Legacy Bowes Blog
Breaking down capacity development and why it's important
Edited by Kendra Hinton
One of Legacy Bowes’ core tenets is to build capacity within the communities and organizations that we serve. But what does that mean, exactly?
Through our learning and development services, we assist and support communities and organizations in building capacity to further develop their organization. We help by providing real-life tools and techniques that can be immediately applied into peoples’ daily lives.
Read on to learn about what capacity development is, why it is so important, and how Legacy Bowes can help you on that journey.
- What is capacity development?
- Why being community-driven and authentic is important
- Programming successes
- How Legacy Bowes can help
On a personal level, capacity development is about being open to learning. It’s about becoming a lifelong learner, continually developing yourself, and forming good habits. It is also about learning to provide a psychologically safe space, where people in your life feel free to learn and show their natural curiosity.
Building personal capacity might seem like a steep task, but we offer some services that can help folks along the way. First, our Personal Leadership Effectiveness (PLE) course explores how one’s leadership style has a direct impact on your performance and productivity in your personal and professional lives. Second, our Results Centred Leadership (RCL) program provides hands-on leadership training to help you lead and manage teams, and create a positive impact on your organization’s objectives.
From an organizational perspective, capacity development means providing relevant training and the opportunity for training to individuals within their communities, instead of hiring someone from outside the community, or sending someone out of community to gain a multi-year degree or diploma. Through training and services like HR-On-Call, Legacy Bowes provides a support network for individuals and organizations by helping them build a solid foundation of practical skills and knowledge. We help set them up for success and encourage future growth. See the How Legacy Bowes can help section to read more about our workshops and certificate programs that focus on capacity development.
When conversations arise about capacity development, you’ll often hear that it should be both community-driven and authentic. Let’s talk about why both are extremely important.
It is crucial that our client communities drive the training and development that we provide for so many reasons such as the communities could be remote and far from a city centre, and organizations may only have a set amount of capacity in terms of number of staff, and time to spend on training. For these reasons and more, it’s important that our learning and development services are community-driven because our clients are the ones who know what their needs are.
In terms of authenticity, I think that comes down to building trust. It’s important for us to meet our clients’ communities and organizations where they are and listen to their needs before we talk about next steps. That's where that authenticity comes from because they're really looking for this help and Legacy Bowes can provide that.
We are on a first name-basis with a lot of the First Nations that we work with. They'll call out of the blue and ask, “Hey, do you have any of this kind of training?” and we will customize training to further develop their capacity. That's what we offer as a service, that we’re a one-stop shop. Whatever your recruitment needs are, your human resources needs, your training and development needs—we are here to listen and to help.
One of the organizations that we've been working with is Dakota Ojibwe Child & Family Services (DOCFS). I personally had the opportunity to facilitate the Results Centred Leadership program for their team. Quick feedback from the organization was that their managers and supervisors were able to immediately apply their learnings into their everyday lives as soon as they got back to the office. After completing that training, DOCFS became a repeat client—they have asked us for more training, more services. We built that trust with them.
Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario is another client that I’ve seen unbelievable success with. I first went to Six Nations to provide our Lateral Violence to Lateral Kindness workshop. On the Monday, I gave two half-day sessions. By the Wednesday, they had developed a “kindness challenge” involving all the other departments within the Six Nations. They did that on their own! On the Thursday when I met with them again, they showed me what the entire community was doing. People told me that it was immediately making a difference in the community.
One of the other workshops we do along the same vein as Lateral Kindness is Finding Your Resilience. The effect it has had on individuals is huge. We purposefully set it up so that the first day, I present my Lateral Kindness workshop, and the next day we schedule the Resiliency workshop.
I remember one instance at a conference in Saskatchewan, with a gathering of several communities within the region. At the end of that first day, everybody was shaking hands with me and with each other and saying, good job, great job. But after the Resiliency workshop, there was a line-up outside the room for hugs. So, we're really impacting these communities in a good way.
After those two days of workshops, we had communities asking us if we provided those workshops or similar for youth. That isn’t the first time we’ve been asked about providing especially the Lateral Kindness workshop for youth, so now we are looking at breaking it down for high school students. We have a couple ideas that we're running with as a direct result of input for their want and need for it. They want us to come and do some work with their elementary schools, with their high schools, and further some of the other organizations within a community.
It's meeting them where they are and helping them on their journey of Mino-Pimatisiwin – Living the Good Life – because we are shedding this stuff off our back, but not forgetting about it. It's about healing and enjoying life.
We work with communities and organizations to build capacity in areas that make sense for our clients. Our approach is to first listen to the needs of our clients before talking about how we can help.
Looking to learn more about areas we can assist in? Here are some of the workshops and certificate programs that we offer:
- Certificate in Indigenous Human Resources Essentials
- Certificate in Plan Administration
- Lateral Violence to Lateral Kindness workshop
- Conflict Resolution workshop
- Board Governance workshop
- Chief and Council Governance
- Customized workshops and retreats
Visit our website to see the full list of offerings.
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