Did you know that 66% of employees say they would likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated? This statistic underscores the importance of effective leadership and inclusion in the workplace.
One organization that has taken this to heart is Africa Leadership Legacy (ALL), a social enterprise committed to empowering girls in peri-urban areas through financial literacy and leadership programs. Their secret weapon? Action Learning.
The Action Learning Approach
Action Learning is a dynamic process that involves small groups working together to find solutions to real-world problems through questioning and active listening. This approach has been a game-changer for Africa Leadership Legacy.
Joseph Chandalala was a social partner at the 10th BNP Paribas Social Enterprise Hackathon. At the virtual event, which is organized by Be Leadership, participants are divided into small groups of 7 people, each group consisting of a social partner, an action learning coach, and five leadership partners. “The Hackathon provided the perfect platform for Action Learning,” Chandalala recalled.
Through Action Learning, the team was able to identify and address a significant challenge faced by ALL – securing funding for a project aimed at enhancing accessibility and safety for girls in peri-urban areas. The group identified the root cause of the problem and devised an action plan to achieve their goal.
The influence of Action Learning extends beyond mere problem-solving. It has been instrumental in further evolving the leadership style within Africa Leadership Legacy.
“Action Learning made me realize the value of others’ opinions and the benefits of active listening and inclusion,” Chandalala said. “Now, I see inclusion as a crucial skill that allows for diverse perspectives, which is invaluable in problem-solving.”
Action Learning has also shed light on the importance of revenue generation and marketing for the organization.
“Action Learning helped me understand the need for a balance between expenses spent on training our primary target and investments that will continue to generate revenue to support our training programs,” he explained.
Applying Lessons, Achieving Success
The lessons gleaned from Action Learning have been seamlessly integrated into the daily operations of Africa Leadership Legacy.
Joseph shared, “I now listen more than I speak to understand the problem or challenge clearly. I don’t rush to find the solution but use action learning to ask questions and actively listen to what is being said.”
This shift towards active listening has had a profound impact on his approach to problem-solving. Instead of jumping to conclusions or rushing to find solutions, he now takes the time to fully understand the problem at hand. He asks insightful questions and listens attentively to the responses, ensuring that every voice is heard and every perspective is considered.
This approach has not only enhanced the quality of solutions generated but also fostered a culture of mutual respect and collaboration within the ALL team.
The Impact and Future for ALL
The impact of Action Learning on Africa Leadership Legacy has been significant. Communication has improved, and the team is more motivated to achieve their goals.
“We are now more flexible and open to new ways of doing things and offering new services. We are open to changes in our business model and continuously strive to improve it to ensure sustainability,” he said.
Looking ahead, ALL plans to further implement Action Learning in their future endeavors, particularly in enhancing financial literacy and leadership skills among girls.
As for Chandalala, “I plan on using Action Learning as a mandatory assignment or project in Africa Leadership Legacy’s Financial Literacy and Leadership Program,” he shared. “I believe it will be an effective way to build small teams and foster trust among them.”
In a world where traditional methods often fall short, Action Learning is emerging as a potent tool for social enterprises like Africa Leadership Legacy. It’s not just about solving problems; it’s about transforming the way we think, lead, and create a lasting impact in the world.