Participating communities send teams of four individuals, typically the town manager or mayor and three others, to eight days of training at the Pell Center over five months. This classroom portion of the program features: practical instruction in facilitative leadership; systems thinking; negotiation; and aligning systems as well as means and ends for optimum performance.
Participants are required to create innovation project teams in their home-organizations in order to tackle persistent, high-priority challenges. Participants will be expected to apply the skills learned to re-invent systems and structures that are currently producing outcomes that need improvement. Leadership Matters will support these efforts with mentoring from successful leaders who will coach, critique, encourage, and advise. Given sufficient resources, mentoring will be provided to the project teams by consultants and faculty from the Public Sector Consortium. Assistance may be prioritized to those efforts that have the greatest potential to improve the way citizens are served, particularly in these times of shrinking budgets and anemic economic growth.
Participants return to the Pell Center for a lessons learned conference—to share what worked, what didn’t, and to begin building a culture of collaboration and mutual support across communities.