1) Who is the ideal candidate for GIFT programmes?
GIFT programmes are designed for high potential managers from global companies as well as emerging leaders from within the public sector, civil society and academia. Participants are most often nominated from large companies with existing talent development programmes or which require new complimentary programmes for grooming the next generation of leadership. While there is no specific age requirement participants should have a minimum of 5-6 years of business experience and be proficient in the functional skills which are required for a leadership track within large organizations.
GIFT programmes are ideal for individuals who:
- Are poised for rapid career progression or taking the next step toward senior leadership
- Have demonstrated leadership ability and are in need of greater international exposure
- Are currently working in or soon to be placed in multi-cultural or multi-disciplinary teams and/or who require a more nuanced understanding of developing markets in Asia
- Have excelled in technical disciplines or mastered the functional skills and are in need of refining the softer aspects of leadership including communication and empathy
- Are looking to complement formal business training such as an MBA with experiential immersion learning, real world insights and entrepreneurial ‘street smarts’
- Are transitioning from specialist fields into general management and require a more broad-based understanding of business and the interrelationships of different industries.
Please visit the testimonials page for recent participant profiles including titles and companies.
2) How many participants join each programme and what is the demographic composition?
Each programme has an average of 25 participants. During the field visit participants are split into various teams which take responsibility for different elements of the business plan. The multi-client programmes tend to be very diverse in the cultural and functional backgrounds of participants. The record for cultural diversity on a programme was 14 different nationalities within a group of 24 participants. Typically about 70-80% of participants will come from business.
3) What are the time commitments and expectations of participants?
The Global Leadership Programme is a full immersion experiential programme which takes place over the course of 2 concurrent weeks. Participants begin on a Monday and finish on the following Friday. Module 1 is a classroom-based module and runs from 8:30am to 5:30 or 6pm. Module 2 is a combination of travel, site-visits, group working sessions, business plan writing and focused discussions. The time in country allows a great amount of exchange between participants and GIFT facilitators both on and off the subject of the project and this is where much of the learning happens.
Participants work hard but have a great time doing it – and walk away with tremendous learning that can never be gained from inside a classroom.
4) Are participants evaluated on their performance and how is feedback delivered?
At the conclusion of each programme participants are evaluated against a range of categories highlighting their strengths and suggested areas of improvement. This is meant only as a constructive reflection of their time with us on the programme and not intended as a critical examination. Basic quantitative and qualitative reports are delivered to participants and their line managers in order to support their continuing development. GIFT is not a technical Human Resource consultancy and does not use complex metrics or measurement tools. The most valuable aspect of participants feedback is delivered in real-time during the field project while we are working closely with them apart from their familiar daily working environment and company management.
5) How can I measure the impact of my investment in this program?
The short answer is unfortunately it is very difficult to measure the impact of soft skills and human development against conventional economic metrics and your business’ bottom line. Yet, every successful executive knows that to some degree the best leaders are never just born, they are also made. It takes experience and hard work to cultivate the character and skills that turn your good managers into great leaders. GIFT programmes work on developing soft skills for leading dynamic multi-cultural teams and in rapidly changing environments. Participants are not tested explicitly on functional skills or against the typical business school metrics. Rather, they are immersed in a real life business challenge with a mandate to create value beyond simple profitability and with the added element of working with an extremely diverse group of their peers. The returns to the company will become apparent only once they return to their organization and are given the opportunity to apply their new perspective and skills.
6) What is included in the programme fee?
Once participants arrive in Hong Kong (or the location of Module 1) the programme fee covers all of the necessary expenses for the two weeks, with the exception of dinners during Module 1 and any additional personal expenses such as shopping, hotel incidentals, etc. The programme fee does NOT include the participant’s airfare to Module 1 from their place of origin. Hotels in Hong Kong and during the field visit are comfortable and participants are typically very well fed.
7) What is the relationship between GIFT and the project partner?
GIFT provides support to the project partner in the form of management consulting services for the production or expansion of their project or business plan. The programme output delivered to the project partner varies according to the nature of the project. GIFT does not invest in or take stakes in the projects. There are no guarantees made on the part of GIFT to bring or secure investment into any of the project plans. Mutual expectations for projects and partners are clearly laid out well in advance of the programmes. The role of the project partner is to assist in facilitating the site visit and hosting the group. GIFT and the programme participants have an obligation to provide a valuable output to the partner at the conclusion of the programme.
8) How does GIFT follow up to the projects and are participants involved?
Participants are under no obligation to follow up or continue working with project partners after the conclusion of Module 2 and the final conference. In certain cases participants elect to stay in touch and work to bring additional resources or support to the project on which they have worked. GIFT stays in close contact with the partners and supports the process of implementing the recommended plans for an agreed upon time period.
9) How does GIFT evaluate future project opportunities?
GIFT is constantly looking for good projects and partners which may be suitable for future programmes. Projects are evaluated according to certain criteria which have been developed over time and continue to evolve as the programme grows and develops. These criteria are broadly related to the history of the partner organization and size and scale of the proposed project. Projects should have clearly defined socio-economic development benefits or in other ways create positive social impact in the communities where partners operate. If you would like to suggest partners or projects for GIFT to consider in future programmes, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
10) Am I eligible to join GIFT programmes as an individual and are their opportunities for sponsorship?
GIFT evaluates individual applicants who wish to join the programme on a case by case basis. Prospective participants should have adequate business or public sector experience and most importantly a good attitude in approaching the learning experience and the field project. Programme site visits are not designed to be holidays or tourist trips. Participants work hard and often find that they have gained more knowledge, experience and breakthrough insights than they ever thought possible in a two-week period.
Individual applicants are expected to contribute to the programme fees. Sponsorships may be available for qualified and deserving candidates, and are awarded on a case by case basis as they become available through external sponsors.