On Thursday March 28, 2019, YLNI hosted our second ever round table event with twelve community leaders and nine YLNI Board members in attendance. The primary goal of the event was for YLNI to engage directly with leaders in our community by asking a few questions and to see where the conversation led. In the span of an hour in a half three questions were asked:
- How would you define a young leader?
- What barriers are you experiencing while trying to attract and retain talent in our region?
- How can YLNI help you in your acquisition and retention efforts?
The questions above were the same three that were asked at our first round table event back in October of 2018. We had new attendees this time around, which provided us with different perspectives, but ultimately, very similar answers.
When defining a young leader some common responses included: being coachable, energetic, willing to make a sacrifice for the greater good, naturally attracts a following, and someone takes ownership of their responsibilities. During question number two, many of the companies represented at the event seemed to be running into the same roadblocks when it comes to attracting new talent, or retaining current employees. Some answers for the second question were: we need more diversity, we need to be more welcoming to outsiders, we need ways to get people plugged into social networks and rise above cultural gaps.
When it came time to answer our final question, it was very rewarding to hear that the local leaders believe YLNI is making a positive impact in our community. Our Leadership Institute program, monthly Hot Spots, View from the Top events and Farmers Market were seen as valuable programs to the community leaders in attendance. YLNI's core mission is “to attract, develop and retain emerging leaders through community, professional and social engagement.”. Some of the ideas given in response to the final question were: broadcast more events to the community via social media, blogs and news reports, as well as host events for summer interns working at local companies and “lunch & learn” events.
In the week since this round table event we have started to brainstorming new ways to help with attraction and retention. We are forming committees, writing blogs (such as this one), and creating surveys to send to our membership. We plan to host these type of Q&A events with community leaders on a quarterly basis. Gaining feedback from local leaders, as well as our membership, will help us shape our own future here in Northeast Indiana.
David Curry, Treasurer