Second day in Bacolod: Adaptation

Participants adapt the Barefoot MBA
Participants adapt the Barefoot MBA

BACOLOD CITY – Day 2 was livelier than Day 1, due at least in part to additional comfort and interaction among participants. Today’s topic was also more tactical: We spent today adapting the Barefoot MBA to local specifications.

We designed the Barefoot MBA to be adaptable to anyone, anywhere, but the lynchpin of its success depends on the quality of its adaptation. Today was participants’ opportunity to demonstrate their local expertise and apply it to their clients’ businesses. They were quick, sharp and eager – and by the end of the day made real progress toward adaptations to use with their clients.

After reviewing yesterday’s learnings, we started the day with an overview of how to adapt the Barefoot MBA’s lessons. Using lessons included in our adaptation guide, we talked with participants about key issues to consider when adapting the Barefoot MBA’s lessons: What names are relevant? What businesses are appropriate? What market prices make sense to locals?

Participants adapt the Barefoot MBA
Participants adapt the Barefoot MBA

As a group we adapted three sample lessons: saving, investing and spending. We replaced Thai names, items and prices with blanks. We then filled in the blanks one by one, Madlib style. Participants were comfortable adapting the stories by lunchtime and spent the afternoon working in groups of two or three to adapt the remaining stories to local specifications. By the end of the day, each small group had adapted three to five stories, and collectively we completed two full Philippine adaptations and made significant headway on several more.

We spent a long evening inputting participants’ handwritten worksheets, quickly understanding teachers’ appreciation for neat handwriting. By midday tomorrow, we’ll distribute to each group a customized adaptation based on their work today so they can practice teaching lessons most applicable to their clients.

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