At Arizona State University, all community members can be leaders. And the opportunities are only expanding.
In April, due to the emergence of COVID-19, ASU launched a Leadership Portal to help university leaders manage their teams remotely. Through a series of webinars and online resources, the portal quickly became a tool for the entire ASU community to have important, real-time conversations about emerging leadership topics.
Although the portal was deployed during the start of the pandemic, the concept was already on the table, as a way to open up more leadership opportunities to all of ASU’s faculty and staff — not just those who are nominated for the five pan-university programs through ASU’s Leadership Network. When COVID-19 hit, the project was fast-tracked, opening the door to a wide-range of digitally-driven resources.
“The Leadership Portal is a way for everyone in the institution to lead from wherever they sit,” said Minu Ipe, managing director and vice chair of ASU’s University Design Institute. “Our efforts are to reach every person out there who is interested in leadership, who is thinking about leadership, who believes that they want to develop a skill or believes that they want to invest in themselves. Because we want to invest in the people who are part of the ASU community. And we know that when we do that, we are really investing in the future of the institution.”
Mike Dolan, senior program manager for ASU’s leadership initiatives, says the wide-range of resources that are available make the site a valuable tool for faculty and staff leaders at all levels. And that list of resources is only growing based on the ASU community’s needs.
“The portal offers toolkits and materials to help define leadership at ASU, providing resources for building innovative, adaptive and agile teams. Users also have access to a growing library of videos and recordings on topics ranging from navigating leadership during the pandemic to creating a sense of inclusion and belonging with your team.”
The portal also features a COVID-19 stories section, where staff and faculty have been sharing their own stories of resilience and how they’ve been leading through the pandemic; the tough decisions they’ve made and the advice they have for those struggling with a path forward.
Since April, ASU has been working on expanding the portal’s capacity — with many more ideas on the horizon. Dolan, along with Chelsea Chamberlain, who is the assistant director of leadership and design initiatives and runs two of the Leadership Networks’ programs, will help ASU create more structured leadership development opportunities for all faculty and staff who are interested in growing as leaders.
“We would (also) like to continue to build our resources around topics of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” Dolan said. “We’re just starting to scratch the surface of this topic and need more discussions and tools to help faculty and staff navigate as leaders.”
Ipe added, “We have the capacity to scale infinitely because the portal has opened a door for us to do that. This could just become an incredible resource for the ASU community now, and well into the future.”
For a list of upcoming events, visit the Leadership Portal’s event page.
Top photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now