotely, given that participants were distributed all around the world — and that encouraged the practice and application of interesting and challenging new models and tools to two central assignments; one tackled individually and the other in sub-groups:
The approach: Drawing on remote, social and micro-learning principles, we developed ten Skills Gyms in total, focussed on key capabilities participants would need to successfully deliver against these key assignments. Each Skills Gym comprised a series of specially produced bite-sized video and audio contributions from inspiring external contributors, curated resources and recommended reading, and short virtual workshops hosted on ZOOM, into which our external contributors were invited to share their perspectives on the topic, personally frame challenges and provocations — kickstarting conversation and application among the group.
Below are details of each Skills Gym and the community of entrepreneurs, subject experts and other thought leaders we curated to deliver and enrich each with their generous sharing of first person learning. YCN's expert and close ongoing facilitation, learning community management and individual coaching were fundamental to the success of the programme.
Skills Gym 1: Defining Your Leader Brand. With brand consultant Robert Bean.
Skills Gym 3: Problem Definition: how to use challenges as springboards for innovation. With innovation expert and 'chief misfit' Alexa Clay, designer and creative director Kirsty Minns and the Bakery co-founder Andrew Humphries.