The Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG) recently published the Leadership Development Plan (LDP) and invited community feedback. This post shares a summary of feedback and next steps for the LDP.
In May, we, members of the LDWG, collected feedback on the Leadership Development Plan across the eight geographic regions of the Wikimedia movement. Through survey, email, local community calls, talk page and Movement Strategy Forum, we asked community members their thoughts on the resource: is it valuable? Is it relevant? What would you change? If you were to use it, how would you?
We received 86 responses to our call for feedback. Together, the responders represented 27+ language projects. Over 50% identified as members of affiliates and informal organized groups. Community members from all 8 geographic regions responded, with the largest percentage of responders from Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA, followed by ESEAP.
How did people respond?
The responses were generally positive: 89% of survey respondents believe the LDP is valuable and 79% believe it is relevant to their community. On average, 77% of survey respondents plan to use the resource themselves or share it with others. Respondents shared three main ways they want to use the LDP:
- Hosting discussions about its contents to raise awareness and identify leadership skills
- Guiding one’s own leadership development
- Organizing workshops, trainings and meetings to develop leaders in their communities
We also asked respondents about the three sections of the LDP and whether they are useful, appropriately written, and representative of the movement. The feedback we received about the specific sections also matches the broader feedback:
- Section 1: Understanding Leadership Roles & Skills – an average of 80% of survey respondents believe the leadership roles are representative of the movement, the leadership skills are appropriately described and the information is useful to them and their community
- Section 2: Navigating Leadership Situations – an average of 76% of survey respondents believe the leadership situations are representative, appropriately described, and useful to them and their community
- Section 3: Starting a Leadership Development Initiative – an average of 81% of survey respondents believe the leadership situations are appropriately described and useful to them and their community.
While the overall feedback was affirming, we also received constructive feedback that helps us improve this resource. The following are the major themes that surfaced:
- Accessibility: Several respondents highlighted the need for the LDP to be more accessible, namely its need for translation. In order for this resource to be helpful to community members globally, it needs to be translated, localized and shared more widely across the movement. By supporting these three steps, the LDP will be more relevant and helpful to the communities interested in using it.
- Usability: Another way the LDP can be improved is by making it easier to understand. A few recommendations we received were to present the information in other mediums such as visuals and videos and to share real-life examples or case studies of how different parts of the LDP can be used. We also received suggestions to improve LDP’s content. One responder proposed the idea of adding a section to the LDP where community members can share stories of how they successfully used the LDP. Others shared helpful pointers about how we can improve certain tools, sources, and diagrams.
- Audience: We learned from respondents that the audience for the LDP currently is too broad, making the resource harder to follow and understand its benefits. Some suggested narrowing the target audience or segmenting the LDP for different audience types.
- Implementation strategies: “The document is a great guide… but is there a plan to go beyond that?” Several responders shared that while a plan is useful, having more hands-on and structured approaches to learning would complement this resource. This will help community members understand not only what skills are needed for effective leadership but also help them develop the skills in a tangible way. The main idea respondents shared was to organize or offer trainings related to different leadership skills.
- Future updation and community contribution: Last but not least, we received feedback that there needs to be a way to update this resource in the future. This relates to the feedback on localization: there needs to be a way for community members to localize the LDP and share these new iterations so that others can reuse them.
Based on the feedback, we updated the LDP and published a revised version. This version will include some improvements, such as a section for community members to share case studies and localized versions of LDP; updated content (such as the Leadership Skills Diagram and the Resources Directory) to improve usability and readability; a Glossary of terms and a FAQ section to respond to the questions and clarifications we received in our community feedback period. We recognize many of the other improvements to accessibility and usability will require more time and intend for these improvements to be carried out as part of the next phase of work.
Future of LDWG
The LDWG in its current configuration of 15 community members from different regions and backgrounds was meant to convene for a 1-year term to work on 3 goals: 1) draft a definition of leadership, 2) draft a leadership development plan, and 3) support the implementation of the leadership development plan. Our work this last year confirmed to us that leadership exists in our movement already, in the people and groups who manage culture & heritage programs, organize campaigns, run affiliate organizations, support movement governance on or off-wiki, train newcomers, and many more roles and initiatives. Because leadership exists, it’s important to make explicit the kind of leadership we hope to develop in the Wikimedia movement. The conversations we had with each other and with community members across the movement confirmed to us the need for this work. We’re happy to have published the leadership definition and Leadership Development Plan to respond to the need.
Now that we are reaching the end of our 1-year term, we have decided to move forward with the implementation of the LDP in a more decentralized, localized manner. LDWG will wrap up its work by the end of September 2023. Afterward, we hope you, community members across the Wikimedia movement, will join us in developing leadership development initiatives – small and large, in the different spaces and roles we occupy. Community Development will also continue stewarding the LDP and supporting community groups in applying the concepts and tools from the LDP.
A big thank you
Finally, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone for the feedback they have given us, not only during this recent feedback period but all the other times throughout our year of work. We have learned a lot this last year and look forward to the shared journey ahead!
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