2008 Leadership Development Award winner
The Junior League of Plano
The Junior League of Plano won the 2008 Leadership Development Award for its Facilitation Services Training Program, through which members go on a retreat where they are trained in core aspects of leadership.
This program was developed to train League members in nonprofit board leadership. The goal is for these members to become skilled facilitators capable of helping organizations improve communication, reconcile differences, make key decisions, and implement solutions.
The League formed a committee to manage the program and hired Interaction Associates, Inc., a consulting firm with extensive experience in leadership development, to collaborate on curriculum development and provide the training. The program, which began in 2006, consists of a two-and-a-half-day retreat at which 16 League members and five of the League's community stakeholders receive training in all 15 of the League's core leadership competencies, ranging from meeting facilitation, communications, and mentoring to community representation, strategic leadership, and diversity knowledge and insight. The League then asks the members who have participated in the program to commit to a minimum of two years of service during which they utilize the skills learned.
All League members who registered for the program completed the training. One-third of the slots were made available to participants of the 55-member, county-wide collaboration on family violence, and one slot to the chair of the county's literacy initiative.
Key facilitation tools from the program were incorporated into the League's year-round FUNdamentals training program for members. As the facilitation program evolves, Interaction Associates will train a core group of committee members to become in-League trainers in facilitation, and the facilitation training will be incorporated into the League's Leadership Development Institute.
In the first 18 months of operation, graduates of the program facilitated 296 sessions for committees of the League and 52 for community organizations.