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Presentation Title: Leading Innovation and Diversity: A Board’s Story

Presenting with Barbara Trautlein and Dr. Felix “Phil” Linfante.

How can change professionals enhance functioning at the Board level?

How can we help a Board appreciate and capitalize on its diversity, and leverage its learnings to promote an even more inclusive culture for the organization it serves?

How can we add value to an already high-performing Board, internationally recognized for leading-edge solutions, to achieve even greater success?

Warren County Community College (WCCC) ranks as one of the top community colleges in the United States—and its Board of Trustees has been a major driver in its high reputation for academics and innovation.

After intentional reforms leading to unprecedented successes, Trustees asked, “how could we do more?”

Their answer was to proactively build change leadership capabilities.

Join us to learn the approach the President and Board took to develop their individual and collective capacity to lead change.

We will explore the methodology they deployed and results achieved.

We will dialogue together and ask/answer questions directly with the President and Board Chair.

Importantly, we will discover how building an enabling foundation to lead change fosters psychological safety, which is a key component of any high-performance team, and including a Board.

We will explore the connection between psychological safety and innovation, since “what you see depends on where you sit”: promoting a high-trust culture bolsters the probability that all voices are heard, thus avoiding the landmines and derailers that result in failed or suboptimized change.

Additionally, we will address how the Board led through the pandemic in a way that further strengthened its ability to collaborate through crisis, for the benefit of the students, staff, faculty and community.

Harnessing the power of team diversity to foster inclusive and innovative cultures is a mission-critical skill for any change professional, and the lessons learned by delving into the WCCC Board case study are ones that we can immediately apply to the leadership and project teams we serve.