Sample Agenda- Project Leadership

Take a look at the Project Leadership Overview.

Sample Agenda: Project Leadership

Time Needed: 105 minutes
Purpose: For participants to identify areas of change in their work
Materials: Paper and pen for taking notes

Session Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Welcome to the session
  • Location of the bathrooms
  • Nearest emergency/fire exit
  • Overview of agenda
  • Goals for the session

Select your opening prompt

Here are some prompts that may be successfully used for those developing project leadership.

Choose one:

  • What do I want to change about the work of my team?
  • What is success? (in a particular context or project)
  • How can leadership foster success?
  • What is the role of leadership in change?
  • Where are we going?

Starting the Conversation (17 minutes)

2 minutes for instruction
5 minutes for creating images
10 minutes for sharing

Ask participants to quickly go through their image sets to find pictures that speak to the opening prompt:

  • What do I want to change about the work of my team? (or alternative selection)

There are no rules about how participants can go about this part of the process. They can select as few or as many photos as they wish, and assemble them any way they wish on the sheet of paper in front of them. The only limitation is time; they should finish selecting and arranging their images within 5-6 minutes.

Use the next ten minutes to have participants share a brief story of their images. Ask them to listen carefully to each person’s response and notice the similarities and differences between group members. The amount of time each participant has to share their story will vary with the size of the group and your time constraints.

As participants are sharing their stories, ask clarifying questions if they are needed. Although you can do this yourself, it is often better in a leadership development context to explain the types of questions that participants are welcome to ask of each other and encourage them to become active questioners.

Some example clarifying questions include:

  • What values are showing here?
  • What elements can we work with?
  • What else does it mean?

Deepening the Conversation (10 minutes)

Ask participants to begin to discuss what they have heard from each other.

Some deepening questions include:

  • Did I understand?
  • Is there tension?
  • What questions does this raise?
  • What else could this look like?

Narrowing the Conversation (20 minutes)

Ask participants first to narrow their change to a single “big idea” or a small collection of them. Then, in groups of 3–4, participants help each other brainstorm the incremental components of the “big idea.” What are the smaller changes that can lead to making the big one? Or is it a one-time cultural change that should be undertaken all at once?

Assessing the Conversation (11 minutes)

At this point, it is time to find out what people’s thoughts are after having worked through the concepts together. How did they experience the activities? Was it difficult to determine the smaller steps involved in making larger-scale change?

Suggested assessing questions include:

  • Are we ready to take the next steps?
  • What moves us toward action?
  • What implication does this have?

Applying the Conversation (17 minutes)

Ask participants to discuss how they might apply this information going forward.

Try questions such as:

  • How can we apply what we discovered to our workdays?
  • What might we do tomorrow to begin progress on these changes?

Debriefing the Conversation (10 minutes)

The debriefing section is where you help the group pull together everything they have done. It is a critical step and worth every minute invested.

Some debriefing questions include:

  • Was anything particularly interesting or surprising?
  • Do you have any new insights?
  • What did you learn?

Closing (5 minutes)

At the end of the session, provide guidance to the participants about how to carry the work forward after the session.

Developing Great Leaders is also available in a printed version.