Changing Culture of Leadership: the Momentum Program


Following its mission, ICHD focuses on contributing to the transition from authoritarian leadership culture to lateral and process oriented leadership culture since early 2000. The prevailing approach to problem solving in the soviet society as zero-sum game ought to be replaced by more constructive modes of group deliberation and cooperative gain models.   A successful transition to market economy and democracy requires a new democratic pluralistic political culture with a different set of basic approaches to problem solving.  To address these issues in the experience of young leaders from Armenia and the region, ICHD has partnered with Conflict Management Group (CMG, now part of the Mercy Corps) in the Momentum Program: Changing Negotiation and Leadership Culture. CMG is an international non-profit organization, which was founded in 1984 to place into wider practice joint problem solving technologies developed at Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP) of Harvard Law School.

The goal of this program is to assist young promising decision-makers from the region to acquire the leadership skills necessary to turn their respective countries into more democratic and prosperous entities that can hold their place in the world politically and economically and to apply new negotiation and leadership skills in developing cross-regional cooperative gain projects. To achieve this goal through a series of well-tailored, concentrated workshops in the US and follow up support, networking and training in region, the Momentum program equipped young leaders from Armenia and the region with skills, knowledge, contacts, and models for more effective policy development and self-governance.

Since April 2000, CMG, in close cooperation with ICHD and supported by renowned organizations of Armenian Diaspora, the Carnegie Foundation, and the USAID Mission to Armenia, developed and successfully ran eleven Armenia Momentum programs. The current outcome of this program is the extensive networks of over a hundred new style leaders in Armenia and across the region.

Participants are selected to provide mutual support for each other during and beyond the program. This approach allows ICHD and the partners to build a network supportive of the culture change (Momentum Network). Developing a critical mass of cadre from various layers of public and private sectors is a critical task of the program. Each program consisted of two local basic training workshops and one intermediate level training in Cambridge, MA. The choice of sectors for trainings has been determined through internal conflict vulnerability and regional conflict prevention diagnosis.

The curriculum for each Momentum group was tailored to the participants’ disciplinary specialty, country-unique issues and includes actual examples of models that have succeeded in solving problems under conditions similar to those in their countries. The role models present their experience in person when possible, or are presented and analyzed by the instructional staff. Experienced leadership, joint decision-making and cross-cultural educators and trainers, accomplished reformers from emerging democracies, disciplinary specialists, experts with hands on experience in leadership and democratic engagement use interactive methods of participatory instruction.


The Momentum Pilot Program (Momentum I) engaged twelve young leaders from Armenia hosted by the CMG and ICHD experts in the inaugural session of the Momentum Program in April 2000.

Later a group of young leaders from Armenia and the Diaspora (Momentum II) shared their ideas and concerns in a number of deliberation sessions at the CMG at Hauster Hall of Harvard University Law School and the Monitor Company in August 2000.

The partnership between ICHD and CMG evolved to its first practical outcomes after a group of young media professionals from Armenia (Momentum III) participated in training at the CMG center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in March 2001. The workshop "Mass Communication and State Building" addressed the difficult process of reforms in the post soviet societies through promoting a new negotiation and leadership culture.

Fifty young leaders from local governments, community based organizations, media, government and non-governmental institutions NGOs active on local governance, passed CMG’s and ICHD’s joint training on changing negotiation and leadership culture in October 2001. The group of fourteen most successful young professionals (Momentum IV) participated in training "Mastering Systemic Change and Best Practices in Local Government" offered by CMG in Boston, USA later.

Fourteen young educators from Armenia (Momentum V) have been trained in leadership skills for educational sector managers by CMG in Boston, USA, in March 2002. The training provided the participants with the knowledge and practical skills in negotiation and leadership, as well as hands-on experiences exposing how these skills are used in the educational milieu of Boston.

Twelve lawyers from Armenia representing both the public and private sectors (Momentum VI) participated in a ten-day training on leadership and negotiation at Conflict Management Group in Cambridge, MA, in March 2003. The training module, particularly have exposed to the participants use of legal case studies and other interactive training tools.

Twelve young leaders, representatives of credible intergovernmental organizations, international non-governmental and non-profit organizations (Momentum VII) participated in the “Leadership in Social Change for Prosperous Armenia” workshop hosted by the CMG in Cambridge, MA, in July 2004. Like the previous Momentum groups this group also was trained in leadership and negotiation skills, this time enriched with the theory and practice of the past years. In addition, they were introduced to a model of organizing effective public participation, developed by an American organization "America Speaks".

Thirteen so-called “connectors”, members of a certain network operating in Armenia (Momentum VIII), participated in a ten-day training conducted by Mercy Corps Civil Society and Conflict Management Group in Cambridge, MA, in October 2005. The training - Connecting Networks for Sustainable Change - aimed at providing the participants with essential skills necessary for maintaining sustainable networks and using the assets networks for facilitating a desirable change.

Thirteen young professionals representing various sectors of the Armenian social, economic and political life (Momentum IX) have been trained in a course "Network of Leaders: Fostering Higher Sustainability" delivered by in April 2006. The training provided the participants with essential skills necessary for ensuring the sustainability of the Momentum network and its consecutive activities.

Twelve young leaders representing various leading political institutions, as well as bearing different political visions (Momentum XI) have passed training in leadership, negotiation and policy analysis skills by Mercy Corps at Cambridge, MA, in May 2008. The skills provided to the young political leaders assisted them in analyzing and planning future steps under political crisis emerged after elections in February 2008.

ICHD, as the Librarian of the Momentum Network, in close cooperation with CMG and Mercy Corps and guided by CMG’s Director of Momentum program, Dr. Arthur Martirosyan have cultivated the network and regularly initiated various opportunities for the network members to interact and solve problems of shared interests through common efforts.

In Spring 2001, ICHD brought together the members of the first three Momentum groups in Olympic Camp in Tsaghkadzor. The retreat aimed at team building and reviewing the Momentum Program goals, discussing the future actions towards cultivating an interactive network and the priorities for a leadership and negotiation culture change.

Later in August 2001, ICHD conducted a joint seminar for the Momentum groups at ICHD premises in Yerevan. A case study based on Cuban Missile Crisis, some lessons in policy analysis and communication were presented by Dr. Arthur Martirosyan based on the movie "13 days". The case was worked out by CMG. The goals of the exercise were to obtain new problem diagnostic tools, "conceptual lenses" and new skills in interest analysis, as well as to learn more on the role of communication under uncertainty and crisis.

ICHD hosted the next seminar of the Momentum members devoted to the development of adequate skills in Leadership Communication in November 2001. The case used at the training was based on the tragic events of 9/11 and the steps taken by the American leadership to overcome the crisis.

In January 2002, ICHD organized a workshop on Scenario Planning while welcoming the Momentum IV group at the ICHD office. The network members presented the case on Constitutional Amendments, which they had worked out during their training at CMG, Cambridge.

ICHD hosted the seminar of the Momentum Network on stereotypes and identity issues based on the movie "Pretty Village, Pretty Flame"- a film by famous Serbian producer Srdjan Dragojevic in April 2002.

The members of the five Momentum groups joined on April 24, 2002, to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 committed by Turkey. After visiting the Genocide Memorial Museum on Tsitsernakaberd Hill, the members of the Momentum gathered at the ICHD hosted seminar on persuasion skills development based on the movie “12 Angry Men”. The participants have discussed the Teyhleryan Case as a resource for a study on presenting persuasion skills. On the next day after the seminar, a large group of Momentum Network members leaved for a week-long retreat to discuss the issues of the development of the network in Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

ICHD led also the next retreat of the Momentum Network in Dilijan, Northern Armenia, in November 2002. A module on framing was presented by Dr Arthur Martirosyan who joined the retreat. Participants discussed the film "True Romance" and participated in various team building exercises.

In February 2003, Arlex International hosted the Momentum network members at a workshop on the role of adaptive leadership based on the movie "Malcolm X".

Momentum Network members once again gathered together to welcome the Momentum VI at the Lawyers’ Welcoming Presentation and Stand-up Reception hosted by this latest group, in particular by Mr. David Atanessian in Hotel Armenia in April 2003.

Dr. Arthur Martirosyan of CMG and ICHD’s Dr. Ashot Khurshudyan presented the emotional control and three dimensional approach to negotiations at the next retreat of the Momentum Network in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia, December 2003.

Once again meeting in Zangezur, South Armenia in July 2004, the Momentum Network members discussed the preliminary findings of a survey conducted for the development of one of the scenarios on Armenia's development in future, a project called “Armenia 2020”.

Earlier in April 2004, Momentum members held the first Network Conference in Yerevan, where the concept of the gap analysis have been presented to their attention. The Network members reviewed the future plans of the network.

Momentum members got together in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia, in February 2005, for another development retreat. ICHD presented them the latest theories on negotiation styles.

Over 50 Momentum members got together in Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) for discussing the needs of NKR in development assistance with the political leadership of the country in June 2008. The Momentum members met with President Bako Sahakyan and the Speaker of the NKR Parliament Ashot Ghulyan and discussed the opportunity of using the strong professional capacity of the Momentum members for the benefit of the NK people.

ICHD considers that utilizing the capacity of the training, which evolved under the framework of the Momentum program should be also effectively used to boost the change of leadership culture beyond the Momentum Network as well.

Supported by the USAID and in cooperation with the Academy of Educational Development (AED), ICHD provided a series of leadership, negotiation and communication training courses to various groups.

About fifty representatives of Armenian political parties received ICHD’s and CMG’s joint training on negotiation and consensus-based leadership skills in 2002. The red line of the training was the coalition building as a tool for strengthening and joining different parties’ efforts towards democracy building in Armenia.

Fifty-six educators - lecturers, teachers and tutors - passed ICHD’s and CMG’s joint training on civic education, a drive for developing democratic leadership in September-October 2002. The training contributed to the development of the education sector of Armenia through exposing new approaches to management and developing democratic leadership skills among educators

Fifty-six representatives of Armenian non-governmental organizations participated in the week-long joint training of ICHD, Arlex International and CMG on negotiation, leadership and communication in July 2003. AED assisted ICHD in targeting the NGOs and facilitating the selection process. The training enhanced the negotiation and leadership skills of the NGO representatives who then extended the leadership and negotiation skills in their activities making them more effective and dynamic.

Twenty-five members of the local community councils from various Armenian towns passed ICHD’s and CMG’s three-day intensive training in 2004. The training provided the local council members with skills for analyzing conflicts, promoting dialogue, building confidence, facilitating communication and developing trust necessary for improving basic services for citizens, encouraging greater tolerance, mutual respect and understanding and encouraging responsiveness, effectiveness and transparent management of local governments at large.

One hundred top- and mid-ranking officials of the social security system - Ministry of Social Security of Armenia and Regional Social Security Agencies have passed ICHD’s and CMG’s joint training in leadership in 2005. They acquired skills required to mitigate the adverse social effects of transition through efforts to strengthen and make sustainable the key aspects of the social safety net and health care systems, all the while providing urgently needed services to the most vulnerable groups in Armenia.



Call for Expert on Policy Communication and Instruments

This announcement is available only in Armenian. 


“Green light” for environmentally neutral business development from Lisbon to Vladivostok

On March 3, 2021, the first meeting of the GreenDeal Task Force created under the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok was held. In the videoconference format, more than twenty authoritative experts in the field of ecology and business from Austria, Armenia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, France, as well as the representatives of the largest business industry associations supporting the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok, discussed common approaches to harmonizing the activities implemented by the EU and the EAEU on the path to sustainable development, including a radical reduction in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 2050.

 more >>