Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Redefining State Government Leadership and Management Development: A Process for Competency-Based Development

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Redefining State Government Leadership and Management Development: A Process for Competency-Based Development

Article excerpt

The State of Louisiana is one of the five original states that formed the National Certified Public Manager Consortium in 1980 (along with Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina). The Certified Public Manager (CPM) designation is modeled after the Certified Public Accountant designation. In Louisiana, the Comprehensive Public Training Program (CPTP) administers the management development program leading to the CPM designation. Policy is established by the CPTP Policy Board, which is legislatively charged with oversight of the CPTP programs. The administrator of the CPTP program, which is housed in the State's Division of Administration, is the contract administrator and the point person assigned to represent the state's interests in this project.

Like most states, Louisiana used an educational model to build its management development curriculum. By 1997 the state realized that its programs were becoming disconnected from the needs of managers and a partnership was created with the university to change it. However, most state agencies have limited financial resources, which sometimes can be a barrier to providing the innovative types of training offered in private-sector organizations. Such was the case in Louisiana. State resources were limited, so a more efficient but theoretically sound approach was needed. The outcome has been the creation of the Louisiana Managerial/Supervisory Survey (LMSS), the Louisiana Managerial/Supervisory Survey Competency Model, and a training program designed to provide a better-skilled supervisory and managerial level workforce.

For the last five years, the State of Louisiana, in partnership with the Louisiana State University School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, has undertaken a massive redesign, reconceptualization, and restructuring of their management development programs and processes. Through a lengthy sequence of developmental efforts, the authors conceptualized, developed, and fully implemented an integrated system of supervisory and managerial training designed to promote best practices throughout the state. This newly developed training program seeks to transform learning experiences into performance-based outcomes. The resulting training system is a competency- or skill-based model. The framework focuses on competencies and skills--not just course topics or a core body of knowledge. This is a shift from a content-based curriculum to one that emphasizes functional competencies necessary to perform the job.

The focus and purpose of this paper is to document all steps of the process so other states or organizational entities seeking to update their management development programs and adopt a validated competency framework might be able to learn from the experiences in Louisiana state government. The dynamic process was a four-phase procedure consisting of competency model development; needs assessment; curriculum development; and course design and pilot delivery.

Rationale

As a consequence of the focus on results in today's corporate business settings, a substantial amount of time and resources must be devoted to harvesting the intellectual capital of an organization's workforce. It is the skills and training of the employees that lead to the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization. Unfortunately, massive capital outlays, investments in technology, restructuring, and reengineering have led to disappointing results for many private sector businesses engaged in the search for the most successful method of training. (1)

One emerging solution to that problem involves learning organizations, which are based on the principle of continuous learning or a systematic method designed to increase learning within an organization, thereby enabling a more effective response to organizational change. (2) The recent utilization of learning organizations is a result of the failure of more traditional training programs at meeting the needs of the reengineered business entity. …

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