Just returned from my second foreign assignment for Henley in as many weeks. This time, the privilege to run the first half of the Starter Workshop for the latest MBA intake in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The visit was pitifully short, really, lasting only three days. Enough to fly from the UK overnight, land, settle in and set up and then work for 1 and 1/2 days with the new group, some 80 managers from South Africa and beyond.
The focus was on self-awareness and team building and I have to say that they (and the staff and managers at Henley in South Africa) were a great group to work with - very demanding, for sure, but also very bright and very much determined to make the most of the opportunity.
I don't know what they will make of the three day workshop, but I am hopeful that they will do as asked, and reflect on their impressions by making entries in their online Learning Journal Entries. There was already a sense among some of those I spoke to that we had confounded their pre-workshop expectations (by this I mean we had met expectations they didn't even know they didn't have...).
Johannesburg I glimpsed only on the journeys with my delightful and patient driver, Jotham. One cannot tell all from such observations through glass, but it reminded me in scale of a city in North America and in wealth, too (poverty living side by side with wealth). This was my first visit to Africa and first time south of the Equator, so I am eager to spend a little more time there on my next trip over.
If you're wondering about the title of this post, it refers to a bird I saw there. The hardida is roughly the size of a duck and has a long curved beak that it spears into lawns to prize out insects. It also has a very loud and grating call!