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Case Study

Twin Cities Metropolitan Council

The Grove engaged in a yearlong project with the Metropolitan Council (Met Council or Council) in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, focused on building internal process-leadership capability. The Metropolitan Council is a regional body that oversees all of Minneapolis/St. Paul’s wastewater, metropolitan transit, housing projects, and regional-planning efforts.

One of the Met Council’s major goals is to work more systemically and collaboratively, not only internally but also regionally and with the communities it serves. The leader of the Environmental Services division, for example, is working toward an integrated and environmentally sustainable water management approach by 2050—a vision that is referred to as One Water.

The Council asked The Grove to help it develop the internal capability to support these efforts by offering a yearlong Leading Change Program for 20 of its emerging leaders from across the organization. This program presented an opportunity for The Grove to build on years of providing extended, action-research and cohort-based practitioner development. In addition, The Grove has a track record of helping organizations dedicated to creating healthier communities and healthier environments.

The Grove used its Seven Challenges of Change Model as the content backbone for the Leading Change Program. For the program to have real impact, it needed not just to help participants develop their capabilities but also to help the organization work on the substantive challenges it faced. Thus, the program would be designed to support real change interventions as part of the learning activities. This would require the organization’s full support.

The Leading Change Program combined six in-person, three-day sessions with virtual learning support via self-paced learning activities and regular video-conferencing with the project teams. The online platform provided virtual learning space within which participants harvested and shared program learnings.

As the cohort evolved, The Grove created opportunities for participants to reflect on and integrate what they were learning, and to harvest their insights about what it means to be an emerging leader in the organization. In the end, participants not only developed their skills as process and change leaders but also created visible impact by moving several critical projects forward, readily applying what they were learning.

Each program participant received a certificate of completion from The Grove as well as from Meridian University

“In all of their work, the program participants are being viewed as rock stars when it comes to successfully supporting cultural change throughout the organization. It is really exciting to witness.”

Sara Smith
Operations Manager, Environmental Services

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