Workshops at the Developing Leadership Capacity Conference 2022

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The Bristol Leadership and Change Centre is hosting the 12th Developing Leadership Capacity Conference (DLCC) on the 12 and 13 July 2022 with some fascinating contributions based around the theme:

‘Leading to Care – Foregrounding Health and Well-being in Leadership Development and Education’.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some of the abstracts from the contributors to give you an idea of the depth and variety of sessions that are available to attend online over the two-day conference. Register for the free DLCC conference HERE

Workshops on Tuesday 12 July 2022

13:00 – 14:30

Aligning Leadership Methods of Inquiry and Development: Co-Emergent Strategies to Develop and Understand Leadership in the Civic Arena

Facilitators: Brandon Kliewer and Kerry Priest, Kansas State University, USA

The current social-political landscape has heightened our awareness of the tensions between aspirations for the common good – justice, equality, health, environmental sustainability – and present realities that reinforce systems of injustice, blind us to the needs of others, and even trap us in self-destructive cycles of inaction. For many leadership scholars, our teaching, studying, and practicing of leadership reflects a commitment to developing leaders for diverse and democratic societies through practices of learning, transformation, and change. To advance a common good requires us to engage, explore, and expand our approaches to leadership research and development for the purpose of actually exercising leadership on the toughest challenges facing our lives, workplaces, and communities.

This interactive session aims to explore and expand boundaries between research methods for studying leadership activity (leadership inquiry) and approaches to leadership development (leadership development practice). Leadership activity that makes progress on complex, adaptive challenges requires new learning, recognizing values and loyalties, and constructing new ways of being. A primary assumption is that learning and development are not simply individual exercises, but socially constructed through relationships and communities. This session advances our understanding of leadership in civic contexts by exploring how community-engaged scholarship methods serve as both a mode of leadership inquiry and develop leadership capacity.

Emerging theories are articulating the collective and relational nature of leadership (Ospina & Foldy, 2016; Uhl-Bien & Ospina, 2012). From a collective lens all forms of leadership are plural and relational, and leadership development builds capacity to engage organizational and public challenges (Ospina & Foldy, 2016). Leadership development focuses on individual leaders and the development of personal traits and skills is not sufficient for the relational and collective nature of leadership. Raelin (2016) argues that leadership development requires “an acute immersion into the practices that are embedded within social relational and between people, objects, and their institutions” (p. 7). Building upon this, we suggest that leadership development can be better studied while it is occurring.

According to Uhl-Bien and Arena (2018), “one of the biggest challenges facing leaders today is the need to position and enable organizations and people for adaptability in the face of increasingly dynamic and demanding environments” (p. 89). This applies not only to organizations, but in civic contexts. Chrislip and O’Malley (2013) suggest that civic leadership must mobilize people to make progress on vital issues; it requires conscious, intentional, and collective action on adaptive challenges. These contemporary perspectives (among others) drive
leadership development design and delivery. How do we enable and develop collective, relational, adaptive capacities, which involves a continuous process of learning through interaction, dialogue, and socio-material meaning making?

14:45 – 16:15 – Bringing Measurement into the Assessment of Leadership Education and Development Programs

Facilitator: Kirsten Westmoreland, Rice University, USA

Most universities across the world make some claim that their programs are helping to shape the world’s future leaders. While this could be through programs such as study abroad initiatives, or more specific leader development programs there is often an overarching focus on increasing students’ knowledge of their leadership abilities (e.g., Nelson, Grint, & Bratton, 2004) or directly growing critical leadership skillsets (e.g., Guthrie & Meriwether, 2018). Despite this, there is a distinct lack of research evaluating the efficacy of these developmental programs, especially when it comes to research using objective measures (Northouse, 2018). Beyond higher education, even in industry leadership education and development is fraught with grand impact claims and implicit assumptions of efficacy. Still, rarely does anyone evaluate these claims or test these assumptions. When any measurement occurs, it tends only to be at the level of subjective feedback (a.k.a., “smiley sheets”). One of the main reasons for the lack of impact measurement is that most people working in the leader development space simply don’t know how to go about measuring the outcomes of their programs.

As such, the purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with an overview of ways to approach the evaluation of leader development programs in higher education and beyond by developing clear and measurable outcomes. This workshop will directly equip participants with ways to develop evaluation systems capable of testing the impact of leader development programs both through interactive discussions, course content, and handouts developed by the Measurement Team at the Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

This workshop will be split up into three parts. First, an interactive presentation (approximately 30 – 40 minutes) will guide participants through all learning objectives. There will be opportunities throughout for group discussion and knowledge checks. Next participants will split into small groups and work to develop their own measurement systems (20 – 30 minutes) using lessons from the workshop. To aid this, participants will be given a measurement checklist, developed by the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, which will provide a step-by-step guide. The presenter will meet with groups individually to talk through the measurement plan being developed. The final 0 minutes will be used for questions and presentations in which groups may talk more openly about the measurement systems they developed and ask any follow up questions from the workshop.

During this workshop participants will learn the foundations of how to develop tailored outcome measurement systems that could be applied to the assessment of any leader development program. We will start by discussing basic measurement principles, including a rudimentary guide to data analysis. Participants will learn how to clarify their measurement objectives, starting with an understanding of how to establish measurable program goals. Participants will understand the different domains of experience to
approach measurement from a multidimensional standpoint. For example, we will discuss how different types of measurement can be used to assess attitudes, behaviour, cognition, or even emotion. Real life examples will be used for each of these domains, using actual measurements developed and utilized by the Doerr Institute for New Leaders. Participants will learn how best to select measures from each domain depending on selected outcomes. This will better enable participants to understand how the type of data they collect will directly address the type of outcome being assessed. This will include a discussion on how best to utilize subjective judgments by self or others, behavioural analyses, and the use of physiological data. Finally, participants will learn how to address triangulation and timeframe when developing measurement systems for programs.

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