Foundation Launches Learning Lab To Build Talent in Social Sector

Posted April 22, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog foundationlauncheslearninglab 2015

If the social sec­tor is to help all kids have a bright future, it needs a par­tic­u­lar type of lead­er­ship. The Foundation’s tal­ent pipelines strat­e­gy is designed to iden­ti­fy future social change lead­ers who reflect our country’s evolv­ing demo­graph­ics and to equip them to have an ori­en­ta­tion toward results, and to con­sis­tent­ly apply a race-equi­ty lens to their work. Ensur­ing this kind of lead­er­ship means cre­at­ing path­ways for emerg­ing lead­ers who would be invalu­able assets in this sec­tor, yet who might not have the access to the edu­ca­tion, net­work­ing and resources that they need to find their way to key social sec­tor positions.

With this objec­tive in mind, the Foun­da­tion has launched its first Social Sec­tor Tal­ent Pipelines Strat­e­gy & Learn­ing Lab. The year­long pro­gram is engag­ing five orga­ni­za­tions − Ameri­Corps Alums, Man­age­ment Lead­er­ship for Tomor­row, ProIn­spire, Pub­lic Allies and Teach for Amer­i­ca − with the goal of devel­op­ing the next generation’s social sec­tor lead­er­ship. The lab is being deliv­ered through six sem­i­nars to devel­op indi­vid­ual lead­er­ship, increase orga­ni­za­tion­al capac­i­ty and fos­ter col­lab­o­ra­tion on field-lev­el tal­ent pipeline chal­lenges. Each of the sem­i­nars pro­vides real-time oppor­tu­ni­ties for apply­ing strate­gies back home.

The lab cur­ricu­lum draws from the Foundation’s results-based lead­er­ship devel­op­ment approach, which focus­es on align­ing peo­ple and resources in the pur­suit of pos­i­tive, mea­sur­able results. Par­tic­i­pants have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to apply results-based lead­er­ship skills, tools and meth­ods toward the real­iza­tion of their own results. The sem­i­nars incor­po­rate the five core com­pe­ten­cies of results-based lead­er­ship. Dur­ing the first sem­i­nar, par­tic­i­pants chose tal­ent pipelines results state­ments to help them diver­si­fy and strength­en. Read about how ProIn­spire staff are devel­op­ing their results state­ment and tar­get pop­u­la­tion.

Over the course of the lab, par­tic­i­pants are devel­op­ing their own lead­er­ship com­pe­ten­cies, strength­en­ing their abil­i­ties to achieve results through data-dri­ven strate­gies, address­ing dis­par­i­ties and view­ing their work through an equi­ty lens. The lab also gives the par­tic­i­pants the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet with a range of nation­al lead­ers, includ­ing social sec­tor fun­ders, researchers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers, all of whom will be avail­able to engage in strat­e­gy devel­op­ment work.

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