Thursday, May 10, 2012
I've written many articles about the role of leadership and the process of adult learning in building a citywide network of non-school mentor-rich organizations that help youth stay in school, graduate and move on to jobs and careers.
In this section of my library I post specific ideas for how Business, Hospitals, Universities and Faith groups might adopt these strategies in their own organizations.
Yesterday I read a paper titled The Cyclical Process of Action Research which shows how groups of people are transformed as they work together to solve a problem.
This paper uses a hypothetical example of converting an industrial site into a community garden to illustrate it's ideas. As I read this, I thought of how people working to make volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs available to youth living in high poverty might go through the same process, with the same benefits. Two animations created for me by interns illustrate this cycle. See here and here.
Many companies are innovating new ways to hire and retain bright workers, and many are increasingly appreciating the value of volunteer involvement as a strategy for expanding the skills and informal networks of employees.
Thus, if CEOs who adopt this ROLE OF LEADERS strategy and encourage the development of employee/community teams focus on a) making tutor/mentor programs more available; b) sustaining them for many years; so that c) youth from these programs not only finish high school and go on to college and/or vocational education; d) many of them are supported by the network of adults who they have connected with in earlier years as a result of the volunteer-involvement as tutors/mentors.
This action research process could be taking place in thousands of locations throughout the world, not just in the USA, and the teams in companies and organizations could be connected and learning from each other in a variety of on-line platforms.
I'm sure this is happening in many places, but I don't know of a web site where I can find links to web sites showing the action planning process within a company, hospital, faith group, or university, focused on helping pull kids through school and into jobs over a 10 to 20 year period of consistent, but constantly changing, support.