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Organizational Impact and Leadership Development Capacity

by | Mar 26, 2021 | Newsroom, Research Articles

Impact on Organizations of Partnering with Kansas Leadership Center to Develop Leadership Capacity


Most leadership development programs focus on a select few, typically those at the top of an organization or being groomed for executive management.

In today’s turbulent times, traditional leadership development approaches do not suffice. Forward-thinking organizations need people at all levels empowered to lead and catalyze change. Systems need more people with the will and the skill to address challenges, seize opportunities and thrive in a changing world.


What happens when an organization invests in training dozens of people in the KLC leadership ideas? What shifts when people at all levels experience high quality, provocative and purposeful leadership development? Does behavior change? What is the impact on the culture of the organization? Do organizations make more progress on the things that matter most?


In 2019 ORS Impact, funded by the Kansas Health Foundation, studied 52 organizations who had partnered with KLC for at least two years. Their research examined the effects of leadership training on nonprofits, community coalitions, companies, school districts, faith-based and other types of organizations. Researchers looked for links between KLC training, leadership behaviors, culture change, and progress on key challenges facing each organization. Below are some significant correlations they found, with our hypothesis on how to interpret them.



1. Organization saturated with KLC training = More people exercising leadership

Organizations and community coalitions that partner with KLC notice a dramatic increase in people exercising leadership (nearly 100% expansion among groups studied):

  • More people taking time to diagnose a situation before jumping to action.
  • More people effectively managing themselves during tense or difficult moments.
  • More people actively engaging others around a shared purpose.
  • More people successfully intervening to move a challenge forward.

2. More people exercising leadership is linked to improved organizational culture

Organizations that invest in KLC training for people at all levels see positive changes in their culture. Those in the present study reported:


  • Greater openness to change.
  • Increased trust in the organization and its processes.
  • Enhanced support for individual self-care.
  • More focus on equity.

And our hypothesis is . . .
3. Leadership training + culture change = More progress on biggest challenges

Organizations that saturate their workforce (or volunteer corps) with KLC training make more progress on the things that matter most. ORS Impact found that:

  • 96% of organizations reported that KLC training contributed to increased progress on organizational challenges.
  • There is a correlation between those organizations that saw the biggest jump in leadership behaviors and those that made the most progress on internal and external challenges.

Download this report summary

Want to share these findings with others in your organization? Complete the form below to download a summary of ORS Impact’s findings that widespread leadership development is linked to positive culture change and more progress on organizational challenges. Then learn how you can get your team started on KLC’s three-step leadership development path and reap the benefits of an empowered and engaged workforce.

Download Research



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