Building leadership capability is the art of learning how to influence change
This requires us to join forces to share resources, skills, knowledge and experiences
We cant do it alone and we cant do it in silos
As I mentioned in my post “Are you curious about how greater investment in innovative and cost-effective programs will empower farmers?” I breathed a big sigh of relief when I found my tribe and “me” became “we”
What started out as an experiment in innovative ways to connect farmers and the community and support the agriculture sector to be appreciated by every Australian who is able to put healthy, affordable food on the table has morphed into a smorgasbord of opportunities for young people from kindergarten to early career.
Some interesting challenges have been been posed on our journey. The Australian agriculture sector doesn’t have an ATTRACT-TRAIN-RETAIN strategy and it doesn’t collect and share data from organisations who work with schools.
In the beginning we were often asked to deliver highly unrealistic expectations like tell us how many young people are now working in agriculture because they did your school programs. That type of reporting requires longitudinal studies that agriculture doesn’t fund. Expectations like this made measuring impact an interesting challenge.
Its has become a lot easier when we have funding partners who are very clear about why they fund us and you can meet their expectations.
For example St Vincent De Paul funds us because they have identified our programs build resilience to natural disasters in young people.
How do you measure that?
Well that’s why the tribe is so important. Experts like Dr Nicole McDonald can build questions into our monitoring and evaluation frameworks to measure “resilience building”
Working with schools is a joy because they tells and show us the impact our programs are having. Our competition judges tell us the impact our programs are having. Our teachers tells us the impact our programs are having.
We recently opened our Expression of Interest for Kreative Koalas and we ask our applicants why they want to participate. A return customer said this
“Having been a previous participant, our school values the opportunity to be involved again and integrate the Kreative Koalas program across all classes in the school. The whole school learning which came about from our previous participation, and the opportunity to connect with industry leading collaborators is something we cannot under value.”
The mention of “Industry leading collaborators” brings me to the big challenge I am yet to surmount. How do we get more of the farmers that we want to build an appreciation for to come onboard. There is an enormous opportunity to involve them and immerse them in our school program experience.
All advice welcome