Brightside at Harvard: What we want to learn

Anand Shukla, Brightside’s Chief Executive, has been sponsored by the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of London to attend the Harvard Business School course Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management and to go on a study tour of other organisations in the US. He will be writing a blog posting his thoughts and reflections during the course and study tour. Here he sets out what he hopes to bring back to Brightside, and the young people who we serve.

Every year the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of London invites applications for social enterprise and charity leaders to secure a scholarship to attend the HBS course, Strategic Perspectives in non-profit management. The sponsorship covers all travel and course costs as well as the chance to visit social enterprises and charities working in similar areas following the course.

I feel incredibly honoured to have won the scholarship (and thanks to Rowena Webster at Social Business Trust for nominating me in the first place!). It’s very rare that you get the chance to step off the operational treadmill and reflect about Brightside and its future. To be able to do that with the latest evidence and good practice from social enterprises across the world – and to discuss your reflections with 150 other leaders across the world is an extraordinary privilege.

My first task will be to find somewhere to watch the World Cup Final the morning after I arrive (11am kick off Boston time and the course starts at 3.30pm. That gives plenty of time even if it gets to penalties. Sadly though without England in the final).

Some of the questions I want to address while I am studying and meeting other leaders will be:

As Brightside develops its new five year business plan, and builds upon its new impact performance management framework which launches this autumn, my aim is to ensure that Brightside’s strategic decisions are as robust and informed as possible. I will be posting my reflections from the course in further blogs over the next few weeks.