LMNP’s 2nd cohort completes its first module on Bridging Leadership and Systems Thinking

For the second year in a row, more than a dozen participants from the Institute’s Leadership and Management for Nonprofit Professionals (LMNP) concluded their module on Bridging Leadership earlier this month—marking a brief pause to the five-module-long fellowship program.

The first module ran from May 16, 2022 to July 4, 2022, with Mr. Bong Villamor as the facilitator. Mr. Juan “Bong” Villamor is currently the Lead Trainer and Leadership and Governance Consultant for the Leadership for Resilient LGUs Program of the National Resilience Council. He also spent decades in development work, and, more recently, in public health, given his degree in Community Development and a Master’s in Business Administration, major in Health, from notable universities in the Philippines. The Bridging Leadership Module tackled the following topics:

The Work of Leaders: Inequities as Complex Challenges

The objective of the first session is to help participants obtain a greater and deeper level of knowledge about inequities as a set of complex leadership challenges that negatively impact human and social development, and the responses necessary to resolve such inequalities as a leader and co-create the preferred future reality of their communities. This session also introduced the practice of discernment and journaling as developing and deepening one’s awareness, purpose, and reflection are essential for social action.

The Bridging Leadership Framework as Response

For the second session, the participants were introduced to principles and tools of the Bridging Leadership (BL) Framework of “Ownership (Loob), Co-Ownership (Kapwa), and Co-Creation (Gawa)” as a continuation of the previous session of recognizing the BL Framework as a Response and identifying the viable leadership responses to address social inequities.

Systems Thinking and Multi-Stakeholder Processes

In this session, Systems Thinking and Multi-Stakeholder Processes were introduced to the LMNP participants as part of the set of tools that a leader should know, understand, and practice. Mr. Villamor discussed the important principles of the Systems Thinking Approach, the manner in which systems behave and interact with each other, and the Island Model in this Approach. Moreover, organizational dialogue and levels of conversation were emphasized as beneficial platforms for organizational health and important for multi-stakeholder engagements. 

Theory U and Leading Change

The fourth session of the Institute’s Leadership and Management for Nonprofit Professionals (LMNP) program tackled the Theory U framework as a creative process for change-making and regenerating systems, and Kotter’s eight-step Change Management Process as the process to facilitate the intended change-making. Throughout the past four sessions, the participants were also tasked to reflect and journal their insights and reflections from each session in relation to their personal stories. 

Adaptive Leadership and Public Narrative

To mark the second half of the Bridging Leadership Module and synthesize the learnings from the previous sessions, the participants were asked to share their personal leadership journey and the decisions and responses they made to overcome their leadership challenges and obstacles. Afterwards, the course facilitator discussed the elements and practice of adaptive leadership, the two-fold practice of diagnosing and addressing adaptive challenges, and the aspects of change. 

Public narrative as the dialogue of the heart, and captured in the stories of the self, us, and now.


Deepening Systems Thinking

The sixth session of the LMNP program further refined the personal leadership journeys of the participants through the application of the insights from the public narrative and the stories of the stories, us, and now that were discussed in the last session. The course facilitated then reviewed the Systems Thinking Approach discussed in the third session and emphasized the importance of adaptive leadership in the context of learning organizations, the habits of system thinkers, and the practice and application of systems thinking using the Island Model. 

Deepening Multi-Stakeholder Processes

The objective of the penultimate session is for the participants to gain a better understanding and appreciation of group dynamics in the context of multi-stakeholder engagements and the importance of a stakeholder mapping tool. Through Sir Bong’s guidance, the participants deepened their understanding of the practice and application of dialogue in addressing adaptive leadership challenges. To cap off the session, an activity using de Bono’s The Six Thinking Hats was conducted to help our participants apply their insights to their personal and organizational experiences. 

Leadership Coaching for Results

The eighth and last session of the LMNP’s Bridging Leadership Module began again with the participant’s sharing of their public narratives and the stories of the self, me, and now. The course facilitator then introduced the principles of Leadership Coaching, and its differences from Leadership Mentoring, Leadership Consulting, and Leadership Counseling. Lastly, a reflection on the participant’s key takeaways for the entire module was conducted, with a short message from Mr. Villamor at the end of the final session. 

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