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Taking the next step

Principal Patrick Deane speaks to Foundational Leadership Program participants
Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane speaks to Foundational Leadership Program participants during the launch event at the Four Points Sheraton. The program helps managers upgrade their skill set and develop a network of like-minded colleagues from across the university. (University Communications) 

For more than 10 years now, the Foundational Leadership Program (FLP) has provided managers at Queen’s an opportunity to upgrade their skill set and at the same time to develop a network of like-minded colleagues from across the university.

Designed and administered by Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning, Human Resources, the FLP helps managers gain advanced training in leadership development, including best practices in management, communication and coaching skills, and strengthening employee engagement. Gaining skills through 15 classroom sessions, the cohort will form teams and apply this knowledge as they develop a project that supports an aspect of the university’s strategic framework

The blended learning format includes in-class and self-directed activities, readings, discussions, case studies, coaching, mentoring, and experiential learning.

Participants come from a wide range of departments at Queen’s and bring varied expertise to the group. Dora Nomikos is the manager of the Office of Clinical Trial Management at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG). Over the initial two days, she says, getting to meet the others taking the program was a positive experience while the topics discussed generated very lively discussion and awareness of both self and others.

Like many others, she was drawn to the program with the goal of taking the next step in her skills development. The networking aspect was also a key aspect.

“My main motivation in joining the program was to gain knowledge and insight, through the material presented by the experts, in supervisory skills, best management practices and leadership styles and techniques,” Nomikos says. “A very exciting aspect of the program will be networking with other professionals from all across the university and learning from each other, through exchange of ideas and experiences. In the end, I hope that this program will both enhance my management and leadership capabilities as well as enable me to build relationships and collaborations outside my department with other groups within Queen’s.”

Foundational Leadership Program participants listen to Principal Patrick Deane
Members of the 2020-21 cohort for the Foundational Leadership Program listen to Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane during the recent launch event. (University Communications)

Charles Hindmarch arrived at Queen’s Department of Medicine from the UK in 2016 as the Scientific Operations Director for the Translational Institute of Medicine (TIME) and Genomics Specialist for the Queen’s Cardiopulmonary Unit (QCPU).

His positions involve academic work as well as a leadership role in terms of strategic planning and coordination. As these leadership roles have grown he says he has become aware that some of the skillsets he requires would benefit from further development. He’s hoping to gain that through the Foundational Leadership Program.

“I am hoping that this program will allow me to take a more thoughtful and considered approach to working within and leading teams at Queen’s,” Dr. Hindmarch says, adding that he is particularly looking forward to the Action Learning Component, where teams of participants will develop a project for submission to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Not only will this experience galvanize my learning through direct application of methodologies supported by mentorship, it will be a great opportunity to develop personal networks with other leaders at Queen’s University.”

At the end of the program each team will present their final project during the graduation event.

The program has evolved over the past decade to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s managers. With each cohort, the reputation of the Foundational Leadership Program has gained traction while the network of graduates has become a vital aspect of the university.

“There continues to be a great interest for managers across the institution to hone their skillsets and with each cohort there is another group of graduates sharing their positive experiences of the program,” says Shannon Hill, Learning and Development Specialist, Human Resources. “There is a real sense of community amongst the graduates and we have seen the reputation of the program grow.”

Visit the Human Resources website to learn more about the Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program.