Leading Change Through Collaboration

 Leading Change Through Collaboration


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Gain the knowledge and practical tools you need to lead a variety of change efforts.

Despite best intentions, or even external mandates for change, numerous forces are at work that perpetuate the status quo on college campuses. How can leaders initiate and sustain momentum to see new initiatives all the way through?

In this three-day intensive workshop, you will learn a more successful approach to leading change. Using real case studies from colleges and universities, we’ll explore how collaborative efforts helped institutions:

  • Redesign new degree programs
  • Set new strategic directions across a multi-campus environment
  • Reinvigorate an existing strategic plan
  • Find new ways to leverage committees

Why Do Most Change Efforts Fail?

There is a tendency in higher education to hire external “change agents” who fall short of expectations, because they attempt to force change without a full understanding of the culture or history of the institution. Given the complexity of the challenges we face in higher education, we need more than these singular efforts. This program will equip you with the skill set and mindset for how to create a shared vision and gain real buy-in from various stakeholders within the institution.

Bring Back a Toolkit

You will leave with a resource packet full of valuable materials, including our conference workbook, worksheets, and complimentary copy of Dr. Patrick Sanaghan’s book, Collaborative Leadership in Action. This resource packet will serve as an ongoing toolkit to aid in your collaborative change efforts.

Limited Attendance, Sign Up Early!

This program has been specially designed for middle- to senior-level leaders who are managing large-scale change efforts. Internal staff focused on organizational development will also benefit from attending this conference.

Due to the highly experiential and interactive nature of this program, attendance is limited to 30 people. You will engage in different simulations and discussions, as well as receive personalized attention to ensure you leave with a tangible plan to move your change efforts forward.

Testimonials from Past Participants

“AI provides incredible development opportunities, tools, and guidance for leaders at any level in higher education.”

- Shannon Bryant Associate Dean for Financial, Programmatic, and External Planning LaGuardia Community College

“This conference has been very practical, well grounded in speakers' experience and theory. It is very useful.”

- Gerardo Campos, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Leader of the Quality Enhancement Plan

“This is a great conference for people who want to focus on gaining the tools to make large positive changes in their institution by employing the principles of good design.”

- Heidi Northwood, Dean, Liberal Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University

“The tools and lessons have really provided me with a new perspective to implement better meetings. It has also taught me to be self-aware and aware of learning styles.”

“Not only are we provided with theory and tools, but hands-on, experiential application is an integral part of the delivery. The community size is small and allowed for real connections and a network of peer support.”

“Wow! Beyond what I had hoped to learn. Thank you for providing such thoughtfully designed, practical strategies and tools.”

“So much practical value. No other conference experience I've had provides as much hands-on, practical learning. I can immediately apply what I've learned.”


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Registration and Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Introduction and Program Overview

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Framework: Thinking Styles Inventory

9:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Anytime you bring together groups of people, you will have multiple perspective and working styles. To unify our focus, we’ll use the Hermann Brain Dominance Inventory as a lens for looking at engagement and creating the conditions for collaboration.

Conceptual Framework: 3 Questions

Why do some people readily engage in change efforts and others hold back? We’ll introduce you to the three questions people ask themselves as they decide whether or not to invest their time and attention in a group.  These also serve as a lens for creating the conditions of participation and commitment.


10:45 - 11:00 a.m.

An Appreciative Inquiry into Collaborative Leadership

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

We often approach change efforts from a deficit mentality, trying to fix what’s wrong or not working. In this session, we’ll introduce Appreciative Inquiry, a strength based approach to planning and innovating, as a more productive means of engaging stakeholders and moving change efforts forward.

Lunch (included in the registration fee)

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Case Example/Study: School of Public Health

1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

This case will demonstrate how the faculty in a school of public health was meaningfully engaged in the redesign of their Masters in Public Health degree.  


2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Case Study: Community College

2:30 - 3:15 p.m.

In our second case, we’ll explore an example of a large and decentralized community college that had two campuses and was coming together under a single governing structure for the first time. Using the techniques presented in this program, they gathered more than 200 faculty and campus leaders to identify the big issues and compelling themes that would guide their new strategic plan.

Understanding the Flow Model

3:15 - 3:45 p.m.

Collaborative meetings can accelerate your strategic change initiatives. We’ll introduce the underlying structure of a good, collaborative/participatory meeting. We’ll use the work we’ve done together to illustrate the Flow Model and show how it keeps people engaged and committed to the discussion.

Action Learning: Reflection and Debriefing

3:45 - 4:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to “go to the balcony,” meaning to shift from active participant to reflective observer and do sensemaking of the material presented. This session will give you the chance to consider implications and discuss emerging questions.

Homework: Scan the design book and see what catches your attention/piques your interest. Be prepared to discuss this on Day 2.  

Networking Reception (included in registration fee)

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Continental Breakfast (included in the registration fee)

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Designing Change: Expanding Your Toolkit

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

We’ll explore additional methods by which you can engage stakeholders across silos and across the campus to move a change process forward.

Collaborating Across Boundaries

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

While silos serve a functional purpose, they also reinforce fragmented or partial views of the whole. We’ll walk through multiple ways to create a holistic view of the institution, to use that view to establish relevance, and to generate momentum towards the new initiative.

Designing Change: Practice Session

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

As a way of applying the concepts and tools you have learned thus far, small groups will be given a design challenge. This will highlight both the structure and flexibility in designing a collaborative meeting or process.

Lunch (included in registration fee)

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Designing Change: Practice Session (continued)

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Case Example: Reinvigorating the Strategic Plan

2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

This case focuses on the use of a one-day faculty/staff retreat to refocus and re-energize a strategic plan.


2:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Mini Case Example: Input to Committees

2:45 - 3:15 p.m.

We often divide up a strategic effort by forming committees or task forces to take on different pieces of the whole. These groups do their work and then have the challenge of selling their recommendations or getting buy in from others. In this mini case study, we’ll explore how we flipped this dynamic.

Design Your Next Meeting

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.

We’ll provide templates to help you scope out a real situation where convening and engaging campus stakeholders will be critical to moving a strategic effort forward.

Wrap-Up and Homework

4:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Continental Breakfast (included in the registration fee)

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Day 2 Reflection and Q&A

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Designing Change: Expanding Your Toolkit

9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

We’ll explore additional methods by which you can convene large groups to gather data, synthesize information, and make recommendations to move a change process forward.


10:15 - 10:30 a.m.

Designing Your Change Process and Receiving Feedback

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Dedicating time to translate the tools you have gained into a useable, meaningful back-home application is an essential part of the learning process. We’ll designate time in the session for individuals (or teams) to draft a collaborative design and get feedback from small consulting groups. This is an opportunity for individual integration and for learning from and supporting the efforts of others.

Lunch (included in the registration fee)

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Guided Journaling and Action Planning

1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Alone and then with a thought partner, you will identify specific steps that you can take when you return to your campus.


2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Distilling the Most Important Lessons

2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

We’ll reflect on the last three days and distill the most important lessons and takeaways about working with larger groups to tackle your institution’s most difficult challenges.

Program Wrap-Up and Final Q&A

3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

November 14 - 16, 2017

Orlando, FL


Rosen Shingle Creek
9939 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

Hotel Rate: $169 + tax

Block Night:  November 13, 14, and 15 2018.
Rate Available Until: October 23, 2018.

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.

Reserve Your Room: Please call 866.996.9939 and Indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.



Nancy Aronson
Clinical Assistant Professor
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Nancy specializes in bringing large groups of people together, to work across silos, and achieve a meaningful outcome for the task at hand. Bringing people together is critical to leading change in higher education, Nancy can help you do it right.

Read Nancy's Full Bio.


Patrick Sanaghan
The Sanaghan Group

Pat has helped over 100 institutions facilitate strategic planning and change processes that engage the entire campus community and actually get implemented. Whatever change initiative you're undertaking, Pat can help you ensure that it gets implemented.

Read Pat's Full Bio.

Can't Attend? Buy the Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

Amit Mrig

President and CEO, Academic Impressions

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