Be Courageous Wins “Next Generation Employment Innovation” Award with Rio Tinto

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Be Courageous

Be Courageous is thrilled to announce that our Future Ready Leadership Program we developed for Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation, has won The Next Generation Employment Innovation Award from one of the most prestigious educational institutes in the world, the University of Waterloo.

The award was given to the Human Resources team that implemented the most outstanding innovation initiative in the prior year to provide employment opportunities for graduates leaders and future leaders.

About the Award-Winning "Future Ready Leadership Program"

Be Courageous has had the privilege of working with Rio Tinto over the last couple of years in various ways.

In 2020 we had the honor of running a graduate leadership program digitally for the first time. Several groundbreaking ideas and approaches emerged to applied learning in both a digital and V.U.C.A. environment with hundreds of leaders all spread out over the globe. That program was so successful we took all the best practices, learnings and new ideas and ran it again this past year.

At Be Courageous we’re always looking to level up, so we developed this year’s Future Ready new grad program to include a series of different experiential learning aspects that can scale and create even deeper and broader impact based on what we are learning about what works and doesn’t work in a digital delivery.

The program taught new graduates hired into Rio Tinto how to collaborate, be curious, tackle real-life challenges, develop creative problem solving skills and harness the power of courage in their thinking and actions for anticipating change and opportunity.

Five Key Phases of the "New Graduate Leadership Program"

  1. Grad Talks
    Challenged thinking from external thought leaders.

  2. Masterclass Series
    Provided a toolkit focused on futuristic skills to inspire innovation.

  3. Learning Management System
    Self paced foundational digital curriculum with workbooks for applied learning within the program and beyond.

  4. Innovation Project
    Applied the skills they learned in the Masterclass Series and LMS to join forces with other cross functional graduate colleagues to solve for business challenges.

  5. Graduate Festival
    Allowed teams to pitch ideas and projects to the senior leaders within the organization and serial entrepreneurs and investors outside of the organization.

Our curriculum taught concepts such as how to envision futuristic big impact projects and how to tap into the mindset needed for each leader to awaken their full ability.

We covered:

  • How to scope a project
  • How to sprint it with innovation theory and principles and design thinking

Then, we guided how to bring their unique concept to life and finally, successful pitching techniques to present it to stakeholders and company executives. All build on a foundation of team creativity and collaboration.

For the most well-rounded course, we coordinated major inspirational speakers to speak to the group. For example, Duncan Wardle, prior Head of Innovation at Disney spoke to the group, as well as Investor and Angel Investor to over 100 startups, Angel Gambino, relayed her expertise to the next leadership generation at Rio Tinto.

We knew from psychology, research and experience that for people to learn best, we needed to include visual, audio, kinesthetic aids, and digital delivery. So our program touched on all of these.We developed a micro-learning course and recorded each lesson on video so teams could self-direct and self-pace their way through each one.

Courageous minds creating impact

This year, we asked the Rio Tinto teams to select a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and formed 23 cohorts out of the goals people were passionate about.
For example, one group was interested in solving poverty, and another wanted to tackle climate change. One cohort surrounded elevating equity and inclusion in the workplace, and another wanted to solve for clean water access for all. 

Each cohort came up with a solution toward their goal, then pitched that idea to an internal panel of real leaders and external entrepreneurs that we arranged.
The top three teams got coached even more deeply by our entrepreneurial network. 

Finally, the top three teams pitched their ideas to the highest leaders of the organization, and Rio Tinto will decide on what ideas to invest in.
We coached 23 different teams over the course of a few months and were astounded and inspired by the solutions and inventions they created to make a large positive impact on the world. 

One of the top teams wanted to solve the world water crisis. They looked for a solution in nature, where they found a desert beetle that can somehow extract moisture from the air and create water droplets from it, storing water to hydrate itself in the desert. Think about that! The beetle literally creates water out of air. Wow! The team took that concept to create a 3-D rendering of a self-filling water bottle concept using the same principle of that beetle. 

Breakthrough ideas can come from any age group, and minds fresh from college are no exception!
New minds to an organization have an incredible value. With innovative training programs such as this award-winning series we collaborated with Rio Tinto on (that we can customize to any organization), we are training the next generation of big thinkers and doers.

The future is volatile and uncertain (VUCA), but with the right training, your teams can turn obstacles into opportunities.
And visions can become reality. Be Courageous is all about education and innovation toward positive impact, and we were thrilled to teach and inspire these minds to take us to a better future.

The Antidote to Anti-work and The War for Talent

There is currently a competitive war for talent. The employee quit-rate in the U.S. has never been higher. Just this last August, 4.3 million people quit their jobs.
The main reason reported?
Burnout and lack of purpose. 

Programs like the one we developed for Rio Tinto are the antidote to this problem.
When people feel engaged in their work, feel their minds expanding and stimulated and appreciated, and most importantly a huge reason for their purpose and work, it will turn the quit rate around. 

To illustrate the need for these opportunities for employees, the program we developed for Rio Tinto had extremely high engagement rates. People from cross-functional departments from over 15 countries participated. And even through extremely disruptive and challenging times (COVID, personal losses), we had nearly 100% of the teams make their pitches. This is the perfect example of what is possible with the combination of courage and compelling content! 

We are making strides to solve the problem of next generation employment – to fully engage the brightest minds who are looking for more than just a paycheck.

If you’re looking to recruit and retain your workforce, to advance innovation and creativity in your business, and to be future workforce ready, this is the program for you and Be Courageous is your partner. Please get in touch!


Corporate Fragility


Most of us agree that we are really only at the tip of a massive amount of change. The 2020s will be the decade of challenge for the globe.

Corporate Fragility


Most of us agree that we are really only at the tip of a massive amount of change. The 2020s will be the decade of challenge for the globe.

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