University of Minnesota
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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

State and Local Policy Program


As research experts with practical experience working in the public, nonprofit and public sectors, PNLC faculty and staff members provide training in a variety of public affairs topics. A few areas include:

Leadership and Strategic Management: Faculty will work with the group to explore the meaning of leadership and strategic management. Participants will explore leadership competencies, as well as critical management functions. Participants will identify current strategic issues in their city/state and how they link to the mission of participants work.

Leading from the Middle: Participants will learn the art and science of “managing up.” With busy schedules and competing priorities, staff need to hone their emotional intelligence and analytical skills. Faculty members will lead the group through a series of exercises, a case study, and lessons for managing from the middle.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Emotional Intelligence: Participants will use assessment tools to identify their personality type and cognitive style. Faculty will lead the group through a series of conversations and activities related to personality and how that impacts leadership and team dynamics.

Program Development and Evaluation: Faculty will review the research and offer instruction in several of the most important techniques of program development, project management and assessment. Participants will develop skills in problem solving as a leader with the use of strategies and methods introduced.

The Power of Networks: Overview of the theory and practice of working strategically across organizational boundaries. Participants will analyze their own and their agencies networks, and think more carefully about how networks can be honed to better carry out organizational mission.

The Forms and Consequences of Money: One of the most unique elements management and leadership is the role that revenue streams play in shaping programming, performance and accountability. This session provides a thorough overview of revenue sources, their autonomy and reliability and allows participants to analyze their own budgets and consider how this shapes management and leadership. It also provides a practice-based grounding in the philanthropic and individual donations.

Understanding and Shaping the Policy Environment: Nonprofit and public entities are immersed in various policy areas with multiple actors—clients, other service providers, government agencies, funders. Understanding these complex environments enable people to act more effectively in their decision making and relationship building. Participants will be introduced to the macro, meso, and micro levels of policy arenas. Using the tool of policy field analysis, faculty will lead the group through an understanding of the relationships, as well as policy development and implementation at the various levels.

Working with Boards: Working effectively with boards of directors requires a sophisticated understanding of governance, interests, and conflict resolution. This session probes deeply into these issues, combining knowledge from the field with research-based awareness about what makes boards effective.

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