THEORY OF TRANSFORMATION

 

The ALT Foundation’s Theory of Transformation explains how what we are doing will result with intended transformation.  It is based on our analysis of current efforts to deal with the leadership challenges in Africa.

Our vision is an Africa that works for everyone.  We view leadership as a development imperative and acknowledge that Africa’s development challenges are complex.  However, within and alongside these challenges, there are numerous opportunities to create an Africa that works for everyone.

The opportunities and challenges are typically caused by many factors and layers that are embedded deeply in the way society functions.  We acknowledge and applaud the many players involved in various efforts to create an Africa that works for everyone.  Our focus is to look specifically at how a new model of leadership would amplify the efforts of numerous governments and development partners.

At the core of our Theory of Transformation is our mission to train at least 1 million leaders in 10 African countries in the next 10 years by supporting African universities to deliver the Being A Leader And The Effective Exercise Of Leadership Course.

We empowering African universities to teach transformation leadership.  By transformation, we mean make a shift in your own way of being.  Our goal is to produce leaders who distinguish the your-and-me, you-or-me or me-not-you worlds.  Our focus is to produce African leaders who are committed to something bigger than themselves.  Leaders who are out here, where the people are.

Our training is not about knowing more, it’s about generating the internal transformation that brings about the shift in context.  This demands bold leaders who will lead from new possibilities that result with an Africa that works for everyone.  This new context often means leading with no roadmap and acknowledging and accepting that the future will be created by all.

The new model of leadership demands leading – not merely from the front – but “on the court,” which means responding to opportunities and challenges as they emerge.  It’s not simply understanding the challenges and opportunities facing Africa, it’s being able to live inside these challenges and opportunities and making a difference to the communities and countries that leaders serve.

Our Theory of Transformation provides a framework for learning, both within and between our intervention efforts.  We believe that by articulating how we intend to tackle leadership as a development imperative – and identifying the assumptions we have made and the results we expect – helps ensure a sound logic for achieving change. It also provides the framework for others to add value or critique what we are doing.

Our Theory of Transformation also enables us make us make course corrections if the selected approach is not working. New learning and lessons from monitoring and evaluation will help refine assumptions and inform decisions on how our approach can be improved or replicated to deliver planned results.

Our Assumptions

There are three major assumprions or observations that drive our interventions.

First, as numerous studies confirm, there are many definitions of leadership.  Likewise, there are many leadership programs in Africa.  Most of these programs focus on knowing more about leadership, not being leaders.

Second, our analysis indicates that most programs focus on “executives,” especially in the public and private sectors.  This “elitist” approach means the cost of developing leaders is generally very high.  Our focus will be to expand access to our new model of leadership.

Third, since there is no “standardized” training, or professional accreditation, anybody can get into the marketplace and claim to offer a leadership program.  Our decision to work with and through universities is deliberately designed to bring some sense of order in Africa’s leadership training.

Summary: Our Theory of Transformation

The ALT Foundation is taking a three-pronged approach.  First, we are building relationships with African universities because we view them as the credible vehicle for leadership development.  Second, we ensure the universities access to the Being a Leader (BAL) curriculum is underpinned by required support; more specifically, we ensure faculty members are trained as course instructors.  We provide support for them to attend and complete the Creating Course Leaders (CCL).  Third, we expand the partnerships beyond university to the public, private and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) sectors.  Once what we have created is working, we replicate and expand it to have greater impact.