Case Study

NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS)

NYC Homeless Services

Leadership Transformation Group worked throughout 2012 with NYC Department of Homeless Services on an innovative program combining quality, collaboration, communication and leadership skills for the city agency's top 100 executives and managers.

The high level of innovation came about because of the highly engaged and creative leadership of DHS Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Programs, Valerie-Bynoe-Kasden. Supported by DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond, Ms. Bynoe-Kasden 'modeled the change she sought ' (to paraphrase Ghandi) through her active collaboration with LTG partners Steve Burghardt and Willie Tolliver. "Deputy Commissioner Bynoe-Kasden was an exceptional champion for this work--her high standards and openness to innovative work for the DHS was exceptional" said Steve Burghardt. "It was clear she wanted DHS's top staff to get the kind of skills and leadership framework that would make a difference in their work."

Bynoe-Kasden and her team saw that DHS staff worked hard and with real commitment to achieving the standards set by their commissioner. At the same time, this intense focus on each division's work had created a tendency towards "silos" that both she and other DHS executives wanted to diminish. Likewise, DHS leaders wanted their leaders to learn tools that emphasized collaboratively working ion exacting standards--whether people had direct line authority or not.

Such a challenge made the work exacting and exciting for LTG. In response to these expectations, LTG's three-session program uniquely began with a collaborative simulation between leaders, mid-levels, and front line staff that fostered an engaged and reflective response from participants that set a strong foundation for the other sessions.

Master Trainer Bill McKeithan reported that DHS participants for each session "not only embraced the skill sets; people went back between sessions and used the tools." For example, participants reported work with 'indirect management' to build collaboration. They are stiill using the quality tools we gave them as well on important DHS initiatives."

The final evaluations were so positive, Ms. Bynoe-Kasden reported, that "we (at DHS) look forward to working with LTG in the future."

NYC Department of Homeless Services

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