A bite-sized, distributed and cross functional development programme for high potentials.

The context: Operating globally, with a headquarters in London, Secret Escapes is a high-growth, digitally driven travel company offering discounted luxury hotel stays and trips to a community of travel loving members. Rapid growth had seen dramatic rise in headcount, with many high performing stars being quickly promoted within the business. The founders wanted to develop a rich and motivating training and development programme that would:

• Supersize core soft-skills among digitally-driven high potentials (many new to management).
• Reward high potentials through rich and experiential learning.
• Create cross-functional groups to encourage internal knowledge sharing.
• Reflect the businesses strong visual brand and tone of voice.


The approach: Partnering with the founders and senior leadership team, high potentials were identified and intriguingly invited to join 'Secret' 12 strong learning cohorts of peers. We developed a creative identity for the programme, and eye-catching direct marketing materials to launch it internally. Selected participants were given a date and external venue (the glorious Sessions House in Clerkenwell), and a time at which to come along. No-one was told who else would be in any groups, or session content ahead of the kick off. From there participants experienced a series of bite-sized, distributed workshop sessions combining facilitated group coaching with energising activities on point to specific skills and mindsets. Each session ended with action commitments and peer pledges to transfer new beliefs and behaviours back to live team contexts, with participants 'buddied up' with someone in a different team for a check-in ahead of the coming session. And into key sessions were invited inspiring external speakers and facilitators; from coach and author Hilary Gallo to Dr of Philosophy Brennan Jacoby to work with groups and share stories, challenges and invitations. All participants had access to YCN's digital learning platform, and were nudged towards relevant resources in-between sessions to support in the transfer of learning. 


Skills built in workshops: How to Decide, Presence and Gravitas, Learning to Listen, Owning Feedback, The Coach Approach, Hacking Fear.


The Results: Exceptional engagement and feedback was received by participants across all groups. 100% responded 'Yes' to have you learned skills you can now apply to your role, 100% responded 'Yes' to would you recommended participating to colleagues, and 100% responded 'Yes' to do you feel you have a better understanding of the challenges within different functions in our business.

"Totally unlike any training programme I've ever been involved in here, or anywhere else. A total game-changer."

"Time away from business as usual felt to begin with like a big time commitment but it quickly became the most positive and protected part of my diary."

"As someone relatively new into the team this was a superb way to get to know new colleagues while learning new skills too."

"The bite-sized approach was a real eye opener and I'm amazed how much we achieved."

Secret 12: Workshop resources

Secret 12: Invitation pack for participants

Partner with us

We provide our partners with social, motivating and behaviourally-driven approaches to training and development among their teams.

Our pioneering social learning programmes bring people together to build relevant skills among peers, we take bite-sized training workshops into teams around the world, and design tailored learning experiences to target the commercial and cultural challenges of the day.

Find out more in this PDF, by emailing YCN Director Nick Defty or calling +44 (0)20 7033 2140.

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