Developed over several years, the Omidyar Fellows curriculum is based on global best practices in leadership development and has been customized for mid-career leaders in Hawaiʻi.
Leadership programs require a combination of:
Actionable skills – Participants learn to apply advanced techniques—whether running a meeting or managing conflict—while integrating concrete skills and emotional intelligence.
Networking with peers – Sessions include time for participants to connect as peers both through structured activities and exercises and through open discussion.
Self-reflection – Participants are given an opportunity to see themselves as others see them in order to build their strengths and minimize any weaknesses in their self-presentation, communication style, or other behaviors.
Five Essential Components
Through research and practice, we have found that there are five essential components to develop multi-dimensional leaders in a setting that builds actionable skills, creates a strong peer network, and allows for self-reflection and personal growth. These five essential program components are:
Community – Both seasoned and emerging leaders achieve transformative learning when part of a community of peers. The common experience of self-examination and skill development creates a sense of shared identity for moving forward together and a mutually supportive community to draw on once the formal program ends.
Context – The individuals in the program must be able to leave behind for the moment their organizational context in order to explore issues, solutions, and new skills that will help them to address their work challenges. In this way, they will return to their organizational home ready to practice what they have learned. The workplace then becomes a real-life learning laboratory where new skills and confidence can be applied.
Clinic – Each time the learning community gathers, “the clinic” provides a vital connection between practice and learning. Based upon case study methodology borrowed from the social science/educational disciplines, individuals have the opportunity to present a current issue or problem they find challenging. The community becomes a problem-solving resource that sheds light on the underlying issues and provides an opportunity for engagement of all participants.
Coaching – Strong leadership programs include assessment tools as well as qualitative feedback to build self-knowledge. Incorporating individual executive coaching allows each participant to translate data and feedback into actions to address weaknesses and reinforce strengths.
Curriculum – The curriculum is selected and tailored from a wide array of topics and sub-topics related to adaptive leadership and change management. Topics inform and build upon each other while integrating solid, proven leadership practices. The curriculum has been developed using a full range of learning modalities (e.g., didactic, narrative, artistic, use of literature, ritual, process, and personal experience) as a way of empowering the Fellows to intervene effectively as adaptive leaders.