JPS invests in potential leaders with iLead programme
In an effort to take the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) to new levels of operational excellence, the company has embarked on a strategic innovative leadership development programme - iLead.
iLead, acronym for Leadership, Excellence and Development, operationalises the JPS's baseline for succession planning within the organisation. iLead is also designed to promote a unified and consistent brand of leadership that serves to train, mentor, and coach high-potential candidates to take up greater responsibilities over time.
The programme, which is now in its third year, has trained over 60 persons with almost 50 per cent of them already promoted and stretched into more senior roles.
Gina Tomlinson, director of performance management and organisational change, explained that "it is founded on the core values of the organisation, which are accountability, safety, professionalism, integrity, respect, and excellence."
A key component of the programme is "learning not only about your own leadership style, but also about how you are perceived by others, and so one of the first things that is done is a 360 assessment. It is a full, circle assessment, where not only your manager assesses you, but also your peers and the people who report to you and you also assess yourself," Tomlinson outlined.
Following the assessment, a personal development programme is crafted for each participant, which is executed in partnership with the Mona School of Business, Knowledge Works (local providers of Harvard Business Information material), LPD Hall and Associates, and Action Coach.
Commenting on the impact of the initiative on his professional development, iLead programme graduate, Ramsay McDonald, senior vice-president, customer services, said: "The iLead programme is the best opportunity to truly realise one's potential. You unearth your hidden talents and build your networking skills that eventually lead to becoming an individual who understands how to best serve JPS and lead others."
McDonald shared that in addition to participants with traditional management backgrounds, the JPS is seeking to build leaders from the technical side of the organisation as well.
"For 2018, we are revising our leadership training to ensure that we are not excluding persons who have a strong technical background and who may not have a management degree to ensure that they are roped in for leadership development training as well," the performance management and organisational change director said.
"How do I develop an engineer to become a vice-president. How do I develop a technician to become a manager?"
These are some of the strategic needs that Tomlinson said the programme would address in 2018.
JPS President and CEO Emanuel DaRosa expressed admiration and support for this initiative.
"Since I joined the JPS team in August, I have said repeatedly that this is probably the most educated organisation that I have had the privilege of working with. I am very impressed by your commitment to continuous improvement," DaRosa said at the recent iLead graduation and induction ceremony.
DaRosa also highlighted the importance of leadership excellence to the operational success of the organisation.
"Your leadership will determine the success of our strategic plan. Your leadership will directly influence the performance of the organisation in every area of our operation. The people you lead will be either inspired or demotivated by the quality of your leadership," he emphasised.
The JPS CEO also pointed out that leaders deliberately provide opportunities for their people to grow.
"Your job is no longer simply to get the work done. The most important part of your role as a leader is to identify a development path for each person on your team and to help them to move along that path," DaRosa said.
iLead is the flagship offering in the JPS Leadership Academy and a critical component of a three-tiered leadership improvement programme.