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Breteau Foundation Strategy & Team Building Week, London 2022

The last time the entire BF team were physically together was in South Africa in 2016.
It was therefore such a tremendous occasion that the global Breteau Foundation (now slightly larger in size) flew into London to reap the benefits of meeting face-to-face, think together as a group, strategize and review our organizational programmes and priorities.
Country programme managers from Lebanon, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico and Czech Republic arrived in London to meet with the UK team in May. For some of us, it was our first time meeting each other and for others, it was a reunion after many years and since the global pandemic.
This was our opportunity to work together in-person as a team, take the time to understand one another’s approach and work styles, what makes us all tick and what motivates us to work for the Foundation. It was an invaluable week to reinforce and strengthen our organizational strategy, mission and goals as well as our relationships. Our key objectives for the visit were to:
  • Revisit and evaluate the Foundation’s mission and vision
  • Review and assess existing and future education programmes across the regions we operate in
  • Strengthen our global M&E framework
  • Strengthen our working culture through team building activities

What did we learn from this week?

Pausing and reflecting on what we are doing as an organization and how it aligns with our mission, vision and goals is critical. Often, organizations and teams are fully immersed in the ‘doing’ and at times, the ‘doing’ may turn into a tangent or side step to the original mission. Checking-in allows us to stay focused and ensure we are specializing in key activities that will help us achieve our goals.
Face-to-face meet ups are still crucial to strengthen working relationships, to better understand work styles of our colleagues and to productively work through group strategy and brain-storming discussions. Whilst virtual working is the new norm and has enabled us to work together from far and wide, face-to-face meetings enable us to respond and react in live discussions and capture body language and behaviors that virtual settings cannot.
Positive student learning and outcomes come from strong leadership. Our team had the opportunity to visit one of our partner schools in Newham, which has one of the highest levels of deprivation in London. The school is host to a diverse array of students and families from 54 languages. Our visit was overwhelmingly positive and it was so evident that their Head Teacher, Paul Taylor, and Assistant Head, Julia Scott, live and breathe the ethos of inclusivity and representation that we could see play out in the school model and curriculum.
Getting Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting right is key to communicating impact and our story. Over the years, we have been collecting valuable data sets from teachers, students, parents and partners and now we are shifting our focus to how we organize, assess and review this information to help us better articulate our impact and stories to others.
After a very productive, exhausting and fulfilling week, the Breteau Foundation global team came away with greater purpose, clarity and friendships. We congratulate each member of the team on their hard work and look forward to implementing our new learnings as we progress onwards and upwards in the Foundation.
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