Introduction

Following the exponential and disruptive development of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many UN staff transitioned to working in new ways. UN staff and managers establishing new agile team practices and displaying, in many cases, both resilience and creativity.

However, these adaptions have often been partial and ad hoc, and there remain many areas of uncertainty: 

  • How do we establish effective, agile ways of working with our remote teams?
  • What do agile principles mean for my role as a leader? What is an agile mindset?
  • What is the core of our work that we need to preserve and how do we build resiliency in our work?
  • How do we make decisions and develop strategies in a constantly changing environment?

This programme allows managers to reflect, contextualize, and share around these critical issues.

Objectives

Objectives: 

By the end of this programme, participants:

  • understand the principles of team agility and agile mindsets;
  • explore effective decision making in complex, shifting situations;
  • know how to manage tasks in agile teams;
  • explore the delegation and decision-making processes of agile teams;
  • know how to assess organisational resilience and what actions to take to strengthen it;
  • integrate best-practice in strategy development, while acknowledging uncertainty.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

Six Intensive Online Modules (6 x 2-hours), incorporating plenary, group and paired discussions, coupled with accessible, implementable tools.

  • Module One: An agile mindset
  • Module Two: Effective decision-making in times of change
  • Module Three: Managing tasks in agile teams
  • Module Four: Delegation and decision-making in agile teams
  • Module Five: Organisational resilience in times of change
  • Module Six: Setting strategy in times of uncertainty

Optional Assignments, designed to encourage implementation, iteration, and innovation.

The programme is based on high quality, leading-edge research in the areas of high-reliability organizations, organizational resilience and agility, and leadership and decision-making in uncertainty, much of which has been conducted within UN agencies. It also benefits from staff feedback through surveys. 

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

1. Six Intensive Online Modules (6 x 2-hours)

Delivered through Zoom, each module incorporates two facilitators; thematic plenary discussions; small group/paired break-out sessions and group work.

Each module is designed to build upon, and complement one another, allowing managers to examine their own role and reactions, before contextualizing and extrapolating out to teams, roles, and responsibilities. This insight is then incorporated into considering new ways of identifying baselines; effectively making decisions in times crisis, transition, and change; as well as tools with which to identify, structure, and communicate strategy.

  • Module One: An agile mindset
    • Understanding the implications of complexity for decision-making and strategy development
    • Explore characteristics of agility and an agile mindset
    • Tool: Setting an intention for agile leadership
  • Module Two: Effective decision-making in times of change
    • What changes in the way we are making decisions when there are limited information and an uncertain situation?
    • What sorts of decisions do we need to make, and which tools are appropriate for which ones? 
    • Tool: Naturalistic Decision Making: noticing decision points and developing the right frame
  • Module Three: Managing tasks in agile teams
    • From individual to collective performance
    • Developing and running a task board
    • Tool: Task board (Kanban)
  • Module Four: Delegation and decision-making in agile teams
    • Conscious levels of delegation
    • Collaborative decision-making
    • Tool: 7 levels of delegation
  • Module Five: Organisational resilience in times of change
    • Identifying the core of our work: the fundamentals that need to continue.
    • Identifying options for business continuity – addressing fundamentals in more resilient ways
    • Tool: Organisational resilience assessment
  • Module Six: Setting strategy in a time of uncertainty
    • Understanding principles for strategy development in times of uncertainty
    • Creating a simple rule-strategy
    • Tool: Guidance to develop simple rules

2. Optional Assignments

Between sessions, and in order to encourage contextualization and knowledge transfer micro-learning, managers who wish to will have short assignments to facilitate the current transition processes during remote work and return to the office

DATES AND TIMES

  • Friday 16 April 2021: Enrolment Deadline
  • Programme Introduction - Monday, 19 April 2021
  • Module One: An agile mindset - Thursday, 22 April 2021
  • Module Two: Effective decision-making in times of change - Monday, 26 April 2021
  • Module Three: Managing tasks in agile teams, Thursday, 29 April 2021
  • Module Four: Delegation and decision-making in agile teams - Monday, 3 May 2021
  • Module Five: Organisational resilience in times of change - Thursday 6 May 2021
  • Module Six: Setting strategy in times of uncertainty - Monday, 10 May;

Webinars will run from 14.00 - 16.00 CET (08.00-10.00 New York)

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

Team leaders at all levels of the organization with a focus on mid-level managers (P4/P5).

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