In today’s fast changing, complex world, gaining hands-on experience is a critical part of professional and leadership development. Coro Pittsburgh programs are designed to inspire and support diverse individuals who take on professional and leadership roles to revitalize Pittsburgh communities.

With Pittsburgh communities as the proving ground and the cohort as the learning model, Coro participants affect change within systems by learning to leverage strengths of many different kinds of people, organizations and institutions.

Coro training methodology

Leadership has two stages: diagnose and act. Leaders diagnose systems to determine the leverage points to make change. Leaders also diagnose themselves to determine their personal leverage point in changing a system. Leaders recognize that systems change when people transform their behaviors and begin working together on shared concerns.

The figure below identifies 23 research-based leadership competencies in the the 4 core areas of diagnosis of self, diagnosis of system, intervention in self, and intervention in system.

Four-part learning model and behaviors

Awareness Workshops focus on diagnosing the self in order to clarify who you are, what matters most to you,  and the strengths from which to build your Individual Strategic Plan and Catalytic Project. Participants learn to better utilize strengths, to listen more deeply to reveal hidden gifts, and to provide feedback that actually improves group performance.

Civic Strategy Sessions focus on diagnosing the system by learning from leaders with multiple and competing perspectives. The goal is for cohort members to discover leverage points for making change in how community systems provide for education, housing, transportation, economic development, health care, and public safety.

Teams form in the Coro cohort and work together on Catalytic Projects. The challenge is to create the greatest impact in changing a system with the resources accessible by the cohort.  Fellows Program in Public Affairs fulfill short-term (8-week) catalytic projects while being hosted and mentored by organizations in various sectors. Public Allies fulfill catalytic projects through community-based team service projects. The part-time NEXT Neighborhood Leaders incubate catalytic projects that revitalize their own communities.

Mentoring fulfills the self-intervention part of the program by developing confidence and competence through continuous encouragement and belief. Mentors support participants in implementing Individual Strategic Plan to consistently perform at their best. Mentoring is a symbiotic relationship aimed at growth, learning and career advancement for mentors and mentees. Mentoring is ongoing throughout the program. Coro connects participants with a network of mentors, often Coro alumni, who fulfill a variety of functions, including:

  • Helping participants take advantage of opportunities for professional development.
  • Coaching participants to see their strengths and navigate obstacles.
  • Protecting participants from negative career outcomes or damaging consequences in the community.
  • Creating opportunities for participants to demonstrate knowledge and talent.
  • Supporting participants in developing and implementing their catalytic projects.

[1] For more on the theory of diagnosis/action see Ronald Heifetz et al., The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, Harvard 2009, p. 6.

Click HERE to listen to a 5 minute KQV Radio interview with CEO Greg Crowley on how Coro’s five programs prepare young adults to be ethical and effective leaders.


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