Leaders' Edge Advisor

Maximizing Leadership Styles

By Gary De Carolis, President, Center for Community Leadership

What on Earth?! The Theoretical Orientation
Stakeholder driven data dissemination draws heavily from the field of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), which seeks to facilitate partnerships and capacity building at all phases of a research/evaluation process. In a nutshell, it's a highly collaborative approach to sharing information gathered through evaluation, with stakeholders helping to decide reporting topics, priorities, formats, timelines for release, and products. The model seeks to ensure that evaluation is not an external, boxed "thing" that gets "done to" a community, system, program or initiative. Rather, stakeholders' opinions are fully "in the mix" when it comes to decision-making about dissemination.

Why on Earth?! A Wake Up Call for Evaluators
This work stems from the idea that systems often fail because stakeholders, at various levels and in various roles, didn't know enough about, have, or use data that could have helped to prevent the failure. While it may sound obvious, the model puts the onus on evaluators to make dissemination efforts useful to the field; not on the field to try to figure out how dissemination products can be useful to their work. Arguably data dissemination is often not, in fact, all that useful, yet accountability for lack of utility can disproportionately fall on the end users. Involving end users and other stakeholders in the dissemination process is a strategy for upping the utility of data.

How on Earth?! Concrete Tips to Get you Started
Stakeholder driven means developing one-on-one relationships with product consumers to the extent that they feel free to speak up and ask evaluators to go back to the drawing board on a given topic, analysis, or product. It means a responsive, flexible, open door policy, where stakeholders work with evaluators to freely brainstorm, develop, and ultimately request what they need from data in the context of their work. It means incorporating a strong customer service orientation, such that products are timely, understandable (i.e. jargon free) and in accordance with stakeholders' operating principles. And it means meeting stakeholders wherever they're at, in the sense that data dissemination efforts often include hefty technical assistance and ongoing coaching components.

With respect to obtaining meaningful input in actual product development, it means providing specificity to stakeholders about the nature of feedback being sought during their orientation to the team. In general, feedback falls into 7 camps, all with varying levels of utility.

Usage: given the data, what are some next steps?

Comprehension: willing to say "I just don't get it"É sorryÉ. try again."

Principles: ombudsman between an entity's guiding principles (e.g. strengths based) and the language used in dissemination

Accuracy: there to help interpret definitions, facts, categorical references, etc.

Editorial: notices you switched fonts ˝ way through, and wrote "effect" when you really meant "affect."

Cosmetic: has way more investment in color schemes and layout than other reviewers.

General: mostly operates on the love it or hate continuum. Could perhaps use a little more guidance on other kinds of feedback to the process.

Have questions? Want to talk further? Ready to give it a try? Contact Becca Sanders, Ph.D., Kalamazoo, MI, Beccaanddan@gorge.net, PHONE NUMBER

The Center for Community Leadership provides personalized, dynamic leadership training. Our diverse faculty, all with years of hands-on experience leading system change, facilitates three-day Community Leadership Institutes and shorter workshop and targeted training events across the country.


The Art & Science of 21st Century Leadership & Systems of Care
Nov. 9 & 10, Springfield, Ill ~ Nov. 16 & 17, Burlington, VT

These two-day focused leadership seminars will provide participants with understanding of current leadership concepts with direct application to the challenges inherent in building collaborative, community-based systems of care. You will actively engage with other participants to sharpen your skills, gain valuable insights and renew yourself as a leader in this difficult work. Seminars combine brief lectures on leadership theory and practice, small group work that stimulates active learning, and tools that spur personal reflection. Introductory price only $195 per person.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Offered:

Through our partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)'s Graduate Program in Community Mental Health, we are offering continuing education hours (CEUs) to all participants who request them. Participants will be awarded up to 11.5 contact hours for the two-day training.

Springfield Seminar Location: TBA
Burlington Seminar Location: Main Street Landing, One Main Street, Burlington VT

Register Now and learn about accommodation options (participants are responsible for coordinating and paying for their own transportation, meals and accommodations)

For more information about the 2-Day Seminars or other offerings, please call
802-863-9132 or
Gary De Carolis, President
The Center for Community Leadership
Email: gary@centerforcommunityleadership.com

Visit our website for additional information:
The Center for Community Leadership
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Center for Community Leadership · P.O. Box 3069, Burlington, VT 05408-3069
ph: 802-863-9132 fax: 802-863-6586 · info@centerforcommunityleadership.com

Copyright 2005 Gary De Carolis. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.

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