Action Research Project Overview Working Title:Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Minnesota Statewide Emerging Leaders Institute in Preparing Future Leaders
Team Members: Gabriele Anderson, Stacey Boggs, Linda Halliburton,Mick Hawton, Terri Morawiecki
PA 5103/MLS 5100, IS 5100
Spring 2009, Submitted March 10, 2009
Project Overview Several years ago, the State of Minnesota recognized that a nearly half the agency and department leaders would be retiring within the next five years and that a leadership pipeline had not been created. This led to the development of a unique professional development program: The Statewide Emerging Leaders Institute. What makes this program unique from other Minnesota government leadership programs is that it encompasses leadership from agencies across the state and across the various disciplines (i.e. Department of Transportation, Department of Revenue, Department of Education). The Institute uses assessment tools, formal instruction, one-to-one coaching, cohort group discussions, interaction with experienced state managers, and guided reflection to help emerging leaders take the stage for the next era in state government.
Acceptance into the program is highly selective and limited to 30 people per year. Now in its third year and a very different economy and demographic reality (read: senior leaders may not be retiring as soon as expected), we want to explore the effectiveness of the program in terms of personal and organizational change. In addition, we want to identify if the current economic situation has had any impact on leadership opportunities that are available to graduates of the program. Program sponsors are also interested in how Minnesota’s program compares with those of other states.
Public information about the program can be found at: http://www.admin.state.mn.us/mad/emergingleadersinstitute.htm
Stakeholders We have secured approval of the primary program sponsors as well as their permission to contact current and past participants. In addition to the stakeholders listed below, there are other key leaders and champions across the state who may be available for interviews, etc. The primary sponsors are also willing to provide us with access to the results of follow-up activities/ evaluations that they have already completed. Additionally, we will solicit them for specific outcomes they would like the project to address. The time frame in which this project must be completed is acceptable to the stakeholders. Program Sponsors • State of Minnesota Management and Budget (formerly Management Analysis and Development):Linda Draze, Training Manager and Pam Belknap, Management Consultant • University of Minnesota, College of Continuing Education: Tom Norman, Director and Mike Amidon, Associate Director Emerging Leader Institute Participants 2007 and 2008 institute graduates and current class/cohort Department/Agency Leaders Superiors and colleagues of ELI participants
Opportunities and Outcomes Ultimately, we would like to measure how effective the Statewide Emerging Leaders Institute is at developing new leaders, and make recommendations on how continue to maximize that success. This research project will challenge our assumptions that little follow up has been conducted to determine leadership behavior change as a result of the training, and that some participants may be frustrated by a lack of promotional opportunities. From what we know, a cohort goes through the program, but the follow through between courses or after completion is unknown to us. We may recommend moving from an event-based program to continuous, ongoing learning that allows for further personal and professional development and increasing opportunity. Additional recommendations may include learning and engagement activities.
We expect that there will be results at three levels: individual, agency or department, and state. Mirroring some of the philosophies of this class, we expect that individual change will ultimately drive agency and state change. This project will focus on identifying and making recommendations that are critical to assuring individual learning transfer and long-term change.
Experiments Our research experiments may include a review of program evaluation that has already been conducted, web-based surveys with past participants, focus groups with current participants, and interviews with program sponsors.
Questions that may be asked to provide a foundation and help determine leadership behavior change as a result of the training may include: • why the state decided to introduce this program • what is the participant selection criteria • what are the program goals and intended outcomes • how participants lives have changed as a result of the program • what individual experiences have been • what kinds of follow up activities might improve the program • how the current economic situation may impact leadership at the state level and this program in particular
Project Planning Discussions How our team is going to work together • We discussed using various web-based collaboration tools and decided that email will be the most effective for us. We will also meet face to face (hopefully during class time) and recognize that we will need to meet at other times as well. • Different group members will be responsible for creating various documents, which will then be forwarded to the rest of the group for comment. The person who created the first draft will be responsible for incorporating relevant feedback and producing the final document. • We identified that survey creation is both an art and a science. At least two people on the team have experience with survey design and implementation. • We agreed that we wanted to create a final presentation that had impact and discussed the possibility of incorporating some kind of video testimonial or interview. • We discussed that we needed to identify processes and tasks before they could be adopted or assigned to anyone in particular. The statements below reflect our brainstorming sessions about the project and do not reflect our final decisions. We recognize that some of these might be out of scope for this project.
Pre-planning considerations • What information and data to collect • Identify and review select statewide leadership programs from other states • Evaluate program results. Measurement might include: o Completion rates vs. incompletion rates o Number of applicants vs. actual participants o Number of people who have had leadership opportunities after program completion vs. those who completed program but have not had leadership opportunities yet o Employee retention rates o Promotion rate of program graduates • Possible interviews or surveys o Sponsors, colleagues, participants, leaders/supervisors, graduates • Baseline feedback for current group (pre, during, and post data) • Outcomes/deliverables o Determine baseline and evaluate return on training investment o Change from a program to continuous learning and development of opportunity • Offer recommendations after evaluating/interviewing/etc. • Retention – synchronize with opportunity Criteria which to measure our success • Accomplish the creation of our change recommendation in the class timeframe (2 months) • Gain sponsorship through Linda Draze and other various leaders working on this program • Conduct research and communication with little or no cost • Provide recommendations that support personal change and foster organizational growth • Stay true to the state’s mission and considerations of the program Processes and strategies to consider (How will they be done? Who will do them?) • What is the state’s mission? What is our mission? • Research strategy: o Which other states will we look at? Who will manage the resources? Who will complete the synthesis of information? • Writing Process • Meeting schedule: How often will we need to meet? When? • Norms of the group • Outcomes/Deliverables – what is the product or recommendation of our goals/mission? • Timetable o Other details will be needed for research, review, and writing o Assignment for March 3rd: Brief project description – details on handout o Assignment for April 21st: Finalize project o Assignment for May 5th: Presentation on findings • Stakeholder identification
Status Due Date Category Task Assigned To
26-Feb Project Overview First draft of Project Overview complete Linda
6-Mar Project Overview Feedback of first draft of Project Overview due All
6-Mar Relationships Gain buy in from project sponsors Linda
6-Mar Relationships Gain access to cohort participant lists
8-Mar Project Overview Second draft of Project Overview complete Linda 9-Mar Project Overview Final review of Project Overview complete All 10-Mar Research Determine criteria for program evaluation
10-Mar Approval Secure approval of survey instruments from Dr. Crosby and Linda Draze
10-Mar Data Collection Collect retention/promotion data for employees who have completed the program Terri 10-Mar Data Collection Determine scope of data needed (360 feedback, etc. Terri 10-Mar Data Collection Design measurement tools (surveys, interviews, etc) Terri can help, Mick can help 10-Mar Project Overview Deliver Project Overview Linda 10-Mar Research Review objectives, content and delivery methods for Minnesota's Statewide Emerging Leaders program Mick 10-Mar Research Identify other states using a large-scale leadership development programs with similar goals Terri 10-Mar Research Review objectives, content and delivery methods for other Statewide Emerging Leaders programs Terri 10-Mar Research Review other benchmarking studies already conducted Mick can help 10-Mar Research Evaluate selection criteria for candidates Terri 10-Mar Research Review literature on leadership development program measurement
17-Mar Data Collection Create measurement tools (surveys, interviews, etc.)
17-Mar Final Paper Outline final paper format
17-Mar Final Paper Assign Final Paper sections
20-Mar Data Collection Observe current cohorts final presentations 24-Mar Data Collection Conduct measurement research (surveys, interviews, etc.)
31-Mar Data Analysis Organize data for analysis Terri 31-Mar Data Analysis Review data for themes, conclusions Mick 31-Mar Data Analysis Summarize conclusions drawn from data
7-Apr Presentation Choose format for Presentation Mick can help 7-Apr Data Analysis Synthesize data analysis and other benchmarking information
7-Apr Data Analysis Craft recommendations based on data analysis
14-Apr Final Paper First draft of Final Paper complete
14-Apr Presentation Plan/Design Presentation Mick can help 14-Apr Presentation Create visual aspects of Presentation
18-Apr Final Paper Feedback of first draft of Final Paper due
21-Apr Final Paper Second draft of Final Paper complete
21-Apr Presentation Review visual aspects of Presentation
24-Apr Final Paper Feedback of second draft of Final Paper due
28-Apr Final Paper Final draft of Final Paper complete
28-Apr Presentation Rehearse Presentation
1-May Final Paper Final review of Final Paper complete
8-May Final Paper Deliver completed Final Paper
8-May Presentation Deliver Presentation