Two teams of area business leaders joined forces for our five-week management training program that culminated in a community project to help the Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center’s vital mission of serving children affected by abuse and other trauma.
The work was part of Success Labs’ Management Incubator, a development program for talented individual contributors who are emerging as leaders within organizations. The Management Incubator offers rising leaders insight into their leadership styles and potential challenges, strengths and weaknesses. The program features competency-based leadership assessments, experiential learning, individual coaching and development planning — capped off by a community-based project.
The Community Impact Project is designed to have Management Incubator participants find unique and innovative ways to resolve real-life problems that an organization is facing.
This year Success Labs partnered with Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit that provides children and their families a path to healing and justice through efficient, coordinated and child-focused services in the aftermath of abuse or violent crime. The facility’s dedicated team of counselors and other professionals serve children and their nonoffending families in the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge.
Teaming Up to Give Back
The group of emerging leaders from nearly a dozen companies split up into two teams — Team Perkins and Team Highland. Each team was given a starting budget and tasked with working together to develop a strategy to raise additional funds as needed, locate resources and implement a project for the organization.
The planning process included a site visit to the BRCAC house near downtown Baton Rouge and a brainstorm session conducted by the teams followed. The goal was to further the mission of the organization, which protects children who have been sexually or physically abused, helps prevent further abuse, provides therapeutic counseling and assists in investigations into abuse by offering a safe venue for law enforcement interviews and comfortable environment for the counseling sessions.
After visiting the facility and brainstorming ideas, the incubator participants quickly realized their initial budget wouldn’t cover their plans and set out to find additional funds, eventually raising several thousand dollars.
“They took an interest in the program that seemed above and beyond what they were tasked with,” BRCAC Executive Director Toni Bankston says. “What came through in their proposals was they were responding as much from their hearts as their heads. Their compassion for the problem that we’re addressing and the problem that exists in our community really shined through in those proposals.”
Responding with Heart
After completing the planning and feedback process, the two teams converged on the facility on a Thursday to implement their ideas. Team Perkins added retractable privacy shades to the front porch, an idea that emerged through input from BRCAC administrators and clients.
“Children and families can be here for many hours and there’s really only one waiting room option,” Bankston says. “The concept was to extend the waiting area outside. Not only did they give us a waiting area, but they, in a brilliant way, actually gave us even more space to conduct some of our services because they installed privacy shades that will allow our therapists on good weather days to go outside and meet with kids.”
Other Team Perkins improvements included adding a glider swing with a rug, refreshing the greenery outside the facility and the addition of a colorful hopscotch area in the front lawn.
Team member Gavin Dupont, a day supervisor at Shintech refinery, said the team was motivated to make a meaningful impact through the project. “It was an awesome opportunity to meet different people and network, but the biggest thing was getting to see the impact BRCAC has on the public and the families,” he says.
Team Highland added its own touches to the facility by power washing the driveway, building stairs for easier access from the porch to the driveway and planting additional flowers. They also installed glider swings and built benches to create new seating areas outside. Other improvements included adding a chalkboard and a toy storage bench in an outdoor area.
Team member Westley Faucheux of The Newtron Group said the group decided to focus on expanding the seating to give counselors and clients more room to operate. Clients said they wanted to see more color at the facility, and additional research revealed that back-and-forth movement can help during therapy sessions, which led to the addition of gliders.
Faucheux said that while his company already has strong values that emphasize community support, the incubator experience reinforced the importance of taking time out to focus on how to give back to an important organization. “It’s not always about looking at the business side of it, but putting your heart into it,” he says.
The Management Incubator series is finished for 2017, but we’re already planning our 2018 programs. Participants leave with an understanding of the competencies they’ll need as they take the next steps in their careers and action plans to help develop those competencies. The ideal candidate is a successful individual contributor who was recently promoted or is being considered for promotion to a supervision or management position. Contact us to learn more.