Leadership Academy Participant Resources

GFOA's Leadership Academy will be held March 24-29 at the Arizona State University Phoenix Downtown campus. The information below will help attendees finalize their registration process for the academy. Congratulations on being selected to attend this year's event.

Unlike other GFOA training opportunities, the Leadership Academy steps away from day-to-day technical areas in public finance and encourages participants to think about their individual development and the leadership role they play within their own departments or agencies as well as the broader organization.  This is not only done in the classroom and through various exercises, but just as importantly, through the networking time participants will have to interact with each other.  GFOA chose a campus location for the program to allow participants a setting to be fully immersed in and to provide an environment that fosters learning and professional development. The safety and health of participants is the top priority, and we will adhere to all CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommended safety protocols at the time of the meeting.  The program’s overall goal is to present added information and ideas to participants to take back to their own organizations and to further develop their own leadership capabilities. The schedule for the week is as follows.

All classes will be held on the Arizona State University Phoenix campus in the One Arizona Center Tower at 400 East Van Buren St, Suite 700

Opening Reception and Dinner

TBD, 5:00pm

Chris Morrill, Bob O’Neill, David Swindell, and Marcus Jones will welcome the group at the reception.

All classes are on the Arizona State University Phoenix Campus in the One Arizona Center Tower, part of the Arizona Center at 400 E. Van Buren, Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Characteristics of Great Organizations
8:45 am – 12:15 pm
Robert “Bob” O’Neill will present on the “Local Government Imperative” to provide a broader context of public sector leadership trends. There will be a break at 10:30 am.

Lunch on the 7th Floor—same area as the training
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Self-Assessing your Strengths
1:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Kristen Young, Assistant Director of Training, Leadership, and Workforce Development, will lead the review of DiSC self-assessments and discuss how to translate results into leadership outputs.

Break
3:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Case Study Groups
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
A case study will be introduced, and groups will be given time to discuss.

Dinner On-Campus
The Concho Room in the ASU Collaboratory on Central, 618 North Central Avenue#100 Phoenix, AZ 85004
Dinner will be served from 5:00 – 6:00 pm.

Special Event—Matthew Desmond Lecture, Author of Poverty, By America
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
In this landmark book, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Mathew will talk about and answer questions about this book.
The lecture will be at the Herberger Theater Center at 222 E. Monroe Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Leading a Government Finance Workforce
8:45 am - 9:30 am
Chris Morrill will share the latest research from Mission Square Research Institute and GFOA on public workforce challenges and then share ideas on how to attract and retain government finance talent.

ASU MPA Student Panel—Group 1
9:30 am - 10:30 am
Discussions with students or those just starting their careers on how to retain the workforce.

Break
10:30am - 10:45am

Decision Leadership: The Finance Officer as a Decision Architect
10:45 am - 12:15 pm
Shayne Kavanaugh will discuss government leaders making decisions for a living. With good decision-making, they can improve the lives of their constituents and further their careers. But decision-making is messy. Groups often do it, so there are conflicting points of view. It is time-constrained, so there isn’t time to consider everything. There is always uncertainty, usually more than we realize. And it is done by humans, so it comes with a myriad of well-documented cognitive biases and inconsistencies (i.e., “noise”) in human thought. Finance officers are positioned to help government officials reduce the negative impact of bias and noise in decision processes. Helping people avoid bias and noise is sometimes called “decision architecture.” Budget officers can be good decision architects because they are likely to possess four broad perspectives and skill sets. We will discuss these four perspectives and how to develop them.

Lunch on the 7th Floor—same area as the training 
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
A group photo will be taken at the beginning of lunch in the Arizona Center courtyard.

Roles and Responsibilities of Local Government Officials, Part 1
1:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Dr. John Nalbandian will discuss the roles and responsibilities of local government officials in today’s complex and rapidly changing world.  He will also cover his recent research on the gap between what produces results we desire and what is politically acceptable in most public sector organizations. There will be a break at 2:30.

Break
3:15 pm – 3:30 pm

ASU MPA Student Panel—Group 2
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Discussions with students or those just starting their careers on how to retain the workforce

Dinner On-Campus
The Concho Room in the ASU Collaboratory on Central, 618 North Central Avenue#100 Phoenix, AZ 85004
There will be a reception with beer and wine from 6:00 – 6:30 pm, and dinner will be served from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Roles and Responsibilities of Local Government Officials, Part 2
8:45 am – 12:15 pm 
Dr. Nalbandian continues the discussion on the roles and responsibilities of local government officials from Tuesday.

Break
10:30 am – 10:45 am

Lunch on the 7th Floor—same area as the training
12:15 – 1:015

Presentation on ASU’s Center for Urban Innovation
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
The Center for Urban Innovation is a collection of scholars engaged in cutting-edge applied research designed to help practitioners and public officials pursue new solutions to challenges facing communities.

Dinner
Participants are on their own for dinner tonight. 

Financial Sustainability and Building a Culture of Innovation
8:45 am – 10:30 am
Ed Zuercher, Executive Director of the Maricopa Association of Governments and the former City Manager of Phoenix, will share his leadership experience related to financial sustainability and creating a culture of innovation.

Break
10:30 am – 10:45 am

Establishing ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus and the Novus Innovation Corridor
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Wellington “Duke” Reiter, Special Advisor to the President and Executive Director of the University City Exchange, and Rick Naimark, Associate Vice President of Enterprise Planning and former Deputy City Manager, City of Phoenix, will share their experiences in how ASU established the Downtown Phoenix Campus and the Novus Innovation Corridor’s impact on the City of Tempe, AZ.

Lunch on the 7th Floor—same area as the training 
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Leadership Skills for the 21st Century
1:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Bob O’Neill will discuss the characteristics of high-performing organizations.  This may include dialogue with Dr. Nalbandian and Chris Morrill.

Break
3:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Fairfax County Case Study Discussion
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm 
Bob O’Neill and Chris Morrill will lead a discussion on the pre-assigned case study.

Dinner Off-Campus
Arizona Wilderness DTPHX, 201 E. Roosevelt, AZ 85004
The bar will open at 6:00 pm, and dinner will be at 6:30 pm.

Leadership Discussion
8:45 am – 10:00 am
Bob O’Neill will lead a conversation with attendees focusing on their action agenda, including their personal leadership agenda, five tasks they wish to do for their organization, and how to continue leadership skill growth.

Break
10:00 am – 10:15 am

Rethinking Public Engagement
10:15 am – 11:30 am
Valerie Lemmie from the Kettering Foundation will discuss why we need to rethink public engagement and how to promote a culture of active citizenship.

Closing Remarks, Certificates, and Lunch
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Chris Morrill and Randall Towns will provide certificates and a few remarks to the graduates of the Leadership Academy.  

Registration Information

GFOA will register Leadership Academy participants. Once registered, you will receive an invoice sent to the email address on file.

Full Agenda

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Leadership Academy Policies

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Questions? Contact Randall Towns.