Guiding the conservation leaders of tomorrow
Hubble Studios partners with Cambridge Judge Business School to develop an online leadership programme
Executive education programmes are big business for elite business schools around the world. These programmes offer intensive educational retreats for business leaders, focusing on cultivating the soft skills that will enable them to be more effective at the individual, team and organisational levels.
But why wait until people are already in positions of leadership to offer this kind of training? Especially since research has shown that success in attaining leadership positions is directly linked to soft skills, such as emotional intelligence and networking.
One major limitation has to do with the cost associated with these bespoke, in–person training programmes. It is here that online education has the potential to revolutionise this billion-dollar–a–year industry.
In a recent collaboration, Hubble Studios partnered with Executive Education at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) to develop an online leadership training programme for entry and mid-level employees at a large NGO based in the United States.
‘Hubble Studios brought a truly collaborative and solution-focused approach to our project. From the start, they strived to understand the intricacies of the programme in order to deliver across all of the requirements. They have been flexible throughout, rising to the many challenges we gave them and coming up with creative proposals to resolve issues. We are delighted not just with the results but with the attitude they brought – it truly felt like we were one team working together to build an exceptional product.’
– CJBS Executive Education
The programme design
The e-learning programme was designed to both groom the organisation’s future leaders and complement the in-person training the NGO’s executives attended in Cambridge, thus creating a common language of leadership for individuals at all levels of the organisation.
To achieve this goal, Hubble Studios’ learning designers (LDs) reinterpreted CJBS faculty members’ materials – originally developed for the in-person training of corporate executives – for an e-learning audience of non-executive conservationists.
This required the translation of complex academic theories into engaging and accessible content, and extensive research into the specific issues facing entry– and mid-level employees working in the field of nature conservation. To maintain a coherent narrative, our LDs identified overlaps, contradictions, and possible points of connection between the nine different faculty members’ content.
The online programme was divided into three modules of six units each, taking learners on a progressive journey from self-improvement to effective collaboration, and, finally, integrative systems thinking.
‘This was very therapeutic, like an online therapy session in some ways. I am able to understand my feelings and reactions to things [and] emotions better and learned some ways to help navigate through those emotions to rationally talk about them and address them.’
– Learner feedback
Tailoring the content to our specific learners involved not only research into organisational theory, but also into conservation work generally, which informed realistic examples, case studies and scenarios.
We chose to house the programme on Moodle and implemented content on Articulate Rise, incorporating
- written notes with custom graphics;
- case studies and scenarios;
- custom videos featuring Cambridge faculty;
- external videos such as TED talks;
- interactive activities (via Storyline embeds, hotspots, and gifs);
- personal virtual journals for reflection;
- dialogue forums for collaborative learning both within and between cohorts.
‘This module was fantastic! I have really enjoyed the TED Talks, tasks such as reaching out to our teammates to get to know each other’s feedback giving preferences, and the dialogue forums. Looking forward to the rest of the training.’
– Learner feedback
All the programme content is also downloadable, allowing the learners to return to it at any point in the future, even long after the programme has ended. Best of all, the programme can be run repeatedly, with a second cohort of over two hundred learners expected to begin by the end of the year.
In developing this programme, we’ve come to appreciate that leadership is better understood as a journey than a destination, and an art rather than a science. Thus, rather than creating leaders, our goal was to provide some essential tools for learners to incorporate into their routines to optimise both their work outputs and their overall quality of life.
‘This unit came when I was really needing it. I had to handle a very difficult situation at the same time I was taking the course. The whole unit was really useful.’
– Learner feedback
By working with our external partners at Cambridge and the NGO and rallying the talents of our internal team of writers, implementers, graphic designers, videographers and software developers, we delivered a customised LMS and created tailored content to assist some of the world’s leading conservationists in not only becoming better leaders, but in accomplishing their work more effectively, which – at the end of the day – benefits us all.
For a chat or a consultation, or just to find out more about the projects we’ve worked on, please get in touch.