Workforce Development Fellows Program
In April of 2016 the American Leadership Forum launched its first Workforce Development Fellows Program to join and strengthen diverse leaders involved in all aspects of workforce development from across the Greater Houston community. The intent of the class is to engage a thoughtfully constituted Workforce Development cohort of individuals from corporations, educational institutions, social service agencies, government agencies and many other organizations in the time proven ALF curriculum. Together they engage in a program that builds deep, lasting and trusting relationships, fosters appreciation of differences, teaches and builds dialogue skills and creates an environment that is highly conducive to appreciative inquiry, emergent change and impactful collaboration. Participation is designed to support these deeply connected and committed leaders in working collaboratively toward a collective impact approach and long term solutions in this area and to help build and strengthen the core network of deeply connected and committed leaders that a sustained collaborative community approach needs. Additionally, participation will integrate the class members into ALF’s powerful and highly committed network of Senior Fellows across virtually every segment of our community.
As with all ALF classes, this class represents the full diversity of our region across gender, ethnicity, community and ideology. The group represents all of the individuals, organizations, institutions, corporations and agencies that must understand one another and work together synergistically if we are to achieve the best possible outcomes going forward.
This program offers tremendous benefits to the community, but also to the organizations sponsoring participants including leadership development and networking beyond their usual circles. Participants themselves benefit from personal growth, professional growth, effective skilled service to the community, and the development of long lasting bonds and relationships of mutual trust with other leaders with whom they might otherwise never connect.
The twenty-day program includes a six-day wilderness experience in the mountains, during which extremely powerful bonds are forged. In the local area, monthly sessions are held on such topics as dialogue, appreciative inquiry, consensus building, and ethics. Deep connections are made across all kinds of lines, inspiring leaders to a lifetime of active public engagement. Characterized by its focus on the human capacity for collective intelligence, the ALF program begins a process of uncovering the principles of a different kind of leadership. When people who represent high achievement in different spheres of influence come together to learn and think, their creative and problem-solving power as a group can lead to highly effective coordinated action.
Each class of Fellows will host a community dialogue with a format and topic of the group's choosing. In addition to creating impact in the community, the community dialogues provide a learning experience about the nature of community leadership, as well as the challenges and rewards of collaboration.
Program graduates, Senior Fellows, are empowered to serve as catalysts in their communities, bringing stakeholders from other sectors together to collaboratively address the most urgent public concerns. In ALF Founder Joseph Jaworski's words, Senior Fellows are thus able to "break legislative and bureaucratic gridlock and get things done."