The Leadership Academy supports agency leaders in developing the skills to sustain an equitable and positive organizational climate and facilitate sustainable change. The Leadership Academy is designed to be delivered to cohorts who are in similar positions, i.e., regional directors, managers, or supervisors. Some things to consider when you are deciding who will participate in the Leadership Academy include:

    • Size of the cohort
    • Agency capacity to identify and train coaches
    • Virtual or in-person delivery and frequency/duration of module delivery
    • Budget concerns, i.e., travel expenses, per diem, location
    • Process of selection, i.e., nomination, application, appointment
    • Marketing and communication to facilitate buy-in, promote, and inform
    • Current agency workforce priorities and implications for participant change projects
    • Needed supports to ensure time available for full participation in the Leadership Academy and designing/implementing change projects
Planning for and delivering the Leadership Academy to participants involves selection/notification/orientation, coaching, preparation tools, evaluations, and delivery of the Leadership Academy modules.

During your organization’s exploration and planning for the Leadership Academy, consider whether participants will be selected, nominated, or asked to apply. To generate interest and communicate what is involved in Leadership Academy participation, you may want to create an informational Leadership Academy Flyer or even a short video if you have the capacity and resources.

Once participants are selected, send a Welcome Letter and conduct a Participant Leadership Academy Orientation to provide an overview of all the Leadership Academy components. Review the Change Project Worksheet instructions and expectations for your agency during the orientation and instructions for accessing preparation tools and Leadership Academy modules and participant materials.

If your agency is evaluating the Leadership Academy and planning to use a pre-/post-survey, please refer to the evaluation information in the Planning tab of this guide.

Leadership Academy Preparation Tools

Prior to participation in the Leadership Academy, learners will complete preparation activities including:

    • viewing three online Foundation Modules (Foundations of Leadership and Workforce Development Parts I and II)
    • Exploration of a change project aligned with agency workforce priorities
The change project is a critical Leadership Academy tool for hands-on learning. Applying new learning to agency work is an essential element of adult learning, and change projects provide a structured way to do this. Developing change projects helps participants become increasingly comfortable with the process of change − a process they can use whenever they identify an area in their work needing transformation. Change projects also connect the workforce to the agency’s mission and reveal the barriers to sustainable change in infrastructure, communication, and decision-making. Participants will develop a change project, guided by the Change Project Worksheet, that they will work on throughout their time in the Leadership Academy with the approval of their supervisor and support from their coach, beginning in pre-training Readiness Coaching and continuing throughout the Leadership Academy and Post-Coaching.

Additionally, we recommend that participants complete a 360° Assessment and CliftonStrengths assessment as part of their preparation. Both assessments have costs associated, and we have provided alternatives for your consideration. Please refer to the Self-Assessments tab in this guide for detailed information.

Leadership Academy Curriculum

Leadership Academy participants experience online and in-person or virtual learning opportunities accompanied by leadership development coaching. The modularized curriculum provides explanations and opportunities to apply concepts that reinforce the leadership fundamentals, along with the four quadrants of the NCWWI Leadership Competency Framework (ChangeContextResults, and People). Academy materials consist of five online modules and corresponding in-person or virtual participant materials (materials are in this guide under the Trainers and Facilitators tab).

Leadership Academy Coaching Program 

Throughout their training experience, Leadership Academy participants receive developmental coaching support from a leadership coach to help them engage in the transfer of learning activities and ongoing leadership skill development and to provide guidance to support the successful integration of their change projects. The coaching program consists of three coaching phases: pre-training Readiness Coaching, Leadership Academy Coaching, and Post-Academy Coaching. To learn more about the coaching component please refer to the Coaching tab in this guide.

Careful consideration should be given to matching coaches with participants, this is especially true when using internal staff as coaches. The coaching relationship is a vital component of the Leadership Academy and any effort to minimize potential barriers from the outset is recommended. To prepare participants to engage in Leadership Academy coaching, this 3-minute video: Coaching: What’s In It For Me? has been embedded in the Leadership Academy Participation Orientation.