Leadership Educator & Teacher Professional Development: Developing Quality Student Leadership Programs: Research-Based Practices

What makes an effective student leadership program? Find out what the research says!
Student leadership programs are proliferating at colleges and universities. Some are campus-wide; some are specific to departments like residence life and student affairs. Large or small, for every program there’s likely a faculty or administrative mentor wondering:
How well is this working? That’s understandable. There are a lot of opinions about, and approaches to, leadership training, not all of them sound, and not all of them relevant to students.

If you’re looking for some real insight into what makes a student leadership program hit on all cylinders, you won’t want to miss this seminar. Quality Student Leadership Programs: Research-Based Practices covers just what the title suggests: best practices drawn from recent research on the subject of student leadership.
It’s your opportunity to:

+ Learn which parts of your current program are most beneficial to students
+ Hone your leadership training skills
+ Create a richer experience for students
+ Promote the success of student projects and organizations

Seminar leader Dr. Darin Eich, a noted authority on the subject, has interviewed scores of students, administrators and faculty advisors about what works (and what doesn’t) in leadership development. He’ll share with you valuable insights on issues including:

+ Identifying students with the potential and desire to lead
+ Developing meaningful mentoring and feedback processes
+ Strengthening team cohesiveness
+ Creating team and leadership structures that empower
+ Using outside activities to enhance leadership development
+ Accommodating different learning styles
+ Using project learning as a platform to broader leadership understanding
+ Assessing and continuously improving development programs


In the Leadership Education topic area, I focus on helping people to innovate the way they educate to enhance learning & development. It is based on my research and experience with leadership programs, and innovative education. These currently include blended programs based on Flip The Classroom style, as well as my book, Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices For Leadership Development Programs.

Click here to see all programs in the Leadership Education topic area.

Leadership Educator Workshop Training: Student Leadership Retreats: Research-Based Best Practices

Darin Eich, Ph.D., who first identified the attributes of successful student leadership programs in his Ph.D. research, and now helps campuses develop their leadership programs, had specific recommendations for those who are looking for ways to improve their retreats.

He believes that students learn best by doing-not by hearing or seeing, but by creating and implementing ideas.

For example, Eich recommends that instead of asking students to listen to people tell their leadership stories, or even asking students to recall their own leadership stories, instead, they should make a new story happen at the retreat.

For Eich, it’s all about hands-on leadership. That’s why he recommends that students first learn how to plan and run the retreat-and then do it.

Of course, they have to be equipped with tools and projects, and Eich shares many ideas that participants in the online seminar were able to take away, including:

+ How to do a “Leadership Problem-Learning Collage Project”
+ When to supplement with “Leadership Development Journals”
+ How to do a “Labyrinth Silent Walk Self-Discovery Reflection”
+ Create a new retreat or strengthen an existing one.
+ Structure a retreat that emphasizes learning and relationships.
+ Get better results without using lectures.
+ Improve retreat assessment and planning.


In the Leadership Education topic area, I focus on helping people to innovate the way they educate to enhance learning & development. It is based on my research and experience with leadership programs, and innovative education. These currently include blended programs based on Flip The Classroom style, as well as my book, Root Down & Branch Out: Best Practices For Leadership Development Programs.

Click here to see all programs in the Leadership Education topic area.

Strategy Workshop Description: Developing & Innovating

Learn and use tools to continually innovate yourself and think strategically about both your past and future and how you would like to continue to develop.
a. Brainstorming. Use the innovation tool of brainstorming to generate ideas for an important question you have.
b. Mind Mapping Success. Break down what success can look like for you with an innovation tool that is visual and works like the mind does.
c. Innovating Yourself. Complete the circle and continually think about who you are through formally seeing what has changed about you and your vision.

Coaching Workshop Description: Planning for Success

 

Planning for Success

After you start to discover yourself, think strategically about who you would like to become. Create a vision with goals and an action plan to realize life success. Activities include:
a. Life Spheres. Understand the balance of your life as a whole and identify those areas that you want to dedicate greater attention towards.
b. Society & You. Think about what is important to you and what is important to society (including our family, organization, and community) and what you have in common.
c. Vision. Create a vision for what a tremendous experience could be like you so you can start to realize it.
d. Goals. Get strategic identifying systematic goals to begin to realize your vision for a peak experience.
e. Action Plans. Create an action plan to achieve your goals and take the first steps that will matter most.
f. Integrating vision, goals, action. See the big picture of your success system and make your strategy and process known.


Create Your Path: Reflecting & Strategizing for Professional Growth is a personal development focused topic area. Workshops are designed to help people discover and develop themselves to be more authentic, significant, and happy. Programs help students and professionals to create their own path to a successful life and career, integrating the academic, professional, and personal together.

Click here to see all programs in the Create Your Path topic area.

Leadership Workshop Theme: Self Discovery & Experience

Seek out new experiences and define the experiences in your life that have been most meaningful to you. Learn what your experiences have taught you about your values, strengths, and interests and what you want to do in life. Activities include:
a. Lifeline. Create a ‘lifeline” to understand more about your life through identifying your most significant life experiences.
b. Past & Present Experiences. Learn how to reflect and learn about yourself through the life and professional experiences that you are having.
c. Future Experiences. Identify prime future experiences to encounter to learn more about who you are and what you want to do in the future.
d. Values. Identify the most important values that guide your life and live more consistent with what you value.
e. Strengths. Identify your foundational strengths that will help you to become successful in your future.
f. Passionate Interests. Undertake a systematic process of identifying what your most passionate interests are.
g. Integrating Values, Strengths, Interests. Gain a more complete understanding of who you are as a person as a starting point for determining what you may best do in life beyond.


Create Your Path: Reflecting & Strategizing for Professional Growth is a personal development focused topic area. Workshops are designed to help people discover and develop themselves to be more authentic, significant, and happy. Programs help students and professionals to create their own path to a successful life and career, integrating the academic, professional, and personal together.

Click here to see all programs in the Create Your Path topic area.

Workshop or Keynote Motivational Speech Title: Going Inside-Out: Genuine Authentic Transparent Leadership

Is it in you? The answer is YES! It’s a matter of finding it and getting it OUT of you! Far too many of us forfeit ourselves to be like everybody else and we neglect the gift that is in specifically us. The time is now to move away from the herd and live authentically. Carl Rogers said that “What I am is good enough if I can just be it.” “Just be yourself” is classic advice. This experience will help you find and be yourself. This workshop is developed to enhance your self awareness, self confidence, peak performance, and motivation and passion to live authentically.

Online Workshops on Expert Brainstorming

This brainstorming training series will be live starting November 3rd and registration is open now. Here is a description of the webinars from BrainstormingTechniques.org

Part 1. Structure and Strategy for Brainstorming: Brainstorming should be based on a sound process with catalyzing questions that address challenges you have. This workshop will guide you through activities to set up your own brainstorming program. We will provide you with a simple step-by-step system of activities to use for your own challenge and show you examples of products and organizational programs developed from this process.

• Gain a simple and systematic process for structuring your brainstorming strategy.
• Formulate organized questions to generate more ideas.

Part 2. Individual techniques and tools for brainstorming: Break out of ruts, generate more ideas, or think in new directions with ideation tools and techniques for individual brainstormers.

• Applying individual idea generating tools & techniques
• Facilitating group idea generating tools & techniques
• Training brainstormers in using thinking tools

Part 3. Facilitating brainstorming with groups: Enable your team of brainstormers to generate hundreds of ideas per hour and zero in on the best concepts to develop further. Learn how to bring the best team of thinkers to the table.

• How to prepare for the brainstorming session
• How to stimulate new ideas
• How to select the best brainstormers
• How to engage the group in idea analysis and synthesis

Part 4. The role of brainstorming in sustaining an organizational culture of innovation:
How can brainstorming in individuals and groups be catalyzed and sustained in an organization so that it contributes positively to the culture of innovation the organization is seeking?

• Implementing ongoing brainstorming initiatives
• Launching brainstorming events
• Assessing and engaging employees

Generating High Quantities of Ideas

One of the key fundamental purposes of the idea generating stage is to generate A LOT of ideas. The more ideas we generate, the more we have to work with to develop concepts. Ideas are like raw materials that have the potential to be developed into something useful with the right process. Plus, we may hit a home run and generate a great idea in the first stage. If a baseball player steps to the plate 200 times they will have a better chance of hitting a homerun then if they just step to the plate 10 times. Their swing will probably get better after those first 10 bats, and so will your ideas. One take away from this stage…more ideas are better. For many of our projects developing new products we create nearly 1,000 ideas. For your project with this activity, 50 would be a good goal.

So, how do you come up with a large number of ideas so you can develop a strong concept? First of all, we do it deliberately and purposefully. If you expect a bunch of brilliant ideas to come to you by chance, you are not going to get very far. You have to set out to come up with these ideas. Schedule time to do it. Plan to do it. Schedule a brainstorm or innovation session time, invite your collaborators, and execute.

You start by selecting a category that you are passionate about, value, and have knowledge or experience in. You come up with many specific problems or opportunities within that category. You turn this problem or challenge into a question. These steps will make the idea generating easier, more focused, and more likely to develop a successful concept. For instance, on a project we did online, we selected the “environment” category and then brainstormed solutions to the plastic bag problem as a question to dig deeper into with ideas. You can view an example of this plastic bag brainstorm.

Online Brainstorm on Plastic Bag Problem

This process example that you can see includes a question stimulated from a problem, hundreds of generated ideas, collaborated ideas from multiple people, selection and voting of good ideas, and sorting of the most popular ideas. This simple process is valuable for creating better and more innovative ideas. What you want to do now is the fun part, idea generating. Focus on your question and list and number without judgment as many ideas as you can. Ask others to collaborate with you to list ideas as well. Focus on two key rules of brainstorming: 1. Generate as many ideas as possible, and 2. Do not judge your ideas.

So why is it so important to have a process that yields a lot of ideas instead of just one that you get by chance? Generating many ideas is a process-oriented feature of very successful innovation systems in lots of successful organizations. When they develop new products they get many, many ideas in the pipeline. From there, they qualify the ideas and whittle them down into a handful of concepts. After that, they test the concepts while developing them more and may only end up with 1 new product from 100 product ideas. This is how ideation for innovation works. More importantly, when you come up with a large number of ideas it is easier to do good analysis. You can identify some themes that a lot of the ideas shared. Some ideas will lead to new and different ideas. You will learn a! lot fro m looking at all of the ideas from above. You will see the forest from the trees. An innovation process is necessary to develop a better big idea.

Action to take: Start generating a large number of ideas without judgment. Try to list 10 ideas right now for your topic. Brainstorm with a group or come up with a list of ideas for your question on your own. Try to generate over 50 ideas based on your question in time you set aside for a brainstorm.

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This activity is from BrainReactions Innovation Training. BrainReactions Innovation Training can teach, facilitate, engage, and guide your team step-by-step through this innovation system and over 30 different interactive activities to help you solve your challenges. You can learn our techniques and activities to do again and again on your own and contribute to a sustainable culture of innovation within your organization. Email Dr. Darin Eich at darin.eich@brainreactions.com to inquire about bringing training and facilitation into your organization or to do an event to capture the ideas of your customers or stakeholders.

The Systematic Idea Generation for Innovation 4 part online workshop series has been popular with 200 different companies seeking to learn the language of innovation and generate new ideas. You can start this webinar series today at http://innovationtraining.org.

A Systematic Innovation Process to Create Ideas into Concepts

Welcome to generating ideas on purpose! We will share with you what we have learned while developing a simple “front end of innovation” process. We encourage you to learn innovation through doing it. You can practice and use this process to develop and communicate your big idea in a more systematic and effective way. The projects we have done for a wide variety of companies from P&G and the UN to solo entrepreneurs all use a similar system and activities. They all started with a problem or opportunity, led to brainstorming questions, continued with ideas, and led to selection and development of the best ideas…just like you can do with your own project.

Innovation System

If you want to develop an innovative idea for your project, where do you start? Start with our proven system of innovation best practices. The diagram above shows the steps involved in a basic innovation system that you can use as a starting point. You will then go about this purposefully with a process or system to develop your ideas into more validated and robust concepts. You would typically generate multiple ideas and then synthesize relevant multiple ideas logically together in the form of a well-developed concept.

It is important to capture and store all of these ideas in one place. Also, great innovations are not solitary work. They are the result of collaborations. Involve others to help you generate ideas, develop the concept, validate the concept, and communicate the concept so that it is meaningful and memorable. In a free brainreactions.net private brainstorming room, you can pose your question, provide background information, visuals in the form of a photo or video, and generate ideas. With the online brainstorming room you can include up to five brainstormers and these brainstormers can not only generate ideas but also vote, select, and sort the best ideas to move forward and develop. This is a way to involve collaborators in your innovation system.

An important start to an innovation project is to crystallize the problems and challenges that you intend to solve. You must pose important questions that are grounded in the problems or opportunities for innovation. Google launched a campaign that solicited concept ideas to change the world. To use Google’s Project 10^100 framework as an example, they offered seven suggested categories and questions:

1. Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
2. Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
3. Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
4. Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
5. Health: How can we help individuals le ad longer, healthier lives?
6 Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
7. Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?

These are examples of categories and related questions to start. These categories were selected because they offer real problems and opportunity. These are starting places, if your vision is to “change the world” then the seven Google categories and questions may be beneficial starting places for you. Odds are that your questions and categories may be different and related to the problems or opportunities that exist for you or your organization, specific to your mission. These starting places are big questions of their own or can catalyze sub-questions for you to purposefully generate ideas on.

Action to take: Clarify a simple system you will use to innovate. Use the model we are presenting or customize your own. Know that you are engaging in a system to innovate and what that system is. Identify and write down the areas you would like to innovate in. These are problems or opportunities. Research them. Create questions to ask.

Keeping a journal or a specific document dedicated to your innovation project will be helpful. Write everything down.
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This activity is a part of BrainReactions Innovation Training. BrainReactions Innovation Training can teach, facilitate, engage, and guide your team step-by-step through this innovation system and over 30 different interactive activities to help you generate ideas and solve your challenges. You can learn our techniques and activities to do again and again on your own and contribute to a sustainable culture of innovation within your organization. Email Dr. Darin Eich at darin.eich@brainreactions.com to inquire about bringing training and facilitation into your organization or to do an event to capture the ideas of your customers or stakeholders.

Do you want to learn more about systematic innovation? The Systematic Idea Generation for Innovation 4 part online workshop series has been popular with 200 different companies seeking to learn the language of innovation and generate new ideas. You can start this webinar series today at http://innovationtraining.org.

Complimentary Mini E-Course on the Front End of Innovation

InnovationTraining.org is now offering a free innovation e-course in the form of 6 daily emails. Each visual email includes an activity to do in a systematic innovation sequence. E-course participants can gain a greater understanding of a systematic front end of innovation process that they can use to develop new product, service, marketing, or organizational improvement ideas.

Through reading and doing the simple activities outlined in the email over the course of 6 days, participants can also get a taste of what the Systematic Idea Generation for Innovation 4 part online workshop series is like. The free course shares a system of activities with which has been popular with 200 different organizations seeking to learn the language of innovation and innovate purposefully. This offer is valid for a limited time. You can start this e-course or the webinar series today at http://InnovationTraining.org.

This e-course is developed by an innovation program developer with experience facilitating innovation sessions for large companies, nonprofits, and new start-ups so the activities should be relevant for your organization and innovation challenge.