Staff Development Best practices in Organizations and Performance

Leadership Project Guidelines A unique feature of this course is the means by which it allows students make use of all that they have learned about leadership and to apply that learning to professional contexts in which they are currently involvedwork or otherwise. This is accomplished through a carefully designed project in which students have the opportunity to exercise leadership. The project should include working closely with other people to effect or initiate positive change (for example, influencing others, motivating others, coordinating others.) Projects that do not involve interaction with people and effecting or initiating positive changefor example, ones involving only gathering information, shadowing a leader or interning for a leaderare unacceptable, because they do not involve the exercise of leadership. Examples of acceptable projects: o Coordinating efforts involving several people to create a new strategic plan for an organization or organizational unit/department o Leading a task force of people involved in revamping the way an organization or organizational department/unit assesses itself, and communicating the new assessment plan to all relevant constituents o Developing with others a plan to motivate them to improved performance, and then initiating that plan with measures to ensure it can be sustained The leadership project paper should be 12 to 15 pages in length and should cover the following: o A description of the problem on which the project focused; for example, how the problem was identified and what real evidence there is for its presence, why the problem has an impact on the organization, why solving the problem can make a significant difference to the organization; o The means identified to address the problem: for example, changing current operations (procedures, culture, perceptions), strategic planning, adding or shifting resources, revising or adding organizational assessment mechanisms, rethinking the customer/market focus, rethinking leadership practices. (Note: If you propose the latter, you should have discussed it throughout the project with leaders within the organization.) o The results of the project: that is, what effect will it have (or has it already had) on the organization and on organizational performance? o Personal reflections on the project, its results, and how previous learning in the leadership program was brought to bear during the project. In your practicum you should consider the following: ?Meet a need of the organization. Time and resources are limited, so support the organization by helping them with real needs. ?Support your career goals. One of the goals of the Leadership Studies program is to support you in your career. ?Enjoy the process. Your practicum should bring you professional and personal satisfaction. ?Make the practicum applicable. Be sure that your study is applicable to your professional goals. ?Consider your timeline. Be sure to consider the time that the completion of your project will take, for both you and the participating organization.

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