Bell Leadership and VIF International Education

In a recent interview, VIF International Education CEO David Young, a Bell Leader’s Roundtable alumnus, described how his organization reinvented itself in the wake of the economic downturn and subsequent state budget cuts to education: “We recognized that what we had done for 20 years wouldn’t carry us another 20. We leveraged our expertise in training international teachers to quickly transform into an education technology company that delivers globally themed professional development and curriculum to educators around the world. We are a very different organization today than in 2008. Bell Leadership’s training helped us to survive.”

According to Young, Bell’s training on selection (and de-selection), leading change, and mastering the external environment all contributed to VIF’s reinvention and growing role as a thought leader in global education. “[Bell Leadership’s training] was instrumental in helping us understand our situation, evaluate the external factors at play, develop a plan of action and then move confidently in this new direction,” said Young.

Over the past seven years, VIF has had to bear down on key decisions, including introducing a progressive change leader and parting ways with staff who didn’t accept the change as necessary. Through this transition, VIF became very agile and now views its ability to change quickly and effectively as a competitive advantage. By hiring people who view change as exciting, by establishing change as a positive and by pursuing change with enthusiasm and not fear, the organization was able to complete the turnaround, increasing employee satisfaction and retention, and enhance office culture and staff morale. Now VIF’s challenge is to spread the word about new offerings and expand beyond its current footprint.

VIF International Education partners with districts and schools to develop global-ready teachers and students. For more than 25 years, educators have used VIF’s professional development and curriculum, language acquisition and cultural exchange programs to create engaging learning environments that integrate technology, cultural literacy and other 21st century skills into classroom instruction. VIF is a certified B Corp and ‘Best for the World’ honoree headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.