Why Do We Need Agents for Change?

— Written By

As I’ve worked with Extension Professionals around the state, I’ve heard similar challenges – engaging non-traditional audiences; meeting the needs of today’s youth and families; addressing big community issues such as food insecurity, poverty, access to opportunities; implementing emerging technologies; and on, and on – and similar frustrations with your position and power to develop and implement solutions. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by these challenges because ready-to-implement solutions don’t exist and we can’t marshall the resources and power to develop new solutions alone. As a former Extension Agent in 4-H Youth Development, I know this feeling!

Adaptive leadership provides tools and strategies for changing our communities to enable them to thrive. It requires that we mobilize others, build on our past, experiment, diagnose, build and rebuild systems, and diversify. It’s hard work! But our communities face challenges that require changing people’s priorities, habits, and beliefs and by developing our capacity for adaptive leadership, we can do that.

Agents For Change will help YOU develop the capacity for adaptive leadership as we work together to diagnose your challenges and organizations, engage others, design interventions, expand your authority, build adaptive cultures and systems, mobilize others, experiment, and sustain change.

If you are an early career (first five years) Extension professional interested in helping your communities thrive, apply to be in the first cohort of this year-long leadership development program. Applications will be available October 1st and are due November 2nd. Sessions begin in January 2021.