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Building Individual Capacity to Lead

Posted on September 3, 2015
By Russell Kueber

Building individual capacity is a key community development principle, yet how many of us often overlook this step in our efforts? We are so skillful in engaging people in developing a common vision and identifying priorities. We often then move right into a project management approach by defining the best activities to implement, who should do them, what resources we need, timelines, and the type of evaluation methodology required. We also often assume that those involved in change efforts are there because they have passion and they are capable and competent to deliver on whatever they signed up for.

Engage_NPI.pngBut what happens if we don't take time to invest in the development of people? Over time, what could happen to those involved? What would happen to our community change efforts? And eventually, to our communities? Recently, the Community Health and Social Service Network (CHSSN) and Concordia University developed a community leadership framework to build the capacity of individuals involved in developing community health networks in the province of Quebec. A design team of 15 network members and CHSSN staff participated in the creation of the framework and 20 leadership competencies (skills, attitudes & behaviours). These competencies are deemed most critical to their success as drivers of change in their communities and are organized under four pillars: leading in the English­-speaking community, leading networks, leading in the larger community, and leading for the future.

The competencies and framework serve as a guide for the design and delivery of leadership development training to individuals participating in the community health networks ­- as leadership training and building individual capacity will now become an integrated way of how they work and volunteer in the future.

The framework also includes a self­-assessment tool to evaluate your own leadership competencies and guide in the creation of a personal leadership development plan.

Learn More:

Collaborative Leadership

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