Organizational Research on Adam Khoo Youth Division

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Origins, early history.

The present Adam Khoo Youth Division (AKYD) started in 2002 as Adam Khoo Schools Division and was renamed in January 2010 in order to capture a bigger audience scope (Lee, 2008). With just one salesperson and a small team of three trainers in 2002 (Lee, 2008), Adam Khoo started this division with the sole purpose of extending their transformational methodology to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to engage in personal and skills mastery. Since 2002, it has seen exponential growth. The trainers act as "role models" (Lee, 2008) for the students, equipping them with both academic learning skills and life skill. Together with its parent organisation Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group (AKLTG), the collaborations with its sub-divisions contribute to a shared vision of being "Asia's leading provider of personal and professional development training and education" (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group: http://corporate.akltg.com/aboutus.html, n.d).

What the organisation is today, what it does:

The Adam Khoo Youth Division partners with schools ranging from primary and secondary schools, to tertiary schools and international and private schools to deliver customized, dynamic and high-intensity personal development training and educational solutions. Participants include youths who range from 6 to 21 years old, and teachers (R.Yusoff, personal communication, February 2, 2011).

Headed by Mr J.D Lee and co-headed by his 22 full-time trainers (Lee, 2008), AKYD is committed to empowering schools and developing youths, using instruments and methods ranging from neuro-linguistic programming, brain-based learning, expressive therapy (art therapy, reflective therapy) and profiling instruments to game-play theory and dramaturgy

AKYD adopts a holistic three-pronged approach in its methodology in order to enhance education, empowerment and entertainment (Adam Khoo Youth Division, http://www.empoweringyouth.com.sg/about_us/social-emotional-learning_methodology, n.d.) :

The Whole School Approach:

The Whole-School Approach is a stage for schools to instil positive values to reinforce and enhance learning processes, increasing sustainability. Consistent messages are used across time by all students and staff, building a nurturing school climate. Through its integrated branches (Core Programmes, Outdoor Education, Life Skills & Leadership and Teachers Training), it allows for an alignment of the training programmes with the school culture.

The 7E's:

Each level of the 7E approach to learning as seen in Figure 1 increases with motivational level and is employed in a scientific framework to Engage, Empower, Evaluate, Educate, Evoke, and Evolve.

http://www.empoweringyouth.com.sg/akltg_uploads/7e.jpg

Figure 1. "The 7E Approach". Retrieved February 1, 2011 from Adam Khoo Youth Division. http://www.empoweringyouth.com.sg/about_us/social-emotional-learning_methodology

21st Century Approach:

The 21st Century approach is adopted to prepare students to be the citizens of the 21st Century as advancements take place at a stark rate. Students are taught to cope with challenges and failures in the future via critical thinking processes and problem-based learning in the "Framework for 21st Century Learning", a creative approach by P21, an activist American organisation for 21st Century "youth readiness. These processes take place mainly in classrooms. The "I Am Gifted, So Are You" program for secondary school students (IAG) and the "SuperKids" program for primary school kids (SK) are now more 21st Century-oriented as new skills are infused with the existing framework.

Relationship of parent and any subsidiaries:

AKYD's parent organisation is Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group (AKLTG). Its divisions include not only the Youth Division, but also the: Public Seminars Division, Corporate Division, Success Products Division, and the Learning Centre Division (AKLC). However, AKYD is most closely linked to the Corporate Division.

The Corporate Division teams up with corporate, multinational, institutional and government clients to achieve personal motivation, team building, presentation skills, leadership, sales, emotional intelligence, NLP, communication, accelerated learning and innovation. It has reached out to more than 32,000 people from over 110 organisations.

Numbers and types of key publics, with demographics (active, latent or aware publics?):

AKYD, as aforementioned, partners with schools ranging from primary and secondary and tertiary schools, to international and private schools. Youth Division has an clientele base of 156 Schools, training 35, 245 students in 2010 with a total of 25,467 hours of training from 45 different training programmes (Lee, 2008). AKYD has trained over 12,800 Singapore students (Lee, 2008) since its inception. Clients include top schools like: Raffles Institution, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Victoria Junior College, and National University of Singapore to neighbourhood secondary schools like: Yuying Secondary School, Mayflower Secondary School, Deyi Secondary School, and Telok Kurau Secondary School. One in four secondary schools in Singapore choose AKYD as its chosen training partner (Lee, 2008). In 2008, AKYD has trained over 37,000 Singapore students, 9,000 parents and 2,300 teachers (Lee, 2008).

Geographical areas in which it operates:

AKYD operates only in Singapore, unlike its parent organisation AKLTG. Training programmes and workshops are mainly done in local schools and classrooms, or at the office at 10 Hoe Chiang Road. The only exception is the Outdoor Education branch, which has its camp ground at the Singapore Vision Farm, a 7-acre site situated off Old Choa Chu Kang Road (AKYD: http://www.empoweringyouth.com.sg/about_us/our_venues, n.d.). Cohort and leadership camps, motivational workshops, learning and team-building sessions are held there.

Organisational Philosophy:

How the organisation views its role in society:

The organisation views its role in society as a provider of the "Social-Emotional Learning" framework, acting as the bridge to the Ministry of Education (M. Eevon, personal communication, February 2, 2011). It also sees itself not just as a training institution and a facility but also to provide a concrete platform to strengthen learning and further academic and life conditioning. Equipped with passionate and dynamic trainers, they are seen as the core of the organisation, bringing their trainings to life with anecdotes, hands-on activities and motivational stories. This contributes to building a holistic framework for personal mastery as values are taught in an interactive manner vis-a-vis the aforementioned methodologies. Also, it believes firmly in offering the greatest value for money (Yusoff, R., personal communication, February 2, 2011), hence ensuring that no student gets left behind because of poor finances. A simple calculation on any of the training programmes will reveal that the investment per hour is only between $2- $5 (Lee, 2008).

The organisation's basic mission:

The entire company's mission statement is as such: "Empowering Lives and Designing Destinies through everything we do to bring out the highest potential in every person" (AKLTG: http://corporate.akltg.com/aboutus.html, n.d.). This is echoed throughout all the sub-divisions. Character building and intellectual development are pursued by means of impacting and changing lives. Students are stretched out of their comfort zones to develop an empowering mindset and then equipped with the most advanced learning and thinking skills. "Every person" will hence have a part to play as both teachers and parents will also be equipped with life skills to sustain learning in school and the first environmental point-of-contact, the Home.

Organisational culture:

According to Miss Mak (M. Eevon, personal communication, February 2, 2011), AKYD has a "participative" organisational culture as there can be innovative ideas from any level of the organisation. Teamwork is also enforced when employees from different divisions brainstorm and draft programmes to enhance sustainable learning. The best is done to ensure that the best training experience is offered through forward and niche planning.

This is further reinforced by Mr Yusoff who mentioned that the culture is like a "family" (R.Yusoff, personal communication, February 2, 2011) where every single person contributes towards a shared goal of service excellence and constant and never ending improvement. Believing also in the "law of requisite variety" that the person who controls the communication is the one deemed most adaptable and flexible, each person hence participates in shaping this culture. However, the organisation still remains to be spearheaded by the department heads that uses a culture of empowerment to mould and develop this culture further.

Aspirations and goals:

According to Mr Yusoff, there are altogether three goals sought by the organisation:

To be the Number 1 provider of personal and professional development training in Asia by 2020.

To transform lives every day.

To train every school and institution in Singapore in our youth motivational and personal empowerment training series.

(R.Yusoff, personal communication, February 2, 2011).

Public Relations Opportunity or Problem:

At least one problem or opportunity identified for your publications:

Problem: There is a reputation that the youth programmes offered are merely surface-based or only produces momentary success throughout the duration of the programme but the success is not translated into sustainable development and growth. This problem is not absolved by both the printed or online publications. Although there are apparent testimonials in the publications, parents and teachers remain unmoved.

(M. Eevon, personal communication, February 2, 2011)

Key publics most affected or involved and to be targeted:

The direct key publics involved are the teachers, parents or immediate family members of those in the category of 6-21 years old. Hence as a result, the indirect key publics which are participants from 6-21 years old are the most affected as they are incapable of gaining awareness and knowledge of such programmes.

(M. Eevon, personal communication, February 2, 2011)

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