The Leaders Challenge program in Arlington County Government was created in 2008 to address succession planning concerns at senior levels of the organization. The organization is comprised of 3550 employees, and 13 Departments. Leader’s Challenge is targeted to each department’s “high potential” managers and individual contributors.
The primary intent of the Leader’s Challenge Program is to increase the number of leader’s ready to compete for promotional positions as we anticipate 30% retirements in our leadership in the next 1-3 years. A second intent is to develop leaders who can work effectively in cross functional teams on complex problems that require cross-departmental solutions and cooperation. In the program we create these teams and use the action learning technique to drive this development and to develop innovative solutions to complex County issues. The teams are sponsored by senior leaders of the organization which has a secondary effect of exposing the participants and their talents to the leadership of our organization and vice versa.
Our overriding intention is to fast forward the development of our high potential staff at all levels of the organization providing them the opportunity grow and develop as leaders in Arlington County. We have run this program 3 times in the last 3 years.