Three Major Takeaways from Akron 62.4

by | Mar 4, 2016

This post originally appeared on Leadership Akron’s LeaderLog blog on February 24, 2016.

I had the opportunity to take part in one of the Knight Foundation’s briefings about the recent 62.4 Report last week, commissioned by the Foundation and produced by the Greater Ohio Policy Center. Together with the recent report from Mayor Horrigan’s Blue Ribbon Taskforce, the report provides a valuable snapshot of key trends in Akron with comparison data to other cities. The report and the briefing contained at least three major insights that will animate what leaders do with the information they received:

·         Leaders are changing. More importantly, leadership is changing. The report captured the unmistakable observation that we have seen a seismic shift in the leadership of key institutions across sectors. These cascade down through dozens of organizations that are seeing new figures in key positions. As these shifts take hold, it also makes room for a new brand of leadership to come to the forefront. As the report said:

 “…some stakeholders believe that this moment of change allows for a necessary transition into a new kind of community leadership. Some interviewees believe that the new generation and group of leaders waiting in the wings—made up of not just millennials but some older leaders as well—is more interested in working collaboratively to solve community problems through a networked leadership structure.”          

As one person noted at the briefing, Akron has been populated with a strong contingent of collaborative leaders who have co-existed, and worked with or worked around, more directive leaders in key leadership posts. Anyone who has taken part in Leadership Akron in recent years can appreciate this. Leadership Akron teamed with the Cleveland Leadership Center and Fund for Economic Future to develop an original framework of Collaborative Leadership, which we are incorporating across all the audiences we serve, to support and accelerate its growth as our community’s trademark leadership style.

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