Cascading GULL in the workplace and community

St Lucia, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos Islands | Caribbean region 18-28 November, 2010


The five pillars framework for action learning
Sandals Grande, St Lucia, 21 November 2010

The Sandals Grande team led by Dr Winston Anderson, General Manager, use action learning to enable all team members to contribute ideas that enable advances in the resort's 'five pillars' framework for sustaining exceptional guest service, a productive workplace, revenue growth, cost control and quality assurance of the physical resort environment.

(Left) An action learning cascade has enabled staff in all job roles to participate and contribute to the on-going improvement process. Those who are experienced in action learning, guide others.

(Right) Winston Anderson, General Manager and GULL Ambassador with Richard Teare




Exclusive Holidays, Jamaica and GULL
Montego Bay, Jamaica, 23 November, 2010

Fred J Smith is the founder and leader of one of Jamaica's largest travel, transport and excursion companies. Fred used his GULL journey (to Master of Management) to investigate ways of achieving significant fuel cost reductions across his entire fleet of vehicles and the impact of his work will benefit both the environment and the company's cost base. Together with senior manager Mary Chambers, Fred intends to cascade the GULL system to his workforce.

GULL encourages experienced action learners to cascade their experience to others and in this instance, Fred and Mary were guided by Dr Lee Bailey who is a member of GULL's Eldership panel.

(Above) Mary Chambers, Lee, Bailey, Fred Smith and Richard Teare




My coach has helped me to achieve more than I imagined ...
Beverley Robinson, Bachelor of Professional Studies (B Prof.)

“When I started with GULL, I began to write and read a lot more and this gave me the confidence to improve myself and to motivate my team. Now my team are also using the GULL process to advance personally and professionally and together, we are finding ways to enhance our productivity. My learning coach, Dr Phillip Brown has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me. He is always approachable and ready to listen and he has helped me to see how I can develop myself to achieve my potential.

At the beginning, I was anxious because my reading and writing skills were not very strong, but he encouraged me to start and to sustain my journey with GULL. I greatly admire him because he wants to meet all the staff, find out how they are progressing and listen to their views. He always listens, encourages and makes us feel special.”

(Above) Beverley Robinson, Grounds Manager, Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica (Right) Phillip Brown, Beverle's remarkable learning coach.




Sandals Corporate University (SCU) and GULL
Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica 24 November 2010

Sandals Resorts International and GULL have been working together since April, 2009 and there are now many action learners in the company – from young team members to senior managers.

In 2011, SCU and GULL will broaden access to work-based action learning by linking SCU's training to the GULL system. Here, GULL will certify the attainment of outcomes criteria (as specified by SCU) when the outcomes have been met and verified. The aim is to incentivize and recognize the efforts of all employees as they internalize, practice and demonstrate the attainment of SCU specified professional skills in operative (professional Bachelor pathway); management (professional Master pathway) and senior leadership and executive roles (professional Doctor pathway).

(Above, seated) Dr Shirleene Bingham- Armstrong holds her Doctor of Professional Studies certificate and she is pictured with a group of fellow GULL graduands at Sandals Montego Bay.




Jamaicans awarded doctoral degrees by California university
'Hospitality Jamaica', Wednesday, 8 December 2010

(Left) GULL President Dr Richard Teare is surrounded by graduands at the doctoral graduation ceremony held at the Wexford Hotel on 24 November. Seated from left are Joan Dove, Norma Taylor, Doreen Bernard and Pamella Powell, standing (from left) are: Joan Johnson, Cynthia Perry and Erica Kerr- DeSilva.

Narrating the learning journey, graduate Cynthia Perry said that the seven students were engaged in an action learning system where they were able to learn from each others' real-life issues, leaving each person more informed. “This self-directed learning culture hinges not only on reading and writing, but creating and implementing practical elements with outcomes that lead to self-actualization and empowerment.”




What did I learn? An indicative learning review
Doreen Bernard MA, Doctor of Professional Studies (D Prof.), JP

Retired Consultant & Community Volunteer

What did I learn about myself?

  • That I have a perfectionist character and that organizing is my outstanding ability;
  • That I derive tremendous satisfaction from research that helps me and others;
  • That my experience and maturity enables me to contribute more widely to society;
  • That I have a calm approach to situations;
  • That I possess writing and teaching skills which are also useful and beneficial to others.

What did I learn from others?

  • There is always room from improvement and in this regard, perseverance pays.
  • The support of others is important for success in any area of life.

What did I learn from project work and other outputs?

  • Career development project work: Career development is a process that has to be structured, planned and documented if it is to succeed.
  • Conflict management project work: I have learnt about individuals and their backgrounds and re-affirmed that people differ in attitude and personality - influenced by socialization.
  • The usefulness of daily diarizing: It‟s is a life management strategy and an insightful way of learning and improving on one‟s performance and making changes as and when required.

What did I accomplish in terms of my own personal and professional development?

  • My teaching and presentation skills are greatly enhanced;
  • My life and work experience is more widely exposed, appreciated and utilized by others;
  • I can communicate my views more precisely so that I am more readily/easily understood;
  • I have been able to share my knowledge and experience with others;
  • I am better able to prioritize and manage my time;
  • My self-confidence has grown and I have become more engaged with issues that really matter to me;
  • I have been able to add/use appropriate humour on occasions because of the growth in my own self-confidence;
  • I have learnt to be more assertive in certain situations and as an outcome of this, I have been asked to undertake an interesting work assignment.



I created a career and leadership development plan
Joan Dove MSc, D Prof.

“I had some learning gaps that I wanted to address and GULL offers the best way of doing this, especially in relation to my work. It has been a most rewarding journey – my project focus was in leadership and career development and I undertook a broad-based review of developments in Jamaica and emerging patterns for the future, especially in relation to preparing young managers to assume greater responsibilities in leadership roles. The GULL diary format has I feel, strengthened my critical, reflective and creative skills and in so doing, this helped me to identify the changes in approach that I needed to make in order to be more effective at work. Furthermore, the outputs helped me to analyze the nature of the contribution I am making to my organization and the on-going learning points that will enable me to further improve and assist my staff to strengthen their skills and performance too.

My GULL doctoral journey enabled me to develop a framework that any organization could use to establish a career and leadership development plan and additionally, I have also been able to complete a book based on prior work from my Master's thesis. In order to do this, I focused on sharpening my own time management skills so that I could accomplish the task within the timeframe set by the publisher.

GULL empowers you to make a difference in your world – whether it is in the workplace or the community. There are many people who cannot progress via a traditional approach to learning and GULL is an avenue that helps you to continue to grow. Even though I have completed, I am not stopping here – I will continue to learn and I will be an ambassador for GULL in Jamaica and beyond.”

(Left) Joan Dove, Hotel Projects Renovation Manager




Self-directed action learning is powerful ...
Joan Johnson MA, D Prof.

“As a traditionalist – someone who is accustomed to taking and passing examinations – I was intrigued by the GULL process. I was especially encouraged by the diary format reflection cycle work. It gave me an opportunity to review my own life and career in a systematic way. I found it so helpful to review what I do and then to determine how I might improve. The process is both enlightening and empowering because it facilitates self-directed personal growth. It has been a remarkable journey and I have learnt a great deal from this cycle of reflection, review and improvement guided by a practical and easy to use diary format.”

(Above) Joan Johnson, Retail Branch Manager




I have already started to cascade GULL to my co-workers
Erica Kerr-DeSilva MSc, D Prof, JP.

“It took me a little while to really understand the process but I am really glad that I continued and completed. I have learnt so much from the journey – I have come to appreciate the skills and abilities of my fellow learners and I know that I have become a better person because of this and the changes that I have been able to make. As a distributor and a wellness coach, my main project was to train some of my representatives (known as „downlines‟) in wellness coaching. This was really great for me as I came to realize that I tended to be rather „professorial‟ in my approach and the project helped me to adjust my style to reflect the fact that most of my trainees had not had the opportunity to advance beyond primary or junior high school. They were so excited about this opportunity and that taught me that with enthusiasm, perseverance and commitment you really can do anything!

The Lord blesses us with all sorts of gifts – we just have to open ourselves to them. I learnt to be less critical, more open to the view of others and to listen more attentively and patiently. I have also become less thin-skinned and I can accept criticism and take the positives from it. My GULL experience has been fantastic and I‟m going to continue the process with my downlines who will start at the Certificate level.”

(Above) Erica Kerr-DeSilva, Counsellor and Independent Distributor




I have changed and I’m now a more effective professional
Cynthia Perry OD, MSc, D Prof, JP

“Having completed a Master‟s, I decided that I wanted to continue. I was initially a little sceptical about the GULL process but now that I have completed, I have discovered that this is the way to go for people who want to learn more about themselves. I have been working in management for about 20 years and I have sometimes had a problem with communication so I decided that I wanted to write a paper on the value of effective communication in the workplace. I did much research and this helped me to adjust my own approach and it has enabled me to grow and become a better professional.

The interaction with team members, community workers and church groups has really helped too and these discussions have helped me to see how we might cascade GULL more widely – I know that together, we can spread the process throughout Jamaica. I encourage all who are seeking to grow and to self-actualize to get on-board with GULL and to grow with us as we strive to advance this way of learning and working for all Jamaicans.”

(Above) Cynthia Perry, Regional Manager, Jamaica Tourist Board




I have acquired new skills and motivated others ...
Pamella Powell MSc, D Prof, JP

“I started the GULL professional doctorate journey because I wanted to build on my Master‟s degree and additionally, explore ways in which I might prepare some of my prior work for publication. It has been a challenging and very rewarding journey during which I was able to further develop self-confidence and acquire new skills – my ability to type quickly and accurately has for example, greatly improved.

I am now relatively expert at some things that I couldn‟t do very well and my administrator (who used to help me with certain tasks) is impressed! I feel both satisfied and proud of my achievements and through the project work I undertook, I have been able to change minds and lives, motivate others and establish a development pathway that has been very successful.”

(Above) Pamella Powell, Special Projects Co-ordinator, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture




We intent to cascade GULL to the communities in Jamaica
Norma Taylor MSc, D Prof, JP

“I had completed a Master‟s degree by action learning and wanted to continue my studies with others. I recruited the first GULL doctoral group in Jamaica and we piloted a self- directed approach that fosters awareness of the possibilities for cascading the process more widely in the community and the workplace. Arising from this, my GULL experience was so different – the journey taught me many things – especially from my co-learners as we peer reviewed for each other with the support of our learning coaches and wider web of support. All this is an appropriate challenge for adult learners who can readily determine what they need to learn and how they are going to journey from point A to point B and that is what this programme has done for us. The process has made me more aware of the opportunities for learning around us, I have a better understanding of my strengths and limitations and I feel more self-confident and able to help others.

I also pay more attention now to balancing my life – I used to be at work until late at night – now I divide me time more effectively between work, my family life and my church and community involvement. We plan to build on our learning and to cascade GULL throughout Jamaica – we have started to involve others and they are very enthusiastic about the opportunity that GULL facilitates.”

(Above) Norma Taylor, Meet the people Co-ordinator, Jamaica Tourist Board




I was able to coach, to learn and glimpse the future ...
Crosswell Taylor OD

“I was curious about the nature of the process because I saw great enthusiasm in the participants and I was impressed by the honesty and the clarity of the diary work they were doing. I saw that it was helping them to break out of their routine ways of working because they were asking themselves serious and searching questions and devising solutions. All the doctoral group participants genuinely want to share the benefits that they have derived from the GULL process and I am excited by the possibilities because the Jamaican people have the capacity and the willingness to engage with this. We have a progressive population who would love to engage with a process that recognizes and certifies the acquisition of practical skills. This approach is greatly needed and I see GULL being an educational leader of the future.”

(Above) Crosswell Taylor, Retired Headteacher and Learning coach




Self-development and cascading to others ...
Beaches Turks & Caicos (BTC), Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands

Dr Shelly-Ann Whitely-Clarke has supported several hundred GULL participants at BTC and now these confident, experienced action learners are cascading the process to others. For example, Raluca Petrica, Assistant Training & Development Manager recently completed her Master of Professional Studies (M Prof.) and she is now working with the Executive Chef on an innovative Culinary Arts programme.

Raluca will work with the culinary management team to „map‟ the outcomes of culinary development with GULL certification. In the Spa, Devie-Ann Parkins M Prof., is linking external inputs and in-house Spa training with the creation of outcomes criteria and practical formats for verifying skills attainment in Spa operations and management. Devie-Ann‟s work will enable her team to use action learning for personal and professional development, linked to specialized Spa training.

(Above, centre) Devie-Ann Parkins, Spa Manager, Beaches Turks & Caicos receives her Master of Professional Studies degree from Shelly-Ann Whitely-Clarke and Richard Teare


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