Kansas Community Leadership Initiative
An inspiring and engaging effort to support community leadership programs
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The KCLI Advisory Group believes we need a stronger community leadership program (CLP) infrastructure to move local programs to higher levels of aspiration and performance. To assist with this, the KLC will deploy KCLI Consultants to work directly with interested programs. The KCLI Consultants will instruct and inform on a variety of topics including:
1. The congruence between the program’s activities and purpose.
2. The ability of the community leadership program to articulate to the broader community the role of the community leadership program as a long-term investment in building civic leadership capacity.
3. Capturing stories and evidence conveying how program participants and alumni help make progress on challenging civic issues by applying concepts and skills learned in the program.
4. Skills-based curriculum focused on civic leadership, with an emphasis on: developing civic leadership skills including collaboration, critical thinking, systems thinking and cultural competence; building awareness of the civic context and its challenges; Building relationships of trust and respect among diverse participants; and providing opportunities for self-reflection and personal development.
5. Marketing, recruitment and alumni engagement.
6. Board development.
The KLC wants to generate excitement among citizens and CLP alumni, increase participation from people who might not otherwise apply for a CLP and to introduce the KLC to alumni of participating CLPs. To help your program reach important target audiences, we offer a host of marketing and sustainability services and materials. For the first phase of this effort, we want to coordinate these efforts around a single week in late August or early September, allowing us to better manage the project and generate buzz about the effort.
These efforts will include:
1. The KLC will launch a direct mail campaign and create a standard mailing, most likely an oversized recruitment postcard containing limited, yet customizable information. We want to increase CLP exposure in local communities. We will ask CLPs choosing to utilize this service to provide a database of individuals they want to receive the postcard. We’d also ask CLPs to provide limited yet customized information so that the cards look and feel as though the local CLP, not The KLC, produced it.
2. The KLC also will create a standard, though customizable, CLP alumni mailing, most likely a two-four-page piece, containing a limited amount of custom information. The mailing will serve as a highlight reel for the local CLP, spotlighting specific CLP accomplishments, introducing the KLC to alumni and describing the nature of the CLP participant nomination appeals. Again, we will design the mailing to look/feel as though it came from the local CLP.
3. We also will author opinion pieces for newspapers extolling the value of Kansas CLPs and host a conference call for any interested editorial board member from news outlets across the state. By hosting the conference call and placing op-ed pieces in hometown newspapers of each participating CLP, the KLC will highlight the value of CLPs and encourage editorial boards to promote their hometown CLP.
4. The KLC also will offer to make presentations to community organizations to spur interest in CLPs, even appearing as staffing allows, with representatives of local CLPs.
Community Leadership Programs can’t measure their success without measuring their impact. The KLC offers a variety of high-quality evaluation services to help you guage your program’s impact, set benchmarks and determine which techniques you can consider your “best practices.” In putting these evaluation services together, we wanted to ensure the implementation of these principles and to make this implementation easy to employ within your community leadership program’s current staffing.
How will we accomplish this?
1. The KLC will create a standard, though customizable, session feedback form. This form will help you determine how well CLP participants understand and plan to use the leadership skills and concepts, as well as how well participants connected with CLP staff and other participants.
2. The KLC will create a standard, though customizable, alumni/past participant survey. The survey means to explore how participants used or applied the civic leadership skills and concepts. We also want to collect success stories and identify possible barriers/challenges in using and applying the leadership skills and concepts.
3. The KLC will create a standard, though customizable, community survey. It has three goals: First, to determine residents’ perception of the CLP’s purpose; second, to determine residents’ perceptions of the civic culture; and lastly, to determine residents’ perceptions of progress on civic issues.
The KLC understands the difficulty of keeping curriculum current. To assist community leadership programs, KLC has made a significant commitment to the following activities we believe will strengthen your community efforts:
1. The KLC Online - The KLC will develop an introductory, online learning module focused on civic leadership competencies and principles to help leadership programs expand their reach in their community.
2. Intro Curriculum Video - The KLC will develop an introductory video to orient people to civic leadership theory, principles and competencies.
3. The KLC Case Study Curriculum Booklet - A booklet complete with all nine KLC cases, teaching guides and best practices for facilitating KLC civic leadership cases.
4. Civic Leadership Development Activities - Distributed through the KLC Field Guide and other means, the KLC will continue to develop new civic leadership development activities to complement the curriculum of local community leadership development programs.
5. Development of “The Best In Kansas CLP Curriculum” - We know the best community leadership curriculum is often developed by local facilitators. All local programs will be encouraged to share their curriculum ideas. The KLC, in conjunction with an advisory group of local facilitators, will develop a of booklet highlighting the state’s most innovative community leadership program curriculum.
The KLC believes there’s power in the connections among people united under a common understanding of civic leadership. We can learn and draw energy from one another when we come together.
We have planned an annual, first-class gathering of local cohorts. Each year, The KLC plans to convene participants and alumni from community leadership programs across Kansas in a three-day civic leadership development summit. The summit will consist of general and customized breakout sessions facilitating individual and small-group development.
The KLC wants to draw a rich and diverse mix of communities and individuals to the summit to nurture deep learning oriented to the KLC Theory, Principles and Competencies.
A strong partnership between the KLC and community leadership programs forms the foundation of this initiative, but we want to save the spotlight for the CLPs. We’re here to support your effort, not promote the KLC. Whenever possible, local program facilitators will help design the summit. We’ve designed the summit to complement the curriculum and activities of local programs.
Every year, the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) offers a three-day facilitator workshop with the purpose of offering community leadership program facilitators an opportunity to sharpen their facilitation skills in front of their peers and to be exposed to new facilitation exercises and techniques. The KLC offers this training because we understand the difficulties inherent in trying to teach leadership. We designed the workshop to support and enhance your ability to communicate important principles and competencies required for progress on the deep, daunting issues facing Kansas communities. Regardless of your experience, we believe this opportunity will help you fine tune your skills and give you the opportunity to experiment with new concepts.
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