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Kansas Leadership Center unveils global research program

June 26, 2018


Kansas Leadership Center unveils global research program

Wichita, Kan. – During the organization’s Activate conference late last week, the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) unveiled a new, large-scale, multi-partner research program. “Third Floor Research” will foster innovation on how leadership is exercised and how leadership capacity is developed in others.

“This research endeavor is a game changer for Kansas organizations, companies and communities,” said Ed O’Malley, KLC president and CEO. “We are creating a robust, world-class research initiative that will fuel the future development of leadership training in Kansas and beyond.”

Kansas organizations, companies and communities will have early exposure to findings from the research initiative.

“What’s the best way to build leadership in millennials? How do you know if an employee is more oriented to exercising authority or exercising leadership? What are the best ways for competing interests to come together when working on a daunting challenge? These are the types of questions the research endeavor will answer, and those answers will help strengthen leadership across Kansas,” said O’Malley.

Locally, the research initiative might partner with companies and organizations to discern the type of leadership necessary to help Wichita thrive in light of the Chung Report findings released last week.

The research initiative will also enhance KLC’s national and global profile.

KLC already attracts attention from across the country and around the world. At the organization’s Activate conference this week, there are 40 registered participants from outside Kansas, including individuals from Australia, Chile and Israel. Next month, almost 30 participants from Africa will attend KLC’s program.

“The research initiative will take KLC’s reputation to the next level,” said O’Malley.

Since 2017, a global design team of eight expert researchers and practitioners have been working alongside KLC staff members to develop the structure of the new research program. Team members from Kansas, Harvard, Chile, Wisconsin, Israel and Colorado brought experience on how to design, facilitate and measure the impact of leadership development efforts. The endeavor is led by Dr. Tim Steffensmeier, director of research for KLC and professor at Kansas State University.

“At KLC, we have access to hundreds of organizations and thousands of participants and our research partners are connected to thousands of others—all striving to increase their ability to lead,” said Steffensmeier. “The big idea is to bring all that knowledge, data and expertise together and use it to build stronger and more effective leadership. Our researches will study those efforts with a coordinated, uniform research agenda. The result will be cutting-edge leadership development tools and practices, synthesized here in Kansas, but with impact around the world.”

“It’s called Third Floor Research for a simple, aspirational reason,” said Steffensmeier. “The third floor of KLC’s building hasn’t been built out. This research endeavor is going to be so successful that it’s just a matter of time before we start using that space for our operations.”

Third Floor Research is housed at the Kansas Leadership Center, in partnership with the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University.

To learn more about KLC’s new research initiative, visit

Download this press release


About the Kansas Leadership Center
The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a singular educational organization founded to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities. Its programs and teachings present leadership as an activity available to anyone at any time. KLC offers training for organizations, teams and individuals as well as advanced programs for leadership development practitioners. It provides development grants for civically oriented organizations in Kansas, partners with community leadership programs and offers customized trainings for businesses and non-profits alike. KLC hosts civic leadership forums and encourages Kansans to take active part in public life for the common good. KLC Press publishes books on leadership and The Journal, a nationally recognized, award-winning civic issues magazine. Based in Wichita, KLC receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation. Learn more at

About Third Floor Research
Third Floor Research is an applied research center operated through a partnership between the Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas State University’s Staley School of Leadership Studies. The global research program was designed by KLC staff alongside eight researchers and practitioners from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Chile, Israel and the states of Colorado, Kansas and Wisconsin. Third Floor Research focuses on the impact of leadership training and contributes to global learnings in the field of leadership and adaptive change processes. It creates useful findings that address individual development, organizational impact, and community capacity. Learn more at


Carrie Lindeman
[email protected]


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