What’s to learn from Rural Leadership Programs
The environmental scan report that I undertook for the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal has just been released.
The purpose of the report is to provide a better understanding of the program offerings and reach of rural, regional and remote leadership programs currently being delivered across Australia.
Access to Rural Leadership Programs
Access to rural leadership programs is strongest in Victoria, with ten regionally-based programs available across the state. The Victorian model is strengthened by the role of the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs (VRCLP) secretariat, which has had a pivotal role in enabling stronger collaboration between the ten Victorian programs to improve sharing of experiences and resources
Delivery of Rural Leadership Programs
Programs are still predominantly delivered face to face, facilitating vital interaction and enabling strong relationships to be forged between participants.
Future program participants expressed a preference for increased online delivery to overcome the time, financial and opportunity costs associated with travel.
Barriers to Participation in Rural Leadership Programs
Time available and cost were identified as the two key barriers to participating in rural leadership programs.
There is a misalignment in future participant expectations of what a leadership program requires in terms of time commitment required and what is on offer through existing programs. Program providers could assess the value of providing a clearer learning pathway to participants by offering (or identifying) ‘introductory’, ‘advanced’ or ‘specialty focus’ rural leadership programs to their target market.
The issue of time availability also highlights the need for program deliverers to continue to highlight the benefits, value and accessibility of their programs and perhaps consider changing the delivery mechanism to decrease the time needed for participation.
More Information on Rural Leadership Programs
Here’s the link to the full report.
To gain further practical insights on leading your team, check out what’s on offer at the Facilitators Inner Circle Forum on Team Performance and Management.