National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Leading and innovating from Fort Wayne, Ind.

by Dinah Adkins

February 2012

NBIA’s foremost proponent of professional development — including building leadership skills — is likely Karl LaPan, president & CEO and “Certified Dream Manager” of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. LaPan takes seriously managing dreams and building a culture that will help him and others succeed.

“Everything starts with the leader,” LaPan says. “Engaged professional development starts with the leader’s philosophy about continuous lifelong learning.” He requires that all staff learn to respect each other’s ideas, teaches that authority equates with accountability, and stresses that “higher expectations yield higher performance.”

These aren’t empty words at NIIC. LaPan relies on a performance management system that includes performance reviews, soft skills assessments, and other tracking and measurement tools to assist in growing staff.

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Keywords: management systems, professional development – general, leadership development

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