Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Role of Leaders in Birth-to-Work

Today on Twitter I shared this graphic showing three of my concept maps. I put numbers on the maps so I could refer to them in my Tweet and in this article.

These three are the top tier of my collection of cMaps, which you can find at this link.   Let's look closer.

Below is the strategy map.  I explain its components in this article.

If you follow the lines to the left and the right it shows a goal of helping kids born in poverty move safely through school and into jobs and careers by their mid 20s.  This is a goal that any leader can adopt. It's not a strategy with any single leader, or where everyone is following my lead.  It's a shared vision, showing steps anyone can take to help kids in every high poverty area in the country (and the world).

I shared it with the Presidents of the 12 Federal Reserve Bank in this Tweet.

Any leader can create their own version, putting their picture and/or company logo in the blue box at the top of the concept map, then sharing it on their own website.

In the middle of the graphic I point to the "mentoring kids to careers" concept map (#1 on the graphic), which you can find if you open the node at the 3 o'clock point of the strategy map. 

This cMap shows supports all kids need as they move through elementary school, to middle school, high school, college or vocational training, then into jobs and careers.  Kids in high poverty areas don't have access to all of these supports.  Adults who get involved in their lives, as tutors, mentors, coaches and teachers can be advocates who help motivate others to make these supports available in different places.  

Businesses who invest in tutor/mentor programs and encourage employee involvement can be strategically pulling kids through school and into jobs in their industries. Too few do this in enough places, or starting when kids are in elementary school where learning motivation and critical thinking skills begin to develop. 

Imagine if the Presidents of each Federal Reserve Bank adopted this commitment in 2022. Much would look different in 2027, 2032 and 2037 if they embraced the strategy and encourage leaders in other sectors to do the same.

Then I point to the 4-part strategy map (#2), which can be found if you open links from the middle node on the strategy map.  

In this article I describe the four steps shown on this concept map.   Step 1 focuses on collecting and sharing information that anyone can use to build and sustain needed programs that help kids through school and into adult lives.   I've been building a web library since before the Internet, from the 1970s when I started looking for ideas I could use to be an effective tutor/mentor, or support youth and volunteers in an organized non-school program.  We formalized the information collection process in 1993 when we formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection.  

The web library contains my list of Chicago non-school tutor/mentor programs. It also points to a list of other youth programs beyond Chicago.  It includes an additional 2000 links pointing to research about where and why kids need extra support, to tips on building and sustaining programs, and finding money to fund programs.  Among the links I point to the Federal Reserve Bank #RacismandtheEconomy website.  (I'm currently migrating the library to a new hosting platform).  

You can see a list of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks at this site.  

Below is the featured Racism and the Economy page from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank website.  I had to dig through the site to find this page. It's included in "events" but not in "research". 

Below is the events page from the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank. Note that two images point to the RacismandtheEconomy webinars.  However, it's not mentioned in the research page on the website.

I don't point to each of the 12 banks in my library, but maybe I should. It looks like they each collect and share their own research, based on their own priorities.  And, they give different emphasis to the RacismandtheEconomy webinars.  However, my goal is not to have links to "everything" on my website, but to point to other websites who aggregate information about specific topics, or specific groups of organizations.  Thus, I'd encourage each of the Reserve Banks to point to the research and events pages on each other's websites.

Here's the good news! Each Reserve Bank is doing Step 1 (collect & share information) and Step 2 and Step 3, which focus on increasing the number of people who look at the information, and help people understand it, and what solutions need to be implemented to improve the economy and quality of life for all Americans. 

The only thing the don't seem to do is Step 4, which points people to places where they can apply what they learn and support organizations with time, talent and dollars.

This graphic shows a shared goal of "helping kids safely through school and into adult lives" at the top and an extensive information base at the bottom.

While I aggregate links in my library, others are doing the same, but not with a duplication of information collected. Thus, leaders who adopt the strategy map can also adopt the commitment to collecting and sharing locally relevant information.

What should be included in information libraries?  The concept map below might offer some guidance.

This map shows a wide range of challenges facing all families, but that people in high poverty areas have fewer resources to overcome the challenges and face additional barriers not common in more affluent areas.  Research libraries should focus on each node in this map, showing what the problems are, where they are most concentrated, and how some people are solving the problems in some places, which are ideas to stimulate creative solutions in many other places.

Solutions should use maps to assure a distribution of resources, and solutions, to EVERY PLACE, where the maps indicate that people  need extra help.

That's the purpose of the library. Learn from what others are already doing rather than start over from scratch.  At the heart of each library should be lists of organizations, like my Chicago tutor/mentor program list, who need to be continuously supported in order to do needed work.

Many leaders are already doing part of this strategy. I point to hundreds of websites with research sections on their libraries. I point to many who are holding events to draw attention to that information. I love how the Federal Reserve Bank presidents took an active role in these webinars and how they encouraged people to post questions and ideas at #racismantheeconomy.  

I asked, "do these presidents personally review the Tweets that are posted."  I received the response below from Raphael Bostic, President of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank.

That's encouraging and it's a great example of what other leaders can be doing. 

Note. As I write this I'm watching today's To&Through Chicago webinar, talking about using maps and data.  

This webinar recording will be available on the To&Through website. I encourage leaders to view it.

By writing about this on my blog, Tweeting about it, and including these in my web library and eNewsletter I'm modeling what other people might do.

Since there's so much information on my site and I've been thinking about this for nearly 40 years I don't expect anyone to do a quick read and understand everything.  That's why I encourage leaders to appoint people who dig deeper into my websites then share what they learn via their own blogs or videos.  If you view this site, you'll see that I had interns doing this for many years. 

Imagine if the Federal Reserve Bank, or any foundation or philanthropist, launched a funding program that encouraged youth in every city and state to do similar work, helping make sense of all the information that's available in web libraries, and motivating a growing number of people to take actions regularly that build and sustain needed solutions, in many places, for many years. 

I describe this idea here.

Thanks for reading this far. It's a long article focusing on a complex problem.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (see links  here) and hope you'll follow me and share my posts with others. I'd be happy to connect via ZOOM and discuss these ideas with you.

If you value what I'm sharing, consider helping me with a  year-end contribution.  Read more here.

Thank you.  


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