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Refresh your inner ‘tech’ and develop the leadership, organisation and culture to increase regenerative impact fast.

How did it all begin?

About fifteen years ago when my executive coaching business took its first big hit in the wake of the global financial crisis, everything stopped over about six months despite all my efforts to create new opportunities. I chose not to rebuild in a flat market but to be brave and try working abroad, while keeping our home base in Milan. I found a fantastic niche in aerospace, facilitating executive teams who were in some kind of conflict that they were unable to address effectively by themselves. In time, as people believed in and trusted me more, I was also invited to introduce more experiential kinds of learning than corporate environments usually offer.

What sets your business apart?

Businesses face challenges today that cannot be addressed by a hero leader or even a hero leadership team:
– Do more, with better quality and fewer resources.
– Manage a lot of different, even contrasting expectations.
– Make sure the business is running well, while also growing or transforming it.
– Engage and align diverse team or teams, possibly in different countries, most likely virtual or hybrid.
– Become more agile, adaptable and innovative, faster.
All these challenges require real teamwork, collaboration and learning. That doesn’t happen in the parts of the organisation, or through individual people, but in the connections among them.

Learning through doing offers bespoke support to nourish and develop what is needed in those connections for all to flourish.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

How to develop the leadership, organisation and culture to increase regenerative impact fast, often with limited resources. This may involve finding our own voice and stepping into our own power so that we have greater agency to speak truth to power. Or designing our organisation, its structure, processes and ways of working to embody collaboration and trust in a difficult marketplace. Or weaving a culture that can attract and retain talent in an organisation that is always innovating ahead of the curve.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

Today we are focused on SMEs in industry and tech who are making the world better by making better things. They will often find themselves at important tipping points where they need to put good foundations in place or build upon those which were created some time ago in ways that align with people’s values and purpose and bring success. They are also looking to regenerate the regional economy and environment, rather than scale to global dimensions. In short, they are organisations who are conscious that traditional business practices have exacerbated the decline we are witnessing on a finite planet. That unlimited growth is an illusion which we cannot continue in a time when we have created tech that will become more powerful than us.

Asha Singh

Founder of

Learning Through Doing

What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

A world in which everyone has a chance to flourish and prosper. Clean water. High-quality food produced in ways that regenerate our local environments. Great products and services at accessible prices, manufactured and distributed locally enough, through regenerative means. Engaging education that prepares us for the real world we live in. Beauty and elegance in our homes, green spaces, cultural buildings, clothing and other goods. Kindness, care and generosity in our interactions with one another. Making art. Preparing and sharing food. Laughter, joy and community, around the proverbial campfire. Open to all who wish to be part of them.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

I’m half Indian and half German. My life began somewhere during my parents’ great adventure driving to India in a Volkswagen Beetle at the end of the 1960s! Growing up in North London, they took us on many more adventures every summer to different European countries. We stayed in cities on the way down, then camped near beaches and mountains we wanted to visit. I remember lots of ‘first times’ – the strong stench of Gauloise cigarettes in the Gare de Lyon in Paris, the fierce heat of glass-blowing in Venice, the click-clack of castanets and flamenco shoes on hard floors in Sevilla, happy kiddies splashing in big waves on an Italian beach, the crack of thunder as a megastorm came towards us in the Austrian Alps… We learned to be at home in different cultures, languages and customs. And felt the connection, support and love of being human.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

An experiential leadership development programme using theatre improvisation to experiment and embody new ways of responding to changes we don’t like or agree with.

Working on a leadership development programme for an organisation in Brunei where the women suddenly found their authentic voice and the men couldn’t wait to get out of their way.

Designing our first retreat for senior women leaders who want to rediscover and renew their personal power.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

You can’t do it alone, so take good care of yourself and surround yourself with great people.

Always be curious, never stop learning, experimenting, adapting.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Do the work you were meant to do, not what people tell you should do.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Do something you love and are good at, get great support for the rest, enjoy every step of the way.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

I had my own start-up capital and have always kept things intentionally small. I’ve tried to have enough clients so that I could reinvest part of my earnings back in my business and I live a simple, good life. I’m now sharing marketing…with partners who have their own microbusinesses to distribute costs, risks and have much more fun doing it!

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

Being credible and trusted in very male-dominated environments, perhaps because I’ve not had a corporate career. I’ve always shown up as my authentic self and ensured that my work produced the results my clients were looking for, and more. And that I engaged them in ways that worked for them.

Marketing myself because I prefer to talk about clients’ challenges than promote myself or my work. It was easy enough pre-pandemic, clients came easily enough through referral, and I naturally developed long-term relationships with those who loved what I do. Today, I talk to people where there seems to be natural resonance and share the heavy lifting with partners who have their own microbusinesses so that we help everyone to rise.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

The ways in which we’ve largely done business to date desperately need regeneration. Women often see life in terms of connections – our values, priorities and the ways in which we are at our best when we come together are so needed. Our independence, authenticity and creativity are increasingly important to bring forth a world worth living in.

60

Seconds

with

Asha Singh

My inspiration is...

Nature and the mystery of how life regenerates itself, often beautifully.

My greatest fear is...

Creepy crawly insects.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Send one of my sculptures to a world-famous actor, who loves it!

Guilty pleasure?

Long massages.

Mantra you live by?

Live and let live.

Female role model?

Women who have followed their own truth and created a wonderful life worth living.

Women-led brand you love?

Kubu Spa.

Top productivity tool?

Dialogue, rest and renewal.

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Learning Through Doing

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