Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Leadership Development Across Cultures is alive and well in New Lanark

       Prior to arriving in Scotland with the BSOLL Program, I personally had never heard of a quaint little village known as New Lanark.  Once I learned we would be visiting I simply concluded it would likely be a lovely scenic tour of a Scottish town with some historically significant purpose.  Everywhere you turn in Scotland you are steeped not only in beauty and stunning architecture, but every building, every street and every person seems to have an amazing story to tell.
      The drive to New Lanark, located in South Lanarkshire was incredible.  The lay of the land is like that out of a movie scene.  The rolling hills and steep crags are blanketed in rich green covering, sprinkled with fields of brightly colored flowers, towering trees and populated with a variety of sheep, cattle and horses with their newly born spring babies in tow.  It is truly a constant visual delight.  
       New Lanark is a village strategically tucked into the hillside next to the River Clyde. Founded in 1786 by David Dale, a Scottish businessman, the cotton-spinning mills of New Lanark were built in the late 18th to early 19th century.  However, a young Welshman by the name of Robert Owen, met, fell in love with and married the daughter of David Dale (Caroline) and ultimately purchased the mills and became the manager.  Approximately 2,500 people worked and lived in New Lanark, including over 500 orphans.  The working conditions were less than desirable however not unusual for this time period.  Robert Owen had a strong desire to improve New Lanark by focusing on higher principals, including, education, establishing the first daycare for infants and nursery school for toddlers of the working families; improving the lives of the workers by offering a form of healthcare, abolishing child labor, implementing a humane work & community environment, training and development the workers, initiating and promoting social responsibility.  Robert Owen was a pioneer of human resources and paved the way for several of the principles still utilized today.
      New Lanark was stunning both visually and historically and a trip I would recommend anyone interested in the development of leadership across cultures and human resources development make a point to visit when in Scotland. 
-Tracey Pender
At New Lanark with UFHRD 2014 participants.

Robert Owen.

New Lanark.

At New Lanark: Caroline, Tracey, Megan, Stephanie P, and John.

New Lanark.

The Annie McLeod Experience at New Lanark: Shelley, John, Dr. Herd.

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