Leadership program promotes workforce development, innovation

Dana Prins, training technician, Training Integration Branch, Fort Campbell Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, left, works with Scott Galbraith, chief, Training Integration Branch, DPTMS, to develop curriculum for this year’s Leadership Fort Campbell 2.0 cohort.

Workforce development and innovation are high priorities for the installation, and Leadership Fort Campbell, or LFC, has helped the garrison achieve both since its inception in 2001 and restructing to LFC 2.0 in 2016.

LFC 2.0 is a six-week professional development course that brings together civilian employees from each directorate to solve problems using Army Design Methodology, or ADM, and this year’s 25-person cohort is scheduled to begin on Nov. 29.

Colonel Andrew Q. Jordan, Fort Campbell garrison commander, will challenge the class with a specific garrison problem the cohort will work to solve throughout the course. Graduates have previously designed solutions for workforce communication, customer service and more while taking on the course.

“This is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to various different leadership characteristics and competencies,” said Scott Galbraith, LFC 2.0 facilitator and chief, Training Integration Branch, Fort Campbell Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. “The premise of our workforce development program is to invest in our workforce, and one of the things I like about LFC 2.0 is the diversity of grades represented. In this class we’ve got employees ranging from GS-6 to GS-14, and the powerful thing about that is we’re investing in our workforce at an early time in their careers.”

Taylor Fesender, management analyst, Garrison Resource Management Office, graduated with last year’s cohort and said she appreciates that LFC 2.0 values employees at all pay grades equally.

“LFC 2.0 opened my eyes to a lot of things that happen in the garrison and how it functions as a whole,” Fesender said. “Coming into the garrison in a COVID-19 environment, I didn’t have the ability to network or anything like that, so it was a great opportunity to meet people from all over the installation. I had also never used ADM before, so it showed me a new way to solve problems.”

ADM encourages people to start looking at problems as a whole before breaking them down into smaller parts and arriving at informed solutions, said Dana Prins, LFC 2.0 facilitator and training technician, Training Integration Branch, DPTMS.

“What it does for leaders is, through the research that they do, it funnels out a lot of the biases that would have been present prior to funneling out all of the information,” Prins said. “That’s the purpose; you develop the big picture of the whole operating environment first and then you start to whittle it down, and it helps the commander or whoever the person in charge is to see that information without bias.”

LFC 2.0 has led to several successful initiatives on post, such as the Civilian Employee One Stop Shop used to manage workforce development programs.

“Every class that we have, there’s at least one solution that gets implemented,” Galbraith said. “One year we were doing a customer service initiative, and the group came up with revamping the onboarding process. That was passed over to the Directorate of Human Resources, who took some of their work and used it to revamp the onboarding.”

As graduates return to their organizations, they continue using the skills they learned through LFC 2.0 to affect change across the installation.

“I’ll use the Directorate of Public Works as an example,” Galbraith said. “Just last year they wanted to improve some of their processes, and they selected LFC 2.0 graduates to be the leads of those groups. Those leads subsequently used the concepts they gained through LFC. 2.0 – specifically ADM – as a means and a tool for them to match that.”

Since ADM can prove to be a complicated process, mentors who graduated from previous cohorts volunteer their time to help students along the way.

“My mentors in my class were amazing,” said Fesender, who is serving as one of 10 mentors for this year’s cohort. “I don’t know if we would have gotten through it without them. They’re really supportive in the background; they kind of stay quiet and let you interpret and come up with a plan. But their support is really important when you’re new to an organization and you’re briefing generals and colonels some people in the group have never been around.”

Having opportunities to interact with senior leaders and learn new skills has proven valuable to many LFC 2.0 graduates, and Kimberly Gilbert-Mason, modeling and simulations specialist, DPTMS, said she was inspired to apply this year after seeing the impact it made on her coworkers.

“One thing that really stuck out to me was that people seem to come back with a new vision and way of looking at things,” Gilbert-Mason said. “They’re reinvigorated and more open to ideas, and I want to be that same kind of person. I am truly honored that I was accepted to attend LFC 2.0, and I’m going in with an open mind, a willing spirit and the desire to walk away with more knowledge.”

Editor’s note: See next week’s Fort Campbell Courier to learn more about the problem the FY22 LFC 2.0 cohort will work on.