The Monthly Leadership Forum (MLF) sponsored by iAGRI took place on May 24, 2016. The MLF is part of iAGRI’s long-term activities aimed at building the capacity of middle-level managers at SUA, including Deans, Directors, and Heads of Departments. The overall objective of the MLF is to strengthen the leadership at SUA so that they may support transformational activities in their respective units. The topic of the May MLF was leading change.
Prof. Amon Mattee led the forum and began by giving the opening remarks. Prof. Mattee serves as iAGRI’s Capacity Building Advisor and is a Professor at Sokoine University of Agriculture’s (SUA) Department of Agricultural Education and Extension. Prof. Mattee recently attended an InnovATE workshop at Virginia Tech in the US on Institutional Transformation: Leaders and Partners. During the MLF, Prof. Mattee stated, “Transformational leaders should continually strive towards improving their leadership qualities and also stimulate their followers to strive for outstanding performance in their respective units.
Chairing the seminar was a guest speaker from Ohio State University’s College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Science, Prof. Robert J. Birkenholz who also recently presented a seminar on “Leading Change” at iAGRI to SUA staff, students and graduates on May 3, 2016. During the May MLF, Prof. Birkenholz stated, “Change initiatives usually need affirmative plans and actions that aim at implementing a transformative process within an organization. This is needed to achieve the change in culture, communication styles, human resources, and logistics.”
‘’As far as globalization is concerned in the transformation process, even well-established organizations struggle with realizing change due to the authoritarian system stills. Still, transformational change can take place through the combined efforts of excellent management and more importantly excellent leadership’’ he added.
iAGRI Project Director, Prof. David Kraybill stressed the importance of the leadership role in enhancing transformation. He noted that leaders should communicate to individuals individuals within the organization when, what, and how ongoing on changes will benefit them and the organization at large. He also stated that once individuals understand their role in the transformative change process, attitudes and mindsets can either act as a barrier or help the entire organization to reach the desired goal. “Significant can take place within government and non-governmental organizations if institutional practices involve regular and close interaction with leaders,” stated Prof. Kraybill.
The MLF is one of several institutional strengthening activities supported by iAGRI to build upon the ability to leaders to improve the agricultural instruction, research, and management at SUA and to manage change effectively.
This blog post was written by iAGRI Communications Intern, Kelvine Kazimoto. For more information about the Monthly Leadership Forum, contact Asia Barnabas, Program Manager, Leadership Development at [email protected].