boundary spanning


The boundary spanning quadrant of the Competing Values Framework (2014) identifies four specific strategies to keep in mind when boundary spanning:

  1. Use potential customers to help;
  2. Let employees determine what they want to do;
  3. Use a diversified innovative approach;and
  4. Know when to let go.

Likewise, in Chapter 30, Building Community, of the Burghardt and Tolliver (2010) text, there are four distinct strategies identified for boundary spanning:

  1. Engaging in relationship building;
  2. Creating spaces for common connection;
  3. Re-configuring authority so it can be shared; and
  4. Ongoing reflection and relating.

For this discussion you are asked to look at both the CVF and Transformational Leadership strategies for boundary-spanning administrators. You are first presented with a case study and then you are asked to compare and contrast strategies from both the CVF and Transformational Leadership models to apply to the case study presented.

First Step – Read the Case Study

You are an administrator for a youth serving agency called Voices for Youth & Families which recently received funding to provide specialized violence reduction services to at-risk youth. As such, your agency is collaborating with a much larger organization that offers several well established program to families and children, including a neighborhood drop-in center for at-risk and homeless youth called Youth United that has been in operation for 10 years. The violence-reduction services your program offers at the drop-in center are slowly becoming integrated into the overall programming, which has contributed to youth being referred to your program for support services, community awareness efforts, and burgeoning relationships with other youth service providers, health care programs, and law enforcement. Unfortunately, community members from the surrounding residential and business community have resurrected some old concerns about the location of the center following a publicized arrest that occurred near the drop-in center and involved two of the kids who frequent the center. A similar situation sparked concerns several years ago, but a task force comprised of stakeholders was able to establish security policies, youth oversight, and capital improvements, so that the concerns were quelled. Since then there hasn’t been a need for this task force to meet and it has since disbanded. This recent situation has caused the residents to bring their renewed concerns to their neighborhood association and local businesses are organizing as well. Initial reports indicate that both of these groups are looking to bring their arguments to the city council and ask for zoning restrictions be approved that would force the drop-in center to relocate. Board of directors and administrators from your organization, Voices for Youth and Families, and the organization that houses the drop-in center are asking all program managers to develop strategies for advocacy in addressing and counteracting the actions that are being proposed.

Second Step

  1. The Competing Values Framework identifies two major roles of managers in the “boundary spanning” quadrant – innovator and broker. Considering these two roles:
    1. Identify strategies from the CVF that correspond specifically with the strategies in the Transformational Leadership model,
    2. Discuss how the strategies from each of these models would work together to best address the current situation.
    3. What skills do you believe administrators need to employ these strategies and why?
  2. Boundary spanning calls for working in the external environment on behalf of your mission. Please share your thoughts by considering the following:
    1. Based on what you know from this case study, and the module readings, what strategies from the CVF and Transformational Leadership model would you use to leverage the support of potential allies?
    2. Who are the potential allies and how do you think they would be helpful to your cause?
    3. For each of these potential allies, identify what assets they bring to your cause and what you will ask them to do to help AND what are the potential areas of opposition you might encounter with them and how could you overcome that challenge?
  3. Identifying potential opponents is equally important as knowing who your allies are. Please share your thoughts by considering the following:
    1. Based on what you know from this case study and the module readings, who do you anticipate to be your opponents and what is the potential in finding a compromise with any of these opponents?
    2. What Innovator or Broker skills would be best suited for this task?
    3. What strategies from the CVF and Transformational Leadership model would be best suited to use in working with these potential opponents and why?
  4. The Community Tool Box cites the need to have a thorough understanding of the issue you are advocating for – in this case why the drop-in center is needed, how this impacts your program and why the drop-in center should remain at its current location. Please share:
    1. How you would argue for the location of the drop-in center and the type of research and data you would use to support your claims. This is an opportunity to “make your case”!
    2. What Innovator or Broker skills would be best suited for this task?
    3. What strategies from the CVF and Transformational Leadership model would you use in advocating and why?

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