HOW ONE TEAM DEVELOPS LEADERS USING THE 9P DIGITAL LEARNING PLATFORM
Changes over the past year have launched education into a season of transformation. The constant change we are facing in our industry calls for bold leadership. Oftentimes we see rapid change cause leaders to pause on leader development activities. While it’s valid to think that focusing on managing change itself is most important, there is another way.
During Destination High Performance, Dr. Kristine Strickland, Chancellor of Fletcher Technical Community College (FTCC), shared the critical actions her team took to navigate the past year of change. Rather than pause building leadership skills, their team doubled down on leader development. FTCC leaders quickly realized they wanted to learn new skills to better navigate the changes they face. To do so, they found creative ways to communicate and develop colleagues.
“We are a people business… My whole mission as an institution of higher education is to develop people and their talents and their gifts. It is fundamentally what we do and who we are. If we are mission-driven about developing our students to be the next generation of leaders and our workforce, why would we not do that for our people as well?” – Kristine Strickland, Chancellor
LEADER DEVELOPMENT TO MEET CHANGE
Prior to the pandemic, FTCC leaders established a cultural values task force. As the pandemic hit, the committee chair and Kristine knew their leadership would be tested throughout this experience. They felt that it was essential to maintain focus on their cultural values and leader development efforts or they would lose momentum.
First, leaders initiated the following actions:
- Explore technology to enable efforts and shift cultural values work online.
- Focus on the foundation of how we lead.
- Use digital technology and routine meetings for conversations about cultural values and professional development.
Through these actions, Kristine reflects on one of her biggest takeaways: the importance of team communication. The 9P platform enabled FTCC leaders to have conversations about how to best connect with their team during immense change.
“9P helped navigate setting up weekly meetings with my team that were valuable and beneficial to the group. I also appreciated being able to use this platform to do a deeper dive into our cultural values. While we have faculty and staff who are leading the charge in culture on campus, 9P definitely supplemented those efforts. During COVID, I used 9P to ensure my team was engaged and productive.” – Kristine Strickland
To effectively use the 9P to develop leaders, activities are assigned for people to explore. After reviewing the resource, colleagues brought discussion points to their Microsoft Teams channel. By using MS Teams like a discussion board in an online class, FTCC leaders were able to inspire continuous dialogue around developing new skills. Employees also share which resources are most influential to them and their top takeaways.
Some of the development topics and resources that Kristine’s team focus on include:
- Using communication effectively rather than increasing the number of messages.
- Asking for feedback to build trust and increase employee engagement and productivity.
- Team motivation and celebrating the small wins.
- Time management with the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.
Kristine explains, “We all find different nuggets in each one. There is enough variety, almost always, something speaks to someone, and sometimes differently than it will speak to someone else…The power comes in the sharing among the team and the reflection that happens there.“
EXPANDING LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
The end of this pandemic may be nearing; however, leaders at FTCC show no signs of slowing down their leader development. Due to the success and ease of the 9P platform, they will continue to expand its use with more leaders in the organization. As a direct result of the relationships built by using 9P, Kristine has also decided to bring more leaders into the decision-making team.
The Cultural Values Task Force will also continue their efforts to formalize FTCC’s cultural values and their expansion into hiring and evaluation processes. In addition, a problem-solving think tank will be created to replace generic business meetings. Leaders and teams will also begin using 9P for individual accountability measures and growth opportunities for leaders.
HOW DOES 9P MEET LEADERS WHERE THEY ARE?
9P offers a variety of different resources to build leadership skills. There are articles, videos, interactive activities and podcast episodes to meet people no matter their learning style. To close her presentation, Dr. Kristine Strickland put it this way,
“You’ve cultivated the best of the resources that are out there. I don’t have to struggle to look and find something. I can go to 9P and say I have this challenge or I want to learn something, and it’s right there at my fingertips. It’s kind of in a new format. It’s not taken out of some textbook theory that was written in the 1980’s—these are really recent, really relevant activities that we get to do.”
WATCH KRISTINE’S FULL PRESENTATION
Using the Nine Principles for Organizational Excellence, the 9P platform provides on-demand access to activities and tools to support leadership development for individuals and teams. Start your leadership development journey today. Learn more by signing up for a free 9P account.