high performance leadership

The ICMA High Performance Leadership Academy is a 12-week online program created to equip local government professionals with leadership skills in organizational development and change management, negotiation and collaboration, effective communication, and how to deliver increased value from high performance management.

The robust curriculum of the ICMA High Performance Leadership Academy has been designed and developed in collaboration with the Professional Development Academy, Marshall Goldsmith, and over 3,000 C-suite leaders and top academics.

Watch and Learn: Live Demo Series

Watch our latest Live Demo Series featuring the ICMA High Performance Leadership Academy, where presenter Tim Rahschulte, EVP of the Professional Development Academy, provides an overview and platform walkthrough of the 12-week online program created to equip local government professionals with the skills and knowledge to become better leaders.

When is the Next Cohort?

ICMA is currently enrolling for the August 2022 cohort:

  • Cohort Kick-Off: 8/1/2022
  • Cohort Graduation: 11/4/2022


Who Should Attend?

Local government professionals interested in improving their capabilities, team engagement, and organizational outcomes. In some instances, this program is ideal for chief administration officers, assistant chief administration officers, and department heads who are interested in learning more about leadership and high performance management.

What is the Course of Study?

With intentionally designed asynchronous and synchronous activities and rich content and application-focused outcomes, the program takes a whole-solution approach to high performance leadership rather than a focus on siloed activities.

Course 1: Leadership Mindset & Positive Engagement

This course provides insights from members of the program’s National Leadership Board on the ways leaders shift their mindset from being excellent individual contributors to becoming highly effective leaders. The course also focuses on increasing empowerment and engagement to achieve individual, team and enterprise success. The second half of this course demonstrates how leaders enable “positively deviant” performance and engender positive culture and communication.

Course 2: Leading Effective Change

The emphasis of this course is to prepare participants to engage in change initiated by others and to drive effective change as an active change agent. This course illustrates three facets of organizational change, including planning, executing and sustaining successful change. A balance of theoretical and pragmatic insights allows participants to understand the strategic, financial or market-based reasons for change and drive toward breakthrough results.

Course 3: Communication and Collaboration

Participants learn and practice the skills needed to improve the quality of interpersonal communication in a variety of contexts. Participants will learn how to effectively speak the language of business and convey information across diverse stakeholder groups, as well as break down silos between business divisions to drive better decision making. Each participant will understand effective communication as it relates to leading others, managing conflict, providing and receiving feedback, and negotiating with the Mutual Gains Approach.

Course 4: Leading High Performance Teams

This closing course focuses on measures, metrics, and practices used across the enterprise to achieve high performance. Participants learn that business results – values and benefits – may differ from one company to the next and even from department to department within a single company, but the consistent variable is It’s All About People.

What Are the Programmed Activities?

  • Breakout Group Meeting – 60-minute meeting (in-person or virtual) amongst breakout group members (typically 10-12 participants).
  • Breakout Group Summary – These posts are for the rest of the cohort to see what your breakout group discussed. Each week your breakout group’s designated leader or scribe will write this post which will be seen by the entire cohort.
  • Discuss with Breakout Group – Share your thoughts, perspectives, and comments with your breakout group. These will be seen by you, your breakout group, and faculty.
  • Discuss with Cohort – Share your thoughts, perspectives and comments with your cohort. This is an online threaded discussion and you are expected to engage in with your colleagues. Posts will be seen by all participants and faculty.
  • Live Event – 60-minute, virtual meeting conducted via web conference with your entire cohort and facilitated by your faculty mentor.

What is the Time Commitment?

HPLA is built to accommodate busy work schedules with self-paced learning. Each 12-week HPLA course is divided into 4 three-week modules. Each module includes a one-hour live webinar and one-hour breakout discussion, plus daily assignments ranging from 3 to 35 minutes. (Live webinars are recorded - so don't worry if you miss one!)

In addition to videos, reading, writing and reflection, participants are placed in a small group cohort where they'll build their network, receive support from peers facing similar challenges and opportunities and celebrate successes.

What is the Cost?

The retail cost is $2,495 per participant. ICMA offers a generous scholarship per participant, which makes the cost for members just $1,995.

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Join us September 17-21 in Columbus/Franklin County, Ohio for the 2022 ICMA Annual Conference.

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