A look back at our (virtual) Leadership Academy event
26th June 2020
"In recognition of the phenomenal hard work and courage that every member of the Business Development Programme (summer season 2020) put into their Usborne journeys this spring, it was essential that we deliver Leadership Academy in some format – albeit in lockdown conditions." - Mark Franklin, Managing Director, Usborne Books at Home
Our first ever Virtual Leadership Academy took place this week – an online itinerary of interactive Zoom discussions and presentations in which our attendees were challenged with two key questions: what does your Usborne business look like right now, and where do you want to take it?
The Coronavirus pandemic has made us all think differently about how we can share books with customers, families, schools and communities. With so much uncertainty still in front of us, it proved a golden opportunity to take the time to deliberate over where our future focuses lie – which elements of our businesses can we control, plan for and influence, and which could we do well to perhaps let go of for now?
The Business & Leadership Development team opened with a tantalising taster of new books to look forward to this summer before attendees were split into two more focused sessions. For Established Leaders, the challenge was to consider how to be a more effective coach and influencer with their downlines, whilst our New Gold Leaders contemplated how to better manage their time and priorities to offer greater support and direction to their rapidly-growing teams.
Post-lunch, Schools Marketing Executive, Lucy Raby, gave insight into how we might shape our schools business this summer and beyond – whilst the school gates may not yet be open to onsite events, the opportunities remain to support teachers and parents (and of course students) in new ways, adopting more flexible and class-specific ways to put the right books into the right hands.
The day wrapped up with a thought-provoking open discussion around what "Usborne" needs to look like for each of the attending leaders, and how they can take control of that journey by both identifying their circles of influence and control and letting go of that which does not serve them in their businesses.
No Usborne event is complete without a glass of bubbly – even in lockdown! – and our delegates convened for an evening of celebration, party games and quizzes accompanied by a toast from the MD. Our vision for 2020 may have been "adjusted" by the pandemic but many new opportunities have also presented themselves as a result. How we grasp and run with them will determine what happens next.
We think that is rather exciting!