Strategic Leadership Collaboratory

Strategic Leadership Doctoral Newsletter

Beacon Leadership Institute

To compete in the knowledge economy, today's executive must be able to thrive in an interconnected and multi-faceted business environment where innovation and paradigm shifts are happening exponentially faster and transform entire systems that cut across companies, industries, and whole societies. Because Beacon is fundamentally organized to understand what factors affect the professional lives of its more than 1400 members and how to use knowledge of those factors to help each other, Beacon has launched a new program series, the Executive Leadership Institute. The purpose of this project is to design and develop the Institute’s capacity and curricular content. This included a design-based process that resulted in new information about how to engage and equip senior executives with key skills, abilities and competencies needed in a 21 st century dynamic economy that demands excellence in managing complex relationships, critical thinking and superior strategic leadership abilities.

ASL Strategic Planning

This 5-month project was intended to help the Board of Directors of Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) Honor Society to create a strategic plan. Alpha Sigma Lambda is the oldest and largest U. S. national honor society for non-traditional students (typically adults engaged in professional careers) who achieve and maintain outstanding scholastic standards and leadership characteristics while adroitly handling additional responsibilities of work and family. The approach to the planning process used systems thinking as a mindset and design thinking as a problem solving and strategic planning approach to develop the winning strategies. This process described here generated agreements among participants and other stakeholders, explicit formation of organizational objectives, promotion of creativity, and a reality-based strategic plan.

CABE Leadership Curriculum

The Philadelphia University College of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) with a top 10% design program rank and a 97% graduate placement rate, proposed the following challenge project: Having architectural and design talent and a qualifying degree such as the B.Arch and/or M.Arch may not ensure that one has the broader organizational skill set needed to manage or lead in a professional design firm. This is because leadership and complex project management competencies are largely absent from educational programs which specialize in producing architects and designers. The approach taken to begin this project was to identify the characteristics within the architecture industry that people should possess in terms of competencies, i.e., knowledge and skills that could be learned and developed, and styles or traits that could be identified and supported in order to emerge as an organizational and project leader. Using participant interview methods from established professionals in the industry and an interactive design-based method of collecting properties from the CABE community, leadership themes that impact emergent behavior for graduates were identified. The process of integrating these characteristics into formal academic curricula and informal student social learning experiences is currently being developed to prepare program graduates for the leadership and management responsibilities which exist and are increasing within the professional environment of architecture and design.