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Texas Certified Public Manager® Program Director visits Leiden University in The Hague

Dr. Howard and Marilyn Balanoff from the CPM program of Texas visited Leiden University in The Hague, to share their knowledge and to learn from the Leiden Certified Public Manager® Program. We took the opportunity and have asked them some questions.

The Certified Public Manager® Program (CPM) is the systematic approach to training and developing the leadership skills of public managers and supervisors, a proven concept that currently runs throughout 40 states in the United States, started in 1979 and now counts over 13.500 alumni. The Centre for Professional Learning of Leiden University set up the very first international Certified Public Manager® Program. The Leiden CPM Program is unique in a European context and the only accredited CPM Program outside the United States. More information at www.cpm-program.nl

Q1 The Leiden CPM program is just starting in Europe. Given your experience of more than 20 years with the Texas CPM Program, what are the most defining factors of CPM? And what is the difference between CPM programs compared to other leadership development programs?

Howard: “The CPM program in Texas is running over the last 20 years. We started in 1997 and at that time I found, when teaching in the Master’s programme of political science at Texas State University, that managers are looking for something different. They are interested in theory and practice combined. Many leadership programmes based from Universities are very heavy on theory and research, and light on practical skills and applied learning. We developed CPM in Texas to fill that need.” Marilyn: “For experienced managers, CPM proved to be really enriching. One of the most valuable assets of CPM is that it is focused on real problems and urgent issues, and on how to make a difference by putting your learning into practice in your own working context right away.”

Q2 The Texas CPM Program went from 7 to 1900 graduates and is taught in several locations in Texas. What are the benefits for participants of taking part in the CPM program?

Howard: “The CPM program brings together public managers from so many different sectors. This results into very interesting groups every time, and makes networking through many different sectors possible.” Marilyn: “You see people growing in their organisations, after or even during the CPM program. For us, the strongest testimony of the value of the program is that participants tell their managers that they really learned something new and that they can change things on the work floor. We often hear that CPM helped public managers to grow and perform in a better way.”

“The CPM Program gives our participants ‘aha-moments’, that make them see things in a broader perspective, and change their thinking in order to improve their managerial judgement and increase their leadership impact in practice.”

(Dr. Howard Balanoff, Director Texas CPM Program).

Q3 Public managers are facing quite some challenges these days. What are the main challenges public managers are dealing with today and how are they being addressed in the CPM program?Howard: “Public managers often deal with so called ‘wicked problems’, that can’t be solved in a traditional way, are difficult to understand and that change at an ever faster pace.” 
Marilyn: “In the CPM Program we have the opportunity to include emerging issues and adapt to new situations quickly, which adds value for the public managers instantly.”  

Q4 The Leiden CPM Program has just started and is the only CPM Program accredited outside the United States. Why is it so important that CPM is now also offered in a European context?Howard: “Problems for public managers are no longer just national, but in many cases international. Exchanging experiences, learning about other countries, and seeing what others do well, and what we can learn from them is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but ‘need to have’ these days.” Marilyn: “What really stands out to us about the Leiden Certified Public Manager® Program is that you visit and learn about different countries and cultures throughout Europe, immerse the participants in different contexts and work in Action Learning Sets on real challenges in the different countries. It is such an asset to be able to build an international community of educated public managers, it takes CPM to the next level.” Howard: “With the Leiden CPM Program you are the trailblazers of the first CPM model that takes place in different countries, and I think this might turn into a standard model for future international CPM Programs!”

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