All Touchstones Executive Programs are tailored to each organization’s needs and requirements. Below are examples of Touchstones’ flexibility and diversity in providing individualized, bespoke programs.
Building Collaborative Leadership: UNLV’s Emergency & Crisis Management Masters of Science Program
Touchstones conducted a 6-hour professional development workshop to build active listening, critical thinking, and collaboration in a cohort of 20 Master’s Degree students in the Emergency and Crisis Management Program at University of Nevada Las Vegas. This work was performed over two days (two, 3-hour sessions on two consecutive days). Integral to the Touchstones program are opportunities for all participants to reflect on individual and group strengths and liabilities in relation to professional responsibility, as well as goals for continued personal development.
This workshop set the stage for members of the cohort to connect authentically with their peers, explore applications of collaboration in diverse settings and circumstances, and practice new forms of leadership.
Coastal Alabama Community Colleges
Building Collaborative Leadership: Instructional Administrators Association
A one-day Touchstones workshop is very hands-on and offers participants five-plus hours of direct practice and experience with various aspects of our approach to building inclusive discussion and collaborative leadership. This workshop takes participants through four distinct discussion activities that look at issues of participation and inclusion, building cooperation, active listening and examining presuppositions and assumptions, and shared leadership and collaboration.
Participants gain experience using strategies and tools they can use immediately with their own teams. Ideally, we recommend that groups striving in earnest to develop these skill sets commit to meeting every other week for sustained practice and leadership development. That follow-on work can be led by someone within the group using a Touchstones volume developed specifically for those purposes.
National Security Agency
Building Collaboration Across Diverse Professional Arenas
Touchstones created a program to build cross-disciplinary collaboration with the Agency’s senior professionals. Within the organization, there were challenges and untapped opportunities for more effective communication and collaboration. Each of the various professional backgrounds represented within the group brought its own methodology, and consequently its unique perspective, on assessing and evaluating information.
Touchstones implemented a 20-session program to provide program participants with practice in developing shared language and more effective methodologies related to collaborative examination of issues and information. The participants learned to evaluate their individual and group outcomes while fostering an environment of trust and enhanced appreciation for respective expertise and viewpoints.
CEO Roundtable of Tanzania and the Office of the President of the Republic of Tanzania
Enhanced Public Service and Leadership Program: Forging Collaborative Relationships across Ideological Divides
Touchstones created an intensive and replicable week-long program during which senior leaders from the government and private corporations worked together to discuss and develop a shared vision for their country. The participants from the two sectors represented historically deeply different ideologies. Professionals dedicated to public service and those immersed in successful free enterprise needed to build trust and a common understanding of the role of the individual and the community in the national vision.
2, 2-week programs were run in both 2008 and 2010 and included dozens of representatives from various sectors in government and private industry. During each week together, leaders spent more than 10 hours each day learning and applying new modes of leadership, sharing expertise, and defining specific outcomes and a plan to achieve those for the 2025 national plan.
Central Intelligence Agency
Examining and Redefining Assumptions
Touchstones designed and implemented a program to support senior analysts seeking to integrate intelligence information. Essential to the groups’ work is the ability to be aware of existing presuppositions. These invisible patterns can adversely and undetectably affect decision-making, precluding a more complete assessment of evidence.
By exploring and comparing assumptions across diverse groups, cultures, and systems, risk assessment can broaden to include previously unrecognized patterns. This 13-session program utilized strategically selected texts that provided the participants with practice identifying, analyzing, and modifying assumptions.
The Maryland Vehicle Administration
Revealing Hidden Talents and Potentials
Some organizations are already highly successful. Under the directorship of Anne Ferro, the MVA contacted Touchstones for help in refining their already successful management structure. Although the departmental chiefs and the director of the organization were already collaborative and highly reflective, they were unaware of the diverse talents each of them possessed that might further advance their work in the Administration.
Over a two year period, this weekly discussion and leadership program placed participants outside their traditional perspectives within their fields of expertise. They learned to explore unfamiliar areas and broadened their mission and responsibilities. Using texts from the humanities, sciences, arts, and diverse cultures offered a platform around which issues of creative and strategic problem solving were explored more effectively. Beyond the evolution of a highly skilled discussion group, the participants deepened their respective professional approaches to evolve new and more collaborative organizational goals.