Weadership: An Introduction
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This document serves as an introduction and overview of the Weadership Framework. For more information, see the project's website: www.enhancingworkforceleadership.org

This document serves as an introduction and overview of the Weadership Framework. For more information, see the project's website: www.enhancingworkforceleadership.org

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  • 1. THE FUTURE OF WORKFORCE LEADERSHIP:WEADERSHIP A Framework for Workforce Leaders, Policy Makers, Funders, Practitioners, and Aspiring Innovators Kristin Wolff & Vinz Koller
  • 2. ABOUT THIS GUIDE This document was written by Kristin Wolff (Project Manager) and Vinz Koller (Project Director) of Social Policy Research Associates, under contract with the US Department of Labor. The Weadership Framework was developed as part of the Enhancing Work- force Leadership Initiative under project DOLQ101A21449. The initiative was designed to explore the meaning and practice of leadership in workforce development, identify the skills and behaviors that help leaders succeed, and inform the development of tools, resources, and opportunities intended to build next-generation leadership capacity within the workforce system. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the US Department of Labor. Mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not imply endorsement of same by the US Government. August 2011 Enhancingworkforceleadership.workforce3one.org1 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 3. The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 2
  • 4. 2. BUILD DIVERSE NETWORKS Leaders collaborate with partners creatively, using informal networks alongside traditional boards or policy councils. 3. EMBRACE OPENNESS 1. ADOPT A WIDE-ANGLE POINT OF VIEW Leaders share the role of leadership with staff, partners, and the public. They use social tech- Leaders look for new ways to apply their re- nologies to listen, inform, and collaborate. sources and expertise. They focus on commu- nity problems, not just workforce problems. THE FUTURE OF WORKFORCE LEADERSHIP: WEADERSHIP 6. CULTIVATE NEXT GENERATION LEADERS 4. ENCOURAGELeaders build skills and share knowledge in EXPERIMENTATIONin their communities. Leaders know workforce development needs new ideas, and new ideas need testing. 5. ADD UNIQUE VALUE can make a real difference in their communities. Only those who add value remain relevant.
  • 5. THE WEADERSHIP FRAMEWORKThis document serves as an introduction to the Weadership framework (opposite), and includes abrief summary of its six practices and ways to build capacity in each of them. It is supported byThe Future of Workforce Leadership: Weadership, a guide that includes a narrative around theWeadership Framework, an introduction to social innovation, a guide to social media, and a collec-tion of tools, examples, and resources to help workforce leaders build their own leadership skillsand cultivate leaders in their organizations and communities. This guide will be available as a PDFat the end of August 2011 at: http://bit.ly/qgjc1wONLINE RESOURCESEnhancingWorkforceLeadership.workforce3one.org serves as a gateway to a myriad of project re-sources—video, audio recordings, slidedecks, discussion summaries, toolkits, and social media. Weencourage readers interested in the subject of leadership to explore the vast collection of links, andresources cited in published documents. The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 4
  • 6. THE SIX PRACTICES “What’s changed the most in my nearly 25 years of public service is the complexity of the problems and the complexity of the necessary solutions.” Mayor Sam Adams, Portland Oregon “You grow leaders by putting opportunities in front of them: trying things, being courageous, being creative, failing, learning from it, teaching others—voilà, leaders.” Kris Stadelman, Executive Director, NOVA Workforce Board5 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 7. Recession. LinkedIn. Returnships.1 Workforce development has changed in the past decade: Agendas are bigger, longer-term, and more diverse. - sarily their traditional roles. Resources (public, private, and philanthropic) are increasingly constrained, while the demand for services and solutions continues to grow. Technology is remaking the workplace and enabling whole new approaches to working and learning at every level.During this project, Social Policy Research Associates’ (SPR) project team spoke with dozens ofleaders to better understand what workforce leadership means today. We sought to identify theways effective leaders enhance their own abilities, build their organizations’ capacities, and cultivatethe next generation of workforce leaders.What emerged is a new framework for describing leadership—what communities expect and what Weadership.1. Adopt a Wide-Angle Point of View2. Build Diverse Networks3. Embrace Openness4. Encourage Experimentation5. Add Unique Value6. Cultivate Next Generation LeadersThese are not independent practices. Rather, they complement one another and point toward afuture in which workforce leadership is a role and not a title.1 Returnships are internships for adults who have left the workforce for childbirth, family care, or other reasons and want to return to work, but need current http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2011/07/20/returnships-home-mom The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 6
  • 8. 1. ADOPT A WIDE-ANGLE POINT OF VIEW Leaders look for new ways to enhance and apply their resources and expertise. As a result, they de- problems. Jobs, skills, and wages anchor their varied policy agendas, which are often developed in collaboration with economic development, education, or human service partners. Wide-angle leaders surround themselves with resources that can help them learn and people who are similarly motivated to improve their communities. They work with others to set big goals and achieve them. THREE WAYS WORKFORCE LEADERS CAN DEVELOP A WIDE-ANGLE POINT OF VIEW: 1. Use qualitative and quantitative data, information, insights, and ideas from a wide range of sources to identify and understand key problems—and the often wicked2 nature of these problems. 2. Use “Theory of Change” or “Logic Model” frameworks3 to investigate the causes of critical problems and align investments around shared strategies aimed at meaningful outcomes and impacts. 3. Collaborate with a wide range of people and organizations in developing potential solutions to problems—regardless of who owns the agenda. 2 Wicked problems are unstructured (no one cause), multidimensional (no one solution), and relentless (not easily solved). Horst Rittel developed and presented this idea, eventually sharing it publically in Horst Rittel, Horst W.J and Webber, Melvin M. “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning.” Policy Sciences 4, no. 2 (1973): 155-169. 3 While many version of these tools have evolved over time, Grantcraft’s “Mapping Change: Using a Theory of Change to Guide Planning and Evaluation,” provides a brief, clear, and useful overview of when, why, and how to use them effectively. http://www.grantcraft.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.ViewPage&pageId=15427 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 9. “Expectations of workforce leaders are greater today as thepublic’s understanding of education and economics has in-creased. It’s a positive change. Our agendas are bigger, if notalways realistic.” Paul, Executive Director, Workforce Board The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 8
  • 10. 2. BUILD DIVERSE NETWORKS Workforce leaders have long collaborated with each other across programs and agencies. But as agendas become more complex, savvy leaders expand beyond traditional partnerships, leverag- ing contributions through coalitions, collaboratives, and networks that span disciplinary and geographic boundaries. New partners bring innovative approaches to problem-solving—social innovation and entrepreneur- ship, open data initiatives, crowdsourcing4, even competitions and games designed to promote outcomes workforce leaders care about. tools, and learn new skills. Diverse networks extend the reach of leaders and their organizations, and improve leaders’ ability to tap into needed resources—locally and globally. These networks can enable leaders to improve changing conditions. THREE WAYS WORKFORCE LEADERS CAN ENGAGE DIVERSE NETWORKS: 1. 2. Connect with champions of social innovation and Gov2.0 and other community innovators the next, creative ventures are emerging in each domain and at every scale—from local to global. 3. Meet with community leaders whether or not there are obvious synergies or common interests. Relationships create the opportunity for good things to happen even before leaders have any idea what those good things are going to be. 4 If you are unfamiliar with the term “crowdsourcing,” here is a collection of videos that effectively explain, show, and demonstrate it, quickly. Jeff Howe. Croudsourcing. July 28, 2008. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-UtNg3ots workforce leaders can use this approach in their work.9 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 11. “Diverse partners add the resources and expertise we do nothave and the reverse is also true. You need partnerships totake on the hard issues. Knowing how to leverage them is animportant aspect of leadership.” Christine, Executive Director, Workforce Board The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 10
  • 12. 3. EMBRACE OPENNESS Leaders doing big things understand that traditional hierarchical models of leadership are no longer - side of formal institutions. Leadership can now come from any corner of an organization or commu- nity, not just the management tier. For governments, policy makers, and public programs, large-scale social connectivity has changed public expectations about how government should work. Workforce leaders adapt by listening, sharing, and inviting broader participation in problem solving, both inside and outside of their organizations. Openness—sharing information widely and encouraging participation in problem solving at every level, in and outside of organizations—is the heart of weadership. FIVE WAYS WORKFORCE LEADERS CAN MOVE TOWARD OPENNESS: 1. Join an existing open data initiative (or start one). These efforts help leaders understand the - quences of each. 2. Engage a team in “listening” to online conversations about workforce development in your com- munity using social media. 3. Participate in a crowdsourcing effort aimed at advancing a key policy objective— 4. Identify a successful local or regional initiative designed to achieve goals similar to those of traditional workforce development programs, but not funded or supported by public workforce resources, and explore the potential for collaboration. 5. Develop a social media strategy for an initiative, program, or department or for your organiza-11 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 13. “For WIBs that are nonprofits in particular, there are differ-ent kinds of opportunities, but most of them run first andforemost on policy and procedure. They are great at cross-agency collaboration, but there’s still a head-honcho, and it’sstill pretty formal. There’s a whole world of citizens andneighbors to engage.” Susan, Executive Director, Workforce Board“If people believe their local government shares informationwell, they also feel good about their town and its civicinstitutions.” 55 Rainie, Lee and Purcell, Kristen. “How the Public Perceives Community Information Systems.” Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. March 1, 2011. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/08-Community-Information-Systems.aspx The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 12
  • 14. 4. ENCOURAGE EXPERIMENTATION For today’s workforce leaders, the speed and intensity of change in the workplace is among communities. As change occurs, experimentation plays an important role in helping leaders identify new policies, strategies, and service designs better suited to new demands. Many factors hinder experimentation in workforce organizations: risk-averse cultures, resource constraints, processes that do not lend themselves to change, and even pressures to meet performance goals and follow proven strategies all work against experimentation. But risk can help support experiments and create a desirable balance between tried-and-true methods and innovative approaches. Willingness to take risks also extends to small-scale “pilot projects” that are endemic to the experiments that tackle a wider range of problems and align their training and development practices with those of industry leaders. THREE WAYS WORKFORCE LEADERS CAN EXPERIMENT EFFECTIVELY: 1. Dedicate staff time and resources to exploring, integrating, and testing new ideas. There are many ways to structure and support experimentation, but dedicating resources is im- portant because it signals a commitment to innovation. 2. Subject existing programs to close scrutiny to identify design or program changes that promise to improve outcomes or increase impact. Make one change. Measure the impact. Repeat. 3. Manage risk. Workforce leaders involve their board members, partners, and communities in discussions about risk, including the risk of not trying new things.13 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 15. “Everything we do starts as a pilot. If it’s successful, wetry to find ways to sustain it in partnership with our com-munities, so that they become invested too.” Michele, Executive Director, Workforce Board“In the last three or four years, technology has changed ev-erything. Every industry and every job is affected, so workers(ourselves included) have to think about not just what we’redoing now, but what we’ll be doing in five years.” Robin, Deputy Director, Workforce Agency The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 14
  • 16. 5. ADD UNIQUE VALUE Workforce leaders share a commitment to doing work that really matters: maximizing existing investments, supporting broader community change efforts, and championing important causes. Effective leaders understand their strengths, and those of their organizations, as well as their communities. They seek new ways to measure their performance because they know that only those who add value remain relevant. FOUR WAYS WORKFORCE LEADERS CAN ADD VALUE: 1. Identify ways your organization can uniquely contribute to your community’s most impor- partner organizations or modeling the changes you’d like to see. 2. Relentlessly (and honestly) assess individual and organizational strengths, relative to other leaders and partner organizations. Craft policies, strategies, and roles that make effective use of those strengths. 3. Share credit for accomplishments. Whether within or among organizations, sharing credit builds trust, encourages collaboration, and reduces the risks associated with tackling dif- 4. Measure what matters, even if funders don’t require it, and share accomplishments and les- sons widely with both funders and the general public.15 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 17. “We are not relevant if we don’t add value to the community.” Kris, Executive Director, Workforce Board“Establish shard goals and metrics that go beyond programs.This can help embed and scale broader change.” Sam, Vice President, Membership Organization“Leaders do real things. Last year we put 15,000 young peopleto work. The need is 70,000, but now everyone knows it anda partnership is taking root.” Robert, Program Manager, Community Development Agency The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 16
  • 18. 6. CULTIVATE NEXT GENERATION LEADERS The average age of workers (and senior leaders) in workforce development is rising. Current leaders are concerned about who will replace them. Leaders understand that the next generation will reinvent what it is to be a workforce leader— experience in ways that support this transition. This generational change represents an important opportunity to cultivate community leaders who have the skills, networks, and practices to succeed in a world that values weadership, while at the same time deepening knowledge about the history and practice of workforce de- velopment in the THREE WAYS WORKFORCE LEADERS CAN CULTIVATE NEXT GENERATION LEADERS: 1. Design high-quality immersive learning opportunities that connect workforce professionals across generations into meetings and conferences. 2. Continue to experiment with approaches that show promise in growing and retaining emerging leaders, such as academies and institutes. 3. Adopt cutting-edge recruiting, management and development practices within workforce organizations and agencies, iteratively, and in manageable ways.17 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 19. “We need to be serious about investing in future leaders.Make a real commitment – whether it’s a training institute orproviding opportunities for growth…And it’s okay if they don’tstay in workforce development. They’ll make a contributionsomewhere, and it will help all of us.” Carol, Executive Director, Regional Commission“One of our biggest concerns has to do with the number ofpeople reaching retirement age …how do we institutionalizethe knowledge and skills they have?” Roy, State Program Director The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 18
  • 20. SELECT PROJECT RESOURCES 1 Workforce Leadership Framework (this document) 1 Workforce Leadership Guide (comprehensive guide) 2 Leadership Simulations: one organized around community; and another organized around industry. 5 Leaders on Workforce Leadership (Video) 12 Leadership Highlights from a series of group conversations with workforce leaders from across the country working in many different capacities. 12 Leadership Perspectives shared by 12 individual leaders (nominated by their peers) during 12 conversations. 32 Leadership Resources used by workforce leaders to build their own leadership skills and cultivate other leaders in their organiza- tions or communities. The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP A Framework for Workforce Leaders, Policy Makers, Funders, Practitioners, and Aspiring Innovators (this document) http://bit.ly/oNLjWs A Guide for Workforce Leaders, Policy Makers, Funders, Practitio- ners, and Aspiring Innovators (the comprehensive guide in PDF): http://bit.ly/qgjc1w19 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 21. ABOUT THE SYMBOLS (OPPOSITE)Those are QR codes—special two-dimensional bar codes that can be read by most camera cellthem in all kinds of creative ways for as many purposes. The US Department of State, for example,uses them to provide the public with summaries of world events and share the Secretary’s travelschedule and public remarks.The codes above are linked to the resources named, which are on the EnhancingWorkforceLeader-ship.org website.To use the codes, you will need a QR reader (application). There are many free readers availablefor download quickly and easily through the application exchange for your mobile device: AndroidMarketplace for Android users; The App Store for iPhone users; and Blackberry App World forBlackberry users. Once the application is enabled, just scan the barcode to access the data behindit, including the urls above. The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 20
  • 22. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors (Kristin Wolff and Vinz Koller) would like to acknowledge the intergovernmental orga- nizations and other contributors listed below for their assistance, insight, and for the work they do every day to enhance workforce leadership at all levels: National Association of Counties National Association of State Legislatures National Association of State Workforce Agencies National Association of Workforce Boards National League of Cities US Conference of Mayors California Workforce Association 519 Individual Workforce Leaders Contributors (to date)7 We would also like to thank Gina Wells, Kathy Tran, and Aparna Darisipudi of the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the project. The Enhancing Workforce Leadership Project Team inlcuded: Vinz Koller, Kristin Wolff, Alison Gash, Ricki Kozumplik, Trace Elms, Sam McCoy, Michelle Saar, Annie Nyborg and Miloney Thakrar. 7 A Google map detailing the locations and roles of project contributors is here: http://bit.ly/rnhtF921 The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP
  • 23. The Future of Workforce Leadership: WEADERSHIP 22
  • 24. THE FUTURE OF WORKFORCE LEADERSHIP:WEADERSHIP