The Organizational Development team kicked off the Leadership Development Program earlier this year with its third cohort of the new one-year program. This is the largest cohort yet with 52 participants registered in three steams – supervisors, change agents and academic advisors. Some 250 employees have graduated from the program since it was launched in 2005, which includes 44 employees who graduated last year.
The program is not about theory alone. It is about real work, as participants seek to optimize opportunities and manage challenges that come up in their day-to-day activities. The program examines leadership and what it means within the context of McGill.
Lynne B. Gervais, Associate Vice-Principal Human Resources kicked off the full day session. She emphasized that the large number of employees enrolled in this program until now clearly demonstrates a thirst to develop competencies that will guide them in their career choices. “The seven competencies that were implemented a few years ago will provide managers with the soft skills that are sought in today’s organizations,” she explained, adding that relying on technical skills alone is no longer enough.
Participants also had their say about what they expect to learn throughout the year. For example:
– I want to become a better supervisor
– I need to be able to overcome obstacles that prevent change
– I want to build the influential skills needed to mobilise team members
– I would like to develop more marketable skills
– I want to better understand people’s behaviours in making decisions
– I would like to improve my communication skills to better express myself
Why sign up?
Participants also expressed some of the challenges they face every day, and some of the reasons that prompted them to sign up for the program. Some of the challenges frequently mentioned included doing more with less, uncertainty stemming from the changes that McGill is going through, too much emphasis on processes, more bureaucracy, regulations and scrutiny, and the challenges of delivering results while coping with personal and family issues.
Johanne Houle, Director Organizational Development, is passionate about the program. She described the importance of building capacity – one leader at a time. “Our values and purpose are key in developing tomorrow’s leaders. We believe in the potential of trust and the power of authenticity; the desire for a meaningful contribution; the value of diversity in action through teamwork; seeing ourselves as an instrument of change; integrity and alignment by delivering on our promises.”
Seven behavioural competencies have become the core elements of Performance Dialogue for M-level employees, providing greater cohesiveness in identifying and grooming talent.
“These competencies should inspire all employees at different levels of the institution who strive to make a meaningful contribution to the university’s goals,” concluded Johanne.
| The 7 core leadership behavioural competencies :