Government Elearning! Magazine

FALL 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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28 Fall 2015 Government Elearning! Learning! 100 Recognizing that Organizational Success Begins with Heart Association's Leaders By virtue of the American Heart As- sociation's Leadership Engagement and Development (LEAD) program, it has been named one of the top Learning! 100 organizations in the public/non-proft sector. LEAD is a year-long "mini-MBA" pro- gram targeted at the AHA's 50 executive directors (EDs). The ED for any metro area is respon- sible for all volunteers and staff that lead events such as Heart Walk, Heart Ball/Gala and Go Red for Women. The EDs manage and recruit high-level (such as C-Suite) talent for their boards and direct all aspects of their metro area. The intention of the LEAD pro- gram is to improve the performance (and reduce the variability of perfor- mance) of the EDs, to create an educa- tional experience that focuses on devel- oping leadership skills, and to provide a strong peer network. The program begins with a two-day launch event preceded by assigned pre- work that consists of YouTube videos, training created in Skillsoft, articles, chapters of books, various readings, plus a webinar that follows. Then, three case studies and two projects in four days of face-to-face training. Case studies explore topics such as influ- ence, coaching, networking, building/- maintaining relationships, diversity and more. Projects deal with real-world problems that AHA is working to re- solve, oriented with issues that it's hav- ing within the organization. The pro- gram concludes with another two-day session a full year after it begins. "Te inspiration and intent of LEAD has been to strategically invest devel- opmental resources and opportunities in the ED role so that it can have a sig- nifcant impact on the rest of the AHA," says Katherine Neverdousky, vice presi- dent of HR and Corporate Training. "If we make an investment of time and resources, we know that we are foster- ing employee development, impacting retention, and assuring success in AHS's long-term strategy." As performance, retention and engage- ment within the ED role are positively impacted, so too are the same areas of volunteers, boards and staf (employees) in the metro areas led by the EDs. "AHA is a very respected brand, and as such we want to ensure that our EDs are the best brand ambassadors in the communities where we are present," Neverdousky notes. "By focusing on such a key and pivotal role and invest- ing in a robust and comprehensive leadership development program, we hope to achieve measureable and posi- tive impact to the EDs." Te program's design provides the EDs with: >> leading-edge content >> exposure to internal and external sub- ject matter experts/resources, >> best practices regarding processes and tools, >> experiences solving real organiza- tional issues >> a peer network, and >> in-depth study in the areas designated as important to the role. Te frst cohort began in August of last year and ended last month. Te second cohort launched this past April. "Participants are very excited," says Neverdousky. "Tey appreciate the op- portunity to interface with diferent exec- utives. It's truly a mentoring opportunity for them and the subject-matter experts assigned to them, and they also get peer networking that makes for great conver- sations and discussions." One of the big areas of focus during the frst cohort was improving fund- raiser retention. To that end, turnover decreased from 21 percent to 17 percent. So the AHA is already seeing impacts to the areas being measured via anecdotal data that confrms the positive efect of the program on the participants, their staf and their leaders. AHA is a four-time Learning! 100 win- ner. INNOVATIO N AREA OF EXCELLENCE 'We want to ensure that our EDs are the best brand ambassadors in the communities where we are present.' —Katherine Neverdousky, AHA VP

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