Who would have thought that a happy bi-product of one of our L&D courses, i-LEAD, would be a fabulous donation to charity?

Bigger and Better

The i-LEAD course, run by our Learning and Development department, develops Leadership skills and improves and capabilities. The 3-day training course involves the ‘Bigger and Better Challenge’ where participants are given a red paperclip with a goal to keep trading up, getting bigger and better items each time so that the end product can be donated to a non-profit organisation.

Four colleagues enthusiastically participated in the i-LEAD training and challenge in Venlo: Natalia Frolova, Own Brand Marketing Manager, Stefanie Bellin, Marketing Planning Executive, Boy Alberts, Customer Selection Specialist and John van der Greft, Customer Services and Inside Sales Trainer.

John van der Greft: “As a trainer, part of Learning and Development, I followed the i-LEAD course. The Bigger and Better Challenge was valuable because we worked closely together on a creative level.”

Natalia Frolova: “Training like i-LEAD with the Bigger and Better challenge is a great combination of applying leadership skills inside and outside of the company and making the difference by supporting charity organisations. When we first heard about the assignment to trade a red paper clip, none of us thought that we could go so far and deliver such results just within four weeks. This is a valuable experience beyond my expectations.”


These course participants successfully traded their paperclip for a tin of tuna. From here the trades got remarkably larger, ending up with a projector and a whiteboard which were donated to “Groen Licht”. This is a volunteer run organisation who teach Dutch to those in need to help them integrate and participate within the Dutch society. The whiteboard and projector were gratefully received and will be in constant use within the classrooms.

Groen Licht Thanks

Bart Kuntzelaers from Groen Licht: “This initiative by Office Depot Europe has provided us with a useful digiboard for our educational activities, in an unexpected and creative way. We are very grateful for this. Volunteer organisations like ourselves depend on gifts to be able to continue our activities. We hope that this kind of original initiative triggers more donations to us or other organisations in the future.“

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