Facilitative leadership development conversation continued

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Tracking leadership development

Why we are here

  • Our failed attempts at tracking this were driven by funder ideas/wants that were not connected to what was important to the community. Engagement not leadership. Higher end was political actions, lower end were community events--membership event participation were not tracked as a whole story, every month for 12 months.
  • Ladder/web/grid of engagement--want to know what practices people have used to ID where folks are at, where folks can be moved "up" or "sideways", what metrics people have used. Also HOW and actual mechanisms for tracking that are not linear/one-dimensional, like assigning points to signing a petition etc. Ladder, grid, web, etc.
  • Echo all this, esp tracking driven by fundable actions. We use Bloomerang (CRM) to track this. We track events that people attend and use the # of how many events they have attended to design our outreach, it's not working ok but could be a lot better. Also use RSPV forms. This is more engagement than leadership. Not tracked but think about it in a relational way--who knows who, what their interests are, what they want to do.
  • How do we systematize recording and analysis of this relational stuff?
  • New frontier in program to track leaders. Right now there is a form people fill out re their experiences with the leadership. Just a start. Lack of understanding of what leadership is doing? Mission is to empower students to use tech tools for social justice. Interested in the leadership of the program not the students bc that is taken care of in other ways
  • How do you grow in the work that you are doing? How do organizations transmit leadership to the communities they work with? 99Rootz talked about it yesterday. They are seeing high schoolers talk more about themselves and their work and that is sign of growth. More expansive ways of thinking about leadership. Finding your own voice. We also need that inside our organizations. Building confidence and participation. When we can transform our organizations, change hierarchies, when more voices are on the table regardless of the size org.
  • At my org we do a lot of tracking but it's not consistent. We do check ins with youth and have a form, have been able to ID different leadership skills they have and what they want to learn. Some are phone banking, some are mobilizing, some are public speaking. We go through the sheet of skills and show it to them and ask where they want to grow, check in emotionally and academically. Then we type it up and it gets lost in the digital world. How we publicize it to funders is through education rates, where they are going to higher ed and jobs. Wheere we have not done a good job is distinguishing leadership and organizing. Leader and front face and the work that organizers do. We are trying to develop long term community organizers. IN the parent component we don't do check ins, we track their leadership via attendance at events. Forms and spreadsheets. We don't follow up about what they learned. Parents don't age out of the program the way youth do, parents are long term. We need a different tool, more like what we do with the youth. There is no culmination like graduation with adult development, we need different metrics. FUnders want numbers. How do we develop parents to be community organizers and be the best community organizers ever. We also try to measure their comprehension of our campaigns. If they don't understand our work we need to get ourselves together. Where are we lacking in involving youth and parents in our larger work. Making sure we are prepping folks to talk about our work. HR is also underdeveloped so staff development is super disconnected. Review and reflection is imporant to continued growth!
  • Tracking adult development. Seen many orgs going courses for adults, diplomas for courses/certificates etc. Something you can count and that they can show for their efforts.

General discussion

  • How did your evaluation work?
  • Based off of professionalism, working in coalition, and my own goals. Supervisor did survey based on my performance. I would have liked it to include a self-evaluation as well. It was great to hear his feedback but it was a missed opportunity. Any time for employees to reflect on their goals/role/opportunities for growth is ideal. Share ideas with other staff.
  • Put professional development in workplans, budgets, staff meetings (for the latter, time to discuss opportunities with each other)
  • Using belts/badges/milestones that people reach. Makes people feel good to reach things.
  • Using something like strengths-finder to ID and cultivate strengths/paths for leadership. This can also support matching people to work on stuff together.
  • Milestones for growth
  • Skills inventories that people fill out every 6th months, with where are you at with all these and where do you want to focus your growth? This can yield interesting longitudinal and individual data, can tell a story and also invite reflection for growth
  • Capacity for tracking is a real issue. Needs to be a conversation. Articulate the value of the data collection.
  • Having participants do their own entry via a form. THen you can do analysis/ID for outreach on the back end.
  • How to measure community outreach done by others/connections to people so that people's work on behalf of your org can be acknowledged
  • Aspiration's hypothesis is 1) tech skills lead to leadership development in orgs and networks and 2) participatory methods and facilitation skills lead to leadership development. These can be applied to people at every level of an org, not just leadership. Having these skills makes you valuable to an org. Tech capacity building is the carrot for leadership development. Very tactical skills. Then people use these skills in ways that elevate them within the organization. Cultivate people recognizing their own power. We can measure this by growth of skills and within the org.
  • We ID people in our networks who have the "spark" around participatory methods/frameworks and try to work with them to learn from them and bring them closer, elevating them within the network so the whole network becomes more participatory.
  • One to one, within an org, within a network <--this is how we scale/talk to funders about scale. We only call it leadership development when we need to for a grant.
  • Where is the space for conflict resolution/creative problem solving in this?
  • Great Q! People often are bringing those skills already (part of the spark?) We can also tap into our networks about that. Connect with people who can train on that, we don't focus on it.
  • Managing group dynamics/conflict is also important to facilitation
  • Could get better at managing vulnerability/supporting people's growth
  • Challenge: How do you track leadership development when people move around organizationally? We WANT people to go other places!
  • Alumni tracking--retain relationships and have people report back to you
  • Case management as a model. But this is can be heavy systems burden.
  • Are there sector-wide metrics we could track about how our ideas are taking root?
  • Story collection/story banking
  • We all take what we have learned, the good and the bad, with us when we move on
  • What does it mean to be developing leadership in a freelance context/without an organization?
  • There is an underrated social/relational element of leadership development