The Leadership Academy supports program 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 considerations in deciding who will participate in the Leadership Academy:
- 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., nominated, application, appointed
- 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 and delivery of the Leadership Academy to participants involves selection/notification/orientation, coaching, preparation tools, evaluations, and delivery of the Leadership Academy modules.
During your jurisdiction’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 participating in the Leadership Academy, you may want to create an information Leadership Academy Flyer or even a short video if capacity and resources are available.
Once participants are selected send a Welcome Letter and conduct a Participant Leadership Academy Orientation as an overview of all components of the Leadership Academy. It is recommended to review the Change Project Worksheet instructions and expectations for your jurisdiction during the orientation; as well as instructions for accessing Preparation Tools and Leadership Academy modules and participant materials.
If your jurisdiction is evaluating the Leadership Academy and planning to use a pre-/post-survey, please refer to the evaluation information found in the Planning Tab of this Implementation 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 Change Project aligned with agency workforce priorities
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 surfacing the barriers to sustainable change in the jurisdiction’s infrastructure, communication gaps, 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 Training Readiness and continuing throughout the Leadership Academy and Post-Coaching.
Additionally, it recommended that participants complete a 360° Assessment and StrengthsFinder Assessment as part of their preparation tools. Both assessments have costs associated and other alternatives have been provided for consideration. Please refer to the Self-Assessments Tab in this Implementation 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 Framework (Change, Context, Results, and People). Materials for the Academy consist of five online modules and corresponding in-person or virtual participant materials (materials are located in this guide under “Trainers and Facilitators”.
Leadership Academy Coaching Program
Throughout their training experience, Leadership Academy participants receive developmental coaching support from a Leadership Coach to help participants engage in the transfer of learning activities, ongoing leadership skill development, and guidance to support the successful integration of their Change Projects. The coaching program consists of three coaching phases: 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 Implementation Guide.
Careful consideration should be given in 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 the Leadership Academy Coaching this 3-minute video: Coaching: What’s In It For Me? has been embedded in the Leadership Academy Participation Orientation.