Developing-Leaders-issue-27-2017

Corporate Practice Developing Leaders Issue 27: 2017 | 53 “Georgetown University’s brand played a big part in our decision because we knew the quality of the professors, content, and experts.” Donna Gupton, Vice President, Talent Development, AARP “The AgL program is special for several reasons,” says Michael O’Leary, academic director for the program and professor of management at Georgetown McDonough. “First, it was developed in close collaboration with AARP leaders and Georgetown faculty and staff. That collaboration ensured that support for the program was high, that it was something people wanted to do – not something they were being assigned to do, and that the organization chose participants carefully based on their experience and roles. Second, it was tailored to meet AARP’s current needs. When the program began, AARP was beginning a large reorganization. Today, three years later, it is focused on implementation, execution, and growth. Together, we have adjusted the content for each cohort to reflect the changing organizational realities at AARP. A common core of content has remained the same throughout, but 15-20 percent has been adjusted to keep the program as immediately relevant as possible.” AgL, now in its fourth cohort, consists of three, three-day modules held at Georgetown’s campus in Washington, D.C., over the course of several months. The program culminates in strategic learning projects (SLPs), for which small groups of participants tackle a real organizational issue. Cohort sizes have varied from 25 to 40 participants. Georgetown and AARP chose the cohort model to help boost learning across the organization. The academic and technical sessions are delivered face-to-face to maximise the impact on each participant’s day-to-day methods and mindset.

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