Guest blog written by Kanoo Hana
This is a blog series written by the alumni of the Implementing Public Policy Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Participants successfully completed this 7-month blended learning course in December 2019. These are their learning journey stories.
After the last few months listening, observing and learning we finally come to the end of this very interesting programme. I feel that we are still engaged with all our classmates and faculty, deconstructing and reconstructing all our concepts.
The programme lasted seven months with participants meeting in-person for only a week, but engaging via calls and online for weeks. I have taken a few executive educational programmes at Harvard Kennedy School and this programme was everything that I expected. The programme on campus was structured very well. This in my opinion is important so that participants can actually start learning and taking in information to develop the skills needed.
The key leanings from this programme included the following,
- Understanding that there are constant issues and problems that need to be dealt with
- That there are scenarios that need the use of various tools and skills that can be developed
- We need to continuously grow authority
- We need to continuously work on our legitimacy and ensure functionality
- Develop a learning culture at work
- Take small cumulative steps
- Maintain authorization
- Maintain your teams, focus and navigate
- Stay motivated
So, I feel that I learnt a lot about a process that is continuous and needs to be constantly worked on.
This process led to important development with regard to the difficulties that I was having with issues of food security. My fishbone diagram allowed me to break down all the inputs and understand the ingredients so that I could actually observe and plan the next steps in the policy process. The failures and breakdowns from different parts of the government machine played into the diagram which strangely allowed me space to try out options. The process using the toolkit and instruments allowed me to experience the problem in a timeless manner with so many potential results. These results could be good or bad for myself and the team.
In tackling future problems, I will need to give much more thought to team motivation, building the whole fishbone diagram, and leading the authorizer, teams, and supporters through a process of success. This including the iterations and cumulative small steps needed for impact and problem solving in the real world. Our motivation comes from knowing that it is our job to solve problems and issues. Motivation is our driving force to ensure that we give the best of ourselves and continue to develop our abilities to create constructive solutions.
The way I am using the input and concepts from the programme is through continuously improving my functionality and legitimacy in my projects and committees. I am ready to address issues and problems and plan for them before they even happen. This allows me to be ready and focused with a strategy. Also, I understand the importance of sharing with the team and taking them on the project journey too. We are continuously building our solutions together as a team.
My words of wisdom comes from the PDIA anthem part 2…please remember… there’s’ another way to iterate, iterate, adapt, learn and win the day .