Ten days ago, I sent the following email to our community.
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from: Raman Chadha
date: Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 8:15 AM
subject: New Version of Junto's Program
Dear Junto Alumni, Apprentices, Mentors, Partners, and Friends:
I’m writing to share details of a major change we’ve made to Junto’s program. My apologies for the length of this note but we believed it was important to be specific given the impact of this change to our core product, its messaging, our operations, and this community.
Over the past year, we have increasingly been hearing from companies interested in Junto - in both Chicago and LA - that the time commitment was too big of a hurdle for them to enroll and, surprisingly, that tuition was less of a hurdle (our theory is the continued growth of the economy).
Therefore, we realized we had to adapt to the market and offer an option that addressed the time commitment yet still delivered the value that Junto’s program is known for.
Hence, we're introducing a lighter, more flexible, and more accessible version of Junto through which leaders of companies with 10-100 employees still improve their leadership skills, raise their emotional intelligence, and become more aligned.
As most of you know, Junto’s Apprenticeship program has consisted of four parts.
This month, we are re-naming that full slate the "Apprenticeship Plus” (A+) program. But that’s not the major change I’m referring to.
In response to the market dynamics I described, we are introducing an option to A+ that requires a lower time commitment (and, therefore, lower tuition). This option will inherit the legacy name, “Apprenticeship" program, and consist of the first three parts only.
Companies that choose this lighter and more flexible option will begin their Junto experience with these three parts and, if desired, can then add Forum memberships in the future.
- "Apprenticeship" has three program parts.
- "Apprenticeship Plus" has those three parts plus the Forum.
THE "SO WHAT?"
The impact of this option includes the following:
- The program is more accessible and appealing to more companies.
- Companies can enroll year-round, allowing those that want to start right away to do so, and eliminating the need for them to wait for a cohort to be filled.
- No changes for Alumni and their Leather Apron Club membership [the name of our alumni club].
- Mentors who have the time and desire can be matched with more than one company per year; those who need a break can re-engage at any point; and new Mentors don’t have to wait until the start of a cohort to be matched.
There are indeed more consequences of this decision that we’ll be working on in the coming months.
- Share your feedback, concerns, and recommendations with us.
- Tell companies with 10-100 employees in Chicago and LA that Junto now has two program options for greater flexibility and accessibility.
- Introduce us to potential Mentors who have deep operating experience as entrepreneurs and executives.
We appreciate your ongoing support and advocacy of The Junto Institute, and look forward to continuing this amazing journey with you.
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This change was a few months in the making. During that time, I must admit I was a bit skittish about the potential shift because our core "product" has worked wonderfully over the years.
Of the 25 companies that have completed our program, 23 remain in businesss and have grown, on average, by 70% each year since they enrolled (one company was acquired, another failed). And all 25 have had such positive experiences that each one is a referenceable customer.
As a result, I was admittedly nervous about the possibility that this new version of our program could deliver the same experience and outcomes as the original. But after speaking with each person on our team and a few members of our community, I had unanimous support for the change and confidence in our ability to deliver the same experience and results.
And in response to my email, we've received quite an enthusiastic reaction from the Junto community, including the following:
- "Way to adapt!"
- "Smart move."
- "This is very exciting."
- "Love the new changes!"
- "Not sure how to 'like' an email but this is great. Way to go."
- "Congratulations on the change. I’ll definitely spread the news to my network."
Perhaps most importantly, the change has already generated two new company enrollments in Chicago and one in Los Angeles, where we are about to launch. It's still early but we're extremely encouraged by the market's response.
This post is not only a public announcement of the program change but also a shared experience of listening to the market. Most of us entrepreneurs are "in love" with our product or service, and sometimes love can blind us to the truth. And in business, the most important truth is the market's needs.
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If you're a founder/leader of a growth-stage company in Chicago or Los Angeles with 10-100 employees, and want to learn more about the new program option, please contact us.