The Center for Microfinance Leadership (CML) offers a range of individual and team skill-building programs for senior managers and leaders in microfinance focused on leadership and management development. The Center uses a broad range of learning approaches—in-house training, executive coaching, peer exchanges—to guide participants to more effectively lead increasingly complex institutions. Program offerings were developed in response to the needs and gaps expressed by our network member institutions.
Current offerings include:
Women in Leadership
This course, which has been offered since 2006, targets high potential women leaders and managers who have demonstrated the ability to lead people in their organization and are motivated to take on new leadership challenges and opportunities. Since its inception more than 200 women have been trained, representing 94 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in 53 countries.
The course is designed to help participants:
- Increase their understanding of various models of leadership, gender and culture and use these as a foundation to define their own leadership values and vision
- Better understand their individual styles and preferences and identify behaviors that can help them implement their leadership vision
- Practice giving and receiving feedback and how to successfully lead through difficult situations
- Build and maintain mutually challenging and supportive relationships with other women leaders
“Participants continue to share stories of personal revelations, transformations, and most recently, outcomes (in terms of promotions, changed practices, and better portfolios, more staff, or more branch openings). A nuanced addition to the theme concerns how participants were better able to claim their own leadership, partly because they had not viewed their skills as such before, and apply this leadership to both personal and work lives.” Excerpt from the January 2013 final report of the Center’s external evaluator, Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU
Senior Management Program
In response to the growing need for management development support among senior teams in high performing institutions, Women’s World Banking has added a new Senior Management Program to its suite of offerings. This four day in-house program addresses two critical success factors of any organization: building an effective and cohesive senior team, and enhancing critical management and leadership skills required to sustain institutional performance.
This program is designed to strengthen senior teams to:
- Better understand how their personal values and motivations influence their leadership style and perspectives;
- Improve their core capabilities: influence, communication, motivation, building accountability, improving team performance; and
- Develop teamwork and effective decision making practices across the senior team.
The Coaching Program includes a four-day workshop followed by six months of remote coaching delivered by a highly experienced executive coach. Leaders are supported as they implement their development plans and build their own coaching and communication skills to support the development of their teams and organizations. During the workshop, participants are challenged to identify areas for development and set goals, for example:
- Using strategic thinking to drive innovation and efficiency,
- Developing a clear succession plan,
- Focusing on delegation and creating a better work-life balance,
- Developing a network to support more effective decision-making, and
- Supporting the transfer of decision making to staff.
The Leadership Exchange brings together senior managers from microfinance institutions within a region for a series of facilitated discussions around key business and strategic issues, leadership challenges and opportunities, and facilitated leadership skills-building sessions. These programs build on Women’s World Banking’s decades of facilitating peer learning and are tailored to encourage knowledge exchange.