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LIGHTING THE LAMP

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Abstract:

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), is a regional wastewater utility located in Southeast Virginia. It is state-chartered and reports to Commissioners appointed by the Governor. In its sixty year history, HRSD has a long and glowing record of technical achievements. Most of these achievements were produced through a pervasive “top down” style of management. In an environment becoming increasingly competitive, the organization saw the need to involve much more of its 700 employees in the fabric of HRSD's creativity and decision making. A cross functional team was formed to create and implement a program designed to teach supervisors and leaders the basic human relations skills needed to empower the entire organization. This team, known as the LAMPlighters, worked for two years to produce the LAMP (Leadership and Management Program). HRSD established a partnership with one of its “customers”, the City of Virginia Beach, VA, to have two of its trainers from the Human Resources Department teach LAMP to approximately 200 HRSD supervisors. To obtain “buy-in”, the training began with a “pilot” class of senior managers in October 1998. After that, LAMP was off and running, leading to week long classes of approximately twenty-four students each. Participants were drawn from all HRSD departments. Materials taught included: Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Blanchard's Situational Leadership Model and HRSD's organizational values. Classes were very inter-active, using class discussions, “break-out” sessions, ample critique opportunities to support the learning atmosphere. The last group of supervisors completed LAMP in April 2000 and HRSD is now considering ways to “keep the LAMP lighted” in order to make an already quality organization into an even better one.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864700784545441

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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