A Leadership Development Task Force

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From the Movement Strategy conversations, leadership development was identified as a priority. The “Invest in Skill and Leadership Development” recommendation indicates that our movement needs a globally-coordinated and well-resourced effort to succeed in leadership development. The Community Development team at the Wikimedia Foundation proposes to support the creation of a global, cross-organizational, community-driven Leadership Development Task Force. Community members with knowledge and leadership development experience will compose this task force. 

The task force members’ purpose is to guide the Community Development team’s work and to support broader community goals. These goals include sharing and documenting ideas and recommendations that may be helpful for future leadership work. 

Leadership work is important to the success of the movement. The members of the Community Development team reflected on this. They recognize their role in this work. Their role is supporting the needs and directions communities take with leadership development however they can. 

Why a task force, why now?

The creation of a community-driven unit can ensure that leadership development activities are developed according to the Movement Strategy recommendations. The focus is creating sustained, continuously evaluated resources to support the communities and the strategic direction. A Leadership Development Task Force promotes equitable decision-making.  Although the Global Council progress might mean work done now changes in the future, the Community Development team believes a task force would provide important guidance to the Global Council’s work and to community groups, if desired. A task force will allow us all to do better work now while the long-term processes and pathways are being defined.

Why develop leaders?

Developing leaders is important for the future, sustainability and growth of our movement. The Movement Strategy Capacity Building working group explained the need for leadership development:

To ensure equitable and diverse movement growth, we need to improve our activities to identify, build and retain leaders. We assume that the need for qualified, skilled and experienced leaders from within the movement will significantly increase in the coming years. We also assume that we already are losing a lot of talent, and that we are below the curve in terms of its retention.

Good leaders can help to grow, maintain the health, and respond to the needs of communities. As of today, our movement does not have a unified definition of leadership, or a globally-coordinated structure to identify and develop leaders [1]. Our movement hasn’t seen long-term or global success in leadership development in spite of past efforts to develop leaders. This lack of success may be due to inadequate resourcing, lack of global coordination, lack of a shared understanding, inaccessibility, or other reasons [2]. 

What would this task force do?

There are many ideas for the implementation of leadership development. Among them is the need for infrastructure. The task force will first focus on infrastructure building, which includes working with communities on defining leadership and drafting a leadership development plan. Afterwards, they will advise on Community Development’s role in the implementation of the leadership development plan, and serve as a valuable as-needed resource for local and global community efforts.

How to participate

Here is a timeline for ways to participate:

Feedback will be collected in 13+ languages. The Participate page has more details about how to provide feedback and what kind of feedback is encouraged.

  • March – April 2022: apply to join the task force

Application to join task force opens for community members to apply

  • May 2022 – ongoing: provide feedback to the task force’s work

The task force members are announced and begin their work in May. They will be collecting community input to ensure diverse voices are incorporated in their design and decision-making throughout the process.

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