Georgia County Government - October 2008 - (Page 69)

Feature Executive DRIVE is the Pinnacle of Gwinnett County Government’s Leadership Institute By Tina Woodard and Beverly McLee Gwinnett County Human Resources and Deon Locklin and Tom Wade Georgia State University, Public Performance and Management Group F orty percent of local government employees will be eligible for retirement by 2015, with up to 70 percent of senior executives eligible. These statistics are mirrored throughout county governments as baby boomers reach the age of retirement. To address the need for leadership succession, Gwinnett County joined hands with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University to create the Gwinnett Executive DRIVE Program. The Program is designed to increase and assure the availability of a talented and capable pool of executive leaders to sustain the county’s high level of performance, and serves as the pinnacle of Gwinnett County Government’s Leadership Institute. Direction, Responsibility, Initiative, Vision, Effectiveness The Gwinnett Executive DRIVE Program provides executive leaders with the skills and tools needed to develop and execute effective strategies for county government, and to achieve the business objectives established by the county. Executive DRIVE exposes participants to a broad spectrum of leadership topics that provide opportunities to explore areas of interest beyond their own departments. Such topics include organizational change; human capital development; evidence-based decision making; decision analysis; business process analysis, performance improvement; use of the balanced scorecard as a strategic planning and management system; and public partnership development. In addition to providing benefits to Gwinnett County Government, the Executive DRIVE program also offers direct, lasting advantages for the individual participants. The advanced leadership skills gained in the program enable participants to establish organizational structure, allocate resources, and communicate a strategic vision. The program exposes participants to key areas within the county, frequent developmental feedback, and accelerated career growth and development. The Executive DRIVE Program establishes a strategic leadership framework that participants can draw upon, which facilitates the execution of long-term strategies for moving the county forward. “Having such a program in place demonstrates the support upper management has for its leadership,” said Joe Sorenson, Communications Director for Gwinnett County’s Communications Division. “Providing continuing management training ensures better management and improved morale, making advancement through the ranks likely.” Program structure The Executive DRIVE Program consists of multiple face-to-face sessions hosted at the Gwinnett County training facility and at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Face-to-face sessions include guest presenters, group activities and case studies. Program participants also complete independent study assignments between sessions, both individually and as small groups. Assignments require approximately five hours of work each month and ensure continuity of program content. Individualized executive coaching is another valuable component of Executive DRIVE. Participants are paired with experienced executive coaches who provide their expertise and personalized guidance throughout the program. Working with their executive coach, each participant is given the opportunity to complete a leadership assessment and subsequently create an individual leadership development plan that integrates the learner’s goals with the organizational goals of Gwinnett County. A coaching agreement is negotiated between the participant and coach that outlines the communication plan, expectations for the coaching process and a mutual commitment to confidentiality. While the frequency and type of communications varies, coaches are usually in contact with participants once a month by phone. A minimum of two face-to-face meetings with the executive coach is required throughout the program. Executive DRIVE offers multiple opportunities for participants to network with many county leaders via unique forums hosted at various intervals throughout the program. One such forum is the “Executive Roundtable” – a facilitated dialogue session in which participants network and share solutions with other municipal/ county executives. Prominent Georgia leaders, who contribute their perspective of trends, EXECUTIVE DRIVE continued on page 70 OCTOBER 2008 69

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - October 2008

Georgia County Government - October 2008
President's Message
County Matters
South Georgia's Agricultural Heartland Welcomes Economic Diversity, High-Tech Research
What Do You Know About the State's 2008 Constitutional Amendments?
Union County's New Hope Clinic
Counties and the Law: U.S. Supreme Court Increases Burden on Defending Age Claims
Cyber Security Awareness
Are Animal Control Costs Out of Control?
Dave Wills Joins ACCG Staff
Executive DRIVE is the Pinnacle of Gwinnett's Leadership Institute
Preventative Medical Program Succeeds in Chatham County
DCA's Planning & Quality Growth Office Reveals New Regional Planning Approach
Implementation of Georgia's Security & Immigration Compliance Act
The Roundabout: Glynn County's Newest Approach to Traffic Management
Governor Urges Preparation for Digital TV Transition
The Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership
Wharton Named Program Director for Georgia Centers for Innovation
Army Ranger Turned Police Officer Attends CDP Training
ACCG Staff Attends National Conference of State Legislatures Summit
ACCG Editor, Forsyth County PIO Garner NACIO Awards
GDEcD News: Tourism Grants; Scan-Tech to Expand
Benefit News: GEBCorp Marks Eight Years of Retirement Benefits
Georgia's Courthouses and the American Renaissance
Extension News: Georgia 4-H Impacts Student Achievement, Leadership
Research Center: Best Methods for Creating Ordinances in Your County
CCAP Corner: Walter F. Rosso, Cusseta-Chattahoochee County
NACo News: Association Sponsors 'Green' Competitions
Beth Bradley Joins ACCG Staff
County Parade
Index of Advertising

Georgia County Government - October 2008