Frequently Asked Questions
We are aware that we are offering a powerful and complex service. On this page, we summarize the most important questions and answers we encountered in the last couple of years.
What is the duration of the program? What time do I need to invest?
All our programs are designed to run in sync with your professional schedule. Our programs involve 16 to 18 days of learning spread over 5 modules in the course of 6 months. Three on-site modules in Europe and one virtual module are coupled with off-site virtual teamwork to ensure minimal disruption of professional life. Eight days on-site in Asia provide the opportunity for a transforming leadership experience.
I read about virtual teamwork in-between modules. How does it work and how much time do I need?
Virtual teamwork in-between modules is essential to reach the milestones which you and your team members set yourselves. We use Teamwork.com as online collaboration tool and Zoom.us as video conferencing solution. You need to reserve on average 3 hours per week for virtual teamwork across the 6-month duration of the program.
When do the 3 hours of virtual teamwork happen? Am I free to decide?
You are completely free to decide when you dedicate your time on the project. As fixed date groups often define a regular weekly or bi-weekly update call during Module 1. But you are free to schedule a date which is suitable for everyone in the group.
Do you offer stipends?
Yes, we do! Upon filling out the application form, you may apply for a partial stipend to attend the program. Please note that we cannot offer full scholarships at the moment.
You bring us to remote places. How does accommodation, food and transport look like there?
You will most likely be hosted by a local family or in a local guest house. All accommodation and food is pre-checked by our team. You may also look it up on platforms like tripadvisor.com . Transportation is only booked with certified travel companies and safe drivers. You may expect simple but clean facilities. Western-style toilets and showers are available either in your room or shared.
I would like to attend but I will not be able to attend all modules. Should I sign up?
No! You should avoid by all means to miss a module. You are not attending a lecture but an action-learning program in which your presence matters for yourself and your team. If you are not able to attend a module, please consider participating in a program which better suits your timetable.
Which costs are covered in the participation fee and which are not?
The participation fee generally covers all program-related costs except for the travel expenses. You will need to pay accommodation, transportation and food during the 5 modules. There are two exceptions:
• Lunch is included in the participation fee at WHU for modules 1, 3 and 5
• Accommodation, food and transportation at the local project site is included in the Capability Program fee
Can I meet alumni of the program?
Yes, you can! If you haven’t signed up for the program yet, you may visit our impact wall and watch impact videos of our alumni. In addition, we are very happy to link you up with alumni if you send us a personal message. As soon as you have signed up for the program, you will get access to Teamwork.com where you can contact alumni of aa program directly. During module 1, we also organize a virtual speed-dating with program alumni.
Do we really create something tangible?
YES! However, it depends on you and your team WHAT you create. You are in the driving sear for the program. Our Country Managers, your coaches and the entireFamily of Bridgebuilders will support you in this. Have a look at the various social enterprises which have been created so far by former Capability program teams in our “Impact” Menu.
What can I read to prepare well for the program? What books should we pre-read?
Two weeks before the start of Module 1, you will get a briefing note which contains a lot of information on country, people and culture of your destination country. It contains all information necessary to as a pre-reading.
How do we deal with feedback in the program?
We work under the approach of a learning organization. After each module, we send out a feedback survey to our participants. The key learnings are normally implemented in the next program already.
How do we setup the different teams?
Both teams in Europe and Asia are supported by a Business Coach. During Module 1, both teams define the way they work together – within their teams and between both teams. The teams are supported by the coaches and by a program manager.
Where will your learning center be based?
The Learning Center will be based in a community in Asia where the need of education is urgent. Our Country Managers in Asia are the experts in this and will search and choose an appropriate location. You will get informed about the location latest two weeks before start of the program.
How is the travel organized?
The travel is organized by the Country Manager of your destination country. Your Business Coach will accompany you on the travel.
Do I need to do something with regard to visa and vaccinations?
Two weeks before Module 1, you will receive a travel briefing. You will find all information regarding visa and vaccinations in there.
How do we handle the two different business worlds in Europe and Asia?
This is up to you! Try it out and learn from it! To handle the two business worlds in Europe and Asia is part of your learning journey! But you are not alone in this. There are many experts on this which will support you on this journey: Country Managers, Coaches, the BOOKBRIDGE team and the CAP Alumni.
How do we collaborate with our counterparts in Asia?
The technical aspects are prepared well. We use a modern application for video calls and a project management platform. How to handle the two business worlds in Europe and Asia is part of your learning journey! But you are not alone in this: there are many experts on this which will support you on this journey: Country Managers, Coaches, the BOOKBRIDGE team and the alumni of our programs.
Do you have a plan? What has been prepared from your side?
We do not have a plan. We have experience and the trust in you as a candidate! And the whole Family of Bridgebuilders loves to share their experience with you. And we have prepared everything for you to take off.
What to expect on how to contribute to the program?
This depends on you. Do what you really are! This is our vision. We are a family of self-confident responsible citizens who actively shape their own future. We create impact by making people think and act as entrepreneurs and enabling them to lead themselves as well as others. And this is where your contribution starts and ends, you decide where you go wild!
What kind of skills do we mix in the team?
Your team will be the most diverse team you have ever met, guaranteed! We recruit candidates from the most diverse backgrounds and ages. One common thing you will all share: the passion to make a difference and see this as development opportunity for yourself.
How do you recruit people for the program?
We most likely work through word of mouth and long-term agreements with key clients like Swisscom, Swiss Re and HILTI. With our university partners, we also invest in SEO and apply for various awards to get publicity. Our marketing budget is rather small and our passion is the opposite.
How much degrees of freedom do we have in developing the social enterprise?
You are the entrepreneur! You are the decision maker! From day 2 in the program, you will find yourself in the driving seat. You are the one you have been waiting for in this program. The more you invest into it, the more you will get out for yourself and the more you will make a difference in your world.
What is the most surprising thing you have ever seen after the program?
After the 5th Capability Program, a team of candidates from Swisscom brainstormed and implemented great initiatives within their company, paying into the P&L of their business and applying the skills learnt in our program.
What kind of market research do you do?
Before start of the program, we do a thorough assessment of the Community Hero and the needs of the target community. Existing learning centers in the same country are part of the decision process where we head next. In a community meeting with 40-100 stakeholders from various sectors, we assess and discuss the need as well as the resources available to be invested into a community-based learning center. What is most important for us is that the Community Hero and the community applies with us rather then being identified by us.
Do you miss an answer to a question? We are looking forward to hearing your question and including it here.
carsten [at] bookbridge.org