Illinois Central College just finished an assessment of our internal culture. Why? Because we want to know how the people who accomplish our work feel about our organization. Their perspective on what the "weather" of our workplace is determines how effective we’ll be in the future.
The assessment tells us what human relation, team, and leadership skills we need to maintain and develop to create peak performance among our employees. The better we are at working together, the better we will be at meeting our students’ needs. Do we have some work to do in this arena? Like any organization, we have some things to improve. But what will set us apart is that we’ll be monitoring and working on our culture to make sure it continues to progress as the kind of environment where people are excited about what they do and where they work.
We’re also teaching people how to use the tools of process management. Our organization uses complex activities and interactions to deliver the learning experience to our students. As our organization has grown, these interactions have grown too. Process management provides the tools our people need to streamline and improve activities to better serve our students.
Diversity education is helping our college develop greater sensitivities and appreciation to the multiplicity of people, ideas, and backgrounds in our world.
Through a series of seven classes, our faculty and staff engage in self-exploration and discovery, learning what intentional and unintentional filters we create in interacting with people. As we develop our skills, ICC will become a more welcoming and accepting organization for all kinds of different people—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical capability, learning style, background, and ideological persuasion.
Super Supervisors provides a series of seminars and lectures for management staff at all levels. The course reviews current management and leadership styles, helps people build credible communication styles, and provides information on current laws. Our goal is to strengthen the skills of staff with management accountabilities so that those who work within our college always feel supported, rewarded, and recognized.
Illinois Central College is in the midst of the North Central Association accreditation process. Through this process, we take an in-depth look at what we do and how well we do it. The process takes many months to complete and provides us with an evaluation of our strengths and our weaknesses. As we finish this process next Spring, we’ll use this information to reinforce our positives and re-invent our negatives. We’ll learn what we do well and what needs improvement.
As we enter a negotiation year with our faculty, we’re preparing to use a new approach for bargaining—Interest-Based Bargaining, a technique that gets away from the traditional adversarial back-and-forth between two opposite sides. Instead we identify common interests and work together to find ways to serve those interests. The bargaining team will spend time learning this process this Fall. IBI