Planning and Action Steps


Many considerations go into an agency’s decision to deliver and integrate the Leadership Academy.  Action steps to build sustainability from the outset and support a successful Leadership Academy within your agency must include time for exploration and planning. Planning considerations include:

      • Creating a planning team
      • Identifying your overarching goal
      • Assessing agency capacity to implement and sustain
      • Creating a process for recruitment/selection of trainers, participants and coaches
      • Selecting self-assessments to be used to complement learning
      • Planning for evaluation

Please take a moment to walk through the notes in this high-level Leadership Academy Overview PowerPoint for additional context of the Leadership Academy as you continue your exploration and planning.


Agency capacity considerations to deliver the Leadership Academy include:

      • How can implementing the Leadership Academy support other agency initiatives and priorities? What are the current demands on workforce and the system?
      • What workforce resources are available to serve as trainers,  coaches, and IT support?
      • Is funding available to support the planning, delivery, and evaluation?
      • What supports and/or resources are necessary for participants to fully participate?
      • Is there executive level buy-in, engagement, and support?

Planning Team

The Planning Team will work to identify the overarching goal in implementing the Leadership Academy and will take the lead in tracking and implementing the various components. A Logic Model is a tool that can support the team’s work. It provides high-level visualization of your overarching goal, along with planning action steps, and outcomes of implementing the Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy Planning Timeline (Excel) and the Leadership Academy Logistics Timeline Template (Word) are two resources to guide your planning for the coaching, training and participant components. Dates in both of these timelines can be adjusted based on your schedule and planning.


Effective communication is not only informative, but helps to build trust and excitement in securing buy-in, active participation, and resources necessary for successful implementation and sustainability of the Academy.  Along with the Leadership Academy Logistics Timeline Template a communication plan is also a tremendously helpful tool in organizing and monitoring the efforts of the Planning Team.

The Planning Team will identify audiences for communication, how communication will be delivered, when, and with what frequency.  The message itself may be different based on the intended audience, i.e., seeking resources and support to implement; securing buy-in of executive-level; recruiting coaches or participants; etc. A communication plan can be used as an effective tool for targeting specific audiences and messages, i.e., coaching – why is the investment in developing a cadre of coaches valuable to your agency.

Delivery Method and Training Platform

The Leadership Academy is designed to be delivered virtually or in-person and specific training materials are available for each method.  If choosing a virtual delivery then the platform used will need considered thought.

      • What platform does the agency currently use?
      • Will additional technology training be required for trainers or participants?
      • What can the IT system of the agency support?

Two common media platforms used are Zoom and Microsoft Teams.  Suggestions for Zoom are embedded in the virtual trainer materials. Virtual Academy trainers may need to engage in their own learning to master the media platform and all its functionalities before delivering this learning experience.


The Leadership Academy recommends the use of assessments to facilitate leadership self-awareness and working with teams.  This Implementation Guide provides a detailed section on the 360º assessment which is recommended but not required and has costs associated.  This assessment is specific to the NCWWI Leadership Academy and Competency Framework.  For further information please contact the Leadership Academy Team. The StrengthsFinder assessment is recommended but is not required and has cost associated. Leadership Academy Discovery Tools provides alternative self-assessments for consideration.

Change Project

The Change Project is a critical tool for hands-on learning. Applying new learning to agency work is an essential element of adult learning. Change projects provide a structured way to do this. The use of change projects allows those trained to become increasingly comfortable with the process of change – a process they can use whenever they identify an area needing transformation. They also act as a vehicle for connecting the workforce to the agency’s mission and serve to surface the barriers to sustainable change in the jurisdiction’s infrastructure, communication gaps, and decision-making. Participants will develop a change project 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 Training Readiness and continuing throughout the Leadership Academy and Post-Coaching.

Your jurisdiction will need to customize the instructions of the Change Project Worksheet to clarify the area of workforce focus and parameters for participants as they explore, plan, design and implement their Change Project.

What kinds of change projects have people worked on?

Change Project Examples

What does a completed change project worksheet look like?

Quan’s Change Project Worksheet

Engaging Youth with Opportunities Change Project Worksheet


Conducting an evaluation of your own organization’s implementation of the Academy can be beneficial for helping you: 1) understand its impact on leadership development for participants from your organization; 2) collect information that will allow you to better tailor the Academy to your organization’s needs; and 3) improve and more effectively replicate the Academy for subsequent participants.

The Leadership Academy Evaluation Guide provides an overview of evaluation activities and resources that you can use to evaluate your delivery of the Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy Pre-Training Survey and Leadership Academy Post-Training Survey are discussed at length in the guide.