Core Curricular Elements
The LDP program is organized into five distinct curricular components: Fall Retreat, Individual and Group Leadership Development, Organizational Leadership Development, Legal/Political Context of Public Service Leadership, and the Art of Reflective Practice. Each of these components will be elaborated more fully in the sections that follow.
Fall Retreat - 2 full days over a three-day period
The Fall Retreat will establish the organizational and thematic framework for the year-long program. This includes the goals and objectives and the plan for accomplishing these through various curricular assignments, projects and course readings.
- The retreat will be jointly planned and delivered by Executive Leadership Institute faculty and Corps LDP facilitators who will join ELI faculty as co-teachers throughout the year-long program. The retreat will be used to introduce participants to the primary instructors for the duration of the program, create some shared group norms, and learn how the curricular components are integrated into a common whole.
- Outcomes of the Retreat: Participants will be able to identify the theories and concepts of leadership, and the role of leadership in achieving an organization’s mission and goals. Participants will be able to identify their leadership strengths and opportunities for further development. Finally, participants will understand the purpose and goals of the Leadership Development Program and the importance of an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to focus learning activities and assess progress throughout the Program.
Individual and Group Leadership Component – 48 hours
The individual and group leadership development component emphasizes those elements of leadership that depend heavily on self-knowledge and self-assessment for the effective leadership of people in small groups and organizations. This unit links the growing body of leadership literature with various assessment instruments so that participants are able to prepare a Individual Development Plan (IDP) within a larger integrated career planning framework. The individual leadership development component begins early in the LDP and continues throughout the entire program, thus providing an opportunity for individual and group leadership competencies to be integrated into the knowledge and skills necessary to function successfully within the larger organizational and external environment.
- Marcus Ingle has the lead role in facilitating this component.
- Prior to the retreat, participants will be asked to complete one or more individual leadership assessment tools. Individual Development Plans will incorporate the insights gained from these assessments. Throughout the LDP participants will be asked to revisit and alter their IDP’s as they acquire various skill sets and complete curricular units.
- During the LDP each participant will receive specialized one-on-one coaching from a LDP instructor. Two rounds of coaching are programmed: one in the fall of 2009, and the second in the spring of 2010. These sessions provide participants the opportunity to discuss LDP-related issues in depth on a face-to-face basis with a program instructor.
- The mentoring component of the LDP pairs mentees with experienced Corps managers over the course of one year. Each mentee is assigned a mentor who serves as a guide/counselor, information provider, friendly critic, interpreter of the organization policies and politics, sounding board, coach for career/upward mobility, and link to the pulse and broader strategic issues that are challenging the US Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to self-scheduled mentoring activities, mentors and mentees attend up to four “Mentors Lunches” at Portland State University over the course of the year, which serve as opportunities for the faculty to check in with both groups and evaluate their progress. These lunches are integral pieces of the academic focus of the Leadership Development Program and should not be missed. On those dates when Mentors Lunches are scheduled, participants are not given time outside of class for lunch.
- Outcomes: At the end of the Individual Leadership Unit, participants will have: 1) Enhanced self-awareness and knowledge; 2) Improved leadership capabilities for leading one’s self and others in team settings; 3) A comprehensive and tailored leadership development portfolio for future use.
Organizational Leadership Component – 60 hours
The work that participants undertake in preparing their leadership development plans will be used to introduce them to the theories and practices of organizational design and development. This unit is organized around the following central question: To what extent are the processes of individual leadership development transferable to organizations? What are the similarities and differences between individual and organizational development? These questions will be used to introduce participants to the research and theories on management and organizational development and change.
- Craig Shinn and Doug Morgan will co-design and deliver 60 instructional hours devoted to the Organizational Component. They will work closely with LDP Team Leaders to both design and deliver the materials for these sessions.
- Instructors will work closely with the LDP Team Leaders to develop case application exercises that are specifically unique to the Portland District Corps.
A basic set of common readings will be used for both the Organizational and Political Context components of the Leadership Development Program in order to emphasize the synthetic nature of leadership. These common texts are listed in the Detailed Syllabus.
- Luncheon Speakers and a Field Visit will be planned during this module to reinforce the themes and learning objectives.
- Outcomes: At the end of the Organizational Leadership Unit, participants will be able to understand: 1) the difference between individual leadership skills and the additional skills necessary for organizational leadership, 2) Basic principles of organizing work; 3) The strengths and weaknesses of basic management techniques and practices. 4) Strategies for transforming the Army Corps Vision Statement into successful operating practices. 5) The opportunities and limits of using the private sector as a model for reinventing government.
The Political/Legal Component: The National Policy Process – 68 hours
This curricular component is intended to provide participants with an understanding of the larger political, legal, inter-organizational, and inter-jurisdictional environment within which they are expected to exercise leadership within the Corps. The Washington D.C. trip and speakers within the region will be used to provide participants with an understanding of the larger political and legal context within which the Corps has to undertake its work.
- Craig Shinn and Jeff Hammarlund will co-design and deliver the 68 instructional hours devoted to the Political/Legal Component. This will insure that the materials from the Organizational Component will reinforce the work undertaken in this module.
- The core of the material covered for the Political/Legal Component will occur while participants are in Washington D.C. during the late November or early December, depending on the fall term schedule at Portland State University.
- Instructors will make use of case application papers drawn from the participants’ own agency experience to assess the extent to which they are achieving the learning objectives of the Organizational Component module.
- A basic set of common readings will be used for both the Organizational and Political Context components of the Leadership Development Program in order to emphasize the synthetic nature of leadership. These common texts are listed in the Detailed Syllabus
- Outcomes: At the end of the Political/Legal module participants will be able to understand: 1) The multiple roles and functions of the varied legal constraints that operate on public organizations, and the Army Corps in particular; 2) How the legal constraints and accountability requirements faced by the Army Corps can be transformed into successful opportunities for accomplishing its work; 3) How the complexities of the Corps’ inter-organizational and inter-jurisdictional environment can be used to enhance the mission of the Corps; 4) How the larger external policy process works and how it can be used to advance the mission of the Army Corps.
Integrating Leadership Theory and Practice: The Art of Reflective Practice
Reflective practice requires the constant habit of using critical insight to improve professional practice, and in turn, to use best practices to inform, guide, and alter one’s leadership framework. Throughout each of the separate curricular units, the instructors will seek to integrate what participants have learned by using a combination of current research and field application problems. The goal is to cultivate the integration and theory of practice, thereby establishing the “habit of reflective practice.”
- Case Applications - ELI staff will work closely with the LDP Team Leaders/Co-facilitators to develop and present case application problems specific to the Army Corps District Office. Whenever possible these case applications will be the focal point around which class sessions are organized.
- Final Case “Capstone” Project – Participants will be assigned a final case application as a capstone project. The case application will be related to a real time Corps issue. The participants will prepare and deliver a presentation on the case to members of the District leadership team. The purpose of the final exercise will be to reinforce the learning objectives of the entire LPD Program.
- Outcomes: Through the use of Case Application exercises, participants will be able to: 1) Acquire the skills for team project problem-solving; 2) Understand how organizational and jurisdictional role differentiation can be used successfully to accomplish the mission of the Corps District Office; 3) Understand what it takes to transform individual team-building skills into successful organizational work across jurisdictional and organizational boundaries; 4) Apply the skills of reflective practice to engage in continuous improvement of organizational and policy problems within the participant’s respective organizational domains.