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What is a Hypothesis?
A Hypothesis is an if-then statement about a problem or a challenge that can be tested in different contexts and learned about using different methodologies. This definition was derived from an "emergent learning" circle process using EL Maps -- a process that guides the formation and testing of hypotheses in complex social conditions.

Are you aware of any hypotheses about how leadership and leadership development catalyze changes at the community, field, systems, or population levels?
We are interested in capturing the range of hypotheses about leadership and leadership development that are currently being researched and tested. Please add any hypotheses you know about.

Note: The following hypotheses were discovered through our research on evidence-based practice and leadership development for the Annie E.Casey Foundation.Foundation, and generated by LLC members through a survey that asked for them to share their leadership development hypothesis. The bolded hypotheses are ones that are currently being tested.


Community Level Changes

  • When you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the community. (Collaborative Leadership Theory- David Chrislip)
  • When communities move from an exclusive and divisive civic culture to a more inclusive and collaborative civic culture, they are capable of doing adaptive work and ensuring community accountability for making progress on critical issues. (Kansas Health Foundation)
  • Systems Level Changes
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  • If schools. (Thecitizens Wallaceunderstood Foundation)Populationand Levelhad Changesencouragement Whento engage in community issues they care deeply about with a corehigher grouplevel of skill multi-sector,our communities crosswould agencybe leadersbetter. respond
Systems toLevel a callChanges
  • If tostates action,and districts work together and align their actions atefforts greaterto scopeimprove andleadership scale,standards, they aretraining morefor likelyleaders, achieveand populationthe levelconditions changes.leaders (Theoryface, ofthen Aligned Contribution-school Jolieleaders Bainwill Pillsbury)Selectedbe leadershipmore developmenteffective hypothesesat generatedimproving fromteaching surveyand responsesstudent bylearning membersin oftheir theschools. (The LLCWallace communityFoundation)
  • If those seeking to create change and exercise leadership understand how to work across boundaries (sectors, ideologies, generations, etc.), then they will be more effective at creating system-level changes to improve the functioning of our communities, institutions, and democratic system.
  • If Capeleaders Verdeanare networked communityacross membersissues andthen medicalthey providerswill (asbe wellbetter asable to non-Capeshare strategies Verdeanand healthresources workersand whostrengthen servetheir theown Capeas Verdeanwell community)as work together on anational efforts coordinatedfor healthlasting carechange. project,
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  • When be positivea healthcore outcomesgroup inof themulti-sector, Capecross Verdeanagency communityleaders locallyrespond andto ina Cape Verde.Ifcall citizensto understoodaction, and hadalign encouragementtheir to engageactions inat communitygreater issuesscope theyand carescale, deeplythey are aboutmore withlikely aachieve higherpopulation level of skillchanges. our(Theory communitiesof wouldAligned Contribution- beJolie better. Bain Pillsbury)
  • If leaders are supported in their work through increasing knowledge, having a kind "reality check" with peers and an on-going relationship with a competent mentor they in turn will be better able to address the complexity of their jobs to improve the health of their respective populations. If leaders are networked across issues then they will be better able to share strategies and resources and strengthen their own as well as national efforts for lasting change.